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What is a facelift?

A facelift is a cosmetic surgery procedure that elevates and repositions skin and soft tissue on the face below the eyes and ears. A procedure above this area is called a brow lift.

A facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, is a 'rejuvenation' procedure that some people consider when the skin has lost some elasticity.

A person considering a facelift may think they look tired, even when they're not. They may have deep lines around the corners of the mouth, jowls or neck laxity or looseness.

The effects of the facelift usually last around 10 years.

No cosmetic surgery is without risks, and these should be discussed with the surgeon before going ahead.

Is it worth it?

Although many people who have facelifts are pleased with the results, people considering this procedure should also be made aware of the limitations of what can be achieved.

What are the alternatives to a facelift?

There are other approaches to trying to improve the look of skin that has lost some elasticity. These include creams, gels and beauty treatments.

Skin resurfacing can remove damaged outer layers giving smoother look.

Dermal fillers may be appropriate to manage deeper wrinkles.

Botulinum toxin (including Botox) injections can improve frown lines and similar wrinkles.

Who's a candidate for a facelift?

The best candidates for facelift surgery are those patients who demonstrate the above signs of facial ageing but still have some skin elasticity. Generally this includes patients who are in their 40s to 70s, although older patients occasionally are candidates.

It's extremely important that you are in good general overall physical and mental health, and it's crucial that you have realistic expectations. A facelift is not meant to completely alter your appearance or make you look like someone else. It's a way to turn back the hands of time and restore your once youthful appearance, but it is not a method to solve personal problems or psychological issues.

It's important to recognise that not every person needs to undergo a facelift operation. Younger patients may obtain significant benefit from smaller or more minimally invasive procedures. Older patients also may choose one of these lesser procedures to address a particularly bothersome area of the face or neck. Facial liposuction, a neck lift, or a brow lift are examples of such procedures.

What is a weekend facelift?

The increasingly popular 'weekend facelift' is a minor surgical procedure that provides minor improvements to drooping and sagging skin. And while the results are much less impressive than a "real" facelift, the recovery time is also much less.

If you are interested in this procedure, you can discuss with your doctor whether or not it would be a suitable alternative to a regular facelift and whether it will provide the outcome that you desire.

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