A face lift corrects a drooping face (eyebrows, cheeks, jowls, rounded face) and neck that occurs with ageing or after sudden and drastic weight loss. The purpose of a face lift is not to change the face but reposition the various anatomical structures of the face and neck (skin, muscles, fat) so as to restore the natural look that a person had in previous years.

There are several types of face lift

FOREHEAD, TEMPORAL and CENTRO-FACIAL LIFTS were described in the section on facial surgery around the eyes and may be combined with it.

The CERVICO-FACIAL LIFT is the most frequent type of face lift performed. It consists of the surgical correction of the ageing of the neck and face (from the area of the temples to the lower cheek or jowl region).

The cervico-facial lift on its own is not effective on small skin imperfections (fine lines, skin tags, scars, moles, etc..), on wrinkles in the forehead and drooping eyebrows and eyelids or on the wrinkles around the lips (a combination of several techniques is often necessary).

The face lift technique varies for each patient since it has to be adapted for each case in order to achieve an optimal made-to-measure result. There is no “face-lift age”; a face lift is justified from the moment when there is sagging and it worries the person who therefore wants it removed. There is no such thing as a “preventive facelift”; if there is no sagging of the tissues and yet they are re-stretched anyway, the result will not look natural it will appear “frozen”.
It is essential to stop smoking at least one month before and after the face lift operation due to the risk of major complications especially necrosis of the skin that occurs in smokers (resulting in very unattractive operation scars).

The cervico-facial face lift operation

  • General anaesthetic (more comfortable) or sometimes local anaesthetic with sedation.
  • Time taken for the operation: 2 to 3 hours.
  • Incisions are hidden under the hair (in the area of the temples and in the nape of the neck) and around the ear.
  • After detaching the skin, the loosened muscles are stretched again to correct their relaxation. The skin is then reshaped for the new curves, without excessive traction so as to obtain a natural result (the skin should not be stretched too much) and one that is long-lasting (since the muscle plane is strong).
  • This intervention can be combined with another cosmetic surgery facial operation, that of liposuction of the neck, cosmetic surgery of the eyelids (blepharoplasty), correction of sagging and wrinkles of the forehead (forehead lift), fat injections (lipostructure). It may also be supplemented by medico-surgical treatments.

Recovery from a cervico-facial face lift

  • Hospitalisation in general for 24 hours
  • The post-operative conditions of a face lift vary between individuals but in general they are not very painful and merely require ordinary pain-killers. There is more of a feeling of discomfort and tension in the neck.
  • The dressings will be removed on the following day and replaced by a compression bandage to be retained for 10 to 15 days at home.
  • The stitches are re-absorbable but may also be removed between the fifth and the fifteenth day if they have not fallen out.
  • Oedema and ecchymosis (swelling and bruising) are at their worst between the second and fourth day after the face lift.
  • Allow three weeks before resuming a normal social life and two to three months before getting an idea of the final result.
  • Any complications from a cervico-facial lift will be specified to you during the consultation as will the literature supplied.