Let’s Face It

Facelifts are among the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in the UK for both men and women.

By the time we reach our 40s, certain signs of ageing become more prominent; the skin around the neck begins to sag, wrinkle creases deepen and the skin on our eyelids develop thick folds making them look droopy and heavy. While these signs of ageing are inevitable, some people opt for facelift surgery (rhytidectomy) to rejuvenate their appearance. Facelifts address these tell-tale ageing signs by lifting and pulling the skin on the face up and back to make it appear smooth and tight. There are many reasons a person might decide to go ahead with this procedure; looking younger and increased self-confidence being the main ones. Before deciding to undergo any type of surgery, it’s important to conduct deep research and to be sure of your reasons for doing it. Facelifts aren’t usually offered on the NHS and tend to be costly; they can also carry risks and are not guaranteed to achieve desired results. 

Mini facelift

A mini facelift—sometimes referred to in the medical community as a thread lift—focuses on the mid-face, jawline and the neck and is most appropriate for those with moderate sagging of the skin. This type of facelift significantly reduces the appearance of deep wrinkles and drooping skin with the added benefit of minimal scarring. The procedure is generally carried out under local anaesthetic, where incisions are made by the hairline and ears. The tissue underneath the cheek is loosened and the skin is then pulled and fastened into its new position. Without the need for hospital care after surgery, the procedure is considerably lower in cost than a full facelift, coming in at around £3,500 to £6,000. This cost may vary depending on the surgeon you opt to use and your specific needs. 

Full facelift  

A full facelift involves making a long surgical incision from the hairline, around the front of the ears and back into the hairline behind the ears. The surgeon will then separate the tissue beneath the skin in order to remove excess fat and reposition the facial muscles. Once this is completed, the skin will be pulled up and back and stitched in place carefully where the initial incision was made. The position of the incision means that the scar will sit comfortably in the hairline, making it almost invisible. The procedure typically takes between two to five hours to complete and patients are required to stay in hospital for a few days after. Patients are likely to experience bruising, swelling and fatigue following the procedure.

Eyelid surgery  

Eyelid surgery—also referred to as blepharoplasty—focuses specifically on tackling signs of ageing by correcting aesthetic abnormalities on the eyelids or eye bags. This procedure is often carried out alongside a full facelift, but may be performed separately. According to the NHS, blepharoplasty alone in the UK can cost anywhere between £2,000 and £6,000. The surgery involves making an incision along the length of the eyelid crease to minimise scarring. Any excess skin, fat or muscle that is causing any drooping or folding is then removed. While surgeons will advise that patients take at least one week off of work to promote healing after the procedure, bruising may persist for several weeks. Side effects include puffy and swollen eyelids that are difficult to close, irritation and high sensitivity—although this should subside after a few weeks. Patients may also experience temporary blurred vision and—in rare cases—blindness.

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