The facial skin is exposed to various environmental influences such as UV radiation, nicotine and alcohol. Additionally, the facial muscles lose tension due to age. No matter how thoroughly we try to counteract with skincare: the face becomes wrinkled over time and less taut. Many patients come to our clinic with the desire for a “younger” and fresher face but without losing the natural character of the face and without visible traces of the operation. In a personal consultation, we search for the best individual solution. Our goal is to tackle the respective problem zones of the face in a targeted manner instead of applying a complex facelift.
Nowadays there are many conservative treatments, i.e. treatments without surgery. Even with fillers, thread-lifting or a plasma pen treatment can a certain tightening effect be achieved. With a significant skin excess, however, the only solution is a facelift.
How does facelifting work in the Plastethics Clinic in Berlin?
The facelift is to tighten the facial skin and rejuvenate the look. It should not change anything fundamentally, but should primarily raise the skin and the underlying tissue and remove excess skin. Often, our patients opt for a combination of facelift and neck-lift or forehead-, eyebrow-lift.
What kind of cutting technique is used for a facelift or mini-facelift?
There is a wide variety of names for cutting techniques, e.g. Biolift, Softlift, S-Lift etc. How extensive the surgery and subsequently the scarring has to be depends on the excess of skin and the appearance of the wrinkles. In many cases, even a so-called mini-facelift is sufficient to achieve the desired facial lift and to significantly improve one’s appearance with regard to wrinkles. In any case, the underlying muscle layer must be tightened to achieve a lasting result. For an additional tightening of the neck, a continuation of the scar to the hairy scalp behind the ear is required. There it is well hidden and almost invisible after healing.
How is the facelift surgery performed in Berlin?
The facelift surgery is performed under general anaesthesia, a smaller lift or “mini-lift” under local anaesthesia. The surgery takes between three and five hours, depending on its extent. Twilight sleep or general anaesthesia are therefore often more pleasant for the patients. For a proper facelift, I recommend a stay in our clinic for one or two days, I carry out a mini-lift also on an outpatient basis.
To avoid large swelling after surgery, I inject local narcotics into the area to be treated. After surgery, the patients therefore have no pain, but there is a feeling of tightness and possibly slight pain in the wound behind the ear where the stiches are. To minimize the swelling, a head bandage is applied at the end of the operation. It will be removed after the first night in the clinic. The wounds are dressed with sterile plaster strips only and possibly some tape on the chin. During the first few days slight swelling occurs, the wounded area should be cooled and any effort should be avoided. The threads are removed after eight to ten days. If the healing process proceeds without complications, you will be “sociable” again after about two to three weeks.
What are the risks and potential complications of a facelift?
The risks of surgical facial lifting include bruising and swelling. The face itself looks “normal” a few days after the operation, bruises usually occur on the neck and occasionally on the lower jaw. Numbness may occur in the area of the skin in front of the ears but fades within the first few weeks after surgery. However, it can take several months for the cutaneous nerves to regenerate completely. The scars are usually very delicate and inconspicuous.
However, scarring is individually very different. If you are prone to unfavourable scarring, I can take corrective action as the healing process progresses.
Patients can influence the healing process by abstaining as much as possible from nicotine consumption, which in the worst case can lead to gangrene. I recommend rest and the avoidance of stress and physical exertion. After two weeks, light sports and all day-to-day activities can be taken up again. Only strong physical exertion and everything including a head-down position (e.g. “Hanging Yoga”) should be avoided for six weeks. Direct sunlight should be avoided during the first six weeks after the facelift. If it cannot be avoided, you should use sunscreen with a high SPF. Careful showering and hair washing is allowed in the first few days after surgery. After the threads have been removed, you can take a normal shower, take a bath and cover the scars with make-up. Scars and facial skin should receive special treatment. I am happy to advise you on appropriate cosmetics and ointment to treat the scars.