When it comes to facial rejuvenation, lifting is one of the most sought after options. This effective technique can restore youthfulness to the skin and help fight the signs of aging on the face. In this article, we’ll explore two popular approaches to facelifts: the surgical and the non-surgical facelift. We will discuss what they are, what they are for, how they work, possible side effects and complications, necessary care and recovery, results that we can expect in each case, among other topics.
Surgical Lift (Facelift)
What is a surgical lift (facelift)?
Surgical facial lifting, or facelift, is a cosmetic procedure that aims to improve the visible signs of aging on the face (and, often, on the neck as well, through a neck lift).
This is a surgical intervention that involves removing excess skin and repositioning the deep layers.
What does a surgical lift treat?
A surgical lift is recommended for people who wish to reduce facial sagging and wrinkles, providing a younger, more revitalized appearance. It can improve the appearance of the cheeks, neck, jaw line and eliminate sagging around the chin, including the double chin.
Normally, people who undergo a facelift have already undergone some basic cosmetic treatments, such as botulinic toxin (botox), filling with hyaluronic acid or even a non-surgical lift, but even so, they are no longer able to disguise the natural aging of their skin and are looking for better long-lasting results.
How is it performed?
During the surgical facelift procedure, Dr. Francisco Martins de Carvalho, Living Clinic’s plastic surgeon, will make strategically positioned incisions to allow access to facial tissues. Then, excess skin is removed and tissues are repositioned. The incisions are then closed, resulting in a firmer, more rejuvenated appearance.
In addition to the skin, the surgery also focuses on the deep layers, which allows for more natural and lasting results in the medium and long term.
Fat grafts are often used to replace lost facial volume.
The facelift is often associated with another surgery, the blepharoplasty.
A facelift is performed in a single procedure, after a thorough pre-surgical study in which the patient’s expectations and different approach methods are discussed.
The facelift (surgical facelift) is done under general anaesthesia.
A surgical lift lasts between 4h and 5h and is carried out with 1 day of hospital stay.
Side effects of surgical liftings
After a surgical facelift, it is common to experience some discomfort, swelling and bruising. However, these symptoms disappear in the short term.
It is essential to follow all post-operative instructions provided by the surgeon to minimize risks.
Post op care
After a surgical facelift, it is essential to carefully follow the surgeon’s instructions. This may include applying cold bandages, avoiding strenuous activities and limiting sun exposure. Full recovery may take a few weeks, during which you should rest as much as possible.
Post op step-by-step:
- The patient leaves the operating room with their head wrapped in a padding and with a well placed drainage system;
- The padding is removed on the next day, face and hair are washed and patient is discharged;
- In the following 48h-72h, the drains are removed after performing the first facial and cervical lymphatic drainage massage;
- Eyelid stitches are removed after 6-8 days;
- The stitches on the face are removed after 8 days and the stitches in the hair after 10-15 days.
It is normal to feel your face swollen during the first two weeks and during that time you will have to perform several drainage massage procedures as well as abstain from sun exposure and physical exercise for 2 months. After 3-4 weeks you will be able to resume your professional and social life, as you will have unnoticeable surgical marks.
The appearance of the face improves significantly within 4 weeks and the scars become practically imperceptible after 3 months.
Is a surgical lift painful?
The postoperative period is not usually painful. Any discomfort is well controlled with regular painkillers.
To whom a lift is recommended and contraindications
Surgical facelift is generally recommended for people who have significant sagging skin on their face and neck. However, not everyone is a good candidate for the procedure. You should schedule an appointment to hear the physician’s opinion.
Does a lift surgery leave scars?
A surgical facelift involves incisions, which result in scars. However, plastic surgeons are skilled at positioning incisions to minimize the visibility of scars. Scars that may result from this surgery are easily camouflaged and generally barely noticeable after a few months.
Our plastic surgeon will recommend the areas and size of the intervention, but you can always opt for a lighter intervention, commonly called “mini lift”.
As for the results, they vary from person to person, but a surgical lift will certainly provide a younger facial appearance, with firmer skin and improved facial contours.
A surgical lift creates a process that acts as a brake, slowing down the natural aging process of the face. This surgery provides natural and lasting results but, of course, the result is not definitive.
Fortunately, a facelift does not change a person’s facial expression. The objective of a facelift is to rejuvenate the face without altering its basic characteristics. However, it is natural that in the first few days your face will feel strange and different in front of the mirror, but little by little everything will become normal.
Surgical lift price
The price of a surgical facelift varies according to each case, in particular the areas of the face that are intended to be treated. We recommend that you schedule a consultation with our plastic surgeon to obtain a personalized quote.
Who performs the surgical lift?
The surgical lift is performed by Dr. Francisco Martins de Carvalho, plastic surgeon at Living Clinic.
Dr. Francisco Martins de Carvalho is a specialist in Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery. He completed his degree in Medicine at the School of Medicine of the University of Oporto and the Internship in Specific Training in Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery took place at Hospital de São José (Lisbon) and Hospital de São João (Oporto).
Currently, he is also a plastic surgeon at the Hospital de São João – Oporto, and a Invited Lecturer at the School of Medicine of the University of Oporto.
In the field of cosmetic surgery, he has a special interest in facial cosmetic surgery, breast cosmetic surgery, body contouring surgery and vaginal cosmetic surgery.
What is a non-surgical lift?
A non-surgical facelift is an alternative to a surgical facelift, but is less invasive. This treatment uses radiofrequency to eliminate fat and firm the skin of the face and neck.
What does a non-surgical lifting treat?
The non-surgical facelift is recommended for people who want to improve their facial appearance without resorting to surgery. Promotes facial restructuring and helps firm the skin, smooth wrinkles and fine lines, improve texture and restore facial contour.
How it works
The non-surgical facelift is performed using Inmode’s Facetite and Accutite technologies.
Facetite is a complete, minimally invasive solution for the face, neck and other small areas of the body.
This is a minimally invasive treatment in which a cannula is inserted under the skin and emits radiofrequency to evenly heat the skin layers in a safe and controlled way. Bipolar technology ensures that energy is concentrated solely on the treatment area to maximize fat coagulation and contraction of fibrous septa. The temperatures used cause collagen contraction, producing the desired skin contraction.
This procedure’s built-in safety mechanisms include real-time skin temperature measurements and impedance monitoring, with audible warnings to help ensure patient safety.
Accutite is similar, but applies radiofrequency to more delicate areas of the face and body where greater precision is required. These technologies have scientific and safety recognition from the RFAL (Radiofrequency Assisted Lipolysis) group of technologies.
Possible side effects from the non-surgical lifting
In general, non-surgical facelifts are well tolerated, with minimal side effects and complications. Some patients may experience temporary redness, swelling or tenderness in the treated area. These symptoms usually disappear within a few days.
Recovery from the non-surgical lifting
After the non-surgical facelift, it is important to follow the instructions of our specialists. In most cases, there is no significant recovery time required and patients can resume their daily activities immediately after treatment. It is common to wear a chin cup 24 hours a day for the first week and then at night for 3 weeks.
There are no specific contraindications, except in cases where the general health aspect does not favour a minimally invasive intervention. There are different recommendations that we make to patients in the weeks and days before the intervention.
In a non-surgical facelift, only local anesthesia is given.
The non-surgical facelift lasts approximately 60 minutes.
The results of non-surgical lifting are gradual, with results being assessed at 3 months. However, there is still progressive improvement up to 6 months.
Patients can expect firmer skin, reduced wrinkles and a more rejuvenated facial contour.
How much does a non-surgical lifting cost?
The price of a non-surgical facelift varies depending on the location and depth of the procedure. In general, a non-surgical facelift is more affordable than a (surgical) facelift.
These are procedures that are not price listed but are quoted individually for each patient.
Who performs the non-surgical lifting?
The non-surgical lifting is performed by Dr. Diogo Semedo, a physician with experience in Cosmetic Medicine, scientific reviewer for the International Journal of Dermatology.
Dr. Diogo Semedo holds a Master’s degree in Medicine from the Abel Salazar Institute of Biomedical Sciences (University of Porto) and completed a Master’s degree in Cosmetic Medicine from the Complutense University of Madrid. He is also a trainer and consultant in the area of Cosmetic Medicine in two laboratories in face and body fillers, as well as tension threads, bio stimulators and gluteal fillers.
Interested in research and the aesthetic component in the area of Dermatology, he is the main author of a world-leading study on adult acne and has worked in leading public and private institutions in Porto.
Both the surgical facelift and the non-surgical facelift are effective options for facial rejuvenation. While a facelift offers longer-lasting results, requires a longer recovery and involves invasive procedures, a non-surgical facelift is a much less invasive alternative, with a shorter recovery time, but may require additional treatment sessions in the future to maintain results.
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