The natural aging process leads to alterations of the face. Depending on predisposition, these can develop starting from 30 to 35 years of age. Skin quality begins to deteriorate and in the beginning small wrinkles appear, followed by deep permanent furrows. Moreover, the skin slackens and with gravity is displaced inferiorly. This leads to sagging of the facial contours and to formation of excess skin at the chin (limpness of cheeks, or jowls) as well as at the neck. The volume of the subcutaneous tissue diminishes and the face loses its young fullness.
There are various ways to combat the aging process:
1. Improvement of skin quality
The quality of the skin can be improved by using special creams, by peelings, or laser therapy. Similarly, autologous fat transfer results in marked improvement of skin quality.
2. Filling of the face with autologous fat or injectable fillers
Volume loss especially in the areas of the cheeks, the nasolabial folds, and the "marionette folds" at the sides of the mouth, can be replenished with hyaluronic acid fillers. These are resorbed after about four to six months and must be reinjected at regular intervals. An alternative is volume restoration with autologous fat. Approximately 80% of the fat injected into the face generally remains to last.
3. Tightening of the facial muscles and skin (Face lifting)
An operative facelift can achieve a pronounced rejuvenation of the face.
How is the operation carried out?
In a facelift procedure, an incision in front of and behind the ear up to the hairline allows the tightening of the facial muscles and their overlying skin. During the operation, small drainage tubes are inserted which are normally removed the next day.
How about follow-up care?
The sutures are removed after five to seven days.
Key points at a glance
- OP duration: three to four hours
- Anesthesia: twilight sleep or general anesthesia
- Hospital stay: one to two days
- Follow up care: protection from sun exposure, massage of scars
- Exercise restrictions: depending on swelling tendency, one to three weeks
- Disability: one to two weeks (dependent on hematoma and swelling tendency)