Patient Information sheet

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The facelift operation is performed to reverse the aging facial features that make us look tired and grey as we move on through the forties. The procedure has undergone many stages of evolution from the skin lift common a decade ago to procedures that address the underlying problem of sagging muscles and drooping cheek fat pads.
Today operations performed address the skin, the neck muscles and the cheek fat pads. However disharmonies are often produced between the various elements of the face and more recently developed procedures also include addressing the changes associated with the eyes. This produces a more comprehensive and long lasting effect that gives a more pleasing integrated improvement avoiding the disharmonies inherent in addressing only some of the problems in the other procedures.

The facelift operation is performed under general anaesthetic, takes around 6-8 hours and is performed at Kensington Hospital-Whangarei. Patients are generally hospitalised for two days following surgery. Small drains inserted at the time of surgery are removed on the second day as is the dressing.
The hair is then washed. The face will be swollen and bruised but the improved neckline is obvious. Swelling takes a couple of weeks to subside but a subtler swelling persists in the mid face for up to six months. This is not detectable to the casual observer. It is my practice to give an injection at operation to reduce the swelling peak.
Early sutures are removed at five days and the remainder at clinic visits if not dissolved. Staples in the hairline are removed at clinic visits. Hair washing is recommended with Johnson’s baby shampoo.
Scar activity begins after two to three weeks becoming a little firm to the feel, though there is little to see as most scars are hidden in the hair. The skin can feel numb to begin with but sensation grows back gradually over the next month or two. The face and neck feel tight for the first few days but gradually return to normal.

It is recommended that patients take a minimum of two weeks, often three, off of work following this operation and it is sensible to stay away from strenuous activity for about four weeks.

• To reveal all medications, conditions, history, allergies and recreational drug use.
• To understand all aspects of the information discussed at consultation and all written information given and to seek clarification if needed.
• To understand that you are entering a process where your surgeon is dedicated to the best possible outcome. This requires engaging in the complexities of biology, healing and individual differences.
• That additional stages or further surgeries are occasionally required and that the surgeons best efforts are the basis of the charges. Further surgeries will incur additional charges in pursuit of a particular result.
• To understand that the initial consultation is charged for but all subsequent pre operative consultations pertaining to this surgery are at no charge.
• To understand and accept the above conditions.