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In Focus: Rhytidectomy (Facelift)

February 23, 2015

shutterstock_109378901A rhytidectomy is the medical term for the cosmetic surgery procedure commonly known as a facelift. In 2013, BAAPS reported that facelifts were the third most popular form of plastic surgery for women in the UK and the fifth most popular for men. Thousands of people each year opt for a facelift in an attempt to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

For those considering a facelift, Mike Saul, Head of Cosmetic Surgery Negligence at TJL Solicitors, is here to answer your commonly asked questions:

Is a Facelift right for me?

A rhytidectomy or facelift aims to help reduce the signs of ageing that appear around the face and neck. As we get older, a host of factors such as our genes, gravity or even stress can affect the way we look. Sagging skin that has lost elasticity and deep lines and wrinkles are just some of the issues a facelift seeks to correct.

However, it is important to have realistic expectations and remember that a facelift cannot prevent the ageing process occurring.

What can I expect from the procedure?

Your surgeon should assess you as a candidate, taking note of the elasticity of your skin and your bone structure – it may be that another form of surgery might be more appropriate for your needs. Additionally, to be a good candidate for a facelift, you should be in a good state of health and to have positive, realistic expectations from your surgery.

What happens during the rhytidectomy process?

There are three common types of facelift surgery and your surgeon will discuss with you which is the most appropriate for your needs.

Three types of facelift:

  • SMAS

The first technique is known as superficial musculo aponeutronic system (SMAS). Your surgeon will create an incision along the hairline and around the ears. Excess skin and fat is removed and repositioned to create the desired effect before the incision is closed with stitched.

  • Subperiosteal Facelift

The second technique is a subperiosteal facelift and is similar to the previous procedure. However, this surgery also involves the repositioning of the deepest layers of soft tissue into a new position over the facial bones.

  • Threadlift / Featherlift

Finally, we have the threadlift or featherlift rhytidectomy. This is the least invasive of the three techniques, the only one to be performed under a local anaesthetic and has the lowest risk of scarring. Your surgeon will insert a fine thread under your skin, using a hollow needle, to tighten and adjust the skin in the areas required – usually the brow, eyes or neck.

What could be the signs of potential negligence?

As with any surgical procedure, there is always the risk of complications occurring. These could include scarring, nerve damage and asymmetry. More general risks associated with surgery include excessive bleeding, infection and allergic reactions.

If you have experienced a cosmetic surgery procedure and feel it was handled negligently, call us now on 0800 634 0285 to find out if you could claim compensation.

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