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Are You a Good Candidate for a Facelift?

When it comes to turning back the clock on ageing, facelift surgery often emerges as a viable option for those seeking a more youthful appearance. This intricate procedure, designed to smooth away the years by addressing loose and excess skin, can offer remarkable results. Yet, anyone considering this path must approach it being informed and with realistic expectations.

Not everyone will be an ideal candidate for a facelift procedure. Various factors come into play, from the condition of one’s skin to their overall health and lifestyle. Hence, before one decides on this surgery, understanding what makes a person suitable is paramount.

In this blog post, we take a look at what facelift surgery involves, guiding you through the signs that might point to you being a good candidate.

Understanding facelift surgery

A facelift is a surgical procedure designed to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles, eliminate excess skin, and tighten loose skin, thereby contributing to an overall more youthful aesthetic. However, while the procedure can indeed turn back the hands of time to a certain degree, it is not a perfect solution that completely rewrites one's age or identity.

The surgery involves a skilled surgeon making incisions, typically along the hairline or ear contours, to access and reposition the underlying tissues that have succumbed to gravity and age. The removal of excess skin and the careful redraping of the remaining skin aim to recreate smoother facial contours. It's a meticulous process that calls for a steady hand and careful consideration.

Understanding that a facelift can target sagging cheeks, jowls, the neck area, and deep wrinkles is important, yet knowing its limitations is equally so. It doesn't alter the upper or lower eyelids, nor does it change the position of the brows – these concerns are addressed by other procedures, which can sometimes be performed in conjunction.

The duration and complexity of a facelift can vary widely depending on the individual's needs and the extent of change they're hoping to achieve. It's a procedure that can take several hours, with a recovery period that demands patience and care. With advancements in surgical techniques, there are also variations of the facelift that might involve less invasive methods, shorter recovery times, and sometimes even local anaesthesia.

Signs you might be a viable candidate

Determining if you're a suitable candidate for facelift surgery involves a personal reflection and professional evaluation. One of the primary indicators that might suggest you're ready for this surgical procedure is the presence of loose skin on your face and neck. When your skin has lost its youthful elasticity and firmness, resulting in sagging or deep-set folds, a facelift can often provide a solution that non-surgical treatments cannot.

However, the condition of your skin is just one factor. Age, while not a disqualifying factor, does play a role. Younger skin tends to have a better healing response and may lead to more lasting results due to its higher levels of collagen and elasticity.

Your overall health is a significant consideration as well. Chronic health issues, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, do not automatically exclude you, but they must be well-managed and communicated to your surgeon. Non-smokers are generally preferred candidates because smoking can impede blood flow and slow down the healing process, potentially compromising the outcomes of the facelift.

Moreover, the condition of your bone structure is also a key factor; a well-defined underlying bone structure can provide the necessary support for the best aesthetic results. A good candidate will have some semblance of bone structure that the surgery can highlight.

Additionally, weight stability is vital. Significant weight fluctuations post-surgery can alter the appearance and longevity of your facelift results. Those who maintain a stable weight will likely enjoy longer-lasting outcomes.

It's also imperative to assess your mental and emotional state. A good candidate should have a positive outlook and realistic expectations about the results of the facelift procedure. Understanding that the surgery aims to enhance your appearance rather than completely change your face is essential.

Lastly, a candid discussion with a board-certified plastic surgeon can help determine your suitability. They will consider all the factors mentioned above, along with your personal goals, to advise whether a facelift is the right path for you. Being open to their professional judgement is key, as they draw on extensive experience to guide their recommendations.

The importance of setting realistic expectations

Understanding what a facelift can and cannot do will significantly affect your satisfaction with the results. This surgical procedure is adept at creating a more youthful and refreshed look, but it will not completely alter your fundamental appearance or stop the ageing process.

Realistic expectations encompass acknowledging that while facelift surgery can make one appear more rested and even several years younger, it operates within the boundaries of your natural features. The procedure aims to enhance, not change who you are.

It's important to know that the surgery comes with a recovery period. Swelling, bruising, and discomfort are part of the process, and full results take time to manifest - sometimes several months. A good candidate understands and accepts the necessary healing time and is patient with their body as it recovers.

Misconceptions about facelift surgery can lead to unrealistic expectations. Television and social media often portray surgical results without showing the recovery period or acknowledging the necessity for additional procedures to maintain a youthful appearance, such as skincare routines or further surgeries.

Addressing negligence

Once you have undergone facelift surgery, the anticipation of seeing the final results can be both exciting and a bit nerve-wracking. While most procedures are successful, leading to increased satisfaction with one's appearance, there are instances where the outcome might not meet the expected standard. In some cases, this could be due to surgical negligence, though it's important to differentiate between normal post-operative issues and true medical negligence.

Understanding what constitutes a poor outcome versus negligence is key. A poor outcome may occur due to factors like individual healing responses or unforeseen complications that are no fault of the surgeon. On the other hand, negligence refers to harm caused by the surgeon's failure to perform with the skill and care that would reasonably be expected from a professional in the field.

To determine if your facelift surgery outcome might be the result of negligence, consider the following steps:

  1. Review your expectations: go back to the realistic expectations set before surgery. Were they based on a thorough understanding of what the procedure could achieve? If the results fall short of what was agreed upon, it might warrant a closer look.

  2. Second opinion: seek a second opinion from another board-certified plastic surgeon. This professional can assess your results and may offer insight into whether your results are within the normal range of expectations or if there might have been an issue with the surgical procedure.

  3. Medical records: secure a copy of your medical records, including pre-surgery consultations, the surgical report, and post-op follow-ups. These documents can be critical in determining whether the standard of care was met.

  4. Timeline of recovery: compare your recovery and results with the typical timeline provided by your surgeon. Excessive pain, unusual complications, or a prolonged recovery period may indicate a problem.

  5. Communication with your surgeon: discuss your concerns with the surgeon who performed the procedure. Sometimes, what may appear as a subpar result can be a normal part of the healing process. A reputable surgeon will take your concerns seriously and provide options for addressing them.

  6. Legal advice: if you believe your results are due to negligence, seek legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in medical malpractice. They can help you understand your rights and the next steps should you decide to pursue legal action.

  7. Professional standards: research the professional standards for facelift procedures. In the UK, the General Medical Council (GMC) provides guidance on what is expected from surgeons. If your surgeon's performance falls short of these standards, it may be grounds for a complaint.

  8. Reporting: if you have grounds to believe that negligence has occurred, you can report the surgeon to the appropriate professional body. In the UK, this would be the GMC or the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS).

Contact us

If you have experienced problems following a facelift and think they are the result of negligence, talk to our expert cosmetic surgery negligence team today. Call 0808 115 8204 or request a callback by completing the contact form.

Contact us today

If you have experienced problems following eyelid surgery and think they are the result of negligence, you may be entitled to make an eyelid surgery claim for compensation. Talk to our expert cosmetic surgery negligence team today. Call 0808 273 2903 or request a callback by completing the contact form.

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Mike Saul


Michael Saul is a partner at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, where he brings his extensive specialist legal expertise and passion for helping people to the forefront of his work. With a proven track record of success in cosmetic surgery negligence cases, Michael has dedicated his career to providing clients with the highest level of representation and achieving favourable outcomes.

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