Surgery is most frequently performed under general anaesthetic. Twilight sedation and local anaesthetic is possible but offers no real advantage to the patient. A full face and neck lift will take 3-5 hours depending upon the procedure. Patients stay in hospital overnight to recover and go home the next day.
In a full lifting procedure a curved incision is hidden around the hairline in the temple, around the contours of the ears and around the hairline behind the ear. The skin of the face and neck is lifted off the deeper tissues to allow elevation and tightening. The deeper fibrous layer of the face, which we call SMAS, is also lifted to produce a greater and longer lasting effect. The skin is then pulled backwards and upwards. Excess skin is removed and the wounds are closed with fine stitches. Soft bandages are applied. We rarely use drains.
A short scar facelift, MACS lift, S lift and mini facelift are all synonymous terms for a smaller procedure which takes 2-3 hours. Incisions are limited to the front of the ear and around the hairline above the cheek. Lifting of both the skin and fibrous layer is more vertical. No undermining is performed in the neck so benefits to the neck are indirect.