Facelift revision surgery is never as exciting as the original operation. If something went wrong the first time around, you are probably dealing with emotions such as disappointment, anger or fear – especially if you look worse than before you went under the knife. You’ve already gone through the uncomfortable recovery process one time and you aren’t looking forward to facing that experience again. But if you are deeply dissatisfied with the results of your facelift, undergoing revision surgery is your best bet for correcting the problem and ending up with the look you really want.
Common Problems That Require Facelift Revision Surgery
There are a number of issues that tend to crop up with facelifts that are done using improper technique. These include:
- Pixie ear: The ear lobe is pulled forward when the skin is tightened, distorting the shape of the lower ear.
- Cobra neck: Liposuction is used on the area under the chin and on the upper neck but sagging skin and muscle tissue hangs down on each side of the area where fat was removed.
- Lateral sweep: The skin appears pulled back and is tight along the jawline but droopy in the center of the face. There may be unwanted dimpling in the cheeks.
- Excessive scarring: All facelifts leave scars. However, some patients experience scarring that is highly visible. When skin is tightened too much, tension on the incision area during healing may lead to a more noticeable scar.
Remember to wait at least a year before seeking revision. This is the length of time required for full healing to take place. You may find that your face settles in and looks OK after a while. If not, you can consider getting a second procedure.
How Does Facelift Revision Surgery Address These Problems?
Most of the issues that lead a patient to seek revision surgery are due to the type of facelift they had done. A superficial lift that only removes excess skin and uses suspension sutures in the upper layers of muscle to reposition the re-draped skin often delivers inadequate or displeasing results. The solution is usually to redo the facelift by tightening up the deeper planes of muscle in the face and neck. This is a much more extensive procedure, but is likely to have better and longer lasting results. It may relieve tension on the skin and return features such as the earlobes and cheeks to a more natural position.
A mid-facelift as well as a lower facelift may be needed to create the desired outcome. Often, no additional skin is removed. However, in the case of excessive scarring, the scar tissue may be excised. Since the revised facelift supports the skin better, there is less tension on the new wound and it may heal with less visible scarring.
Seek a Facelift Revision Surgery Specialist
The problems caused by an improper facelift usually can’t be solved by the same surgeon who created them. Instead, patients should find a plastic surgeon who specializes in correcting facelifts. The technique of manipulating and repositioning the deep musculature is different than the technique of simply tightening the skin layer and not all surgeons are skilled at this procedure. In addition, the process of fixing a bad lift is more complicated than doing it right the first time. There is scar tissue to contend with, and the surgeon has less certainty about what the facial structure was like before it got rearranged.
It is important to have realistic expectations about how much the results of your original facelift can be improved. Sometimes, just making the problems less apparent is the best you can hope to achieve. In the best case scenario, however, you could find that getting surgery a second time finally gives you the face you wanted in the first place.