An area of Special Expertise for Dr. Breidahl

Through Dr Breidahl’s extra training in Craniofacial Surgery, with over 10 years experience in this field at the Royal Children’s Hospital and Royal Melbourne Hospital, he has developed a special interest and expertise in Facial Surgery. His surgical experience and skills allow him to address all elements of the face, including the underlying bone, muscles, fat and skin.

Dr Breidahl has pioneered the use of Tisseel Glue in facelifts in Australia. This can be used to limit bruising and swelling, and thus shorten the recovery period and improve the long term results. His practice also works hard to prepare patients skin texture, Relaxing the face with Botulinum Toxin, Restoring volume with Hyaluronic Acid and Restoring texture with creams and peels to improve the quality of the skin whilst addressing the Repositioning that surgery can provide.

The aim of facelift surgery is to reduce the signs of ageing by improving the contours of the face and neck. A facelift can help to make the face and skin appear younger and smoother.The surgery usually involves the tightening and removal of sagging skin on the face and neck, and the removal or repositioning of excess fat. Facial muscles may be surgically tightened, improving their tone.

A facelift may be undertaken alone, or it can be combined with other surgical procedures such as Browlift, eyelid lift or nose reconstruction. Laser resurfacing of the face may be undertaken at the same time.

The outcome of surgery depends on the person’s age, the degrees of ageing, facial skin looseness, lifestyle and the procedure undertaken.

The results of a facelift usually last between five and 12 years. Most people can have two to three facelifts in a lifetime.

The Normal Ageing Process

As people age, facial skin loses the tone and elasticity it had during youth. The jaw and neckline lose definition and appear to sag. Because the skin is not as resilient as it once was, the wrinkles that occur with smiling and frowning do not smooth out, and crow’s feet develop around the eyes. A groove often appears from the corner of the mouth to the chin. Fatty deposits, which give the face its shape and contour, may decrease in some areas and increase in others. While facelift surgery can be effective in improving facial contours, it doesn’t “stop the clock”. The normal ageing process will continue after the surgery.

The Decision to have a Facelift

In assessing whether a facelift is an option for you, Dr. Breidahl will examine:

  • The elasticity and thickness of the facial skin.
  • Subcutaneous tissues and fatty deposits.
  • Bone structure and the shape of your face.
  • Degree of wrinkles and folds.
  • Your hairline, to see where incisions can be best-placed and hidden as much as possible.

The examination will help Dr. Breidahl plan the treatment best suited for you.Dr. Breidahl will discuss the benefits and risks of having a facelift. When making a decision, keep in mind that we cannot guarantee that the surgery will meet all your expectations, or that the surgery bears no risks.Before Surgery
 
Do not take any aspirin, or medicines that contain aspirin, such as some cough syrups, some herbal tonics and large amounts of vitamins or anti-inflammatory medicines for at least 10 days before surgery because they increase the risk of excessive bleeding during and after surgery. Smoking increases the risks associated with surgery, anaesthesia, recovery and particularly healing. You should stop smoking and all nicotine intakes several weeks before surgery.

Give Dr. Breidahl a list of all the medicines you are taking or have taken recently.

Tell Dr. Breidahl before surgery if you have had:

  • An allergy or bad reaction to antibiotics, anaesthetic drugs or any other medicine.
  • Prolonged bleeding or excessive bruising when injured.
  • Any long-term or recent illnesses.
  • Previous facial surgery.
  • Psychological or psychiatric illness.

Anaesthesia

A facelift can be performed under general anaesthesia. Modern anaesthesia is safe and effective, but does have some risks. Rarely, side effects from an anaesthetic can be life threatening.

Surgery
 

Dr. Breidahl makes an incision in or behind the hairline and then just in front of the ear between the ear and the cheek, ending behind the ear and within the hairline. The skin is carefully separated from the muscle and fat layers that lie below it. The muscles and deeper tissues are tightened using sutures. This is sometimes called the “SMAS lift”. Excess fat is then trimmed or removed with liposuction. The facial skin is then pulled backwards towards the incisions, and excess skin is removed. The wound is closed with very thin sutures (stitches). In some patients, loose skin and excess fat from the front of the neck is removed at the same time as the facelift. This requires an additional incision that is made below the chin. Facelift surgery usually takes between two and four hours to complete.

The incisions for facelift surgery are hidden, as much as possible, in the hairline, in the creases of the face, and behind the ears. All surgery leaves a scar of some sort.

Dr. Breidahl closes the incisions in a way that makes the scar as thin and unnoticeable as possible.

ENDOSCOPIC FACELIFT: Some facelift surgery may be performed using an instrument called an endoscope. It is a small fine tube with a light on the end, which is connected to a video camera. Dr. Breidahl will discuss the most appropriate procedures with you.

Recovery from Facelift Surgery 

Facelift surgery may be undertaken in a hospital or day surgery facility. It usually involves one to two nights in hospital but can also be performed as a day procedure. You should arrange for a relative or friend to drive you home after the surgery. Arrange for someone to stay with you at least for the first day after you go home and preferably for a few days. You can usually drink fluids and eat a light meal two to three hours after surgery. You can resume your normal activities a few days after surgery but do not smoke, undertake strenuous activity or consume large amounts of alcohol during the healing period. Smoking and heavy exposure to tobacco smoke can slow down the healing process.

Most people take between two and three weeks off work. Healing is usually completed within a few months. You may have some pain and discomfort, particularly around the incisions. Dr. Breidahl will prescribe pain medication. To see the final results of the surgery, a few months of healing are needed.

Follow Up

You will return to Dr. Breidahl for a check-up after about a week. Any further appointments that are necessary will be scheduled at the check-up visit.

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