With ageing the elasticity of the skin reduces resulting in stretching of the skin. This is seen as sagging skin and wrinkles not only around the eyes but also the cheeks jowls and neck. Smoking and sun exposure can contribute to this.
There are many techniques available to rejuvenate the face and neck. Most involve an incision in front of the ear extending into the scalp and behind the ear. The deep tissues of the face are tightened and skin excess removed to restore a more youthful appearance. The surgery requires a general anaesthetic and a 2-3 night stay in hospital. Surgical drains are placed during the procedure and removed a day later. Stitches on the face are removed at 1 week and staples in the scalp at 2 weeks. Bruising and swelling is normal and can be reduced by resting in an upright position supported with extra pillows. This should have resolved by 2-3 weeks. Reduced sensation in the cheeks, neck and ear is usually temporary settling back to normal after several weeks.
Fortunately complications are infrequent but include infection, bleeding, loss of skin due to poor blood supply and nerve damage resulting in facial weakness and distortion (<1%). Occasionally bleeding requires a return to the operating theatre to remove the blood clot and stop the bleeding. Facial weakness is frequently temporary resolving after several weeks but can persist.