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If you're looking for a firmer, wrinkle-free face, a facelift might be right for you. It will tighten your face by removing excess skin and fat, leaving the remaining skin more taut. Find more information about how a facelift is done, what patients look like before and after, and much more.

The best candidates for face-lift surgery are people who show some signs of facial aging but still have some skin elasticity. Generally, this includes people who are in their 40s to 70s, although older people occasionally are candidates.

Plan to have someone with you who can drive you home afterward and stay with you the first 48 hours. If possible, you may consider hiring a nurse who can tend to you for the first 24 hours after you've arrived home.If you are a smoker, follow your surgeon's instructions on stopping smoking. Stopping smoking will promote healing and ensure proper recovery.

If you take aspirin regularly or certain vitamins or herbal supplements, your surgeon may instruct you to stop taking these for a certain period before and after your face-lift.

During a face-lift, your surgeon will make cuts at the temple at the hairline, continuing around and behind your ear. Those cuts will let the surgeon access the muscle and other tissue beneath the skin.

Depending on your personal circumstances, the face-lift can take anywhere from two to six hours. Your surgeon will close up with stitches and bandage your face. You'll get instructions about how to care for and handle the bandage. It's very important that you follow those instructions exactly.

After your face-lift, you will experience bruising and swelling, which lasts about two to three weeks. Some people heal more quickly while others will heal more slowly. Even though you may not wish to go out in public during that time, you should begin to feel well in the first several days after surgery.

Your surgeon will remove your bandages a few days after face-lift surgery. Make sure you keep all your follow-up appointments so your surgeon can check on your progress.

Your doctor will want to see you several times during the two- to three-week period to check on your bruising and swelling and to remove your stitches.

The effects of your new look generally should last for five to ten years. You will continue to age after the face-lift, but you may still look five to 10 years younger than you would have if you never had the face-lift.

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