When dealing with the aftermath of a stroke, you're not likely to think of cosmetic surgery as a therapeutic option. However, a facelift or similar skin lift procedure for a specific part of the face could make a big difference in both the appearance and function of your facial muscles. If you're struggling with paralysis after a stroke, find out how to safely use a facelift to regain some of your former ability.
First, a facelift on the part of the face most affected by paralysis can immediately improve your appearance. This is well worth the cost of the surgery if your paralysis makes you feel self conscious or makes it difficult for you to communicate clearly with others. While most people consider plastic surgery a completely optional and elective procedure, read on to discover how it can actually be a medically necessary surgery for anyone suffering from severe depression or anxiety due to their facial changes after a stroke.
In addition to improving the symmetry and visual appearance of a face affected by paralysis, a facelift can also protect you from serious health complications. The change to your facial skin cause by paralysis can result in:
- Vision loss and blindness due to ulceration because the eyelids can't completely close.
- Oral health issues due to a lack of saliva because of loose lips,
- Trouble speaking or chewing without damaging the lips and cheek.
- Difficulties breathing from widespread facial paralysis.
A facelift can rearrange both the skin and the muscles of the face to recreate the proper alignment of features. Lifting a corner of the mouth can restore the tight seal between your lips, while a simple change to the skin around your eye is the best way to align the top and bottom lids again.
Keep in mind that the cause of your stroke could disqualify you from taking an elective surgery like a facelift for many years or permanently. For example, respiratory and heart problems like deep vein thrombosis can trigger strokes and make general anesthesia too risky for you to undergo unless it's absolutely necessary. If you're trying to get a partial or full facelift to prevent serious eye and mouth damage, only your doctor can decide if it's worth the risk to attempt the surgery.
Even if your stroke isn't linked to another condition that makes general anesthesia unsafe, you should still wait to recover before going under the knife. A recent study found that patients that waited 9 months had the fewest complications after elective surgery like a facelift, especially when compared to patients that only waited 3 months. Giving your body time to heal itself after the shock of a stroke is worth the reduced risks, especially if you're older and already have a hard time healing after surgery.
Finally, keep in mind that a facelift may be only a small part of the entire surgical plan for improving the function and look of your face. The plastic surgeon may want to relocate muscle groups from other parts of the face to give you more control over your jaws, lips, or eyes. Nerves can also be transplanted or connected in different ways to improve the total movement throughout the entire face. These advanced techniques will be complemented with the facial skin lift for the best results. Most of these procedures share common incision sites, keeping the recovery time as short as possible.
Only your doctor can tell you if you're a candidate for these kinds of facelift and transplant surgeries. Work with both a skilled facial surgeon and the doctor overseeing your stroke to make sure they both agree it's safe before scheduling a procedure.
For more information, contact a company like the My Plastic Surgery Group.