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A facelift elevates and tightens the skin and the underlying sheet of superficial muscle to restore a natural, youthful appearance.

Facelift and neck lift, rhytidectomy, meloplasty

Facial ageing is a combination of loosened skin, a loss of facial volume and the descent of underlying tissues. Some of these changes can be reversed with a facelift. Facelift is the term used by most to describe a combination of procedures including cheek, eyelid surgery, brow and neck lift. They can be performed separately or together.

Every face ages with time. Some seem to do so too quickly, and can seem out of proportion with the person’s character and vitality. People seeking a facelift are often concerned by

  • sagging skin
  • looking tired
  • deep wrinkles
  • heavy jowls
  • sunken cheeks
  • excess skin and fat at the neck

what to expect at your first consultation

The consultation will address your concerns about the appearance of your face and your goals for treatment.

The consultation will be performed with sensitivity to your opinions and thoughtfulness to your concerns.

Your surgeon will help you identify the parts of your face that you like and don’t like in order to determine what operation best suits you. Your skin, facial muscles and bone structure will be analysed. Clinical photographs will be taken, and analysed with you.

A facelift is an operation of moderate duration and risk and so requires a thorough medical workup beforehand. It is important to determine if you have any medical conditions that could interfere with safe facial surgery.

Written information will be provided to you, so that you can consider your options. If a facelift is appropriate the benefits and risks of surgery will be discussed in detail. You should consider facial surgery carefully, and you will have the opportunity to see your surgeon in another consultation should new questions arise after your first visit

combination procedures

Facelift surgery is often complemented by blepharoplasty, brow lift, fat grafting and injectables. A consultation with our skin care specialist regarding your skin care regimen and non-surgical rejuvenation is recommended. It can help to deal with the superficial signs of skin ageing such as dryness, pigmentation, fine lines and rosacea.

What the procedure involves

Facelift surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic and requires admission to hospital. Local anaesthetic is also used during the surgery to minimise bruising and assist in your post-operative pain control.

There are different types of facelift. All involve much more than tightening the skin. This gives the most natural and harmonious appearance to the face, rather than a tight, windswept appearance.

There is currently a vogue to offer simple thread inlay lifts. These can be useful, but in general the duration of effect following facelift is proportional to the extent of the original surgery.

There are three different parts of the face that can be addressed, and different camouflaged incisions are used for each:

  1. A facelift improves the contour of your face and the wrinkles around the jawline and cheeks. It involves an incision that starts in front of the ear, curving around the earlobe and into the hair behind your ear. This allows the scars to be concealed by natural crease lines and your hair.
  2. For patients requiring significant contouring of their neck (necklift), the same incision is employed in addition to an incision just under the chin. This allows the neck muscle (platysma) to be tightened to restore a sharper contour between your chin and neck.
  3. In patients requiring the wrinkles of the eye to be addressed, the facelift incision is carried up into the hair next to your temples.

Dr Sanki and Dr Kotronakis are experienced in all three variations of the facelift operation and will recommend which procedure you would benefit from the most.

The skin and the underlying tissues (SMAS) are elevated separately. When the SMAS is tightened it recontours and elevates the underlying fat of the face. This sunken fat is what causes jowls and the deepening of the crease extending from the nose to around your mouth (nasolabial fold). The muscle at the neck (platysma) is tightened to help lift fallen neck fat and restore the youthful angle between the chin and neck. All of the incisions are repaired with fine, precise suturing.

At the completion of surgery, a padded dressing is applied to your face and neck. This helps control bruising and pain and allows the recontoured tissues to adhere to their new position.

Where to get more information

A consultation with a qualified Plastic Surgeon is the best place to get more advice. More information and a video presentation on facelift are available online at the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons website.