Through facelift surgery, it is possible to improve visible signs of ageing in the neck and face. A facelift can help to address issues such as:
- Sagging of the facial skin, particularly in the mid-face
- Deep creases below the lower eyelids
- Deep creases along the nose which then extend down to the corner of the mouth
- Descent of facial fat
- Facial volume loss with redistribution of facial fat lower down the face than in youth
- Sagging and loss of definition of the jawline and neck skin
There are many different techniques, or rather terminologies used to describe a facelift. The essence of all facelift procedures is to tighten the skin, the underlying SMAS (Superficial Musculo Aponeurotic System) and restore and redistribute the fat compartments in the face back to their original (and more youthful) position.
In my opinion the key to a natural and balanced facelift is the manipulation of the SMAS. When performed with care and consideration of the patient’s anatomy, this avoids the “facelift look” which is not only easily identifiable, but also undesirable.
The placement and length of the incision is the differentiating factor between a standard facelift and a short scar facelift. In the former, an incision is made on or behind the hairline and then just in front of the ear, looping underneath the ear lobule, along the back of the ear, and then into the hairline behind the ear. Broadly speaking this technique is used when you need to rejuvenate not only the face, but also the neck.
A short scar facelift has a similar incision in the hairline and just in front of the ear, but it stops short at the base of the ear and doesn’t go around the ear. Short scar techniques are most suited to facelifts where limited or no work needs to be done to the neck.
How long does it take to recover from a facelift?
The face lift surgery may take three to four hours under general anaesthetic with one night’s hospital stay. Small drains are kept in overnight and removed the morning after the operation.
Recovery time is usually two to three weeks, with final results being obvious after about two months.
The scars following a facelift are generally unnoticeable as they are largely concealed within the hairline and hidden in the creases in front of and behind the ear.
What are the potential risks and complications of a facelift?
Modern surgery procedures are typically safe, but there are risks and complications associated with any surgery, including facelift surgery.
I will talk with you in detail regarding the possible risks and complications associated with your facelift surgery including:
- Excessive bleeding at the incision site
- Additional surgery or antibiotic treatments may be required to treat an infection
- Allergic or hypersensitive reaction to the antiseptic, dressings or medications
- A blood clot which requires immediate drainage in the operating theatre may occur beneath the incision site and the facial skin flaps
- Bruising, pain and swelling may occur around the incision site
- If you have diabetes, or are a smoker, you may experience slower healing
- Wound edges may separate
- Immediately following your surgery, you may experience short-term nausea and vomiting due to the anaesthesia
- You may develop keloid or hypertrophic scars which are raised and thickened scars. This type of scarring may be unsightly, annoying and itchy. However, they are not threatening to your health and rare if you have no family history of the condition.
- Temporary and occasionally permanent, hair loss may occur around the scars.
- Impaired blood supply may cause a loss of skin which may require skin grafting.
- Swelling and bruising
- Earlobes may have deformity called a “pixie ear”; this may require additional surgery to correct
- Left side and right side of face may have a slight difference in appearance
- Incision sites may become numb, but in most situations the numbness is only temporary and will gradually improve over time
- Rarely patients may experience facial nerve damage, which can result in the face appearing lopsided and/or partial loss of movement. The facial nerve is responsible for the movement and animation of the face. If there are any concerns about it being damaged, you will need additional surgery to identify the nerve, and if damaged they will be repaired by me using microsurgical techniques.
How much does a facelift cost?
Costs associated with a face lift varies between: $15,000-$18,000 depending on a number of factors:
- Anaesthetist’s fee
- Private hospital or day surgical facility fees
- Need for post-operative garments
- Length of hospital stay
- Whether you require liposuction or not
- Surgical assistant’s fee
- Need for other facial plastic surgical procedures
After our consultation my staff will give you an itemised account of the total cost.