The face undergoes gradual changes as time goes on, and is influenced by lifestyle and heredity. Tissue sagging, fat loss and displacement are some of the changes that affect all tissues of the face. Surgery can rejuvenate the appearance by smoothing the texture of the skin, reshaping the underlying tissues and removing excess tissue.
What is a facelift and how will it benefit me?
The operation will release tissues in the face and neck region and allow them to be repositioned and tightened. It may also involve redistribution of fat and the surgeon may obtain fat from other parts of the body and place it into areas of the face that have lost volume and lack contour.
A facelift can give a positive boost to a person’s self-confidence, and after their surgery, many patients report a heightened sense of satisfaction. You can consider a facelift:
- If you are unhappy with the way the skin and tissues on your neck and face look. It is about your body image, or how you feel about your appearance
- If you feel confident in being able to explain to your doctor exactly what you don’t like about your appearance and how you would like it to be altered
What are the most popular facelift procedures for different age groups?
30’s to early 40’s – eyelids, brows and injectables
Normally a good skin care routine combined with non-surgical treatments are sufficient to keep the skin looking healthy and fresh. Facial fat grafting is also a great choice for getting long lasting results. Men and women in their 40’s often opt for procedures such as eyelid surgery, a brow lift or a temporal lift, and start considering facelifts as they head towards their 50’s. Depending on the degree of ageing and the areas to be treated, people can have different treatment options and make a choice that suits their needs.
Late 40’s to 50 – minimally invasive procedures such as mini-lift and MACS-lift
This is best suited to patients who are in their late 40\’s and early 50\’s, as it will achieve more substantial rejuvenation than non-surgical treatments but still offer a shorter downtime / recovery. It helps resolve early signs of ageing such as wrinkling and sagging in some regions of the face while enhancing the natural appearance of the skin. During a mini lift the surgeon will create minimal incisions in front of each ear and partially behind the ear lobes, and the SMAS will be tightened. The MACS-lift fits well between non-surgical options and more radical face-lift procedures because it manages to reduce downtime and morbidity, while preserving the quality and stability of the result.
- Short scars
- Shorter anaesthetic
- Fuller mid-cheek appearance (inframalar hollow)
- Best for younger patients and patients with good skin quality
- Can be combined with facial filling for superior results
- Degree of lifting, more subtle results
- Excess skin or skin of poor quality
- Amount of neck correction
Over 60’s – Extended SMAS lift, deep plane face lift and neck lift
This is a technique that works well for people in their late 50\’s and older. It works by releasing and elevating the SMAS and repositioning or trimming the excess tissue. The procedure relies on strong fixation to tough and fixed tissues and ligaments. It not only helps with facial wrinkling and sagging, but also lifts the cheeks and the neck. The result is more natural looking because it does not add excessive pulling and tension on the skin. Traditionally, a facelift worked by tightening the superficial layers of the skin only, however, this technique did not last long because of the naturally elastic nature of the skin that stretches overtime. When combined with a neck lift, it enhances the contours of the jawline in a very aesthetically pleasing manner.
Am I a good candidate?
If you have loss of fullness on your cheeks and sagging of your face or neck, creases above and below your eyelids, double chin or jowls, you may benefit from a facelift. If you do not have any pre-existing medical conditions that could interfere with the healing process, and have realistic expectations, this procedure could be suited to you. Facelifts can last up to 10 years, and although it will not stop the ageing process, it will refresh your appearance.
Choosing your surgeon
The success of your surgery ultimately boils down to realistic expectations, no contra-indications and good surgical care before and after your procedure. Not all surgeons have the same qualifications and always choose a Specialist Plastic Surgeon. In addition, especially when it comes to a sensitive area such as your face, it is ideal to seek for a surgeon that is experienced in this type of treatment.
Preparing for your consultation
The consultation is an important part of the entire process as it helps you obtain a clear idea of what can be expected from the surgery and what kind of outcome can be obtained. Before undergoing any surgery, it is important to have a clear grasp of results, risks and possible complications that could occur. It is also necessary that you are 100% confident and free of doubt before going under the knife. Research the subject, and prepare a list of questions you’d like to ask. Ask for before and after photographs, and make sure you are aware of the cost of the entire procedure, including the expenses that may incur after surgery.
What is a Facial Exam?
A facial exam will be carried out by your surgeon to examine the condition and quality of your skin and underlying tissues, the fat distribution and the bone structure. Photographs of your face are taken from various angles to gauge the options that are best suited for you.
Aftercare for a facelift
Depending on the type of facelift your hospital stay might vary, the drainage tubes will be removed after the surgery and the stitches are usually taken out after a week. Pain medication will be prescribed to you, and you will have to sleep with your head elevated for a few days. Do not wear makeup until the wounds are healed and do not colour or bleach your hair for at least up to 4 weeks post-surgery. Keep yourself hydrated and follow a healthy diet. Rest adequately and do not indulge in strenuous activity.
Risks with facelifts
All surgery comes with associated risks. Ask your surgeon to go through the potential risks and complications. The following could be experienced:
- Discoloration of skin
- Excessive swelling
- Wounds and scarring
- Blood Clots
Patient safety and satisfaction is taken very seriously by me and my team. We are committed to offering you excellent care throughout your treatment journey and helping you achieve the results you aim for. I hope that this blog has been useful and has given you more information about the factors associated with facelifts. Have more questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to me, and book an appointment.
- Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.
- Before proceeding, you have the option to seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified specialist plastic surgeon
- Recovery time and treatment results will vary from patient to patient and depend upon a variety of individual patient factors
About Dr Rodrigo Teixeira
Dr Rodrigo Teixeira, MD, FRACS is a Plastic Surgeon in Melbourne. He has significant experience in Cosmetic Surgery, Rhinoplasty and Facial Surgery. Dr Teixeira is a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS). Internationally, he is a member of the American and the International Societies.