Information on Face Lift surgery

Look as young as you feel

Face lift surgery, also known as rhytidectomy, is one of the most commonly requested procedures by women who want to look as young as they feel. It is performed to remove or reduce the skin that has lost its natural elasticity – usually around the eyes, mouth and jaw line – smooth the skin, reduce lines and wrinkles and rejuvenate a tired-looking appearance.

This is a drastic procedure for patients that have a lot of loose skin or who are suffering from a double chin.

For more advice and information about face lift surgery, please click on the links below:

  • a rejuvenated and fresh new look
  • a smoother jaw line without jowls
  • reduction of wrinkles
  • removal of excess fat
  • tightening of the underlying facial and neck muscles
  • improvement of one’s self esteem and self confidence

The surgery consists of lifting the skin, removing the excess fat, tightening the muscles and removing any excess skin.

There are three types of face lift surgery procedures: the traditional face lift, minimal-access cranial suspension and keyhole surgery.

The technique used depends on your facial structure and desired outcome.

Your plastic surgeon will let you know whether which type of surgery is suitable for you.

Traditional face lift

A surgical cut is made in your hairline, down past the front of your ears and then up into the hairline again behind the ears.

Cuts may also be made under your chin if you want to lift a sagging jaw line.

Skin is carefully separated from the underlying tissues.

Excess fat is removed and muscles are tightened surrounding the tissues of the face.

Skin is lifted, pulled back and any excess skin is trimmed off.

The skin is then stitched back to the line where the cut was initially made.

Fine plastic drainage tubes may be left in the wounds, usually behind your ears. These allow blood and fluids to drain.

Minimal-access cranial suspension (MACS)

Surgical cuts are shorter than for a traditional face lift.

Small cuts are made in your temple and in front of your ears.

Excess fat is removed and the muscles are tightened using permanent stitches.

Keyhole surgery

Most commonly carried out for upper face or brow lifts.

Tiny cuts are made into the skin through which an endoscope is passed.

The operation is carried out by looking at the pictures sent from the endoscope to a monitor.

Leaves smaller scars and usually means a shorter recovery time

Yes, if you have:

Looseness to the skin and relaxation of muscles resulting in wrinkles and folds on the face.

Visible jowls – no longer having a smooth firm jaw line.

Deep lines in the corner of the mouth, which can often give a “sad” look.

Loose skin and wrinkling to neck area.

A lack of self-confidence – some people age prematurely and feel that the face does not match their body.

Substantial weight loss in later life, which can give the effect of ageing – older skin has less elasticity than younger skin and without the fat, will become saggy and wrinkly.


The best candidates for a facelift have the following characteristics.

  • skin elasticity – optimal candidates have skin that can retain some flexibility. Elasticity is important because facelifts   stretch the facial skin to remove wrinkles. If your skin is still a bit supple then you will have speedy healing
  • loose skin on the face or neck – the ideal candidate wants to remove excess skin from the face or the neck. It tightens the skin and removes wrinkles simultaneously. The plastic surgeon will trim the loose skin in this procedure.
  • strong bone structure – the best candidates have a well defined bone structure that can help in satisfying results. Patients with weak facial features can benefit from facial implants as an alternative or as a complement to a facelift
  • physically fit – the best candidates for a facelift are healthy, non-smokers, follow a balanced diet, and exercise regularly. Recovering from a facelift requires energy and health so it is important that the patient is physically prepared for the surgery
  • no previous medical conditions – people with complicated medical histories should not go through cosmetic surgery because this will increase the risks of the procedure
  • realistic expectations – the best candidates have an optimistic outlook in life but at the same time, they are realistic as well. The ideal candidate understands the benefits as well as the limitations from facelifts.

The final discussion will be made between you and your plastic surgeon, but the final decision whether to have the surgery is always yours and should not be made in a rush. Contact with your Profile Perfection nurse counsellor is vital through these stages of decision making.

Make a decision when you are satisfied with the information you have received.

Your plastic surgeon will suggest that you stop smoking – an important part in assisting wound healing.

If you colour your hair, it is advisable to do so before surgery as it will be several weeks afterwards before it is again safe to do so.

You may want to bring sunglasses to wear after surgery to hide some of the swelling and bruising.

The plastic surgeon will visit you in your room to obtain your final consent and mark the face with a pen in preparation for your surgery.

If you have any final questions it is important that you ask your plastic surgeon at this time.

A facelift will involve the removal of excess skin on the face, chin, neck, and cheeks. It will start at the high temple area, through the curves in front of the ear around the earlobe, and then up behind the ear before curving back.

Incisions will be made on both sides of the face. In some cases, an incision is made below the chin. Through the incisions, the skin is remodelled and re-draped.

The incisions will be stitched back and some metal clips may be used on the scalp. This whole procedure will be done under general anaesthetic so you will be fast asleep.

The scars that result from the facelift will heal over a period of half a year to a year.

When you wake up from your surgery you will have dressings on the face and possibly drainage tubes in place.

Painkillers will be offered if required, however it is not regarded as a painful procedure, more uncomfortable due to the ‘tight’ feeling.

You can expect to be in hospital for one or two days and any drainage tubes will be removed before you go home.

It is advisable to rest with your head propped up in the early days and avoid bending, lifting or sudden movements of the head.

You will be advised on when you can wash your hair and this will help to make the removal of the stitches easier.

It is very important that you attend the appointments to care for your wound and see your plastic surgeon.

It will be possible to return to work in 2-3 weeks once the stitches have been removed and the bruising and swelling have settled.

You will have your own personal Profile Perfection nurse counsellor both before and after your procedure to support you and answer any questions you may have.

You will experience some bruising and swelling during the recovery period. Your surgeon will advise you to keep your head elevated for a couple of days in order to keep the swelling down.

Drainage tubes will be removed after a day or two. Bandages and stitches will be removed after five days. Metal clips will be removed after two weeks.

You need to visit your plastic surgeon for the follow up procedures and so that your progress can be monitored.

Recovery from a facelift surgery will take around two to three weeks.

You should avoid any strenuous activity for the first week after the surgery. You can begin exercising after two months although you can do some walking and stretching after the first month.

It is important that your decision to have a cosmetic surgery procedure is considered carefully.

There are also some possible risks, as with all surgical operations, which your plastic surgeon will talk through and explain to you at your consultation, answering any questions you may have.

This is your opportunity to discuss your intended surgery so the plastic surgeon can ascertain your expectations as to what can realistically be achieved.

Our nurses advise you consider the following questions before your surgery:

It is important to talk with your surgeon as exhaustively as possible during your initial visit. Take this time to discuss issues like techniques for the surgery, risks involved, your qualifications for the surgery, your medical history, the costs involved, and the recovery time. Here are some of the questions you may want to ask your surgeon during your initial visit.

  • Am I an ideal candidate for a face lift?
  • What are some of the things that I should avoid before the facelift?
  • Can you explain the whole procedure to me in detail?
  • What are the benefits that I can derive from this procedure?
  • How will I look after the procedure?
  • What are some of the side effects or complications that I will experience after undergoing this procedure?
  • Will I experience a lot of pain during or after the procedure?
  • How long will it take before I can resume my day-to-day activities?
  • How long are the results from a facelift going to last?
  • What are some of the things that can not be achieved from a facelift?
  • What are some of the cosmetic procedures that can be combined with a facelift for better effects?
  • What are some of the instructions that I should follow after the operation?

How long does the treatment take?

Is the treatment painful and if so what form of anaesthesia is used?

What type of care will I need after treatment?

Will I need pain relief following treatment?

Will I have swelling or bruising and can these be treated?

Will I need to wear a supportive garment?

Of course these are just some of the commonly asked questions but please feel free to ask your Profile Perfection nurse counsellor for more information.

Initially you should have a detailed consultation at Profile Perfection to discuss the different types of procedure options available to you. Together we can discuss the options of which surgeons are specialised in this type of procedure and organise a consultation with the surgeon.

Once all of your questions and queries have been answered and you are ready to go ahead with the procedure we can start your journey. You will have a high level of support from beginning to end.

Having a procedure can be very daunting and you will feel that you do not know which procedure will be best for you? Which surgeon should I choose? Who will answer all of my questions when I get worried? What questions should l ask the surgeon?

At Profile Perfection we will support you and your decision, guiding you from the initial consultation all the way through to recovery.

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