Facelift, also known as meloplasty or rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that tightens and removes sagging skin on the face and neck. Facial muscles may be surgically tightened to improve their tone. Excess fat may also be removed or repositioned as part of the surgery. Most facelifts are performed for people aged between 40 and 65, but older people can also have facelifts.
The aim of a face lift is to reduce the signs of ageing by improving the contours of the face and neck. A facelift can help to make the face and skin appear younger and smoother. A facelift may also be combined with other surgical procedures such as a brow lift, eyelid surgery or nose reconstruction. The bone structure of the face will not be changed during facelift surgery.
Non-surgical treatments, such as chemical skin peel, dermabrasion or skin resurfacing of the face, may be undertaken at the same time as the facelift. The aim of these treatments is to treat sun-damaged skin and crow’s feet around the eyes, and fine lines around the mouth, which are not removed by facelift surgery.
Facelift surgery is a highly individualized procedure and may not be suitable for everyone. Always talk to your Specialist Plastic Surgeon before making a decision. Your surgeon will assess your condition and general health, and plan the treatment that is best suited to you.
Before you decide on facelift surgery, there are some important issues to keep in mind:
- While a facelift should make you look younger, it will not raise sagging eyebrows, remove deep frown lines in the forehead, change your upper or lower eyelids, or get rid of wrinkles around the mouth. Other forms of treatment may be more appropriate for you
- Suture facelift, or thread lifting, is best suited for younger and middle-aged patients whose tissues have sagged with time or sun damage. It is not recommended for people with very thin or dry skin. Your surgeon will need to assess your individual suitability for this type of treatment
- The results of a facelift usually last between five and twelve years. Most people can have two to three facelifts in a lifetime, depending on the extent of each procedure and the amount of scarring that occurs with each facelift
- Facelift surgery does not “stop the clock” of ageing. The normal ageing process will continue after the surgery
- Smokers are at increased risk of complications. If you are serious about undergoing surgery, you should quit smoking
Facelift surgery may not be a good option for you if you are:
- Not able to have an anaesthetic
- Prone to bleeding tendencies or have poor healing ability
- Too high risk of having surgical complications
Facelift surgery may be a good option for you if:
- You have sagging in the mid-face
- You have deep creases below the lower eyelids
- You have deep creases along the nose extending to the corner of the mouth
- You have fat that has fallen or is displaced
- You have loss of muscle tone in the lower face which may create jowls
- You have loose skin and excess fatty deposits under the chin and jaw, creating the appearance of a double chin
- You are physically healthy and you do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of surgery
- You have realistic expectations of what face lift surgery can accomplish
- You are a non-smoker or have stopped smoking
Costs associated with the procedure may include:
- Surgeon’s fee
- Hospital or surgical facility costs
- Anaesthesia fees
- Prescriptions for medication
- Post-surgery garments
- Medical tests