What is a facelift?

A facelift is a procedure to rejuvenate the face and temporarily reverse the signs of ageing. It involves tightening of the facial skin and removal of excess skin, fat, wrinkles and deep lines. A facelift may also be performed along with other cosmetic surgery procedures.

What can a facelift do for me?

A facelift can tighten or remove loose skin over the cheeks, jawline and under the chin and smooth out skin creases and wrinkles.

What happens before the procedure?

Before the procedure your doctor will evaluate your general health and medical history as well as your facial skin and bone structure. You may be asked to stop certain medications in advance. Possible treatment options, complications as well as your goals and expectations are discussed.

How is a facelift performed?

The procedure may be performed under general or local anesthesia with sedation. During standard facelift surgery, an incision is made in front and behind the ears extending into the hairline. The skin is separated from the underlying muscle and fat layer and then pulled backwards and upwards to tighten it and produce a more youthful appearance. The deep tissues may also be tightened. An incision may be made below the chin to tighten the skin in this region. The excess skin is excised and the incisions are closed with sutures or staples. A drain is usually placed to remove any excess fluid or blood and the incisions are then closed and bandaged.

Modern facelift procedures may be combined with laser or liposuction to melt or remove fat under the chin and over the jaws to produce a more defined jawline. Incisions can be made close to the hairline at the top of your forehead to lift the skin and remove wrinkles. Eyelid surgery may also be performed along with a facelift. Fat may be grafted in to enhance certain facial features. A facelift can also be accomplished through an endoscopic procedure where a tiny camera and instruments are inserted through smaller, inconspicuous incisions.

Depending on your condition and the technique used, the procedure may take about 2-5 hours and you will usually return home the same day. Once healed, the incisions are barely noticeable or well-hidden in the hairline.

What are the risks associated with facelift procedures?

Complications associated with facelift procedures are rare and include infection, swelling bruising, bleeding, hematoma, nerve damage, scarring, necrosis, distortion of ear lobes and anaesthetic complications.

How long do the results last?

Studies have shown that most people undergoing facelift surgery still reap the benefits five years or more down the line.