Facelift Surgery by Specialist Plastic Surgeon, Dr Richard Sackelariou, Melbourne and Sydney.
If your facial skin looks droopy, you have sagging jowls or a heavy neckline and/or hallowed areas on your cheeks or temples, it may be worth exploring your options for Facelift Surgery with Dr Richard Sackelariou.
With precision planning and advanced facelift surgical skills, Dr Sackelariou is an expert in helping restore your facial anatomy to a more youthful, firmer yet natural-looking appearance.
Facial ageing results from a combination of factors.
At a certain stage in life, you’ll likely be exploring your cosmetic injecting options or eyelid surgery, facelift and necklift surgery.
Your facial appearance is subjected to any number of ageing-factors. These factors include environmental exposures, genetic traits, weight changes or body fat percentages, lost elasticity in the skin, the impact of gravity and repeated facial expressions, and the natural ageing processes that lead us to look older – or more tired – than we’d like to appear.
Ageing can lead to sagging skin around or under your eyes, around the brows, cheeks, neck, mouth and jowls; and this leads to an aged or weathered-looking appearance.
- Facelift surgery – combined with cosmetic injections – can help LIFT the facial features, reduce sagging jowls, and restores a more defined lower face/jawline.
- Dermal fillers and/or facial implants can also help replace lost volume or overcome asymmetry or deformity.
Facelift Surgery: What’s good to know before you ask for your Surgeon’s recommendations
- As we age, the collagen in our skin also weakens or is lost altogether, causing fine lines and wrinkles.
- While some patients are able to correct their issues with non-surgical injectables, patients with more pronounced ageing issues require a more drastic approach.
- Operations like the Facelift, Neck Lift, Brow Lift and Blepharoplasty correct these ageing-related facial effects by reducing excess skin and smoothing out the remaining skin and underlying fat and muscle layers.
- Tightening these layers will smooth facial contours, remove sagging and give you a more youthful appearance.
One of the most common and effective methods to restore a youthful facial appearance is the facelift, although most patients have eyelid surgery either before or after their facelift, to have a more holistic rejuvenation result.
Who can Benefit from a Facelift?
Sagging Facial Tissues
As we age, gravity and the decrease of collagen results in a drooping appearance of excess skin. Sagging skin usually occurs around the cheeks and jawline. An advanced or full Facelift lifts both the muscle layer and the skin layer, providing a natural-looking yet firmer skin appearance and a more defined jawline. Sometimes a neck lift will be required for a full rejuvenation effect, and where there is skeletal atrophy (bone loss) in the temples, cheeks, jawline, brow or chin, then cosmetic injections and dermal fillers may also be recommended.
Droopy Eyelids, Sunken Eyes or Under Eye Bags can be Corrected with Plastic Surgery of the Eyelids (Upper or Lower Eyelid Surgery and/or Dermal Fillers)
- Sagging skin around the eyes as we age also leads to a sunken, less attractive or less rested appearance.
- An Eyelid Lift in combination with a Facelift can restore the appearance of your eyes, giving you a more youthful appearance.
- Sometimes dermal fillers or anti-wrinkle injections can also assist with eye area rejuvenation, by reducing wrinkles or lines and slightly adjusting the size or shape of certain features.
- A brow lift may be the better solution for people with low-brows or hooded eyes; ask Dr Sackelariou for advice during a confidential consultation; you’ll get honest, expert recommendations on what each procedure CAN (and CANNOT) accomplish for your ageing-related appearance concerns.
Redefined Jawline and Less Sagging Jowl Skin
- As we age, excess tissue gathers around the lower face and masks the jawline.
- Many women and men find this affects the shape and balance of their face.
- A Facelift can remove this excess tissue and contour what remains to create a more defined jaw. Facial Implants can further enhance a weak chin or strengthen a jawline.
Wrinkles and Fine Lines – some are reduced, others may need additional cosmetic approaches such as deep chemical peels and/or dermal fillers, muscle relaxing injections or other forms of skin resurfacing.
- Fine lines and wrinkles are an unfortunate part of the ageing process.
- As our collagen production weakens, wrinkles can appear around your mouth and nose.
- Often fine lines and wrinkles can be treated with Injectables but some lines can be stubborn and require a Facelift or another surgical approach such as a Bullhorn Lip Lift.
- Lifting and tightening the facial tissues also smooths out fine lines and wrinkles, resulting in a brighter and more youthful appearance.
Another option for facial rejuvenation is Cosmetic Injections including wrinkle-relaxers and Dermal Fillers.
Restoring Ageing Neck Profile
- Many people do not realise the prominent role their neck line plays in the process of ageing.
- Neck bands and sagging jowls can hide a once defined and graceful neck.
- Neck Lifts can tighten loosened neck muscles and remove excess skin to restore a more youthful neck.
- Sometimes cosmetic injections or facial implants can also assist in improving the jawline, or chin area, which may also help along the jawline/neckline.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does the operation take?
The length of the procedure will depend on what type of facelift you have. Procedure time can be between three and seven hours depending on whether or not you have:
- Upper facelift (involving browlift, eyelift and mid-facelift)
- Lower facelift (neck lift, submental liposuction/platsmaplasty)
- Both upper and lower facelift
Facelift is carried out under general anaesthetic, and for 36 hours after treatment you will have a large well-padded bandage. It is to be expected that after the procedure your face will feel a little strange as well as tight and there will be some pain along the incision lines. Simple pain relief will be prescribed to deal with this.
How long do I have to stay in hospital?
Typically you’ll spend 1-3 nights in hospital. It does depend on what sort of procedure you have, as there are some facelifts that are day-stay treatments. The first night of your stay is spent with your face kept in bandages, and a day or so later the bandages are removed and the results of the operation inspected before your face is redressed.
When can I return to activities?
When you can return to activities will depend on what type of treatment you have. But generally speaking, by the time the swelling has gone down and the stitches are removed and your face has had time to heal, it will have been three weeks since you have had your surgery.
How long does it last?
After your facelift you will of course continue to age. Some patients we have treated have requested another operation 7-10 years later, and usually it is no more difficult than the first time.
Are there any risks?
All surgical procedures carry risk. The surgery and anaesthesia are safe however there is always a small chance of minor complications such as bleeding or infection.
In a small number of cases (about 2-3%) bleeding can be a problem; however you will have a firm bandage to prevent bleeding through pressure. To minimise the risk of bleeding we advise you do not use aspirin one week prior to surgery.
The risk of infection post-facelift is rare because of superior healing qualities of the face. To prevent infection you will be provided with antibiotics before, during and after your surgery, if infection does occur it will be obvious within a week of surgery.
In the unlikely event of infection, the final result of the surgery may be negatively impacted.
Scarring usually takes two years to mature and is minimal and unnoticeable. With that said, individual healing is unpredictable and while great care is taken to create the neatest incision possible you may be unhappy with some aspect of your incision line.
It is possible for scarring around the earlobe to result in tightness and tethering, this scarring behind the ear can become lumpy and uncomfortable. And the scarring in front of your ear may cause tightness and winging of the cartilage in front of the ear opening.
- Blood supply
In smokers it’s possible to lose some areas of skin, especially around the front of the ear wound line. It is important that you do not smoke during the early post-operative part of the treatment; if you are a heavy smoker, facelift may be ill-advised and this should be discussed with your surgeon before proceeding.
- Swelling and bruising
Some bruising and swelling is to be expected and varies with each patient: some patients will have virtually invisible and others extensive. However, the severe cases of bruising and swelling will have settled after about 3 weeks—although there are cases when it takes longer. Swelling can affect the contours of your face and during this time of settling, improvement in facial contour can be expected.
When the final swelling does settle it might seem your face is beginning to fall. This is a minor consequence of post-operative swelling and is usually complete within about three months.
- Nerve injury
Having a facelift involves facial dissection very close to the course of the facial nerve. This nerve is responsible for movement of the face especially around the mouth, nose and eyes. There is the possibility some temporary or—rare—permanent weakness of a part of your face might happen after a facelift. And while it is usual to have some temporary numbness of the cheeks and sometimes of the ears this risk is about 1%.
For this treatment you will have general anaesthetic. Prior to administering the anaesthetic your anaesthetist will discuss the possible aftereffects of the anaesthetic.
If you have any questions about the anaesthesia, please ask your anaesthetist who is best qualified to answer such questions.
Before and Afters
General information for facelift
If you have any further questions about the facelift procedure, be sure to ask us during your initial consultation. This is the best time to raise all questions and concerns so that you can be fully informed about the procedure and have realistic expectations.
Remember, this operation will not quite achieve as much tightening as fingers in front of a mirror. We can produce a significant degree of improvement. The aim of the operation is not to look different but to look “rested and refreshed” or “better from your holiday” when your friends see you again. To achieve this a Facelift involves incisions on each side of your face which are hidden along the natural crease of the ear and in the hairlines—by placing the incisions there no one should know you’ve had an operation.