Face Lift

What is a face lift?

A face lift, also known as meloplasty or rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure performed by our Specialist Plastic Surgeons in Perth intended to tighten and address sagging skin on the face and neck. It also aims to address visible signs of ageing such as facial tone, by surgically tightening the underlying muscles. Additionally, excess fat may be repositioned or removed during the procedure.

This procedure is conducted for both aesthetic (cosmetic) and medical/functional purposes. However, the eligibility for medical/functional face lift surgery is determined by strict Medicare criteria.

Face lifts are commonly performed on individuals aged between 40 and 65, although older individuals may also consider this procedure.

Please note, face lift surgery outcomes may vary based on individual anatomical and biological differences between genders. Male and female faces have distinct characteristics, such as variations in skin thickness and facial muscle mass. These factors can pose unique challenges when performing face lift surgery on men and may require additional expertise to achieve desired results. At our practice, we only provide face lift surgery for females, as our team’s experience and techniques are tailored to address the specific needs of female patients. We do not offer face lift surgery for males.

What factors may influence the consideration of face lift surgery?

You may be interested in exploring face lift surgery to these address common signs of ageing:

  • Age: As individuals progress in age, natural changes occur in their skin, such as reduced elasticity and collagen production. These changes can contribute to the appearance of wrinkles, sagging skin, and jowls.
  • Sun exposure: Excessive exposure to the sun can cause damage to the skin and accelerate the ageing process.
  • Genetics: Certain individuals may have a genetic predisposition to developing wrinkles and sagging skin.

The decision to undergo face lift surgery ultimately rests with the individual’s personal choice. Some individuals may believe that the benefits of face lift surgery outweigh the associated risks, while others may prefer to embrace the natural ageing process.

Is a face lift right for me?

When considering face lift surgery, it is crucial to schedule a consultation with a Specialist Plastic Surgeon. This initial step ensures open communication about your appearance goals and expectations. Your surgeon will conduct a comprehensive examination and attentively listen to and address your concerns. They will then discuss the most appropriate options for your individual circumstances. Surgical brow lift or blepharoplasty surgery may be advised instead of, or in addition to, a face lift procedure.

How is a face lift performed?

The surgical technique will depend on your physical features and your surgeon’s method. In most cases, an incision is made commencing in the hairline at the temple, extending in a skin crease down in front of the ear, around the ear lobe and then behind the ear finishing in the hairline of the scalp. This provides sufficient access for your surgeon to separate the skin from the underlying fat and muscle. The skin is then carefully stretched upwards and backwards, and any excess skin is safely and appropriately removed. In some cases, additional procedures such as the removal of fat under the chin and tightening of the underlying muscles may be performed as recommended by your surgeon based on your individual needs and goals.

The surgery is performed in Perth in a fully-accredited hospital under general anaesthesia and will require an overnight stay in hospital. Face lift surgery may last from two to five hours.

Are there any risks and complications of face lift surgery?

All plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgical procedures come with risks and potential complications. To ensure successful surgery, it is crucial to understand and minimise these risks. Whilst all measures are taken to mitigate risks, some risks are unavoidable.

All information on this page is general in nature – your Specialist Plastic Surgeon will discuss the specific risks and complications pertinent to your individual surgical procedure during your consultation. General risks for surgery are listed here.

Specific risks related to face lift surgery include, but are not limited to:

  • Temporary or Permanent Hair Loss: There is a possibility of experiencing temporary hair loss around the scars. While this is typically temporary, in rare cases, it may become permanent.
  • Skin Loss and Skin Grafting: Impaired blood supply can lead to skin loss, which might require a skin grafting procedure.
  • Bruising and Swelling: Following the surgery, it is common to experience bruising and swelling. These effects are typically temporary and will subside over time.
  • Temporary Numbness: Numbness around the operated sites is a common occurrence. Fortunately, in most cases, this is temporary and will gradually improve over several months.
  • Earlobe Deformity: There is a slight risk of earlobe deformity as a result of the procedure.
  • Facial Nerve Damage: Approximately one in every hundred patients may experience damage to the facial nerve. This can lead to partial loss of movement and a “lopsided” appearance of the face. While this damage is usually temporary, in rare cases, it may be permanent.
  • Differences in Facial Appearance: It is possible to observe a slight difference in appearance between the right and left sides of the face after the surgery.
  • Revisional Surgery: In some instances, complications may arise that require revisional surgery to correct.

Will face lift surgery leave any scars?

Although your surgeon will make every effort to keep them as inconspicuous as possible, scars are the inevitable result of any surgery. The scars from a face lift are typically hidden by hair and the natural creases of the face. However, they may be visible if you have short hair or if you pull your hair back. Some patients have a tendency to develop keloid or hypertrophic scars and you should advise your surgeon if you are aware of this tendency in yourself.

What results can I expect from a face lift?

The primary goal of a face lift procedure is to minimise the visible effects of ageing and help achieve a smoother look for the face and skin. Additionally, it is possible to combine a face lift with other surgical interventions, such as a brow lift or eyelid surgery.

Alongside face lift surgery, non-surgical cosmetic treatments like chemical skin peels, dermabrasion, or skin resurfacing may be performed.

When can I resume normal activities following a face lift?

Depending on the extent of your procedure, it may be necessary to take a few weeks off work to rest. It is advisable to avoid heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, swimming, and strenuous sports for up to six weeks after the procedure or until advised by your surgeon.

After 7-10 days, you may apply normal makeup, but it is crucial to protect your skin from the sun. Please ensure to follow appropriate sun protection measures to safeguard your skin’s health.

Some bruising and swelling is normal, and it may take up to a few weeks to disappear. Sleeping with your head elevated will help to reduce the swelling. It is normal to experience a sensation of tightness and numbness in the face and neck area, which may last for several months. Your surgeon may advise you to wear post-surgical compression garments to help reduce swelling and support the healing process.

It is important to emphasise that every patient’s recovery process requires sufficient time, support, and appropriate postoperative care. Healing abilities and pain tolerance may vary among individuals, leading to differences in the duration of recovery and the ability to participate in various activities.

How much does this procedure cost?

Please contact us online or call us on (08) 9380 0333 and one of our medical secretaries can provide you with more information. Please note that pricing does vary from case to case.

Where can I find more information?

The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) website is a helpful and reliable source of information online. Their website is an excellent place to research a range of surgical procedures and non-surgical treatments, and view video animations.