What is a facelift?
Facelift surgery, also known as a rhytidectomy, is a cosmetic surgery procedure designed to address significant signs of ageing changes seen in both the face and neck region.
RELATED: Facelift Surgery FAQs – Q&As about Rhytidectomy
To gain a better understanding of what facelift surgery can achieve, it is important to gain an appreciation of what is involved in the ageing process of the face and neck. With the ageing process, the skin will lose between 20-80% of hydration and volume as time progresses. This loss of volume is primarily related to reduced synthesis of the structural components of skin which include both collagen and elastin but also glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are found in the dermal layer of the skin. This loss of structural support leads to the commonly seen end result of skin laxity. Skin laxity is also accompanied by loss of adhesion with the deeper-lying muscles and soft tissues. This leads to loss of tissue tightness. The skin, therefore, sags, resulting in jowl formation and loss of a well-defined jawline. The extra skin and underlying soft tissue sag downwards, leading to the loss of the sharply defined cervicomental angle between the neck and chin. Ageing changes in the midface region lead to volume loss in the cheeks and bone loss from the facial skeleton. The resulting hollowed-out appearance becomes more evident with age. The younger face possesses features consistent with a youthful inverted triangle. With age, this triangle flips over as the face gains more volume in its lower part due to the sagging of the soft tissues under the influence of gravity and the loss of volume from the midface.
Facelift Expected Results
The expected results of a facelift procedure can vary depending on the individual patient but generally include the following:
- Improved Facial Contours: A facelift can improve the contours of the face, giving it a more youthful and refreshed appearance. The procedure can lift and reposition the cheeks and jowls, which can help to smooth out wrinkles and fine lines.
- Tightened Skin: A facelift can remove excess skin and tighten the remaining skin, which can help to improve the appearance of the face and neck. This can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and can also help to improve the definition of the jawline and neck.
- Reduced Sagging: A facelift can address sagging skin in the mid-face, jawline, and neck. This can help to reduce the appearance of jowls and a “turkey neck” and can also help to improve the overall shape of the face and neck.
- Long-lasting Results: The results of a facelift can last for several years, depending on the individual’s age, skin condition and overall health. The procedure can provide a long-term solution for addressing the signs of ageing.
It’s important to note that the facelift procedure is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and the results can vary depending on the individual patient’s needs and the surgeon’s technique. Additionally, it’s also important to remember that a facelift is a surgical procedure, and as such, it involves certain risks and complications. It is important to have realistic expectations and to discuss them with the surgeon before deciding to undergo the procedure.
|Procedure time ⏳||2-3 hours|
|Anaesthetic type 💉||GA or LA (mini facelift)|
|Length of stay 🛏||Day case|
|Up and mobile 🚶🏻♂️||Same day|
|Washing 🛁||3 days|
|Travel ✈️||1 week|
|Sexual activity ❤️||4 weeks|
|Driving 🚗||2 weeks|
|Return to work 📅||Next day (desk work)|
|Postoperative garment 👕||2 weeks|
|Sleeping 😴||On back 1 week|
|Exercise 🏃🏽♀️||6 weeks|
|Full recovery 🕺🏻||6 weeks|
|Final results 😃||3 months|
Benefits of a facelift
A facelift, also known as rhytidectomy, is a cosmetic surgery procedure that aims to improve the appearance of the face by tightening and repositioning the skin and underlying tissue. The procedure can address wrinkles, sagging skin, and loss of definition in the mid-face, jawline, and neck. Here are some of the benefits of a facelift procedure:
- Improved Appearance of Wrinkles and Fine Lines: A facelift can smooth out wrinkles and fine lines on the face, particularly those around the mouth, nose, and eyes.
- Tightened and Firmer Skin: The procedure can help to tighten and firm the skin on the face, giving it a more youthful appearance.
- Enhanced Definition of the Jawline and Neck: A facelift can also help to enhance the definition of the jawline and neck, giving the face a more balanced and proportionate look.
- Long-lasting Results: Facelift results can be long-lasting, especially when compared to non-surgical options such as injectable fillers or Botox. The effects of a facelift can last for several years, depending on the patient’s age, lifestyle, and overall health.
- Increased Self-confidence: Many patients report an increase in self-confidence after a facelift, as they feel more attractive and youthful.
- Customizable to suit individual needs: Facelift procedures can be customized to suit individual needs and can be combined with other procedures to provide a comprehensive, well-rounded result.
It’s important to note that facelift surgery is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and the best results are achieved when performed by a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon. Also, the facelift procedure is major surgery, and it carries certain risks and recovery time. Patients should be well informed about the risks, recovery and expected results before undergoing any procedure.
It’s also important to have realistic expectations and understand that a facelift can’t stop the ageing process, but it can help to reverse some of the signs of ageing.
Facelift before and after:
Which procedures can be combined with a facelift?
While a facelift can provide significant improvement on its own, it can also be combined with other procedures to enhance the overall results. Some of the most common procedures that can be combined with a facelift include:
- Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty): This procedure can address wrinkles, puffiness, and sagging skin around the eyes. It can also remove excess fat and skin from the upper and lower eyelids to improve the appearance of the eyes.
- Brow Lift (Forehead Lift): This procedure can address wrinkles and sagging skin on the forehead and can also reposition the eyebrows to a more youthful position.
- Neck Lift: This procedure can address wrinkles, sagging skin, and excess fat in the neck area. It can also be used to tighten the muscles in the neck and improve the appearance of the jawline.
- Chin & Neck Liposuction: This procedure can be used to remove excess fat in the face and neck area. It can also be used to contour the face and improve the appearance of the jawline.
- Rhinoplasty (Nose Job): This procedure can be used to reshape the nose and improve its overall appearance. It can also be used to address breathing problems caused by structural abnormalities in the nose.
- Otoplasty (Ear Surgery): This procedure can be used to reshape the ears and make them less prominent.
- Fat Grafting: This procedure can be used to add volume to the face, particularly to the cheeks, lips, and temples.
Combining these procedures can help to provide a more comprehensive, well-rounded result. However, it’s important to note that each patient is unique and should consult with a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon to determine the best course of treatment based on their individual needs and goals.
It’s also important to note that some procedures may have more downtime and recovery time. Combining procedures can increase risks and also recovery time. The patient should be well informed about the risks, recovery and expected results before undergoing any procedure.
The ideal candidate for a facelift
Whether or not you are a good candidate for facelift surgery depends on a number of factors, including your overall health, skin type, and desired results.
Some of the factors that may make you a suitable candidate for facelift surgery include the following:
- Age: Facelift surgery is typically recommended for patients over the age of 40, as this is when the signs of ageing typically become more pronounced.
- Skin Type: Patients with good skin elasticity and minimal sun damage are generally considered to be the best candidates for facelift surgery.
- Desired Results: If you have realistic expectations of what facelift surgery can achieve and understand that it can’t stop the ageing process, but it can help to reverse some of the signs of ageing.
- Overall Health: Patients who are in good overall health and have no underlying medical conditions that could complicate the surgery or recovery process are generally considered to be the best candidates for facelift surgery.
Some factors that may make you less suitable for facelift surgery include:
- Smoking: Smoking can impede healing and increase the risk of complications, so it’s best to quit smoking for at least six weeks before and after the surgery.
- Excessive weight: Being overweight can make the procedure more challenging, and it’s best to be at a stable weight before considering the surgery.
- Active skin conditions: Patients with active skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema, or psoriasis may not be suitable for the surgery.
It’s important to consult with a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon to determine if facelift surgery is right for you. The surgeon will examine your skin and underlying tissue, evaluate your overall health, and discuss your desired results with you. They will also inform you of the risks, recovery time, and expected results of the procedure.
It’s also important to remember that facelift surgery is a major procedure, and it’s important to make an informed decision. It’s best to have realistic expectations and understand that the surgery can’t stop the ageing process, but it can help to reverse some of the signs of ageing.
Facelifts are not just for women
Men and women both experience the effects of the facial ageing process, and both can benefit from facelift surgery. Demand for facelift surgery in men in the UK has increased by over 25% over the last twenty years, while demand for female procedures has remained relatively static. About 10% of all facelift procedures are performed in men and this is a growing percentage year on year.
The ideal candidates for a facelift procedure are men and women with a face and neck that are starting to look older but with elastic skin and a very well-defined bone structure. Even though most facelift patients are around 40 to 60, a facelift can be successfully performed in patients between 70 and 80, subject to satisfactory medical clearance for the surgical procedure.
Some questions to ask at your facelift consultation
- Am I an ideal candidate for facelift surgery?
- Is it possible to attain results in line with my expectations?
- What can I do to achieve ideal results following the facelift procedure?
- Do you have before and after photos of patients who have undergone similar facelift procedures?
- What can I expect in the recovery period after a facelift?
- What scars are created from facelift surgery, and where will they be located?
- Will I experience pain after facelift surgery?
- How soon can I return to work after a facelift?
Can men have a facelift?
Yes, men can have a facelift. A facelift, also known as rhytidectomy, is a cosmetic surgery procedure that aims to improve the appearance of the face by tightening and repositioning the skin and underlying tissue. The procedure can address wrinkles, sagging skin, and loss of definition in the mid-face, jawline, and neck. It can be performed on both men and women.
The facelift procedure for men is often referred to as a “male facelift” or “brotox”, and it is tailored to address the unique concerns of men’s ageing faces. Men typically have thicker skin and more prominent facial features than women, so the procedure may differ slightly.
The procedure for men may involve a more aggressive approach to remove excess skin and reposition the remaining skin and underlying tissue. The incision may be made in the hairline to minimise the visibility of scars. The procedure may also involve liposuction to remove excess fat in the neck and jawline area to enhance the contours of the face.
Men who are good candidates for facelift surgery are typically those who are in good overall health, have realistic expectations and understand that the surgery can’t stop the ageing process, but it can help to reverse some of the signs of ageing. Men who smoke or have excessive weight may not be suitable for the surgery as this can impede healing and increase the risk of complications.
The recovery time for a facelift can vary, but most men can expect to return to work and normal activities within two to three weeks. It’s important to follow the post-operative instructions provided by the surgeon to ensure a smooth recovery.
It’s important to note that facelift surgery is a major procedure, and it’s important to make an informed decision. It’s important to consult with a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon to determine if facelift surgery is right for you. The surgeon will examine your skin and underlying tissue, evaluate your overall health, and discuss your desired results with you. They will also inform you of the risks, recovery time, and expected results of the procedure.
It’s also important to remember that facelift surgery is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and the best results are achieved when performed by a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon who is familiar with the unique concerns of men’s ageing faces.
What are the different types of facelift?
Cutaneous facelift – not performed at Centre for Surgery
The cutaneous lift is also known as a skin-only facelift. The cutaneous lift does not address the underlying muscle or SMAS layer. Like with all facelifts, the skin is gently separated and secured in a new lifted position before trimming any excess skin off. Cutaneous facelifts are generally considered to have a lower risk of complications and are often performed under a local anaesthetic. Many surgeons may recommend this option for older patients who may suffer from various medical co-morbidities that may place them at high risk of complications during general anaesthesia. There are several significant shortcomings associated with cutaneous lifts – only skin laxity can be corrected, and the results are not particularly long-lasting. Scars are more obvious, with more risk of skin rippling from superficial suture placement. The scarring is more evident in skin-only facelifts as the tension is held entirely on the skin layer. With continued ageing, the skin layer which is being placed under considerable stretch may actually lose more collagen and elastin compared with other methods of facelift surgery. The cutaneous lift is not generally recommended at Centre for Surgery as there are much better options available.
Plication is a term that means a state of being folded or forming folds in something. Unlike a cutaneous lift, the SMAS facelift involves tightening the skin and underlying deeper tissues, including the SMAS layer. In conjunction with the SMAS, the platysma layer in the neck is also tightened to restore youthful contours in the lower face and neck. After reconstructing the deeper tissues using precise suture placement, the skin layer is lifted, tightened, and excess skin removed. In SMAS facelifts, the incision does not have as much tension placed upon it as a cutaneous lift. The resulting scars have optimal scar aesthetics as a result. SMAS facelifts have more robust results and last much longer than skin-only facelifts. SMAS facelifts, when performed by an expert facelift surgeon at Centre for Surgery can last for ten years or more.
Deep Plane Facelift
A deep plane facelift is the most invasive and major type of facelift surgery. It is a more advanced version of the traditional facelift. Deep plane facelifts have more powerful rejuvenating effects – they can correct deeper nasolabial folds as the plane of dissection is actually beneath the SMAS layer on top of the facial muscles. The deep plane of dissection results in even less tension on the skin compared with a SMAS facelift. Deep-plane facelifts are often ideal for those with thicker skin and heavy faces. Male facelifts are often deep-plane facelifts.
A deep plane facelift requires a surgeon who is very experienced in facial plastic surgery and regularly performs facelifts of this type. The deep plane facelift takes considerably longer to perform as the dissection is extremely precise and meticulous. There is a higher risk of complications, including nerve injury, which can be permanent in nature. Many facial plastic surgeons and well-informed patients will more commonly opt for a less invasive facelift option to minimise the risk of complications as much as possible.
The composite facelift builds upon the SMAS plication facelift in several ways. It is regarded as a composite technique as it brings together two key aspects of addressing gravitational changes to restore youthfulness to the face. A composite facelift is still a two-layered technique like a SMAS lift, but the key difference lies in the additional vertical upward vector that a composite facelift can achieve. A composite facelift addresses all the traditional areas of a SMAS facelift, such as the jowl area, cheeks and neck but also includes rejuvenation of the periocular region.
The composite facelift has both horizontal and vertical components. The downtime after a composite facelift is slightly longer compared with a SMAS facelift with a longer duration of postoperative swelling. There is also a slight increase in the risk of postoperative complications.
The midface is the term used to describe the area of the face, which comprises the nose, eyes and corners of the mouth. With ageing and loss of skin laxity, these areas undergo sagging and downward descent under the influence of gravity. In some cases, patients may develop localised skin laxity of the eyes, cheeks and mouth without significant ageing of other parts of the face, such as the neck or jawline. In these cases, a mid-facelift could address these ageing changes effectively without the invasiveness and risks of a full facelift. Compared with a full facelift, the results of a mid-facelift are commonly seen as subtle in nature without the longevity of a full facelift. It is rare for our surgeons to perform a mid-facelift on their own. A mid-facelift is commonly combined with other complementary procedures, including eyelid surgery (both upper and lower blepharoplasty), brow lift and fat grafting to the face.
A mini facelift is a less invasive form of a traditional facelift. Mini facelifts are often very suitable for patients with mild degrees of ageing and facial descent in the lower third of the face. The most common age range for a mini facelift is patients in their 30s to early 50s who may not need a more extensive full facelift but may still benefit from the improvement of the facial contours, particularly the jowls and more defined jawline. Mini facelifts have experienced a surge in popularity recently and may go by several catchy names and are often promoted as being able to be performed under a local anaesthetic with minimal downtime. Unlike a traditional facelift which involves incisions being made both in front of and behind the ears, a mini facelift or short-scar facelift often has incisions primarily in front of the ears without the extension into the posterior hairline. A mini facelift may not be as effective for ageing changes affecting the neck and the lower face. It is important to understand what the mini facelift will address for your face. Your surgeon can advise you on what the mini facelift can address at your consultation.
The facelift procedure
Here is a general overview of the steps involved in a facelift procedure:
- Anaesthesia: The patient will be given either general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia with sedation.
- Incision: The surgeon will make incisions in the hairline at the temples, extending around the ear and ending in the lower scalp.
- Deep Plane Technique: The surgeon will use a deep-plane technique to lift and reposition the deeper layers of the face, including the cheeks and jowls, to create a more youthful appearance.
- SMAS (Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System) and/or platysma muscle tightening: The surgeon will then lift the SMAS layer and/or platysma muscle which will help to further improve the contours of the face and neck.
- Excess skin removal: The surgeon will remove any excess skin and trim it to the appropriate size.
- Closure: The incisions will be closed with sutures, skin adhesives, or surgical tape.
- Recovery: After the procedure, the patient will experience some swelling, bruising, and pain, which can be managed with medication. The patient will need to avoid strenuous activity for about 2-4 weeks and should avoid sun exposure for several months.
- Final result: The final result of the facelift procedure will not be immediately visible, as it can take several weeks for the swelling and bruising to subside. The final result will be visible around 2-3 months after the procedure.
It’s important to note that every facelift procedure is different, and the steps may vary depending on the individual patient’s needs and the surgeon’s technique.
Every patient has completely different facial anatomy and characteristics, facial ageing patterns and objectives for surgery.
The traditional facelift generally consists of incisions made both in front of and behind the ears. The incision behind the ears extends to the hairline. The surgeon would place the incisions strategically to look as inconspicuous as possible to blend in with the natural skin folds and contours. After a skin incision, the skin is gently lifted or undermined to separate the skin from the underlying soft tissue and muscle layer in the previously marked areas by the surgeon. After the soft tissue undermining component, the facelift surgeon surgically tightens the area in its new lifted position with sutures and finally trims any excess redundant tissue.
Locations of Facelift incisions
In facelift surgery, the positioning of the skin incisions is vital for avoiding the impression that you have just had surgery. The vast majority of patients prefer a natural and rejuvenated look without features of visible incisions or scars. The expert facelift surgeon takes great care to place incisions in areas that are as well concealed as possible. The skin incisions are best placed in the natural folds both in front of and behind the ear, with the incision extending to the hairline where a neck lift is required. The position of the ear and hairline should be preserved and remain in the same position after surgery. The standard method for a facelift is to gently lift the deeper tissues to reduce tension on the skin layer, which reduces the risk of skin stretching. This means a more cosmetically acceptable scar is possible. Patients are often concerned about the risk of possible hair loss from the incision. To reduce this risk, the surgeon will perform a bevelled incision technique to facilitate proper hair growth. This is very important as it means patients are not restricted to wearing certain hairstyles to hide the incisions due to their visibility. Not all surgeons take this level of care and attention in scar cosmesis. All our surgeons are skilled in placing their incisions along the borders of the ear and behind the tragus of the ear. The incisions are much better concealed than placing incisions in front of the ear, which looks more visible. The incision behind the tragus is closed in such a way as to minimise distortion of this structure. It is important to have a truly artistic eye for facelift surgery. Patient satisfaction is much higher when the results are natural, restoring youthful vitality without the telltale signs of having had a surgical procedure.
Recovery after a facelift
Recovery after facelift surgery is an important aspect of the process and can vary depending on the individual patient. Here is a general overview of what to expect during the recovery process:
- Swelling and Bruising: Swelling and bruising are common after a facelift procedure and can last for several weeks. The swelling will typically peak in the first 2-3 days and then gradually subside.
- Pain and Discomfort: Pain and discomfort are also common after a facelift procedure, but they can usually be managed with medication. Your surgeon will provide you with a pain management plan that you should follow.
- Stitches and Bandages: The incisions will be closed with sutures, skin adhesives, or surgical tape. The bandages will be removed within a few days of the surgery, and the stitches will be removed within a week or two.
- Rest and Relaxation: It is important to get plenty of rest and avoid strenuous activity for at least 2-4 weeks after the surgery. This will help to minimize swelling and promote healing.
- Follow-up Visits: You will have several follow-up visits with your surgeon to monitor your progress and address any concerns. Your surgeon will provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for your incisions and monitor your recovery.
- Final Result: The final result of the facelift procedure will not be immediately visible, as it can take several weeks for the swelling and bruising to subside. The final result will be visible around 2-3 months after the procedure.
It’s important to note that every patient’s recovery is different and the recovery time can vary depending on the individual’s overall health, the type of facelift procedure, and the patient’s adherence to post-operative care instructions.
Risks and complications of facelift surgery
With any cosmetic surgery procedure, there is always the potential for complications, whether minor or major in nature. At Centre for Surgery, our facelift surgeons take extra precautions to keep the risk of complications at as low a level as possible. Despite this, it is still very important to know the range of potential complications that could occur with facelift surgery.
Potential risks of facelift surgery
- Anaesthetic risks
- Postoperative haematoma – a haematoma is a collection of organised blood clots beneath the skin. A haematoma after facelift surgery is one of the most common complications after facelift surgery and usually arises early, often within 24 hours after surgery. If a haematoma is suspected, your surgeon will assess you urgently to decide the best course of action. Most haematomas can be removed with a simple needle and syringe in the clinic. Some haematomas will require surgical removal under local anaesthetic.
- Surgical site infection (SSI) – SSIs are always a potential risk after any surgical procedure. Bacteria can enter wounds through small entry points leading to a localised infection. Clinical features of infection include redness, swelling, heat and pain in the affected area. SSIs need treatment with a course of antibiotics.
- Nerve injury – during the undermining of the skin flap, the nerves of the face could be injured, leading to numbness, tingling or weakness of the affected facial muscles. Most nerve injuries are temporary in nature and often settle after a few months. A minority of nerve injuries are permanent in nature.
- Scarring and hair loss – Scars from facelift surgery are hidden in the natural hairline and skin folds. In some people, hypertrophic scarring can develop. Thickened scars can lead to either temporary or permanent hair loss in the region of the incision lines. Injection of steroids and or hair transplantation can address this issue effectively.
- Skin necrosis – skin necrosis refers to the death of the skin flap due to an insufficient blood supply to the area. Skin necrosis is a rare complication of facelift surgery, but the risk increases in patients who smoke.
Many potential complications of facelift surgery can be effectively managed with meticulous postoperative care. Our postoperative support programme was described as outstanding by the CQC. At your consultation, it is important to understand all the potential risks and complications of facelift surgery. Please take care to follow all of the surgeon’s pre- and post-operative instructions to maximise the chances of successful healing.
Pixie Ear Deformity
The importance of making precise incisions for facelift surgery cannot be emphasised enough when it comes to preventing an unnatural look on the earlobe, also known as a pixie ear deformity. The pixie ear deformity develops as a result of inaccurate correction of the earlobe after the re-draping of the facial skin. Often earlobe distortion develops from excessive traction being placed on the earlobe. The stretched earlobe extends downwards and is a tell-tale sign of recent facelift surgery. It is commonly associated with older methods of performing facelift surgery, with much of the tension being placed on the skin rather than the deeper soft tissue layers. Our skilled plastic surgeons avoid this unnatural appearance with modern techniques for performing facelift surgery.
How much does a facelift cost?
There are several factors that will determine the overall cost of the facelift procedure, and the final quotation will be given after your face-to-face consultation with your specialist plastic surgeon.
- Type of facelift – SMAS, deep-plane, composite
- Local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic
- Primary or revision facelift
- Facelift as a standalone procedure or combined with other procedures such as blepharoplasty, fat injections or laser resurfacing
Why not call 0207 993 4849 and speak to one of our expert patient coordinators, who can give you a rough costing before consulting for a facelift?
Always remember that price should never be the determining factor when it comes to choosing the right provider for facelift surgery. A properly performed facelift is a major undertaking. We feel that safety and quality of service should be your number one priority and instil in you the confidence that our team will look after you before, during and after your procedure to the best of their ability.
The Centre for Surgery approach to aftercare
Our aftercare programme was recently described as ‘outstanding’ by our regulator, the Care Quality Commission.
Our postoperative support team call all our patients during the first two weeks. The proactive nature of our postoperative support gives every patient the best opportunity for a smooth postoperative recovery free of complications. In many cases, if complications were to occur, their impact would be markedly lessened by early detection, prompt clinical assessment and correct treatment. When a patient expresses concern to our team over the phone, we often call patients on the same day for assessment with one of our expert nursing team. Even if there is no significant issue, the careful explanation and calm reassurance provided by our team can help to alleviate any worries you may have experienced.
Facelift surgery at Centre for Surgery
- Over 15 years of experience with all types of facelift surgery – short scar mini facelift, full scar facelift, neck lift and combined procedures (facelift with eyelid surgery or facial fat grafting).
- We regularly receive patients from overseas at our London facial plastic surgery specialist centre.
- Our surgeons are UK-trained NHS consultant plastic surgeons.
Trust a facial plastic surgeon.
A facial plastic surgeon is trained to undertake aesthetic surgical procedures in the facial region. They are dedicated sub-specialists. Compared with general plastic surgeons, facial plastic surgeons are inherently better trained to perform delicate facial procedures such as a full facelift and neck lift. The extra years of surgical training by facial specialists focused on the facial region results in an exceptionally high degree of skill.
Our surgeons are full members of:
What is included in my facelift treatment package?
- As many preoperative consultations with your surgeon as you like to make sure the procedure is right for you
- Enhanced same-day discharge with the added benefits of recovering in your own home
- 24/7 clinical support from your surgeon for the first 48 hours and our expert postoperative support team
- Your very own dedicated patient coordinator
- In-depth preoperative medical assessment to make sure you are fully fit for the rhinoplasty procedure
- Exceptionally high standards of postoperative care are described as ‘outstanding’ by the CQC, with regular telephone and face-to-face checks by our expert postoperative support team.
RealSelf Top Doctors
RealSelf’s top doctor status is awarded to less than 10% of the RealSelf doctor community. This status is earned by achieving consistently high patient satisfaction (from RealSelf reviews), getting excellent feedback on expert answers to patient questions, and investing significant time in Q&A and other doctor activities. RealSelf’s top doctors are rated among the best surgeons in the United Kingdom.
What are the benefits of a mini facelift?A mini facelift performed at Centre for Surgery in London can result in impressive facial rejuvenation effects that can make a patient look over 10 years younger. A mini facelift differs from a traditional full facelift in that it involves repositioning of tissue using gentle techniques compared with lifting of the skin and deeper tissues with a deep plane facelift. A mini facelift is performed with TIVA general anaesthesia but can also be performed under local anaesthetic and sedation in selected cases. The mini facelift procedure takes around 1.5 to 2 hours to perform. The incisions are located both in front of and behind the ear. A mini facelift can be combined with other facial procedures such as eyelid surgery, brow lift and injectable treatments based on what you are trying to achieve.
Is a mini facelift a suitable procedure for me?The mini facelift procedure is designed to improve facial rejuvenation with minimal risk of risks, complications and less downtime when compared with a full facelift. Although mini facelifts can be suitable for most patients, it is ideally suited for younger individuals with early to moderate signs of ageing. Ideal candidates will often find they are unable to accept the facial ageing changes but are not yet ready to commit to a more major facelift and necklift. Centre for Surgery also offer a full range of non-surgical treatments such as injectables, chemical peels and laser treatment to reduce the need for early surgical intervention. In the past, it was often the case that patients had a limited number of treatment options for facial ageing with most being quite invasive in nature including a full facelift. The results of a traditional facelift can be very impressive and often reduced or even eliminated the need for further surgical treatment. In the last 5 years, patients now are not unable or unwilling to undergo major surgery as a first-line option and prefer less invasive treatment. A mini facelift should be viewed as part of a combination treatment approach and is routinely combined with facial fat grafting to tackle volume loss and laser t=skin tightening for enhancing tissue tightness and skin quality. The use of skin resurfacing treatments such as fractional laser resurfacing or chemical peels are an excellent complement to surgical treatment. Speak to one of our highly knowledgeable patient coordinators to learn more about all the anti-ageing treatments we offer.
What should I consider before having facelift surgery?We believe that the best outcomes after facelift surgery happen when patients make the right choice of clinic and surgeon.
1. In deciding on the right clinic for you, always carry out extensive research and choose a well-established and reputable clinic. Centre for Surgery specialises in facelift surgery and has been established for many years. Our patient coordinators and surgeons are here to answer any questions and empower you with the right information.
2. Your choice of surgeon should be based on their qualifications, experience and having a record of good patient feedback. You should know who you will be seeing before your consultation. At Centre for Surgery, our plastic & cosmetic surgeons are specially selected after a rigorous appointment process to ensure they have the right skill set to perform facelift surgery.
3. When choosing a cosmetic surgery clinic, you should not base your decision on price alone. It is important to make sure you are having treatment in a safe and regulated environment by staff who are both fully trained and caring to look after your needs – before, during and after your procedure.
4. Avoid clinics that offer a ‘hard-sell’. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Ask the surgeon what techniques will be used. Surgeons at the Centre for Surgery perform all types of facelift surgery, including complex reconstructive surgery.
We believe patient safety and happy, satisfied patients are the bedrock of our reputation as an ethical cosmetic surgery provider. Our doctors are known for giving straightforward, honest advice, and you can be assured that your journey with the Centre for Surgery will be a positive experience on the path to renewed self-confidence.
What should I ask the surgeon during my consultation for a facelift?The consultation with the surgeon is the ideal time to gain an in-depth understanding of the procedure by asking as many questions to enable you to be fully informed about the procedure and what it involves before deciding on surgery. All patients should make sure they have all the facts before proceeding and the face to face consultation is the key part of the patient journey to impart the necessary education on what a facelift involves.
The following are examples of questions you could ask your facelift surgeon:
Am I suitable for a facelift?
What can I expect to achieve from the facelift procedure?
Am I being realistic on what I am hoping to achieve
Am I able to see before and afters of similar patients who have undergone a facelift?
What does the recovery period involve and is there anything I can do to optimise my recovery?
What level of aftercare do you provide?
What happens if I am not happy with the results achieved from facelift surgery?
How long does a facelift take to perform?A facelift procedure has evolved over the years into a highly advanced facial rejuvenation technique that takes about 2-3 hours to perform. The most commonly used method is a SMAS facelift combined with facial fat grafting also known as a "lift and fill" facelift. Older methods of facelift surgery such as the deep plane facelift used to take well over 5 hours to perform and carried a higher risk profile. The deep plane facelift was often a more painful procedure and with significant postoperative swelling with a prolonged recovery and long healing period. The facelift procedure performed at Centre for Surgery results in a much faster recovery with less risk. Our surgeons are highly specialised experts in facial surgery with years of experience in performing meticulous facelift surgery.
What happens after my facelift procedure?After the facelift surgery, you will need to attend a postoperative wound check-up appointment with one of our experienced nursing staff at between 1 and 2 weeks in the clinic. Your dressings will be removed and the incisions will be inspected to make sure they are healing as expected. Any permanent sutures will be removed and fresh dressings may be applied. At 6 weeks you will come in to see your surgeon who will review your healing and assess the early results. From the moment you get home after your procedure, you will have our postoperative support team closely supervise your healing and are on hand to answer any questions you may have. If you have any concerns, the team will book you in to see a nurse the same day if necessary. It is important you have full postoperative support to give you peace of mind that any concerns can be managed in a proactive manner. Our aftercare programme was described as 'outstanding' by the CQC.
When can I resume physical exercise?It is recommended to avoid strenuous exertion for at least 3 weeks after the facelift procedure but working from a computer at home is perfectly ok from the next day. You may experience a degree of bruising and swelling particularly around the incisions but this is temporary and will settle with time usually over the course of a week. It is fine to return to work after 2 weeks depending on the nature of the job. The old style facelifts used to result in significant downtime with patients being at home for many weeks and even months especially if it was a deep place facelift. The deep plane facelift involved the repositioning of tissues from the underlying bone and this often lead to very considerable swelling. At Centre for Surgery, our surgeons do not perform deep plane facelifts as we believe the risks and complications of such an invasive style of facelift considerably outweigh the benefits. The key to modern facelift surgery is using delicate techniques that minimise swelling and downtime resulting in much better results in the medium and long term.
What does a facelift involve?The traditional facelift is performed by making an incision on the hair or hairline which is used to lift, pull back and trim excess skin to create a tightened appearance.
Whereas the mini facelift surgery has a smaller incision along the hairline and in front of the ears with which the plastic surgeon tightens fibrous tissues under the skin.
Full facelift or mini facelift, which option is right for me?The right option for you can be determined by looking at the area of the neck. A mini facelift is ideal for people who have minimal issues on the face and neck area and do not expect to see drastic changes. However, if you wish to get rid of as many signs of ageing as possible with visible results, then a full facelift is a better option.
How do I prepare for my facelift surgery?Quit smoking ideally a few weeks before your procedure. Avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can cause bleeding.
What can I expect to experience once the facelift procedure has been completed?Once the TIVA anaesthetic has been stopped, your anaesthetist will wake you up at the end of the procedure. The recovery after TIVA anaesthesia is more smooth compared with a traditional general anaesthetic. Once you are fully recovered from the effects of the anaesthetic, your nursing team will give you water and something light to eat. Once you are fit for discharge, you will be allowed to leave the clinic with a responsible adult escort. It is not uncommon to experience a degree of discomfort after the procedure which will settle with simple over the counter painkillers. You have access to our postoperative support team at any time after your procedure.
Will I need an escort to take me home after my facelift procedure?Yes. You will require a responsible adult escort to accompany you home after surgery. You must not travel home alone. You will also require a responsible adult person to look after you for at least the first 24-48 hours after the facelift procedure.
How soon can I return to work after a facelift procedure?It is perfectly sensible to be able to work from home the day after your surgery. Some patients choose not to work outside the home for the first week after a facelift if they do not want others to know what procedure they have had done. However, you will not affect the results from a facelift by leaving the home.
When can I expect to see the final results of my facelift?After a facelift, the final results are typically evident at about 6 weeks after the procedure with further improvement being noticeable beyond the first 6 weeks was the healing of the soft tissues has completed. This can take up to 12 months. At your consultation, your plastic surgeon will advise you on how long your results make take to appear.
Will I be left with scars?Scars are unavoidable when incisions are made, however, because the incision for a facelift is made within natural folds found in the front, inside and behind your ears, there won’t be any visible scarring. At Centre for Surgery, we use the finest sutures that will make the scars fade away.
Are there any risks associated with the procedure?There are rarely any major risks associated with facelift other than the most common potential risks such as bleeding, scarring, infection and poor healing. With maximum safety optimisation, these risks can be completely avoided.
Will I experience swelling and bruising after the surgery?You will experience some swelling and bruising for 24 to 48 hours following the surgery but it is part of the healing process and it should lessen within two weeks. We recommend our patients try cold compression on the face to aid with the swelling and bruising.
What is the recovery like?A large, soft dressing will be taped in place on the face. These first dressings are extremely important and should be left in place for the exact duration recommended by the surgeon, usually a day or two. It can then be removed and replaced by an elastic covering that will help to contain and reduce swelling. Cold compression is recommended to help reduce the swelling and bruising.
What results can I expect after my facelift surgery? How long do the results last?The results of facelift surgery are long-lasting, however, the ageing process cannot be stopped and will affect it making it difficult to tell how long the results will last as everyone ages differently.
Are there any limitations to the results I can achieve?Unfortunately, a facelift cannot stop the ageing process and neither can it change the quality of your skin. Nevertheless, a facelift can give you a younger and refreshed appearance after the procedure.
Can smoking or alcohol affect the results of a facelift?Certain lifestyle factors can increase the risk of complications during and after your surgery. These include smoking, drinking alcohol, being overweight and taking drugs (for medical or recreational use.)
Those who smoke before facelift surgery place themselves at greater risk of developing a postoperative wound infection as the constituents of tobacco smoke interfere with the natural healing processes of the body. It is strongly recommended to stop smoking at least six before facelift surgery. It is also recommended to stop alcohol usage at least one week before surgery and one week after to improve wound healing and also to facilitate a safer anaesthetic as alcohol is metabolised in the liver in common with anaesthetic drugs.
We would also recommend keeping physically active before surgery and maintaining a healthy BMI and avoiding all recreational drug use.
I have sunburn, can a facelift help get rid of that?Unfortunately sun damaged skin cannot be treated with facelifts, however, we do offer skincare treatments that can help.
What To Expect
The facelift consultation
We always recommend a face to face consultation with one of our specialist plastic surgeons as the first step in your journey towards facial rejuvenation. When you meet with one of our surgeons, your surgeon will take time to listen carefully to what you hope to achieve from the facelift procedure and give you an expert opinion on what can and cannot be achieved after performing a thorough physical examination. Your surgeon may use computerised digital imaging to map the structure of the face and neck in detail to give you an idea of what your face could look like after your procedure.
Your surgeon will also take a number of measurements as part of a detailed facial analysis. Finally, high-resolution photographs are taken in a number of views. Your surgeon will also discuss with you the potential risks and complications of facelift surgery and what to expect in the postoperative phase during your healing and recovery. It is important to know what medicines you taking as some medicines can interfere with blood clotting and may need to be stopped. Any history of medical conditions or previous surgery will also be recorded and all the compiled information is used to make a decision on your medical fitness for the facelift procedure. After a recommended two week "cool off" period and provided you are appropriate for the procedure, you can then make an informed decision on whether you would like to proceed with the facelift procedure. If you are unsure about any aspect of the facelift procedure and what it entails then we would invite you to return for as many follow-up consultations with your surgeon as you like to make sure that facelift surgery is right for you. The consultation lasts about 45 minutes on average. It may take longer if your procedure is going to be more complex or is a revision procedure. We would actively recommend coming in for a follow-up consultation to ensure all your questions are answered.
Before your facelift procedure
Once you have decided to move forward with facelift surgery. Our preoperative assessment team will be in touch to assess medical fitness prior to coming in on the day of surgery. There are a number of instructions to follow before your procedure including stopping any aspirin-containing medicines as these can increase bleeding and ideally stopping smoking. Smokers have a higher risk of slower wound healing as well as more chance of wound complications. On the day of your procedure, you must follow the preoperative fasting guidance which includes no food for 6 hours prior. Only clear fluids (water) is allowed up to 2 hours before your procedure. If you have mini facelift surgery under local anaesthetic only, there is no need to fast beforehand.
On the day of your facelift procedure
When you arrive for your facelift procedure, you should aim to arrive on time to allow the admission process to proceed smoothly. One of our nurses will formally admit you and will check a number of items including making sure you have your postoperative medications. You will have your vital signs measured including blood pressure and heart rate. The anaesthetist will then meet you to perform a preoperative airway assessment. Finally, your surgeon will consent you for the planned procedure followed by a detailed preoperative marking of the areas to be treated.
Facelift surgery takes about 2-3 hours to perform and if you choose GA, our anaesthetists use TIVA general anaesthesia to keep you comfortable throughout the procedure. Depending on the type of facelift surgery, the surgeon makes small incisions both in front of and behind the ear followed by separation of the facial skin from the underlying muscles. The SMAS layer is tightened followed by trimming of the redundant skin folds and the skin is carefully closed. This procedure is repeated on the other side also. Neck liposuction may also be performed to remove excess fat from the neck and chin. After the procedure is complete, you will spend time in our recovery suite where you will be prepared for nurse-led discharge once you have met all the discharge criteria. It is important to have a responsible adult such as a friend or family member to accompany you home and to look after you for the first 24 hours.
After the procedure
Once you are safely at home, you can be assured of having access to our specialist postoperative team round the clock. You will be given a contact number to contact your surgeon in the first 24 hours after surgery if there is any concern. Facelift surgery is associated with very little in the way of postoperative discomfort although a bruised and swollen appearance is common for the first week after surgery. Bruising should start to subside after 7-10 days. You should avoid intense sunlight after the procedure to reduce the risk of pigmentary changes. You should wear the postoperative support garment continuously for the first 2 weeks after the procedure. Our postoperative team will look to call every day for the first 2 weeks after your procedure. This is so we can monitor your levels of comfort and can alert your surgeon if there is any concern. Our proactive approach allows the detection of any potential issues early which results in more effective treatment. You are advised to rest for at least a few days after your facelift procedure which will also help with pain control. Heavy exercise should be avoided for at least the first 4 weeks. Our postoperative clinical team will assess you face to face at your 1-week post-operative appointment to ensure healing is progressing normally and the site of the wound is healthy. Your sutures will be removed if your surgeon used non-absorbable sutures. You will be booked for your surgeon follow-up appointment for 6 weeks after your procedure.