A facelift (Rhytidectomy) is an operation in which the loose muscles of the face and neck are tightened, the skin re-draped and the excess trimmed off to provide an improvement in facial contour.

It is a procedure done to give a rejuvenated appearance and is beneficial  whenever there is excessive sagging of facial and neck skin. 

A wide subcutaneous facelift is usually performed with SMAS plication (tightening of the superficial muscle system). The incision starts in the temporal hairline, progresses in a natural crease line in front of the ear, then up behind the ear hugging the earlobe and back into the hairline behind the ear. The incision behind the ear is made high up to prevent the telltale signs of a facelift. A drain is left overnight and the patient is wrapped up with bandages to prevent swelling and bruising. Although the surgical scars are permanent, the incisions are placed in natural crease lines so that they are barely discernable. The exact position of the scars will be discussed at your consultation.

It is never possible to remove all the folds of the skin nor eliminate all the wrinkles. A conservative amount of skin will be removed. Occasionally additional procedures may be done at the same time as a facelift, such as eyelid surgery, neck surgery or fat fillers. These options would all be discussed in full pre-operatively.

Additional Information

  • Duration of operation: 3 hours
  • Anaesthetic: General anaesthetic
  • Hospital stay: 1-2 nights


  • Driving: 3-5 days
  • Back to work: 1-2 weeks
  • Exercise: 4 weeks

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