Facelift (Full / Mini)

As part of the natural ageing process, the production of collagen – the substance that gives structural support to the skin – declines. In combination with gravity and gradual weakening of supportive tissues, this causes the skin and underlying muscles and healthy fatty fullness to slowly shift downward in placement while losing firmness and elasticity.

There are a few options that can help minimise the toll that ageing can take on your lower face and neck:

Facelift: Tightens the underlying SMAS (muscle) layer to improve skin laxity from cheekbones to jawline.

Mini Face LiftUses shorter incisions and requires less skin removal for a less invasive surgery and a more subtle level of correction. 

Adjunctive Procedures: In the strict sense, a Facelift does not specifically address the chin, lips, mid-face, upper and lower eyelids, nose, cheeks, forehead/brow, skin or hairline. The supplementary procedures for treating these areas include skin resurfacing, fat transfer, injectable fillers and many other options that can be reviewed during your consultation.

During your consultation for a Facelift, we will discuss your options with you, as well as offer advice on the procedure or combination of procedures that will best help you meet your cosmetic goals. 

To prepare for surgery, Dr. med. Strouthou will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery run more smoothly.

For smokers, it is especially important to stop at least two to three weeks before and after surgery; smoking inhibits blood flow to the skin and can interfere with the healing of your incision areas. Even with stopping smoking before the procedure you may be at increased risk for complications.

Whether your Facelift is being done on an outpatient or inpatient basis, you should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery and to help you out for a day or two if needed.

Facelift surgery usually takes around several hours in theatre, it would be carried out under general anaesthesia and usually requires a 1-2 night stay in hospital.

Traditional Facelift Technique

A traditional Facelift incision often begins in the hairline at the temples before continuing around the ear and ending in the lower scalp. During the procedure, fat may be sculpted or redistributed from the face, jowls, and neck. Underlying tissue, including the muscles, may also be repositioned or lifted. Skin is red-raped over the uplifted contours and excess skin is trimmed away. A second incision under the chin may be necessary to further improve an ageing neck. Sutures or skin adhesives close the incisions.

Limited Incision

Not all signs of ageing require comprehensive Facelift incisions. Sagging jowls, loose neck skin and fat accumulation under the chin may be corrected with a Neck Lift. The Neck Lift incision often begins in front of the ear lobe and wraps around behind the ear ending in the lower scalp. Neck Lifts can also be a valuable corrective surgery option for patients who have had a previous Facelift completed but who are starting to show symptoms of ageing below the chin.

Regardless of the Facelift technique chosen, all options provide discreet incision points. Once healed, the incision lines from a Facelift are well concealed within the hairline and in the natural contours of the face and ear.

The actual surgical technique we use will vary depending on your specific needs. Typically, any of the above options will include some degree of muscle repair and skin tightening, followed by the excision of any excess tissue.

As with any surgery, there are potential risks and complications to be aware of. The most common risks are numbness, bruising and swelling particularly around the ear where the scars are located. There are also some more uncommon complications which include Infection, haematoma, seroma, skin necrosis and nerve damage.

After the procedure, you will be wrapped in a light bandage and may or may not have a drain tube. The tube is usually removed the next day when the bandages are removed. Sutures or staples in the hair may be removed between a week to 10 days.

The Facelift recovery process may require several weeks to complete, and it often varies based on the patient. Patients may experience any of the following symptoms during this period:

  • Bruising that lasts one to two weeks.
  • Swelling that lasts one to three weeks.
  • Secondary healing that occurs after initial swelling dissipates and may take up to six months to complete.
  • Ear numbness that lasts about eight weeks.
  • Tightness in the face that lasts six to eight weeks.
  • Smile or facial muscle weakness in the first two days.
  • Return to work and everyday activities within 10 to 14 days.
  • Return to a regular exercise routine after about three weeks.

When can I return to work after a Facelift?

Most people go back to work within 10-14 days.

How long before I can exercise after a Facelift?

We ask that you refrain from strenuous exercise or heavy lifting for about 4 weeks.

Can I sleep lying down right after a Facelift?

Yes, but please sleep on your back for 2 weeks and elevate your head for at least the first week. You might find that it’s more comfortable to sleep upright for a couple of nights.

Will I be able to see the results of my Facelift right away?

For the most part, yes, but there may be some residual swelling for a few months that prevent you from seeing the final result right away. This swelling will not be noticeable to others however.