Facelift & Facial Rejuvenation Surgery

Written by Dr Jill Tomlinson on .

There are many different types of facelifts, so how do you know which type is right for you? A facelift should be tailored to your individual needs and preferences. It may involve an eyelift (upper and/or lower blepharoplasty), a browlift, fat grafting, fat removal, a malar lift, a SMAS lift, a neck lift, chin augmentation, a nose job (rhinoplasty), cheek implants, a lip lift, lowering of the hairline and resection of the corrugator (frown) muscles.

A facelift can subtly or dramatically change your appearance so it's important to ensure that you are on the same page as your surgeon about your desired outcome. It is very sensible to see more than one surgeon when considering a facelift, as each individual surgeon is likely to have their own opinion about what your face "needs" and what they can do to help you. Do you want to look like yourself, but younger? Do you have a specific area of concern - perhaps your eye area, or your jowls, or your cheeks? Are you seeking a dramatic change or a subtle change? A surgeon will be able to guide you and make recommendations about what treatments and surgery will produce the best results for you, but it is very important that you understand and agree with the surgeon's recommendations.

Non Surgical Options

There are a variety of non-surgical treatments that many people have already tried before they decide to investigate a facelift. These non-surgical treatments include injectables (botulinum toxin and dermal fillers), skin treatments (including retinol, alpha hydroxy acids, antioxidants vitamin C and E, niacinamide, tea extracts, coenzyme Q10 and grape seed extract) and chemical peels. Laser treatments can also be used to treat wrinkles, pigmentation, sunspots and visible blood vessels (telangiectasia). Great skin care is beneficial prior to facelift surgery as healthy skin not only looks better but heals better. 

Facelift Surgery: Procedural Details

Facelift surgery is performed in a hospital operating theatre under anaesthetic and requires an overnight stay. The recovery period varies according to the precise nature of the treatment performed. You should plan to take two weeks off work and you will have two post surgical reviews during this time.

You must not smoke for the three weeks before surgery or after surgery. Smoking not only ages your skin but also increases the risks of poor wound healing, wound breakdown, bad scarring and skin necrosis (skin death) with facelift surgery.

Possible complications

Possible complications of facelift surgery include bleeding (haematoma), skin necrosis, visible scarring, nerve injury with temporary or permanent numbness, nerve injury with temporary or permanent reduction or loss of facial movement, infection, earlobe deformity, facial asymmetry, contour deformities, hair loss in the area of incisions or distortion of the hairline and anaesthetic risks.

Maintaining the results of surgery

Facelift surgery can turn back the clock and make you look younger, but it does not stop the clock! To maintain the results of facial rejuvenation surgery I recommend using good quality skin care products, protecting your face from the sun and definitely no smoking. Strict avoidance of UVA and UVB dramatically reduces photoageing which is a major contributor to facial ageing in Australia.

To schedule an appointment to see Dr Tomlinson about facelift surgery please phone (03) 9427 9596. You do not need a referral from your general practitioner; facial rejuvenation surgery is not covered by Medicare or private health insurance.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.
Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.