A facelift is a cosmetic surgical procedure to reduce signs of aging of the face and neck. Face and neck lift is the most efficient method for reversing the effects of aging and gravity in the mid and lower face. A facelift removes excess skin and repositions fat and muscles, which elevates the cheeks and mid-face, reduces the jowls and provides a cleaner and more defined jawline. Dr. Merten provides highly customised face-lifts to achieve natural, impressive and long-lasting facial rejuvenation.
Areas of the face and neck, in particular around the jaw line, are especially prone to the aging process. Though these changes are gradual, wrinkles and other signs of aging can make individuals “feel older” than they really are.
A facelift is beneficial for those who have:
- Sagging skin, muscles, and fat in the face and neck
- Excess skin and fat on the neck
- Redistributed fat pockets around the face
- Good general health and non-smoker
- Desire for longer term results
- Realistic expectations about results that can be achieved
Full Face Lift
The most comprehensive facelift addresses all areas of the face, from the forehead down to the neck. This will provide the most dramatic results, as well as the most long-lasting results of all the various facelift options. Dr Merten recommends this comprehensive approach for most patients who desire comprehensive facial rejuvenation.
Facial Fat Grafting
Facial fat grafting is often done as a complimentary treatment during facial surgery, although may be also done as a stand-alone procedure if suitable. It is also sometimes known as “lipo-structure”.
Facial fat grafting aims at restoring lost facial volume, by using your own fat, which is collected by gentle liposuction from an area of fat excess on your body, then carefully prepared and injected (“grafted”) into areas of deficiency. The results from this may be permanent, and this may be appealing for patients who want a more long-lasting outcome than can be achieved from our soft-tissue fillers. When used in combination with our other surgical facial rejuvenation surgery, the results can be dramatically rejuvenating.
This is suited to those with limited amount of excess or sagging skin. Here underlying facial tissue is repositioned to provide a more youthful contour. This is common for women in their 40s or younger, to correct early signs of ageing and reduce the rate at which the lower part of the face ages in the future. This also corrects early jowl formation.
Mid Face Lift
As the name suggests, a mid-face lift focuses on the middle portion of the face. The skin of the neck is not touched and the procedure focuses on the lower eyelids, cheeks and nasolabial region. This technique is especially suited to younger patents with minimal ageing in the neck area.
This technique reduces excess skin and banded appearance of the neck area. This procedure is also known as “platysmaplasty”. In this procedure the neck muscle is removed, tightened and/or realigned, helping to tighten the neck area.
How can this procedure help me?
A facelift or necklift can reduce the visible signs of ageing on your face. If you have wrinkles and sagging skin, this procedure can eliminate these issues.
Benefits of face lift include:
- Firmer, tighter, and fresher facial appearance
- Improved facial contours
- Improved confidence and self esteem
The Consultation Process: What to Expect
During the consultation, Dr. Merten will ask you a variety of questions covering everything from your current health situation to details about the physical outcomes you desire. Be prepared to talk about current medications, allergies and any past or current medical treatments.
Dr. Merten will complete an evaluation of your needs and based on your history and examination, your best options for face lift are determined.
You will also discuss the recovery process and any potential complications that could arise. At any time, you are encouraged to ask any questions that you may have.
Your second consultation will further deal with your operation choices and reiterate the possible problems and complications with reference to your specific case.
The Procedure: What Does it Involve?
Dr. Merten performs the facelift procedure under general anaesthesia, with a one-night stay in hospital. Incisions are made behind the hairline and may extend around the head, depending upon the extent of the lift required. During the procedure, Dr. Merten lifts the excess tissue, muscle and skin to reposition and suture into place. The incision is made in front of the ear, inside the ear, and then extends behind the ear by the earlobe. The skin, fat, and muscle are separated, lifted and then re-draped to a more youthful-appearing position. Finally, care is taken in suturing the incision. This is done to minimize the scar, rendering it virtually invisible after the initial healing period.
Dr. Merten performs the most modern techniques in face lifting, called the “SMAS flap” technique, which involve lifting the underlying muscle and fat pads of the face instead of just skin. This surgery is more extensive than the older “skin lifts” and has the advantage of providing a less “pulled” and more natural look with longer lasting effects.
Facelift surgery is now often combined with facial fat grafting, to give a more dramatic rejuvenation outcome.
Are there other options?
Depending on how drastic you want the change and permanent or temporary results will determine whether a facelift is appropriate for you. If you only require subtle, and shorter lasting results, Cosmetic Injectables may be suitable for you. A consultation with Dr. Merten will help you to make an informed decision on the right choice for you that meets your expectations.
Will I need to be hospitalised for the procedure?
Yes, a facelift is performed in hospital, under general anaesthetic, and take between three to six hours. You will remain in hospital overnight. All surgeries are performed in fully accredited facilities ensuring your safety.
What is recovery like?
Advancements in anaesthesia over recent years has meant more comfort for patients – less pain with minimal post operative sedation and nausea and a quick recovery to “feeling normal.” The anaesthetists in our team are highly skilled and experienced in modern techniques and devoted to keeping you comfortable.
Recovery time will vary depending on the type of facelift you have undergone. You will have dressings around your cheeks and neck. Additionally, your cheeks and neck will be wrapped with a bandage that compresses the area. In some cases, a drainage tube will be required for 1-2 days after your operation.
You can expect that your face and neck will be swollen, and this can last for a few weeks. In general, stitches come out around 7-10 days. Most patients return to work after about 2 weeks and are asked to refrain from strenuous activities for 4weeks.
Will this procedure leave scars?
Dr. Merten carefully plans his surgery so it will leave minimal scarring. The incisions are well hidden in your hairline or skins natural folds and will also gradually fade over time.
Results: What and When?
You can expect for the new appearance to emerge after a few months once all swelling has subsided, with results starting to become apparent after 2-3 weeks, with a good idea of expected results after 3 months. Results can last up to and over 10 years and will vary from person to person depending on lifestyle factors and your own inherent ageing process.
When can I resume day-to-day activities?
Most patients return to work after about 2 weeks and are asked to refrain from strenuous activities for 4 weeks.
What complications can arise from the procedure?
As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications. These include:
- bruising, bleeding, haematoma formation
- anaesthetic problems, such as deep vein thrombosis
Risks and complications specific to Face Lift include:
- hair loss around scars
- skin necrosis
- facial asymmetry
- facial nerve damage
- alterted facial sensation
The potential risks and complications of the surgery will be discussed with you in detail at your preoperative consultations.
Can I combine a Facelift with other procedures?
At what age should I consider a facelift?
There is no specific age to undergo a facelift. Facial changes become noticeable after the age of 30, when collagen production slows, reducing in facial volume loss and increase in visible wrinkles. What is more important is that you are In good health to undergo the procedure, as well have the requirements for a facelift.
What else should I consider before having this surgery?
As with all facial plastic surgery, good health and realistic expectations are prerequisites. The goal of the facelift is to improve the overall facial appearance.
You may also want to consider your planning for the healing period. Will you need help or assistance from others? Also if you do encounter complications, it is a good idea to understand how they are typically handled so that you are fully prepared.
Do you have any more questions?
Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions that you might have about this procedure. Our team will be happy to address any concerns that you may have.
Before & After
To respect the privacy of our patients, facelift and necklift “before and after” cases can be seen in our office during your consultation. We do not show these photos on our website.