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What is Facelift Surgery?

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What is a Facelift?

Facelift surgery is clinically known as Rhytidectomy. It’s a cosmetic procedure that helps patients achieve a more youthful appearance. The main aim of the surgery is to improve the overall appearance of the face and improve signs of ageing and stress. The natural ageing process can cause thinning of the facial skin, loss of volume, wrinkles and sagging skin. Facelift surgery helps patients overcome all these conditions and more. It can eliminate deep laugh lines, jowls and double chins.

Why do you Need a Facelift?

Dietary and lifestyle changes may alter your appearance to a certain degree, but they can’t reverse the signs of ageing and rejuvenate the face. A facelift gives you the opportunity to create a more aesthetically appealing face. Whether you’ve inherited certain conditions or acquired them because of stress and exposure to the elements, you can count on a facelift to achieve a beautiful and natural-looking face.

What Does a Facelift Do?

  • It restores your skin’s naturally vibrant appearance
  • Lifts and firms sagging skin on the face and neck area
  • Smooths deep folds in the skin
  • Removes excess sagging skin
  • Helps you look much healthier, younger and energetic
  • Brings back your self-confidence by taking away tell-tale signs of ageing and stress

See Dr Zoumaras’ before and after gallery.

What Does a Facelift Include?

People commonly use the word facelift when referring to eyelid surgery, chin surgery, cheek surgery and a brow lift. Facelift surgery, however, targets the skin and the muscles around the cheeks and the jawline.

It’s not uncommon, however, for patients to undergo a brow lift or an eyelid surgery together with a facelift. These surgeries are treated as separate procedures because surgeons use different techniques to address different areas of the face and the neck. However, the doctor can perform two or more procedures in one single operation so patients can save time and achieve results much faster. All procedures are customised to suit the patient’s unique requirements.

Types of Facelifts

There are two types of facelifts available – mini-facelift and standard facelift. These are also called short scar or conventional facelifts.

At Artiste Plastic Surgery this is further divided into Bronze, Silver (Mini-Facelifts) and Gold, Platinum (Conventional Facelifts) packages.

The Artiste Facelift menu is discussed here:


A mini-facelift is performed on patients who have wrinkles and sagging skin on the lower third of the face. It’s ideal for those who want to restore their youthful appearance without undergoing any invasive form of surgery. It can reverse the signs of ageing caused by hormonal changes or bad genes and leave you looking refreshed and confident. It deftly tightens any loose or sagging skin around the cheek and jawline and makes your chin area look more defined.

Standard Facelift

A standard facelift targets areas around the cheeks, jowls, neck and corners of the mouth. It addresses moderate to advanced ageing on the lower two-thirds of the face. Since it’s a more extensive procedure than a mini-facelift, recovery time is also longer. A standard facelift is ideal for those who need to tighten muscles on the face and neck, adjust facial volume and reposition tissues. It delivers dramatic and long-lasting results.

Are you a Candidate for a Facelift?

A facelift is a skin tightening procedure. Therefore, your skin needs to have a certain degree of elasticity to it, so that it can be ideally stretched and repositioned during the procedure. If the skin retains some amount of flexibility, it will more easily conform to its new contours.

Candidates also need a good underlying bone structure that would support the new changes. Patients who choose to undergo this procedure must be in good health overall, so they recover quickly and don’t suffer from any complications.

How is a Mini Facelift Performed?

Mini and standard facelifts are performed differently. Unlike a standard facelift, a mini facelift is not as invasive. To perform this procedure, the surgeon will first numb the treatment site with a local anaesthetic and sedate the patient if required. The surgeon will then make fine incisions right next to the ear lobe or in the natural creases surrounding the ear. To get the desired results, the surgeon will lift and reposition the skin and suture the incisions together. The results are outstanding. The patient’s jawline will look more defined, and the treated area will be free from unsightly creases and other signs of ageing.

What Happens During a Standard Facelift Procedure?

To perform a standard facelift, the surgeon will make incisions near the hairline, the ears and the temples. Excess skin will also be removed to smoothen out creases, get rid of jowls as well as sagging skin under the chin. All incisions are camouflaged in the natural creases of the skin. For men, the incisions are made around the beard line.

After making the incisions, the surgeon tightens the underlying muscles and connective tissues. The skin is then repositioned and sutured together. It’s sometimes held in place with metal clips. A standard facelift procedure gives patients the opportunity to reduce unwanted fat deposits and contour facial muscles. A highly skilled and experienced surgeon can drastically improve a patient’s looks and reverse the signs of ageing. The main aim is to reposition deeper facial tissues and give the skin a tighter and smoother look.

There are many methods used to perform a facelift surgery. If the procedure is highly invasive, it’s carried out at a hospital. Patients are encouraged to talk to Dr Jack Zoumaras to find out which technique is best suited to their facial anatomy and goals.

Is there Anything that Could Improve the Outcome?

A neck lift is often combined with a facelift to contour and sculpt the neck to a youthful appearance, this has the effect of producing a dramatic result to the overall appearance of the face and neck.

There are a few other procedures, such as implants and fillers, which could enhance the outcome of a standard facelift surgery. Facial implants and injectable fillers can do wonders for your skin. The implants can augment the physical structure of the face and add volume to areas that appear recessed or flat. Injectable fillers smooth out wrinkles or tiny pits on the skin. When performed in conjunction with a facelift surgery, facial implants and fillers deliver excellent results.

When Should I Get a Facelift?

People age at a different rate. While some people might need a mini-lift in their late 30s or 40s others may require a standard lift in their 60s or 70s. There’s no such thing as the ‘perfect’ age to have a facelift. If you’re concerned about the physical appearance of your facial skin and muscles, discuss your concerns with a skilled surgeon to find out if you’re an ideal candidate for facelift surgery.

You will also need to schedule time away from your daily activities, to recover from the procedure and keep up with follow-up consultations. Apart from age, you will need to consider many other factors before deciding whether or not to undergo the procedure. Make sure you think about your genetic heritage and lifestyle habits before proceeding with the surgery. If you’ve already undergone cosmetic facial surgeries, discuss them with the surgeon to find out whether it’s safe to go ahead with a facelift. The best time to undergo the procedure is when you’re both mentally and physically prepared for it.

What Should I Expect After a Facelift?

Most patients experience some degree of pain after the procedure. The surgeon will prescribe medication to help you cope with the discomfort and swelling. The swelling and bruising lasts for a few days. The surgeon may dress the affected area before discharging you.

Since the surgery is performed on the face, you can’t cover the treated area, but you will be able to camouflage the scars using makeup after two weeks. It’s best to take time away from work and other responsibilities so that you can recover quickly.

Facelift Recovery Time and Tips

The initial recovery phase lasts from 7 to 14 days, depending on how severe the swelling or bruising is. The redness along the incision lines may take up to 4 months to disappear. The treated site will also feel tender to the touch for 3-4 weeks.

Some patients may feel numb for a few months, but this is only temporary. It’s entirely normal to look and even feel strange right after the surgery, but as the treatment site starts healing and the symptoms disappear, you will appreciate the outcome of the surgery. Most patients return to work after three weeks and even start exercising after four weeks.

Recovery Dos and Don’ts:

  • Don’t plan to return to work for at least three weeks.
  • Do use cold compresses to ease the swelling if the surgeon instructs you to do so.
  • Do keep your head in an elevated position when you’re resting.
  • Don’t engage in any stressful or vigorous activities until you heal.
  • Don’t lift anything heavy.
  • Do remember to visit the surgeon for your follow-up consultations. Your dressing and sutures may be removed during these consultations.
  • Do talk to the surgeon if you feel unwell or see signs of bleeding during the recovery stage.

Important Considerations

Once you’ve gone through the initial recovery stage make sure you stay out of direct sunlight so your scars heal properly. It’s important to wear a sun hat and use sunscreen regularly. Since you will feel slightly groggy after the procedure, arrange for someone to take you home and assist you for the first 48 hours.

How Much Does a Facelift Cost?

The cost of a mini facelift differs from the cost of a standard facelift. Patients who are undergoing the procedure at the hospital may have to pay a different price from those undergoing a minimally invasive procedure at the surgeon’s clinic.

Many factors determine the final price. If you need other surgical procedures like a brow lift or a fat transfer, you will incur additional costs. While it’s important to consider the total cost of the procedures, you must also concentrate on finding an experienced surgeon. A trained surgeon will be able to restore your youthful appearance and give you a natural-looking face.

Does Private Health Insurance Cover the Cost of a Facelift?

Whether or not your facelift will be covered by insurance depends on your health insurance provider. Some health funds cover the cost of reconstructive plastic surgeries, especially if the surgeries are considered a medical requirement. You can work with Dr Jack Zoumaras to find out the total cost of the surgery.

To recover a portion of the consultation fees from Medicare, ask your GP to give you a relevant referral letter for a consultation with Dr Zoumaras.

What is the Outcome of the Procedure?

Once the treated area is completely healed, your face will look well contoured and defined. You’ll be free from facial flaws and premature signs of ageing. The surgery can shave years off and help you look your best.

The results will last you for many years, but you too must do your part by maintaining your weight and protecting your skin from getting an overdose of sunlight.

Years after the surgery is performed, the skin will continue to experience many changes. This is unavoidable. But with a healthy lifestyle, you should be able to reap the rewards of the surgery for several years.

How Soon Will Patients See Final Results?

Since a standard facelift is an invasive procedure, patients might have to wait at least six months to see the total benefits of the surgery. The swelling should disappear completely by this time, but it’s not uncommon to find patients waiting nearly 12 months to see the final results.

Do Patients Need a Second Surgery?

In most cases, a single surgery should address most of the issues present. A second surgery is rarely necessary. If your appearance changes drastically over the years, you will have to talk to the surgeon about undergoing another facelift. A second facelift might leave you with an unnatural look which is why you might want to consider using minimally invasive procedures to alter your appearance.

How Can I Make the Results Last Longer?

Make the right dietary choices and maintain a healthy lifestyle to avoid sudden weight gains/losses.
Adopt an excellent skin care regimen to keep the skin on your face area healthy.
Protect your skin from the sun to prevent ageing.

Thinking about transforming your looks with a professional facelift? Contact Dr Zoumaras’ practice at 02 8320 4051 for more information.

Disclaimer: At Artiste Plastic Surgery, our Plastic Surgeons led by Dr Jack Zoumaras have been trained to the highest possible degree. All surgery has risks and it is always advised to get a second opinion. Risks are very real and we cannot guarantee any result. Results are illustrated as a guide only. All risks are managed and any need for revision surgery or complications (1-5%) can be managed by our specialist plastic surgeons.

Any statements on how you will feel is based on Level V Evidence:

Level V:  How you will feel after plastic surgery varies between individuals, depending on psychological and physical factors. Our internal research is based on how patients in our practice feel after surgery.

The blogs are not a substitute for a medical consultation and do not form as part of the doctor to patient relationship.


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Artiste Plastic Surgery is an Award Winning Specialist Plastic Surgery practice led by internationally trained Dr. Jack Zoumaras, Plastic Surgeon and Peer Reviewed Face Surgeon

Artiste offers the latest Cosmetic Surgical Procedures of the Face, Breast and Body, inspired from leading centres around the world.


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