What is Facelift Surgery?

What is Facelift Surgery?

Answer : a surgical procedure which addresses ageing of the lower face.

Details : Facelift surgery is performed to regain youthful contours of the face and neckline.

  • We all understand that our face comprises our brow, eyelids, cheeks,
    nose, and chin, right?
  • So one would imagine that facelift surgery addresses all, or most of
    these components.
  • WRONG – for whatever reason a “Facelift” addresses only jowling
    (or sagging skin) of the cheeks and jawline, and the removal of loose skin and/ or fat in neck.

Brow and eyelid surgery are quite separate surgeries, though they are often performed at the same operation.

How do I know if I need a facelift?

You will dislike the contours your:

  • Cheek
  • Jawline
  • Neckline
  • Generally these areas are sagging and you have loose skin or jowling.

Is there an alternative to Facelift surgery?

  • Basically “No”.
  • The only thing that can fix excess or sagging skin is surgery
  • No skin tightening treatments, anti-wrinkle treatment, filler or any other treatment can fix facial jowling or loose skin of the neck.

I just need a Necklift, I don’t need a facelift.

  • We hear this all the time, but in most instances the person needs a facelift to give the result they want to achieve.
  • Unless you are completely happy with the contours of your jawline and it is truly just your neck that is the problem – in this case a necklift (which is the lower 1/3 of the facelift) can be performed.
  • If there is any sagging of the jawline, a facelift is required.
  • If in this instance we were to do surgery on the neck only , you would be very unhappy with the results of our surgery and we are in the business of making people very happy with their appearance!

What is a Temporal facelift?

  • If you have jowling of the cheek, but your jawline and neck are fine, a temporal facelift may be recommended for you.
  • Generally the main concern for these clients is a heavy marionette line , which is the line that runs from the side of your nose down beside your mouth, and a loss of volume or “flat” looking cheeks.
  • A temporal facelift is the top 1/3 of the facelift
  • It does not address the jawline or the neck at all.
  • It is generally younger women that are suitable for a temporal facelift
  • A temporal facelift cannot take the place of a full facelift if that is what you require. If you need a full cup of milk for a favourite recipe, a half a cup just does not work.

How is a facelift performed?

  • Facelift is a surgical procedure.
  • The surgery is performed in a hospital and under general anaesthetic.
  • Incisions are generally hidden in your hairline and in the creases in front and behind your ears.
  • The skin of the face is dissected down to the marionette line – the crease that runs from your nose down the side of your mouth.
  • The underlying tough fibrous tissue (SMAS) is then either lifted and sewn into a position infero-laterally (upwards and backwards ), or plicated (folded and sutured into the new position) .
  • It is the sagging of this tough fibrous tissue that has caused the need for facelift. The overlying skin, being elastic, simply stretches over the sagging tissues.
  • The lifting and repositioning of this SMAS later provides the structure for a more youthful cheek and jawline.
  • The skin is simply draped back and any excess removed.
  • We do NOT pull tight on the skin. This results in the “windswept” and obviously facelifted look.
  • Only excess skin is removed and the skin is stitched into position.
  • If you have a problem of excess skin or fat in your neck, this will be addressed at this time
  • Any excess fat in the neck will be removed using liposuction.
  • Hanging bands often described as a “turkey neck” are a result of the edges of the main muscle running across each side of the neck hanging loose at the edges.
  • This muscle is called “platysma” and the edges of this may be plicated (sewn together) to give a more defined neckline.
  • The skin of the neck is draped back over your new lifted contours, any excess is removed and the skin is sewn into position.
  • This is a simplified version of a very delicate procedure.
  • Your surgeon is operating around the facial nerve (which is responsible for moving your face when you brain tells it to) and it takes a skilled and experienced surgeon to work confidently to give you a great result whilst preserving the facial nerve.
  • Any damage to this nerve can result in permanent disfigurement. You really want to make sure that you have a specialist plastic surgeon doing your facelift!

How do you choose a good Facelift surgeon?

  • Experience is everything when it comes to surgery in general, but this is your face – you can’t hide it, or put it in the cupboard because you made a bad decision and you’re not happy with the results.
  • Research, and know what to look for!
  • It sounds basic, but make sure your surgeon is actually a qualified surgeon. If they do not have the letters FRACS behind their name – they are not.
  • As well as checking if they are a qualified surgeon – you want them to be a specialist in this field, not a General Surgeon whose specialty is removing gallbladders and bowel surgery.
  • After the letters FRACS will be the abbreviation of the field the surgeon has specialised in.
  • A plastic and reconstructive surgeon is a cosmetic surgery specialist (see information on our website about how the specialty of plastic surgery came about) .
  • You should look for the following after the doctors name to know you are in the right hands: MBBS. FRACS. (Plast. Recon. Surg.)
  • Once you know you have a specialist plastic surgeon, look on the internet for before and after photos and talk to people. Word of mouth is the best referral of a good surgeon.
  • Be wary of anyone with just one or two before and after photos, you would hope they have done a lot more than that.
  • On that note however, many men and women do not want their facial surgery photos published. So you may well see less facelift photos on a website than other surgeries before and after photos.
  • Talk to your GP. They generally have some idea of the local plastic surgeons work.
  • You must also feel comfortable with surgeon and his support team.
  • Once you have an appointment, assess the interactions you have had with staff. Are they familiar with facelift surgery? You would certainly hope they are very familiar and conversant with the subject.
  • Ask how many facelift procedures the surgeon performs annually.
  • The bottom line is that you do not want the cheapest version when it comes to surgery on your body, and definitely not when it is your face.!
  • This is the time to choose the very best specialist plastic surgeon.

When should I get a facelift, or how old should I be to get a facelift?

  • There is no magic age or number and this decision is quite different for everyone.
  • We all get to a stage where we are not 100% happy with how our face is ageing, but when do we make the decision to have surgery?
  • Some people believe that they should wait until they are really saggy before embarking on facelift surgery.
  • If you choose this course of action you will get a very dramatic result, but so dramatic that it will be obvious that you have had surgery. This is not a problem for most people these days, but it is something to consider.
  • Age is no boundary to facelift surgery. As long as you are fit and healthy there is no reason that you cannot undergo cosmetic facial surgery . We perform facelift surgery on people from 40 – 80 year old.
  • If you are not wanting a really dramatic result, and are instead wanting a subtle change, you should consider facial surgery at a stage when your contours are starting to sag.
  • Of course there is a fine line between doing it early and not getting enough results to make the downtime and costs worthwhile.
  • This as we said, is very individual, but everyone does want to look different, and you must expect this.
  • If your results are so minimal that no one notices, you will feel you have been taken for a ride, but it is probably because you didn’t have enough of a problem to start with.
  • Have open and honest conversations with your surgeon. If he doesn’t believe that you are ready for a facelift, he will tell you, and this will be the reason.
  • Seek the advice of your specialist plastic surgeon and his team if you are unhappy with your appearance.

Do many people have facelift surgery?

You would be very surprised at the number of women and men that see us for Facelift surgery!
These days cosmetic surgery is a lot less stigmatised and people don’t care what others think.

“60 is the new 40“ is a real phenomenon. We don’t feel or act old at 50 or 60 , and we don’t want to look old!

Baby Boomers have embraced surgery as part of life and facelift is at the forefront of procedures Baby Boomers are requesting.

How long is the recovery after facelift surgery?

  • The days of bandages for weeks, massive bruising and hiding away for a month after facelift surgery are long gone.
  • Facelift surgery has come a long way and anaesthetics are a lot more sophisticated than they used to be. All of this and some supplementation and preparation as recommended by Dr McGovern and his team, help to reduce your downtime to as little as one week, but generally two weeks out of the public eye.
  • You will have a lightweight lycra face garment that is worn from the day of surgery (a Wednesday or Thursday) until we see you for your first postoperative visit the following Tuesday.
  • You will be required to take it easy in this first week.
  • Everyone is different but most people feel pretty good on their first day following surgery.
  • Obviously, you will be swollen in this first week.
  • We give you Curcumin, a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory to help minimise swelling after surgery.
  • By reducing the swelling, we also reduce any pain that may be associated.
    Of course, everyone’s pain threshold is different, but this is generally not a painful procedure.
  • Most facelift clients take 2 weeks off work etc following facelift surgery, three if they are in a job that is very physical.
  • Bruising is minimal under the expert care of Dr McGovern and his team. See below our list of things to do and avoid to minimise bruising.

Vie Institute’s List of 6 Must-Do’s for Minimising Bruising

  1. Avoid ingesting large quantities of ginger or garlic for 10 days before and after surgery as these thin the blood and may cause excessive bruising.
  2. Similarly avoid any blood thinning medication before and in the first week after surgery.
  3. Start taking Arnica as a preventative measure the night prior to your surgery. We give you an Arnica spray before any facial surgical procedure, to ensure your bruising is minimised
  4. Ice packs should be applied frequently in the first 48 hours. Have one in the freezer and one over your brow area- not the area that has been operated on. Cover with a clean cloth to avoid burning your skin.
  5. Prop yourself up in bed with pillows or elevate the head of your bed on some blocks. Keeping your head elevated as much as possible and avoiding lying flat in the first couple of days will prevent bruising from occurring.
  6. Do not bend or lift or do anything physically active or that may raise your blood pressure in the first few days following surgery.

The above is just a teaser really on Facelift Surgery.
We understand there are as many questions as there are people to ask them, and we are very happy to spend time with you.

These days consultations are on the phone as we are trying to reduce face to face interaction with COVID-19 restrictions and safety measures.

Feel free to call us on 54792922 or 18000 80001 if you have any questions regarding your appearance or facelift surgery. Each of our 3-nursing staff have worked with Dr McGovern for more than 20 years and spent time with him in the operating theatre. They can answer any questions you may have.

We look forward to helping you ……