About Rhytidoplasty

rhytidoplasty 01 updatedThis is a procedure that rejuvenates the ageing face.

Facial ageing can be attributed to one or a combination of factors such as sagging of skin, loss of facial volume and changes in skin quality.

Each of these components requires evaluation and correction where necessary. This may include one or more of the following 4 basic approaches - ‘the 4R’s’:

  • Re-positioning (lifting) and removal of sagging facial skin
  • Re-filling or replacement of facial volume (such as fat injections or fillers)
  • Relaxation of key muscles which cause wrinkles (surgically or non-surgically)
  • Resurfacing of the skin

A radiant complexion is a feature of youthful skin. Diet, exercise, sun protection, cessation of smoking, basic daily skin care and skin rejuvenation therapies; Topical vitamin A / Percutaneous collagen induction-‘needling’/ Peels / IPL / Lasers / Fraxel etc. play a pivotal role in addressing skin tone, thickness, pigmentation and fine lines.

Facelift – this procedure specifically includes:

  • Elevation of sagging facial (cheek/naso-labial folds and jowls) and neck skin.
  • Repositioning descended facial fat, particularly the malar/cheek fat pads.
  • Elevating and repositioning the facial & neck muscles – SMAS lift (which are commonly responsible for the loose folds of skin under the chin.)

Length of procedure:

Approximately four hours.


Usually performed under deep intravenous sedation with local anaesthetic but patients may elect for general anesthesia.

Possible side Effects:

Bruising and swelling – may last up to 3 weeks. Numbness and tenderness of the skin. The skin may feel tight and dry. Male facelifts, reposition beard-growing skin behind the ears. Either laser hair removal or regular shaving behind ears will be required.


As with any surgical procedure, infection, bleeding and delayed wound healing can occur. Fortunately however these uncommon complications are unlikely to have any negative impact on the final cosmetic outcome. Injury to the facial nerve that controls facial muscles movement can occur (This is usually temporary but in rare cases may be permanent) The incision site generally fades over a few months leaving a virtually imperceptible scar. Rarely abnormal scarring may result. This may include hypertrophic or keloid scars, stretched or pigmented scars. In some cases a scar revision may be required.


Patient may return to work after approximately 2 weeks. Post-operative evaluation of your recovery will determine how soon after surgery you may return to your normal activities. Bruising should begin to disappear after a week and settle between the 3rd and 4th weeks. Sun exposure must be completely avoided after surgery. Sun-creams and broad rim hats should be used for at least 6 months following surgery.


The natural ageing process will continue and therefore a facelift cannot be expected to last indefinitely. Most facelifts can be expected to maintain optimum appearance for between five to ten years. My patients often enquire - what will happen after this time? Although your appearance will change you will continue to look younger than had you not had a facelift.

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