Face Lift | Rhytidectomy

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.



An overnight stay at renaissance clinic is compulsory with this procedure as nursing supervision will be required in the first 24hrs.


Smoking increases the risk of complications significantly and should be stopped 4 weeks prior to and aftersurgery.


As an increase in weight after surgery will affect the result, one should be at one’s preferred ideal weightbefore proceeding with surgery.


No alcohol 48 hours before surgery.


Be well nourished, hydrated and rested before your surgery.


A script will be issued for antibiotics and pain tablets. You will need to purchase them from a chemist andbring them with you on the day of your procedure. Do not take these prior to surgery. The nursing staff willadvise you and your carer on how to administer them.

Certain over the counter products and prescription medicines can cause complications before and aftersurgery as they can reduce the ability of your blood to clot and could increase bleeding.

These include Aspirin & anti-inflammatories (Voltaren, Brufen etc) which should be avoided for 2 weeksbefore to surgery.

Avoid Omegas, Vitamin C & E & Arnica for 3 days before your operation as well as red wine.Stop all herbal medications 1 week before surgery. These include Echinacea, Ephedra, Garlic, Ginseng,Ginkgo, Kava, St. John’s Wort, and Valerian.

*(Please ask us for a more comprehensive list if required.)

Consult Dr Geldenhuys before stopping any chronic medications.

After discharge arrange to have an adult stay with you for two nights at least, and transport to the followup visits.


Report any signs of a cold or infection, either skin (boils, bites scratches etc) or dental within two weeks ofyour surgery, as these may increase the risk of surgical infection and may result in surgery being deferred.

Obtain any desired “comfort items” before surgery e.g. music, comfortable clothing, pillows, healthyprepped meals - anything that will facilitate a pleasant environment for your recovery.

Avoid sun/UV exposure for two weeks prior to surgery. Any evidence of sunburn will result in your surgerybeing cancelled.

Do not save questions for the morning of your surgery. This is a busy time for us and it should be arelaxing time for you. Please contact the office PRIOR to your surgery if you have any questions.


You should have nothing to eat or drink for 6 hours before surgery. If you need to take chronic medication during this time, do so with a sip of water.

On arrival at the clinic you will be offered a pre-med to ensure that you are relaxed & calm for the procedure. Dr. Geldenhuys & your anesthetist will see you in the ward before surgery.


  • Any current medicines and those which have been prescribed.
  • Medical Aid membership card• ID Document
  • Credit Card or other agreed means of payment
  • Toiletries if required and suitable clothing for discharge.


Medicated soap will be provided to be used on the morning of your operation.


Do not apply make-up, perfume/deodorant, nail polish or hair products after washing. Gel and acrylic nailsare to be removed before admission.


Remove all jewelry.


Wear loose, comfortable clothing and flat shoes. Front opening garments are ideal.



Keeping your head elevated as much as possible will help to reduce the postoperative swelling. If you can, sleep on two or three pillows to keep your head above the level of your heart. Minimize talking or facial expressions. Do not turn your head. Turn your whole body if you need to turn.



The bulky dressing placed at the time of surgery puts some pressure on the areas operated on and helps soak up any external drainage of normally occurring serum and blood. If the dressing is too tight or causes pain, please call us. You may be instructed to cut part way or completely through the portion of dressing under the chin. This will usually relieve the discomfort. Removing the entire dressing will not cause any problems, in the unlikely event that this seems to be necessary. We remove the bulky dressing 48 hours after the surgery. After that, there are no more dressings. You may shower and shampoo your hair the day after the drains are removed.


A tube of Bactroban antibiotic ointment will be supplied. The ointment is applied to wounds using a thin smear of the ointment. Continue use until tube is finished.


On each side of your face, a small drain will be placed under the skin and brought out through a small incision made behind your ear. These drains evacuate the fluid that accumulates after surgery and enable you to heal faster.


Small amounts of oozing and bleeding after surgery are normal. The bulky dressing may be stained and the size of the stain may enlarge after you go home – this is normal. If serious bleeding occurs, apply pressure and call us. Bleeding under the skin flaps that causes serious swelling and discomfort is very uncommon, but if it does occur, it requires attention and evaluation.


The sutures in front of your ears will be removed 4 – 6 days after surgery. If you have had an incision made under your chin, those sutures also will be removed 4 – 6 days after surgery. The staples within the hair and the sutures behind the ear are removed 9 – 12 days after surgery.


Swelling & Bruising are difficult to anticipate as this differs from person to person, but we find that with upper eyelids most settles after 2 weeks, whereas healing of the lower lids tend to take longer & bruising may last up to 6 weeks. Omnilux Light Therapy, arnica tablets and cold compresses can reduce swelling & assist in improved healing.


It is imperative that your scars be protected from the sun for a good 6 months after surgery. Use a sunscreen with a skin-protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 at all times. It should be applied before your makeup. You may begin applying makeup 2 days after your sutures are removed. An appointment will be made several weeks prior to surgery (preferably at least 6 weeks) for a skin consultation and advice on pre operative skin treatments. We provide this service to help you maximize the benefits of your “new look.”


You may be required to wear TED stockings for compression to prevent DVT (blood clotting) post-operatively. If required these will be fitted at the hospital on your admission day. The nursing staff will advise you on how long you need to wear these for.


Take your pain relief and anti-biotic medication as directed. Any medication you ceased prior to surgery must not be taken after your surgery until you are completely healed or as directed by your physician.


After a face lift, most patients experience a temporary change in the texture and manageability of their hair. Your hair is reacting to the “shock” of surgery and will recover naturally within 6 weeks. If you colour or perm your hair, plan to have it done at least a week before surgery or wait until 6 weeks afterwards for the best results. Your hair will be a little “lifeless” during that period of time. Males can shave carefully with an electric shaver after one week


48 hours after surgery or 24 hours after the drains have been removed, you may wash your hair. You may prefer to have your hairdresser wash it for you. In either case, a hair dryer, if used at all, should be kept on the lowest heat setting, as your scalp may be partially numb.


Numbness & tightness in your face & neck, this resolves as healing progresses over the next 3-6 months. Bruising and swelling is variable. Both subside over 2-3 weeks.


  • No exercise or other exertion activity for three weeks / until cleared by us.
  • No driving for about a week.
  • No flying for about ten days.
  • No ear rings for two weeks.
  • No direct sun exposure for four weeks – use protective hat SPF 50.
  • No facial manipulation for four weeks (facials, peels, etc).
  • No dental work for four weeks (unless there is an emergency).
  • No hair coloring or perms for four weeks.


  1. A temperature greater than 37’C
  2. Excessive bleeding from the incision.
  3. A sudden increase in pain, or swelling around the incision site or the surrounding area.
  4. Any questions you may have regarding your care.