Facelift | rhytidectomy

A facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, is an operation used to reverse the signs of ageing. At The Swan Clinic, we aim to given natural results and to avoid the overdone look. As we get older, our facial skeletal structure changes. The fat compartments can descent and the ligaments can stretch. Our skin collagen can atrophy (decline) and the elastin weakens, meaning the skin is less elastic.


The rhytidectomy or facelift restores these structures to their rightful place. It is more than a skin operation. Tightening the skin is part of the operation, but repairing the SMAS (Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System) layer of the face is what gives the operation its long-term results. The operation can be combined with a neck lift.


Once the muscle layer is repaired, fat can be infused into appropriate area to restore cheek volume. Fat can also be placed in the nasolabial and marionette areas (lip cheek junction) as needed. Liposuction can also be performed to selected areas to sculpt the chin, jaw and neck area. These adjustments of volume can fine tune and give a superior result.


At The Swan Clinic, we think of the facelift or rhytidectomy as a journey. Things to prepare for this include not smoking, eating a healthy diet and stopping any medications which may thin the blood if possible. Non-surgical treatments to prepare for facelift (rhytidectomy) include:


  • A course of skin treatments can be used to improve pigment and fine lines if needed
  • Botox to the upper third of the face if needed
  • 1mL of filler around the mouth to start to erase the fine lines around the mouth as this area is not directly addressed with a facelift or rhytidectomy procedure.


The facelift (rhytidectomy) is a 4-hour operation used to carefully sculp the face and restore tissues to their rightful place. The incisions are hidden within the hairline and ear. Care is taken to avoid the overdone look and to give natural, long lasting results. The surgery can be performed as day surgery or as overnight stay. Drains and bandaging are placed and are usually removed the next day. A neck garment may be necessary for 2 weeks post operatively