Facelift | Rhytidectomy Surgery

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 bone reduces, the fat compartments can descend and the ligaments can stretch. Our skin collagen can atrophy (decline) and the elastin weakens, meaning the skin is less elastic. The face starts to look like an upside down triangle. We notice the nasolabial’s deepen and jowls start to form.

SMAS repair

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.

Fat transfer to Face

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.

How long does a Facelift last?

Facelift surgery lasts for 10 years before gravity and natural ageing may require revision surgery. However this revision is usually a skin tightening surgery only rather than a full Facelift.

Peels/antiwrinkle injections/ dermal filler

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 medical grade skin treatments and peels can be used to improve pigment and fine lines
  • Anti wrinkle injections 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.
Preparing for Facelift Surgery
You will need to see Dr Hadi twice. The first consult takes you through the operation as well as expected results. The second consult is at no extra cost to you and runs through things again. All risks and benefits will be discussed with you and treatment will be tailored to your needs and your body shape.

When you decide to proceed, there are a few things you can do to prepare.

  1. Eat healthily by avoid excessively fatty foods and foods high in sugar.
  2. Stop smoking as this significantly increases complications rates. You cannot smoke for 6 weeks prior and 6 weeks after surgery.
  3. Stop all blood thinners unless previously discussed with Dr Hadi. Please stop any over the counter medications that might thin the blood Please check whether any combination medications contain these ingredients. A comprehensive list will be provided during your consultation.
  4. Shower the night before or the morning of surgery with a medicated soap. These reduce the bacteria living on the skin and there is evidence it reduces chance of infection.
  5. Fast (do not eat anything) at least 6 hours prior to surgery. You will be given this time from Kareena Hospital.
How long will the operation take?
You will need to be fasted at least six hours before surgery. The operation usually takes around 4 hours and a recovery time of around two weeks. You will need to avoid heavy exercise for around one month.

The operation is performed under general anaesthetic. You will be looked after by a Specialist Anaesthetist throughout your operation. Our preferred hospital is Kareena hospital.

How long will I be in Hospital?
Surgery can be day stay or overnight depending on your preference and how you feel. If you stay overnight, Dr Hadi will see you the next day and remove the drains. If you go home, you will need to come to the Swan Clinic the following day to have these drains removed. You will be given antibiotic tablets and pain relief tablets to take home so that you can be comfortable. You will be given Dr Hadi’s number to contact her if you have any concerns or questions post operatively.
Garment after Facelift surgery?
A garment needs to be worn as much as possible for the first two weeks, then at night thereafter.
Sutures in Facelift
Sutures will need to be removed 1 week after surgery.
Facelift scar management
Post-operatively, the wounds will be dressed, with tape. Silicone gel is then applied from two weeks post-operatively, for a few weeks. Avoid sunburn as this can cause the scar to darken. When in the sun, apply sunscreen and wear a hat.
When can I shower after a Facelift?
You can shower from the next dry. The white hypafix tape can get wet, please blow dry it if needed after showering.
When can I drive after a Facelift?
You can drive when you can move your neck without pain. This generally takes a week.
When can I exercise after a Facelift?
Gentle walking is encouraged from the next day. Two weeks for gentle exercise, four weeks before returning to heavy exercise.
Best outcomes after Facelift
Your part in the operation is essential. You can help achieve the best possible outcome by:

  • Do not smoke for at least six weeks after surgery.
  • Keep the garment in place as much as possible for two weeks, then nightly for another two weeks.
  • Sleep on your back on two pillows. Try to avoid excessive neck movements.
  • Avoid heavy exercise and lifting for at least 2 weeks.
  • Avoid pain killers which contain antiplatelet agents. Please check with us prior to taking medication not prescribed by us.
  • Come back for regular review as detailed in the next section to ensure your healing is progressing at each stage.
Plastic surgery before and after photos
Due to the respect and privacy of our patients, we do not publish before and after photos on our website. However, many of our patients have graciously allowed their photos to be viewed by new patients considering the procedure. These photos are available to be viewed during the detailed consultation with Dr Hadi.
Post operative follow-ups
As a minimum, you will be seen by Dr Hadi after surgery, at one week, at six weeks and twelve months after surgery. This is so that you can have the best possible outcome.

Please call the Swan Clinic on 9526-6885 following your surgery to ensure we have booked all your follow up appointments.

As our patient at the Swan Clinic, you will be well looked after and can always count on our honesty as we always have your wellbeing in mind.

Please feel free to contact us if you have further questions.

When can I go back to work after a Facelift?
Depending on the work you do and how physically demanding it is, you will need 1-2 weeks off before return to work.