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An ageing face is something that can slowly start to present itself from as young as our twenties. Collagen and elasticity levels begin to deplete, muscles weaken, and skin loosens. Skin laxity accentuates the visibility of lines and wrinkles, jowls, excess skin above and below the eyelids, drooping mouth corners, hollowing under the eyes, and crepiness.
A facelift is a surgical operation that involves lifting, repositioning and elevating the skin, muscles and soft tissues to a more youthful position. The approach to performing a facelift varies from patient to patient but usually addresses lower facial sagging and jowls, to tighten the lower neck and jawline.
Take your time considering a Facelift
It’s important that you thoroughly research the procedure and choose the right surgeon for your operation. This is not a procedure you should rush into. We recommend you take the time to make a careful decision after fully understanding the risks and benefits associated.
Mini Facelift from £7,150
The mini facelift is suited to those looking for a subtle rejuvenation and may be experiencing the early onset of ageing such as jowls, deepening of lines, and loss of volume and elasticity within the skin.
- The mini facelift leaves a significantly smaller scar line than a full facelift; we eliminate scarring by placing it in the crease behind the ear and the hairline
- Minimal downtime – approximately two weeks
- Results are natural-looking, lasting from 2-8 years *Varying from person to person
- Performed under local anaesthetic
This approach to a facelift addresses sagging in the lower face and neck region. The ‘y’ shape starts along the end of the jawline where it meets the ear, with the tail extending down the neck.
It provides more contour and definition to the area, providing a natural and rejuvenated look. The incision is disguised in the fold of the ear and behind the ear.
What does the procedure involve?
The approach to the procedure will vary depending on your individual aesthetic goals.
A facelift is an outpatient procedure performed under general anaesthesia. In essence, we administer a local anaesthetic for less extensive cases such as a mini facelift.
Generally, the operation aims to lift the skin by separating it from the fat and muscle below. The surgeon will tighten the underlying SMAS muscle and membrane, hoisting and trimming the excess skin. If the operation involves addressing neckbands, an incision is under the chin, and the muscles may be tied together to smooth their appearance. Depending on the method adopted, the surgeon may staple the incision, and use non-dissolvable sutures to close the incision around the ears. The stitches and clips are removed within two weeks after surgery, depending on how you are recovering.
Occasionally, a small tube may be temporarily placed under the skin behind your ear following the surgery to avoid the risk of blood pooling in the area. Your head will be wrapped in bandages immediately after surgery to minimise bruising and swelling for 24 hours.
A facelift is often combined with minimally invasive submental Liposuction around the neck and chin to improve the contour of the jawline. In other instances, a facelift might be combined with a fat transfer to restore volume to the facial contours, or a brow lift and blepharoplasty to address ageing around the eyes.
A mini facelift minimises scarring and dissection, concealing the incision site as much as possible. Usually, incisions are placed within the hairline or behind the earlobes, and the soft tissues (and occasionally muscle) and the surgeon lifts and trims the excess sagging skin. Dissolvable sutures secure the skin in place. As the incisions are much shorter, the results of a mini-lift are much less dramatic.
When can results be seen and are they permanent?
Taking care of your skin in the lead up to the operation with a skincare regime, a healthy lifestyle, and treatments will see better results and the procedure will be less extensive.
We may recommend a course of skin treatments to optimise your results before, alongside or after your facelift. The treatment course might include a combination of skin peels, dermapen, and skin tightening treatments like ultrasound, radiofrequency and lasers, and the use of light therapy such as Celluma before and after your operation. The better condition your skin is in, the better your overall results will be.
The outcome of facelift depends on several variables. Results typically peak at around 12-18 months.
Gravity, ageing, and other external and lifestyle forces will play a pivotal role in how long your facelift lasts. Results for a mini facelift are at their best for around eight years after the operation, whereas, a traditional facelift will preserve the skin for approximately ten years. Over the years, a patient who has had a facelift will still experience weakening of the muscles and skin laxity and may wish to repeat the operation.
How long is the recovery?
Most patients return to work between 1-2 weeks after the operation. Swelling, bruising and numbness after a traditional facelift typically last for 6-8 weeks which will subside gradually. Significant swelling should subside within 10-14 days. Numbness may take 4-6 weeks to resolve. Overall recovery usually takes around two weeks, and vigorous activity can resume after four weeks. Sutures are removed about 5 to 10 days after surgery.
A mini facelift may bring some discomfort, redness, swelling, and bruising. Overall downtime is around one week.
We will provide you with aftercare instructions following your procedure. However, general recommendations and aftercare advice include trying to keep the head elevated and as still as possible for a couple of days after surgery.
How long does the procedure take?
A traditional facelift takes approximately three hours. The procedure duration will vary depending on the approach and severity of the operation.
A mini facelift takes around 1 hour.
Will there be scarring?
Both a mini facelift and traditional facelift will involve scarring.
The incisions and scarring vary depending on the case. They're usually inconspicuously made around the ear, concealed within their natural folds. They often begin just above the hairline at the temples, extending in a natural line from the front of the ear just inside the cartilage and continuing behind the earlobe to the lower scalp.
The use of Kelo-cote is recommended for three months to help minimise scarring. We also advocate the use of our Y Theorem Repair Serum by our skincare brand 111SKIN – the product contains healing ingredients proven to reduce the appearance of scarring. Our light therapy system Celluma can also reduce scars.
How do I decide between non-surgical intervention and surgical facelift methods?
Radiofrequency laser treatments combined with conservative use of Botox and fillers, can preserve the quality of the skin to ward off skin laxity and improve structure and support. However, those who haven't treated their skin, and want to rectify the damage may require surgery.
While we advocate many non-surgical approaches such as the soft thread lift, the 8-point liquid facelift and laser treatments that all provide excellent results for addressing volume loss, and softening the appearance of mild jowls, nasolabial folds, and marionette lines, surgical intervention will always yield the best and most permanent outcome for extensive facial sagging. A traditional facelift can address problems such as sagging neck skin and platysmal vertical neck bands, where non-surgical methods aren't successful with these concerns.
A consultation will help determine which course of action would be most suited to your needs. Here, we will take your age, skin damage and quality, volume loss, the elasticity of the skin, lifestyle factors, any pre-existing facial asymmetries and your mental health into consideration.
Am I a suitable candidate for a facelift?
Many people have the misconception that facelifts should be reserved for your sixties and beyond. However, many patients can benefit from a facelift as young as their thirties and as old as their eighties. It's important to remember that a facelift does not stop, reverse or slow down ageing. Performing a second and third facelift later on in life is a possibility. Still, it does become more difficult with each subsequent procedure due to the build-up of scar tissue and the inevitable loss of elasticity within the skin.
A facelift works by lifting the skin to smooth its appearance, but will not address or prevent external forces from affecting the skin's elasticity, bone loss, and muscle weakening. It also cannot prevent wrinkles and lines from forming or address other age-related concerns such as pigmentation. Understanding what a facelift can and cannot do for you will help shape your expectations for the operation. It's essential to set realistic goals and work with your surgeon to achieve these.
The ideal candidate will be someone who has good elasticity but is starting to see the signs of ageing with sagging that may be resistant to non-surgical measures. These ageing factors might include (but is not limited to): neck banding, fat accumulation around the neck, loss of jawline structure and deep lines around the mouth. They will achieve the best results when they have treated their skin in the years leading up to their procedure, as collagen and elasticity will be enhanced.
What is the best age to have a facelift?
There is no 'best age' to have a facelift, as skin problems and skin quality depend on a variety of contributing factors and external forces. The best time to consider a facelift would be when these issues are starting to affect your self-esteem, and you've exhausted non-surgical alternatives. Inevitably, the older you are, the less successful the operation will be. Nonetheless, it can still make noticeable improvements.
A small thin tube will be temporarily placed under the skin behind your ear to drain any blood that may collect there. Your head will be wrapped straight after surgery to minimise bruising and swelling.
You should try to keep your head elevated and as still as possible for a couple of days after surgery. We remove your bandages after two to five days. The stitches and clips then follow within the first week to fourteen days after surgery depending on how you are healing.
You should only consider surgeons who have the highest levels of surgical training and expertise. While a facelift cannot delay the signs of ageing, it can give you a more youthful, well-rested appearance. If you don’t feel ready for surgery yet, you can learn more about our non-surgical face tightening treatments here.
Browse our ‘Before & After’ pictures below
Facelift Surgery Disclaimer
BEFORE & AFTER photos are NOT guarantees that your results will be the same or even similar: your results will likely vary significantly — because you are a unique person. Results also vary depending on a number of factors such as: genetics, lifestyle, bone structure, facial and body proportions, and rate of recovery. Our Plastic Surgeons take great pride in their patient care ethics, precise surgical measurements, custom planning & their advanced surgical techniques.