Face lift (Rhytidectomy) & Neck Lift

There are various changes that occur to our facial anatomy as we grow older that result in the visible signs of and 'ageing face'. These changes are not simply due to loosening of skin but are in fact far more complex. Our faces age due to changes in our facial skeleton and fat volumes combined with an increase in skin and tissue laxity that lead to an overall deflation and descent of the face, leading to a less defined jawline,  deeper facial folds and looseness in the cheek and neck tissues.


A face lift and neck lift procedure is designed to address these changes through an incision placed carefully along the hairline and around the borders of the ear. Skin is tightened, but more importantly the operation involves dissection and lifting of the deeper tissue planes of the face and neck to reposition the structural anatomy of these areas that have descended with time. The resultant changes are isolated to the lower half of the face, with flattening of the nasolabial groove and tightening of the jawline and neck areas.  


Your initial consultation for a face lift or neck lift will begin with a discussion regarding your goals for the operation. Be as detailed as possible and come prepared with any questions that you would like answered about the procedure. You will also have photos taken for the consultation and we will discuss the procedure in detail including what it can and cannot achieve. Dr. Ahn will explain the operative and possible complications in detail and you be required to attend a secondary consultation prior to finalising your decision to allow you to ask any further questions you may have. Many patients will choose to consider adjunct procedures to address other areas of the face such as blepharoplasty, brow lift and facial fat grafting for which you will be provided further information. 


Face lift and neck lift operations are performed in a hospital under general anaesthesia. The operation typically takes between 4-6 hours depending on the complexity of the case and it is expected that you should stay overnight in hospital.  When you wake from the procedure, you will have an external facial compression garment or bandaging around your face and neck to minimise swelling and there may be drainage tubes located behind your ears. You will be required to continue wearing a garment full time for 2 weeks and then overnight for a further 4 weeks. Your sutures will be removed at approximately 1 week post op.


All surgery carries risks and those specific to this procedure will be discussed with you during your consultation and also provided in your consent paperwork. Possible risks of a face lift and neck lift procedure include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Asymmetry
  • Numbness
  • Facial muscle paralysis
  • Injury to underlying structures
  • Ear contour changes

It is expected that you see bruising and swelling for some time and your face will feel tight and have some limitation in movement. Most patients will require 2 weeks off typical daily activities such as work and light exercise. For the first week, you are likely to require pain relief that makes you drowsy and will be unable to drive. After your 2 week review, most daily activities including a return to work are possible however you may opt to schedule some further time off until swelling improves. You will be advised to refrain from contact sports or heavy lifting for 6 weeks. 


If you are interested in a consultation for a face lift or neck lift procedure, please contact us or call 1300 008 098 for your consultation

Before and after images of a patient in her 50s at 2 months post bilateral face and neck lift (rhytidectomy), upper eyelid blepharoplasty and lower blepharoplasty procedures

Before and after images of patient in her early 40s at 6 weeks post neck lift procedure using MyEllevate percutaneous minimal access procedure