Dr. Alexandra Turner Plastic Surgeon MBBS BSc FRACS MED00001125632

Plastic Surgery Adelaide - eyelid surgery face lift neck ear pinning

Facelift (rhytidectomy)

A facelift, technically known as a rhytidectomy, is a procedure that corrects the effects of the ageing process on the face. Excess skin is removed, volume in the face is restored, and the remaining saggy skin is tightened, revitalising the appearance of the patient. The ultimate goal is to create a natural, refreshing, and long-lasting result.

Reasons to have a facelift

The signs of ageing appear readily on the face. Daily pressures and worries, sun exposure, and gravity result in the emergence of jowls, marionette lines around the mouth, fat deposits under the chin, and significant loss of skin elasticity in the face and neck. 

A facelift can improve cheek volume, lift the corners of the mouth if they were down-turning, reduce deep creases and folds around the nose and mouth, and eliminate the slackening of the jaw and resultant jowls, serving to define the chin and the jawline. The facial skin is smoothed overall, and its radiance is improved, lifting a previously tired appearance. Sometimes patients require a neck lift in conjunction with this procedure which can all be done through the facelift incisions.

Facelift surgery procedure

We understand that having a rhytidectomy is a major decision. At our initial meeting, we will conduct a detailed assessment of your face and neck. We will take the time to talk through the concerns you have about your appearance and what goals you wish to achieve to determine if this is the right procedure for you.

Modern facelift techniques mean that patients no longer live with the unnatural, stretched, obviously-operated-on look of bygone eras, with obvious scarring on the face. 

During a standard full facelift procedure, incisions are made in front of the ears, extending behind the ear and into the hairline on the side of the head. Excess skin is removed, the connective tissues and muscles in the face and neck are tightened, and the skin is lifted and repositioned. An additional incision may be made under the chin if excess fatty tissue in the neck needs to be removed and the neck muscle smoothed. 

During our discussion, we will share with you our recommendations for the best facelift techniques to achieve your optimal outcome based on the complexity of your procedure. We will ensure you fully understand the procedure that will be conducted during your surgery, as well as your steps for recovery, any risks and possible complications.

Facelift surgery recovery

This procedure is conducted under general anaesthetic with an overnight stay in hospital. Recovery typically takes about three to four weeks, and patients usually heal as expected. Most patients report that there is minimal pain after surgery, but discomfort is common in association with swelling, bruising, and tightening of the skin and tissues. 

A compressive head dressing is worn for the first week post-surgery. Stitches are removed in the fortnight following the procedure.

Mild residual swelling may persist for three months, with the results of the procedure fully evident six to nine months post-surgery. Scars in the skin and the hairline fade with time and can be veiled with make-up in the interim. 

Make an appointment with Dr Turner’s office to start the discussion about facelift surgery and if this is the right procedure to assist you.


Read further information about facelift surgery on the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons' website here

To watch a video on the facelift procedure please click below.