The Facts About Face Lifts

A facelift or a rhytidectomy is a cosmetic procedure to lift the skin around your face and neck to make the skin tighter and smoother, while also giving a more youthful appearance. The procedure is expensive and is not completely risk free, so if you are thinking about having a facelift, consult your GP and be 100% sure that you want to have it done. The aim of the procedure is to reduce saggy skin around the lower half of the face.

The best age to undergo a facelift is between 45 to 50 years old so the sooner you address signs of ageing, the better the outcome will be - and the results will last longer.


In the UK, you can expect to pay a few thousand for a mini lift and around £10,000 for a full-face lift. This varies depending on the clinic you visit for the procedure and your own individual requirements.

What does it involve?

There are different types of facelifts and they are usually performed under general anesthetic, although local anesthetic and sedation can be used. According to The McIndoe Centre, who provides this treatment, the procedure generally involves:

- Making incisions above the hairline at the temples that extend down in front of your ear, underneath your earlobe and behind the ear

- Cutting under the chin if the jawline is also being lifted

- Removing the excess facial skin

- Pulling the remaining skin backwards and upwards before stitching it into its new position

- Sometimes redistributing facial fat and tissue or add this to the face

- Bandaging the face to minimise bruising and swelling

The procedure typically takes between 2-3 hours and patients are recommended to stay overnight in the hospital.


The recovery time for a facelift is usually around 2 to 4 weeks. However, you can expect to wait between 6 to 9 months before you can see the full results of the lift. Bruising is common for the first two weeks and your stiches are usually removed after the first week, unless dissolvable stitches have been used.

Side effects

Patients who have had a facelift commonly suffer from:

- A puffy face with stiffness and numbness

- Bruising

- Scars (although they do fade in time)

- A raised hairline

What are the risks?

Having a facelift done can result in certain problems, including:

- A hematoma (collection of blood) under the skin

- Nerve damage

- Asymmetrical facial features

- Hair loss, particularly around the scarring

- Obvious scarring

It is important to note that all operations carry the risk of:

- Excessive blood loss

- Blood clots

- Infections

- Allergic reactions

The surgeon will explain these possible risks and what to do if any of them should happen.

If you are unsatisfied with your results

The first step you should take if the procedure goes wrong or you are unsatisfied with the results is to talk with the surgeon who performed the operation and the clinic they work for. They will be able to help you with any pain or unexpected symptoms, as well as working out the correct way to go regarding unsatisfied patients.

Remember, facelifts are a serious operation, make sure to consult your GP or doctor before having any work done.

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