Do you look in the mirror and wish you could turn back the clock? If you are concerned about a saggy neck, drooping jowls, gaunt cheeks and too many wrinkles, a solution is facelift surgery to reverse the structural changes of ageing. Dr Taylor’s approach is to address the concerns from the top down, lifting the sagging areas, injecting fat into the hollow areas and tightening the wrinkly areas.

In my years of experience, wanting a little operation compared to a more comprehensive one never works out, after all, you don’t paint one wall, you paint the entire house otherwise everything looks worse.  It takes a while to do this, and to recover from, but in my practice our philosophy it is to do it once and do it well, the end result is a fresher, younger version of yourself that will last for years not months.

Dr Alastair Taylor FRACS

Tell me about...

  • What is involved in a facelift?
  • What can I expect from a facelift?
  • What is fat grafting?

What is involved in a facelift?

A facelift, also known as meloplasty or rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that tightens and removes sagging skin on the face and neck. Facial muscles may be surgically tightened to improve their tone. Excess fat may also be removed or repositioned as part of the surgery. Facelifts are often performed on people aged between 40 and 65, but older people can also have facelifts.

Dr Taylor incorporates a mid-facelift with the lower facelift to elevate the cheek pad, shorten the lower eyelid and improve the jowls. This surgery restores deep facial structure to a more youthful position, the skin is also tightened and the result is a general freshening of the face.

It’s great to hear my patients say that no one has noticed they had an operation, they just look so well. I think it is important patients still look like themselves after a face lift, only younger and fresher.

Facelifts specifically address the neck and jowl regions of the face. It is important to note eyes and brows are not improved by the facelift procedure. Facelifts are often performed in conjunction with a brow lift and blepharoplasty.

 

What can I expect from a facelift?

No matter how well prepared you are, you may still feel a shock when you look in the mirror after your surgery! Facial surgery produces significant bruising, swelling and distortion of the face. Your cheeks will swell extensively, your eyes become red and swollen, you have sutures around your ears going up to the back of your neck – and possibly staples in your hair line.

Your wounds will extend around the back of the head and up in front of the ears. You will have sutures and staples in place in front of and behind your ears. You may have sutures through your upper and lower eyelids taped at each end.

Facial surgery recovery is generally not too painful and can be well managed with pain relief. Sutures come out on day five and once this occurs the tightness seems settle quite quickly. Sleeping elevated and the use of cold packs can be an effective method of reducing swelling but really it is just time that works.

The facelift takes 5 hours or more hours under general anaesthetic and requires an overnight stay. You will require 2 weeks off work and up to 6 weeks before returning to normal activity.

In our experience, patients who follow the recommended post operative program will, after six weeks, be fully recovered, healed, feel great, and love the new you that has been achieved with your facelift surgery.

What is fat grafting?

Fat grafting is a procedure that uses gentle liposuction to extract fat from one area of the body and transfer it to another by injecting it. This is done to improve contours by adding volume and reshaping specific areas of the body or face. This procedure is most commonly used for face and cheek enhancements, filling hollow lower eyelids, and areas that have lost volume due to ageing.

Essential Information

Before Surgery

Call the Clinic

Book an Appointment with Dr Taylor

Consultation

Meet with Dr Taylor and Patient Co-ordinator

Booking Surgery

Arrange Surgery and Presurgery Appointments

Pre-surgery Appointment

Meet with Dr Taylor's Nurses regarding your hospital admission

Admission to Hospital

Surgery performed under General Anaesthetic Overnight Stay

After Surgery

1 Week Suture Removal

Appointment with Dr Taylor and his nurses, Return to Driving

3 Weeks

Return to Work, Walking

4 Weeks

Light Exercise

6 Weeks

Appointment with Dr Taylor Resume Normal Activities

6 Months

Final Post-op Appointment with Dr Taylor

I am not a ‘quick fix’ surgeon I believe the commitment a patient makes to surgery should ensure long lasting and natural look resulting in a more youthful looking you.

Dr Alastair Taylor

Want to Know More?

Your facelift surgery will be performed at our private hospital, Sole’vita Surgery, a licensed medical hospital accredited under the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards. Sole’ vita Surgery is part of The CAPS Clinic, with all services conveniently based in the one location in Deakin, Canberra.

Our facilities include modern surgical theatres, sterilisation services and recovery areas. Our overnight rooms feature flexible privacy glass-panelling and a personal ensuite.

All of the Sole’ vita team are fully qualified and registered medical personnel, with no more than 5 patients staying at once, our patient-to-nursing-care ratio is the best in Australia.

We believe in providing an overnight stay after your facelift surgery, so that you can take your time to rest and recover.  This allows us to ensure your pain relief and any postoperative nausea is well controlled before being discharged.

Dr Alastair Taylor (MBBS, FRACS) is a highly qualified, leading plastic surgeon with over 20 years experience in plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery, including breast, body, and facial rejuvenation surgery. Dr Taylor qualified as a Specialist Plastic Surgeon in 1998. He holds a Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS). Learn more about Dr Taylor.

Dr Taylor leads a dedicated team of qualified health care professionals, including anaesthetic staff and nurses, who work in the Sole’vita Surgery private hospital. His team have built a reputation for quality and are committed to achieving results for our clients whilst providing personalised care, with your safety, privacy and comfort at the forefront of all work.

If you are not ready to commit to facelift surgery, you may consider non-surgical options offered at our My Genesis Clinic, including:

Titan Laser treatments bridge the gap between non-surgical rejuvenation and facial surgery, to improve the appearance of aged skin.

Injectables, such as filler and anti-wrinkle cosmetic injections, can banish wrinkles and loss of volume to achieve a refreshed, more youthful appearance.

Chemical skin peels, microdermabrasion and LaseMD (fractionated laser) treatments can nourish, repair and rebuild the structures of your skin, as they trigger activity of your collagen and elastin making factories to reduce the signs of ageing.

Depending on how much surgery is needed, generally, these procedures are considered cosmetic and do not attract any Medicare, health fund or tax rebates.

Fees include Dr Taylors surgeon fee, Anaesthetist fee, Theatre and the Overnight Stay in Hospital costs:

  • Upper Face – Brow and Eyes starting from $10,000
  • Lower Face – Jowls and Neck starting from $16,000

To receive a formal quote you are required to have a consultation with Dr Taylor. The quote for the cost of your surgery is valid for 3 months. Some fees may not be included in this quote, including medications, pathology, physiotherapy and costs arising from any complications. Further information will be provided to you during your consultation.

Dr Taylor’s fee includes:

  • All pre and post operative care for up to 6 months
  • Access to our 24 hours support line
  • Pre-surgery appointment with Dr Taylor’s nurse
  • Pre-surgery kit (information, vitamins, herbal products, surgical bag)
  • Post Surgical Kit (information, products to aid recovery)
  • Scar Management Program

ANY SURGICAL OR INVASIVE PROCEDURE CARRIES RISKS. BEFORE PROCEEDING, YOU SHOULD SEEK A SECOND OPINION FROM AN APPROPRIATELY QUALIFIED HEALTH PRACTITIONER (EG. YOUR GP).

Dr Taylor will discuss the general and specific risks during your consultation, where you can ask questions and discuss any concerns you may have. Is it important that you have enough information to weigh up the benefits, risks and limitations of your surgery. You will also be provided with more information to take home and read, and discuss with your family or loved ones.

Risks specifically associated with rhinoplasty surgery may include:

  • Bleeding can occur during and after the operation. Dr Taylor takes appropriate measures taken to reduce bleeding where possible during the surgery. Any ooze after the operation is controlled by the drains and compressive head bandage.
  • Wound infection is uncommon in facial surgery. Antibiotics are administered during the operation to prevent this as much as possible, and wound care instructions provided before your discharge.
  • Deformity of the earlobe as the ear can occasionally be pulled forward during a facelift operation producing a forward projecting earlobe. Extra skin is left in the region of the earlobe and this can produce an unusual appearance but it settles within days.
  • Hair loss as a small amount of hair is shaved around the sideburn and behind the ear. This grows back over a few weeks. It is not more than 1cm in width and can almost always be hidden post operatively. Hair loss around the scars is rare as minimal tension is employed inside the hairline. These scars rarely seem to widen to result in hair styling problems.
  • Numbness of the cheek and ear Sensation gradually returns over several months, and is rarely permanent. Sensory regeneration seems to happen on an individual timetable and is difficult to predict. The cheeks feel quite tight following the procedure. Jaw opening feels strange and it sometimes feels as if the mid face is in a vice. These sensations settle down by about six to eight weeks as swelling leaves the deeper mobilisation of the face.
  • Asymmetry There are often slight differences between the right and left sides of the face during the healing phase. This usually settles down by about six to eight weeks, but increased swelling on one side is not unusual. It is rarely severe and, by the time visible bruising settles in at about three weeks, it is rarely enough to cause comment.
  • Facial nerve damage, though, this is unusual with facelift. Liposuction of the jowl region may cause fine mouth asymmetry for 2-3 weeks after the operation as the muscle is damaged. The other area at risk is the brow, with weakness of eyebrow raising. This usually returns after a couple of months.
  • Revisional surgery may be necessary to correct complications

Some general risks and complications of surgery may include:

  • Risks associated with general anaesthesia, including nausea. Anti-nausea medication will be administered during the operation, and as required during your recovery. Your anaesthetist will discuss specific risks related to anaesthesia with you further.
  • Pain, bruising and swelling around the incisions and operated site(s). Pain relief will be administered and steps taken to reduce bruising and swelling, including how you can manage this yourself.
  • Heavy bleeding from an operated site. In the unlikely event that blood loss during surgery has been large, a transfusion may be needed. Steps are taken during your procedure to limit bleeding. You may also be asked to reduce or stop certain medications leading up to your surgery.
  • Infection that may require treatment with antibiotics or further surgery in some cases. Antibiotics are administered during the operation to prevent this as much as possible, and wound care instructions provided before your discharge.
  • Allergic reaction to sutures, dressings, antiseptic solutions, or medications. Please notify Dr Taylor and the nursing staff of any known allergies that you may have.
  • The formation of a large blood clot, or haematoma, an accumulation of blood around the surgical site that may require drainage. It is rare that a clot can move to the lungs and become life threatening.
  • Keloids and hypertrophic scars that are raised, red and thickened scars that may form over the healed incisions. These may be itchy, annoying and unsightly but are not a threat to health.
  • Slow healing (often related to smoking or diabetes), separation of wound edges or areas of skin that do not heal and may require a skin graft.
  • Numbness around operated sites. While numbness typically subsides slowly over several months, some numbness may be permanent.

To help you prepare for your surgery and enhance your recovery, we offer you a pre-surgery program to start 4 to 6 weeks prior to your surgery. This includes taking a multivitamin to aid recovery and get you back on your feet faster.  We also recommend an effective herbal medication to reduce the bruising and swelling associated with your surgery. You will also need to stop certain medications leading up to your surgery and we recommend ceasing smoking six weeks prior.

Planning for your surgery and your recovery in advance is vital. Understanding what you can and cannot do will ensure you are not put in a position where you put yourself or the success of your surgery at risk.  All this will depend on your personal situation.  Dr Taylor insists you refrain from any major or minor physical duties and take two weeks off work. You will be provided with a discreet medical certificate to accommodate any time required off work.

On discharge from Sole’vita Surgery we recommend:

  • You have someone drive you home.
  • You have someone with you for the first day at home.
  • Do not drive a car for five days postoperatively.
  • Ensure you can rest for two weeks, getting as much sleep as possible.
  • Do not undertake activities including physical exercise, contact sport or sexual activities for six weeks post surgery. The face tends to swell fairly easily on straining and excessive exertion is not recommended.
  • Do not leave Canberra prior to staples or sutures being removed.
  • Do not fly internationally during the six week postoperative period.

After your operation, you will have a large compression head bandage in place, and possibly drains, which stay in overnight.

You will stay overnight in our Sole’vita Surgery private hospital. Dr Taylor will check on your recovery the next day, and remove the dressings and the drains from behind the ears. Our nursing staff will assist with your discharge, including wound care and management of your dressings, prescriptions for medications, and follow up appointments.

Bruising and swelling from the surgery is to be expected, and there will be discomfort. Taking regular oral pain medication can assist you to be more comfortable, and steps are taken to reduce bruising and swelling.

Swelling and bruising can be minimized by resting, keeping the head elevated at all times (use extra pillows when resting/sleeping, don’t bend down even for short periods such as tying shoe laces) and using cold compresses as instructed.

You are encouraged to take 2 weeks off work and plan not to be back to normal routine and activity for at least 6 weeks.

Five days after your surgery, you will come to Sole’vita Surgery to have your sutures removed and your wounds checked by one of our nurses.

You will have follow up appointments with Dr Taylor at both the 6 week and 6 month stage of your journey.

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