A facelift (upper rhytidectomy) or neck lift (lower rhytidectomy) tightens the skin and the tissue in the lower part of the face from the cheeks extending down to the neck, smoothing out smile lines and tightening jowls to reverse the effects of weight loss, sun damage and ageing.
Although the face includes the forehead, eyelids, cheeks, nose, and jawline, a facelift procedure generally refers to changing the area between the lower eyelids down to the jawline and back towards the ears. There are other procedures such as a brow lift or eyelid surgery that can be performed alone or in conjunction with facelift surgery.
Similarly, a neck lift primarily addresses the loose skin and fat that can develop at the front of the neck underneath the chin.
Non-surgical options to treat the surface quality of the skin including shallow or deep lines and pigmentation could also be considered either in combination with facelift surgery or as an alternative to areas that would not reliably be changed with facelift surgery.
A facelift and/or neck lift will remove excess pockets of fat and skin that you feel may be contributing to an aged or undesirable appearance, refreshing and restoring the tightness and smoothness of the face for natural-looking results.
At Avery, we welcome the opportunity to have an open conversation with you to understand the changes you are looking for with surgery. Our patients’ stories matter a great deal to us. You can discover some of our wonderful patients’ journeys here.
Wherever you are on your personal journey, we would like to assist you. Dr Avery will listen to your concerns and what you want to achieve with surgery. Dr Avery will assess your health and medical history to ensure any surgical procedure you are considering is a safe and appropriate choice for you.
A facelift and a neck lift generally have different goals, addressing specific areas of concern. There is an overlap between facelift and neck lift surgery, and some combination of these two procedures are often performed together to remove loose skin around the lower half of the face and underneath the jaw. The incisions made during the surgery will vary depending on the desired degree of the lift.
A full face and neck lift will require an incision generally along the hairline that begins at the temple and extends around the front of the ear, finishing at the base of the scalp.
A limited incision facelift technique begins in the middle of the ear and extends around behind the earlobe.
A neck lift incision will begin in front of the lower half of the ear and extend down to the base of the scalp. Liposuction to remove excess fat in the front of the neck may be considered as part of the neck lift procedure.
Once the incision has been made, excess tissue and muscle underneath the skin may be removed or repositioned. The skin is then pulled back slightly tighter than it was, over the uplifted contours and trimmed before the incision is closed with sutures.
All of our face and neck lift procedures take place in an accredited hospital under general anaesthesia, with appropriately trained support staff. An uncomplicated face and neck lift generally takes 3-4 hours, most patients will stay one night in the hospital.
There are two main pathways to a consultation with a Specialist Plastic Surgeon. Your GP or another health practitioner can make a referral to Dr Avery. Alternatively, it is possible to refer yourself for a consultation. This decision may be made after talking with family or friends or following your own research into plastic surgery and Dr Avery.
The purpose of your initial consultation with Dr Avery is to discuss both your concerns and your goals. It is an opportunity to openly communicate what you want to change, alleviate, improve, restore, enhance, or remove. We will discuss any concerns you may have about your potential surgery and its outcome. We will also collect information that is specific and tailored to you, to add to the knowledge you acquired through your research outside of the consultation process.
When you arrive at Avery, you will check in with our front-desk team and complete a medical history form, if not already completed. We encourage you to bring a supportive family member or friend who can remain with you throughout the consultation if you like, and be a sounding board during your decision-making process following the consultation.
The consultation with Dr Avery will include an examination of the area of your body that you are concerned with and considering changing. Our aim will be to determine if plastic surgery can achieve what you hope it will, and if so, what specific plastic surgery procedures will address your concerns and meet your expectations in a realistic way.
Plastic surgery procedures generally impact both physical appearance and your psychological response to the new changes in your body. Besides all the advantages of having plastic surgery, it is important to be fully aware of any potential limitations of the operation and how they apply to your unique situation. This includes possible complications and what can be done if these occur.
We will discuss what the surgery involves, how it relates to you specifically given your uniqueness and current state of health, what the possible risks of the surgery are, and then decide if having the surgery is a safe and appropriate choice for you as an individual.
After your consultation, our support team will be there to talk through any further questions you have, including the cost of the surgery.
At Avery, our goal is to ensure you are equipped with the knowledge needed for you to feel empowered throughout the decision-making process, surgery and post-surgery.
An overnight stay in hospital may be required post-surgery to aid with your recovery. Depending on the complexity of the surgery and any additional procedures, up to 2-3 weeks off work may also be recommended.
There will be some bruising and swelling, which generally subsides about 3 weeks after the operation. Dressings or supportive bandages and garments are individualized following your surgery to provide support and reduce post-operative pain or swelling.
A customised pain relief program will be created for you and issued before you leave the hospital. If circumstances change at any stage during the recovery period, pain medication can be adjusted accordingly.
The financial aspects of your surgery are as important as the medical elements when planning for surgery. At Avery, the surgeries we offer fall into three different financial categories: Self-funded – aesthetic surgery; self-funded – plastic and reconstructive surgery; and health insured – plastic and reconstructive surgery.
To make sense of these three financial categories, we have created a detailed price guide to help you understand what may or may not be covered by your health insurer/Medicare and your out of pocket expenses.
For more information or to book a consultation, please contact our team on 02 4002 4150.
Face and Neck Lift FAQs
Wherever an incision is made there will be a scar. The goal of most aesthetic plastic surgery procedures is to create natural results with scars as inconspicuous as possible.
Face and neck lift scars are placed around the ear and along or within the hairline so that when they heal they are as well-hidden and as unnoticeable as possible. It can take many months for the scars to completely mature and fade during this time you will be advised on how to best care for your scars to optimise their appearance.
Yes, it is possible to perform other procedures such as a brow lift or upper eyelid surgery at the time of facelift or neck lift surgery. In your consultation with Dr Avery, you can talk about the results you are after and if you wish to target another area.
By elevating and tightening the face, the wrinkles on the cheeks will be a little more stretched flat, but it will not affect anything in the chin and upper lip area. A facelift or neck lift will generally not eliminate all wrinkles.
The first two to three weeks your skin will look pulled because of the swelling. After the swelling goes down, your skin will relax and it should settle into a more natural look.
You will experience some numbness after a facelift or neck lift. This will generally be located along the scars, and for some distance, onto the cheeks and ears close to the scars. With time the areas of numbness should reduce in size and any permanent areas should be small and generally not produce any long-term problems.
The swelling will start settling after the first week but it might take up to three weeks for the swelling to go down. You can resume normal physical activity after four weeks. You will experience some numbness and muscle stiffness for some time. Scars can take up to one year to fade and tone down.
Age is not an indicator for a face or neck lift. If the appearance of your face and/or neck area bothers you, then we recommend booking a consultation. Dr Avery can talk through whether surgery is an appropriate option for you at this point, or whether it is better to wait.
Pain following surgery will vary depending on the extent of surgery. Pain immediately after surgery may be reduced by the use of local anaesthetic at the surgical site given during the surgery. The pain will also be managed with tablets or injections as required. Physical measures such as the dressings and for some surgeries supportive garments, as well as limited movement and possibly ice packs will all help minimise any pain. Pain is usually well tolerated within a few days after surgery with all these measures. If your pain is increasing following surgery this is usually a sign that you may need a review to ensure your recovery is proceeding as expected.
Dressings and in some cases surgical garments will offer support to the wounds and the areas of your body that are still recovering. You will be also be advised to restrict excessive movement of the surgical area in the first two weeks after surgery. A good general rule throughout your recovery is if an increase in movement or activity does not increase any discomfort or swelling, then it is probably safe and this gradual progression back to ‘normal’ will be encouraged.
Dr Avery only operates at accredited hospitals Lingard Private Hospital and Charlestown Private Hospital. This is to ensure your operation takes place in an environment governed by the guiding principle of safety to ensure your surgical experience is the best it can be.
Please allow an hour for your time with Avery. This will include meeting with Dr Avery and the Avery care team.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. Dr Avery is a member of the two leading professional associations for plastic surgeons in Australia, ASAPS and ASPS. Their websites provide additional information regarding plastic surgery in Australia that you might find useful, please visit ASAPS and ASPS.