“If you have never seen joy in a beautiful face, you have never seen joy at all.” Friedrich Schiller

A facelift, technically known as rhyidectomy is a cosmetic procedure designed to correct signs of ageing by repositioning the support structures of the face and then re-draping the skin to a natural, more youthful appearance.

A facelift is now a sophisticated procedure which can be tailored to individual needs. For most patients, it will produce a significant rejuvenation and improvement in facial appearance for many years without appearing operated or overly tight.


Length of surgery3-4 hours
AnaesthesiaGeneral anaesthetic
Hospital stay1 night stay
Risks/complications of surgery

Frequent: Bruising, swelling, temporary numbness

Infrequent: Infection 1-2%, unsightly scarring, asymmetry, bleeding (haematoma 2-5%), permanent numbness, facial nerve injury, temporary hair loss, ear numbness due to greater auricular nerve injury


5 – 14 days until socialising with close friends and family
2 weeks until return to work and normal social engagements with make up
3-4 weeks until swelling disappears
6 weeks until return to gym and other strenuous activities
3-6 months until final result – scars continue to improve over the next 12 months.

Driving2-3 weeks
Sleeping positionSleep on your back if possible with 3-4 pillows for the first 7-10 nights
Follow up1 week, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months
Duration of results5-10 years



Any plastic surgery procedure is a very personal choice and understandably there are a number of questions that arise. This information sheet is a general guide for patients considering facelift under the care of Dr Mackenzie. It should provide the answers to some questions that you may have.

Facelift introduction

Not all people age the same way, and this is especially true of the way different people’s faces age. In some, the forehead and brows are more of a problem, in others it may be puffy eyelid bags or excess eyelid skin, and in others the neck or jowls. Careful analysis is important in order to choose the combination of appropriate treatments that are correct for your face, and to prevent the unusual expressions that can occur following the use of inappropriate surgical techniques.

As we age, several things change in our face; the skin becomes thinner and less elastic, the fatty tissue descends and the supporting structures of our tissues become stretched and weaken.

In time, our cheeks begin to sag, the crease running from the nostrils to the sides of the mouth is accentuated, and our jaw line and chin lose their smooth, refined appearance. As we age we also tend to lose some of our facial fat and our skin loses some of its elasticity, leading to more sagging of our features.

Who is a good candidate for a facelift?

The best candidate for a facelift is a man or woman whose face and neck have begun to sag but whose skin still has some elasticity and whose bone structure is strong and well defined. Most patients are in their fifties to seventies, but facelifts can be successful on people in their forties or eighties and increasingly is undertaken on younger patients, particularly those whose face has aged with smoking or excess sun exposure.

A facelift can make you look younger and fresher and it may enhance your self-confidence in the process, but it should not give you a totally different look nor can it restore the health and vitality of your youth. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with Dr Mackenzie.

If you experience any of the following, you could be a candidate for a facelift:

  • Unsightly jowls
  • Sagging skin around the jawline, nose, forehead
  • Deep creases around the eyes or around the moth
  • Loss of facial volume
  • Double chin
  • Unhappiness with the appearance of the face due to aging