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Facelift & Neck Lift

When the skin of the cheeks, jawline, and neck become loose and wrinkled, facial features can lose definition, making a person look older than they feel. Facelift surgery, available at our Gold Coast practice in Queensland or Ballina practice in New South Wales, can make the skin in these areas smoother and tighter, resulting in a contoured and more youthful appearance. Our plastic surgeon, Dr Craig Layt, is committed to helping you meet your needs with natural-looking results. Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

What is a facelift?

A facelift is a surgical procedure designed to result in a more rested and youthful appearance to the face and neck. The procedure is customised to suit your individual requirements and may range from a mini- facelift to a standard facelift with the addition of other procedures, such as a browlift, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), rhinoplasty (nose surgery), or laser surgery. It is very much a matter of what concerns you and designing a way to address that concern in the best possible way.

The operation is performed under general anaesthesia and can be performed as an inpatient or on a day surgery basis.

The facelift incision is made behind the hairline and above the ear, extending down behind the ear, where it will be easily hidden in the hair. The neck muscles are tightened, the facial skin is lifted and re-positioned, and the excess is trimmed away. In some cases an incision under the chin is added to further address neck laxity.

The final result is evident in 4 to 6 weeks or sooner with continued improvement for several months.

Some patients will benefit from combined surgery of the face, neck and eyelids in order to balance the facial and neck features. In these cases if a patient were to only proceed with one particular area they may notice the other areas are out of proportion in comparison. Dr Layt will advise the various options and help patients to make decisions in planning their surgical procedure.

All surgical and invasive procedures involve risks. Before proceeding with treatment, it is recommended that you consult with an appropriately qualified practitioner for a second opinion.

Who is a candidate for facelift surgery?

If you are considering having a facelift, schedule a consultation at our Gold Coast practice in Queensland to determine whether or not you are a good candidate. If you have experienced a loss of skin elasticity and muscle tone of the face and neck, or have developed facial and neck wrinkles, you may benefit from a facelift. The surgery can reduce the appearance of jowls and deep creases between the base of the nose and the corner of the mouth, restore or create a youthful chin and neck contour, and improve a tired facial appearance.

The results of a facelift can often be greatly improved by the addition of other procedures such as lip augmentation, eyelid surgery, brow surgery, or laser skin resurfacing. As mentioned previously, the procedure needs to be customised to your exact needs to get the results you desire.

What can you expect after the operation?

A facelift is a surprisingly painless operation with oral medication easily controlling the discomfort.

What are the potential risks?

Any surgical procedure involves a certain amount of risk. Although facelift surgery is safe, there is always the potential for certain complications, such as infection, severe bruising, or damage to nerves. Dr Craig Layt provides each patient with a list of pre- and post-operative instructions that will reduce the chances of complication and encourage a speedy recovery.

Who is a candidate for Neck Lift surgery?

A Neck Lift (Lower Rhytidectomy) is a surgical procedure which aims to reduce the signs of ageing and weight loss in the neck and lower jawline region. The neck and jaw line are shaped by a sheet of muscle called platysma. The platysma extends into the muscle and skin of the lower face and contributes to facial expressions such as smiling. The platysma tends to slacken with age until the jaw line is no longer clearly defined from the neck. The Neck Lift procedure may involve tightening the skin, removing excess fat, reducing a ‘double chin’ or ‘turkey gobbler’ neck, reducing jowls, and defining the jawline. If you have the appearance of excess skin below the jawline on your neck, or fatty deposits under the chin, a neck lift may be of benefit.

What is involved in the Neck Lift operation?

A pressure garment is usually worn after the surgery for compression. We advise that you avoid straining for the first 48 hours, limit strenuous activity for the first week, and avoid any heavy lifting for three weeks following your surgery. After this time, normal activities can be gradually resumed, and most patients will feel well enough to return to work within two weeks. Complete healing and recovery however may take a few months.

Modern surgery is safe. There is, however, no such thing as “risk free” surgery. The important things are to understand potential risks, minimise their occurrence, and treat them early to avoid small issues becoming more severe.

What can you expect after the Neck Lift operation?

A pressure garment is usually worn after the surgery for compression. We advise that you avoid straining for the first 48 hours, and limit strenuous activity for the first week, and avoid any heavy lifting for three weeks following your surgery, following this time normal activities can be gradually resumed, and most patients will feel well enough to return to work within two weeks. Complete healing and recovery however may take a few months.

Modern surgery is safe. There is, however, no such thing as “risk free” surgery. The important things are to understand potential risks, minimise their occurrence, and treat them early to avoid small issues becoming more severe.

Specific Pre-operative Instructions

WASHING: Wash the evening prior to surgery and the day of surgery, paying particular attention to the area to be operated on, including behind the ears. This decreases the bacterial count and should decrease the risks of infection.

HAIR: Wash your hair the evening prior to surgery. If you have long hair it should be tied up in a pony tail using a simple elastic band. This will keep it out of the way during surgery and make dressings easier to apply.

FASTING: You should have nothing to eat or drink for 6 hours before your operation. If you are required to take medication during this time please speak with your physician to check if this can be taken before the 6-hour fasting period or after your procedure.

PRODUCTS: Do not apply moisturisers, make-up, perfume/deodorant, nail polish, or hair products after washing. Remove all jewellery.

CLOTHING: Wear loose, comfortable clothing and footwear. A shirt with a button or zipper opening is ideal for removal.

MEDICATION: If you are having the operation as a day case, you will be given a script for antibiotics and pain relief tablets that you will need to purchase from the chemist and bring with you on the day of your procedure. Do not take these prior to surgery. The nursing staff will advise you and your carer after your procedure on how to administer them.

Certain over-the-counter products and prescription medicines can cause complications before and after surgery. They can reduce the ability of your blood to clot and could increase your tendency to bleed during and after surgery. Do not take any medication containing or related to aspirin 2 weeks prior to your procedure. This includes NSAID’S, anti-Inflammatory medications, blood thinning medication. Please see your doctor regarding if and when to cease medications. *This is not an all inclusive list*.

Also avoid Vitamin E supplements and red wine. Stop all herbal medications before surgery. The most common herbs used are Echinacea, Ephedra, Garlic, Ginseng, Ginkogo, Kava, St. John’s Wort, and Valerian. They may adversely affect anaesthetic drugs, prolong bleeding, and impair healing after surgery. Please consult your physician before ceasing any medication.

SMOKING: Smoking increases the risks of complications significantly and should be ceased 6-8 weeks prior to surgery. There are risks involved with all surgical or invasive procedures. Before proceeding, please seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

ADMINISTRATION: Unfortunately, paperwork is a necessary evil. Each theatre complex has its own procedures. We have attempted to make it all easy by providing a simple series of steps to follow titled “THINGS TO DO FOR YOUR PROCEDURE” that is specific to the surgery centre you are attending. Please follow these instructions. If you have any queries about this or anything else don’t hesitate to contact us on 55974100.

Specific Post-operative Instructions

POSITION: Swelling can be reduced by sleeping on raised pillows and keeping your head above your heart level. Try to avoid excessive movements of your head and neck, and minimise facial expressions.

DRESSINGS: The surgical dressings can be quite bulky and are fitted to help apply a firm but comfortable pressure and to absorb various serum and blood discharges. If the bandages are causing pain from being too firm, please call us at (07) 5597 4100. In some cases we may ask you to partially cut or remove some of the dressings in order to feel more comfortable. The large dressing is usually removed approximately 48 hours post your procedure.

WOUND CARE: There will be a tube of antibiotic ointment (sometimes labelled eye ointment) provided and this is applied a few times a day using a cotton tip to suture lines sparingly. Continue to use until the tube is empty and then continue with vaseline.

DRAINS: Small drains may be placed under your skin to collect any fluid from your surgery. The drains are on the right and left sides of your face and exit through a small cut behind your ears.

BLEEDING: As discussed earlier, the dressings will help absorb any small amounts of serum or blood and is a normal occurrence post-surgery. If bleeding appears more intense or if you are at all concerned, apply pressure and call us. Excessive bleeding can cause excessive swelling and be extremely uncomfortable. This is very uncommon. Any excessive bleeding or concerns should be brought to the attention of Dr Layt for urgent evaluation. Call us at (07) 5597 4100 immediately.

SUTURES: Most sutures will be removed between 4 and 6 days post your surgical procedure. If staples are required for your surgery, these and the sutures remaining will be removed between 9 and 12 days post your surgery.

SUNSCREEN AND MAKEUP: The healing and improvement of scars requires protection from the sun and harsh environment for at least 6 to 12 months. Patients that undergo facial surgery are expected to apply at least a 30+ sunscreen before applying makeup. Some makeup can also help provide a protective layer from the sun. We recommend seeing one of our dermal aestheticians to discuss skin care and skin care makeup approximately 6 weeks post your surgery.

TED STOCKINGS: TED stockings are used for leg compression to prevent blood clotting post-surgery and will be put on the patient by the theatre staff at the hospital.

MEDICATION: Pain relief and antibiotic medication will be prescribed. Some medication that patients are taking prior to surgery may be required to be ceased before the surgery and during the healing time. If you are currently prescribed medications for other medical issues, prior to your surgery, please discuss with Dr Layt as to whether these need to be ceased and for how long.

HAIR CARE: It is recommended that any hair colour, perm, or hair treatment be done at least a week prior to your surgery. Wash your hair the night before your surgery. After your surgery please do not have any hair treatment for approximately 6 weeks. Your hair may be washed approximately 48 hours after surgery or 24 hours post the drain removal. You may prefer to have your hairdresser wash it for you; however, explain that you still have sutures and possibly staples in the hair region. In either case, water should not be too hot and a hair dryer, if used at all, should be kept on the lowest heat setting, as your scalp may be partially numb and you will need to avoid burning the scalp. Facial shaving using an electric shaver may be used approximately 7-10 days after your surgery.

LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE: You may require lymphatic drainage appointments. These appointments are complimentary treatments with our Para Medical Aesthetician or Nurse. Each appointment will take approximately 1 hour.

Contact Us

To learn more about what a facelift can do, contact our practice in Queensland today. We can answer your questions or help you schedule a consultation with Dr. Craig Layt on the Gold Coast or in Ballina. Please note that invasive or surgical procedures carry risks. Before you proceed, it is advisable to see an appropriately qualified health practitioner for a second opinion.