Revitalize Your Appearance With a Face Lift

A surgical facelift is a cosmetic procedure that aims to improve sagging skin and reduce wrinkles on the face and neck. It lifts and tightens tissues through strategic removal of excess skin and tightening of underlying muscles and tissues.

What is a Face Lift?

A facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, is a cosmetic surgical procedure performed to give the face and neck a more youthful and lifted appearance. 

As we age, gravity and sun damage cause the skin on our face and neck to sag, resulting in wrinkles, jowls, and fatty deposits under the chin known as “turkey neck.” A facelift addresses these visible signs of aging through strategic incisions made around the hairline and ears to lift, tighten, and reposition sagging facial tissues and muscles.

The loose or hanging skin is trimmed away, and the remaining tissues are redraped and sutured into a smoother, elevated position. This minimizes lines and restores volume and definition to the contours of the face.

Types of Face Lifts

Traditional Facelift: Also called a full/complete facelift, it involves extensive skin removal and muscle tightening to rejuvenate the entire lower face and neck area. Incisions are made around the hairline and ears.

Mini Facelift: A less invasive option that targets the mid-face only (from the corners of the mouth to the ears). Incisions are located within the hairline and sideburns.

SMAS (Superficial Musculo-Aponeurotic System) facelift: A type of deep plane facelift technique that addresses facial sagging on a deeper level than a traditional facelift by manipulating the SMAS, a fibrous layer of connective tissue.

Neck Lift: Surgical tightening procedure for the neck and jowl area to remove lax skin. This can be performed alone or with other facelifts.

During your consultation, Dr Timothy Shim will thoroughly assess you and discuss the treatment plan together with you.

The appropriate type of face lift depends on individual needs, amount of sagging, lifestyle factors, and other factors. Combination procedures are also common.

Preparing for a Face Lift

Focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the weeks leading up to your procedure.

  • Be sure to eat a nutritious diet, stay hydrated, exercise regularly and get plenty of rest. This will help ensure your body is in the best physical condition for surgery and recovery.
  • Discuss any medications or supplements you take with your surgeon, as some may need to be adjusted or stopped before undergoing anaesthesia.
  • Quit smoking and avoid tobacco, as nicotine can inhibit healing.

Nearing the procedure, focus on pampering your skin.

  • Moisturise and use sunscreen to protect your skin from damage.
  • Avoid harsh products, waxing or facial treatments.

Take time to arrange time off work and clear your schedule of commitments for at least 1-2 weeks after surgery.

  • Arrange for help at home during your initial recovery period.
  • Prepare your home recovery area for a smooth and positive healing process.

What Happens After Face Lift Procedure?

A face-lift is usually performed under general anaesthesia, or local anaesthesia with sedation. A hospital stay of one night may be recommended for observation after surgery.

The location and extent of the incisions required depends on the degree of skin and fatty excess toremove. Longer incisions are required for greater degrees of facial and neck skin excess.


Pain, swelling and bruising are expected after surgery and will improve over the first couple of weeks. There may also be some numbness around your ear lobes, face, and neck for several weeks after surgery. Painkillers and antibiotics will be prescribed to control the pain and minimise the risk of infection.

Drains will be removed once there is little fluid draining out. Sutures will be removed between 5 to 10 days after surgery.

The results of a successful face-lift can be long lasting. However, they will not be permanent as your will naturally continue to age over time.

Tips for face lift recovery

  • Wear compression garments/bandages as directed to minimize swelling and support healing.
  • Keep your head elevated above heart level as much as possible for the first week to reduce swelling.
  • Apply ice packs wrapped in a towel to areas of swelling/bruising to alleviate symptoms.
  • Sleep on your back with an extra pillow to avoid putting pressure on your face.
  • Avoid strenuous activity, heavy lifting, bending or straining for 2-4 weeks.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible for the first month as this can cause the scars to darken permanently.
  • Expect some numbness, tightness and discomfort – this is normal as sensation returns.
  • Get adequate rest and avoid long periods of standing/sitting which increases swelling.

    See your surgeon if you experience severe pain, swelling, fevers or signs of infection.

Frequently Asked Questions

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