Facelift

With his special interest and extensive training in Craniofacial Surgery, Dr Breidahl is well equipped to address all elements of the face, including the underlying bone, muscles, fat and skin.

Based in Melbourne, Dr. Breidahl has pioneered the use of Tisseel Glue for facelift procedures in Australia. Tisseel glue dramatically minimises the bruising and swelling, shortening the recovery period and improving long-term results.

A facelift is one of the procedures that may be used to help rejuvenate the face and restore confidence.

It should be viewed as part of a rejuvenation program, including skin care to improve the quality and lustre of the skin, anti-wrinkle injections to relax the face, and fillers to restore volume. Often these more conservative measures will be sufficient, making surgery unneccesary. For some patients the best results will be found with surgery as well.

Facelift surgery may be performed as a combined total procedure, or it may be broken up into its principle parts: Brow lift Surgery, eyelid surgery, midface lift and neck lift. If surgery is to be broken into its independent parts, then it is best to start at the top, ie with the brow lift.

The surgery usually involves the tightening and removal of sagging skin on the face and neck, and the removal or repositioning of excess fat. Facial muscles may be surgically tightened, improving their tone.
The outcome of surgery depends on the person’s age, the degrees of ageing, facial skin looseness, lifestyle and the procedure undertaken.

The results of a facelift usually last between five and 12 years. Most people can have two to three facelifts in a lifetime.

As people age facial skin loses tone and elasticity. The jaw and neckline lose definition and appear to sag. Because the skin is not as resilient as it once was, the wrinkles that occur with smiling and frowning do not smooth out, and crow’s feet develop around the eyes. A groove often appears from the corner of the mouth to the chin. Fatty deposits, which give the face its shape and contour, may decrease in some areas and increase in others. While facelift surgery can be effective in improving facial contours, it doesn’t stop the clock. The natural ageing process will continue after the surgery. 

The Decision to have a facelift

In assessing whether a facelift is an option for you, Dr. Breidahl will consider:

  • The elasticity and thickness of the facial skin
  • Subcutaneous tissues and fatty deposits
  • Bone structure and the shape of your face
  • Degree of wrinkles and folds
  • Your hairline, to see where incisions can be best-placed and hidden as much as possible.

Dr. Breidahl will discuss the benefits and risks of having a facelift. When making a decision, keep in mind that we cannot guarantee that the surgery will meet all your expectations, or that the surgery bears no risks.

Before the surgery

In assessing whether a facelift is an option for you, Dr. Breidahl will consider:

  • The elasticity and thickness of the facial skin
  • Subcutaneous tissues and fatty deposits
  • Bone structure and the shape of your face
  • Degree of wrinkles and folds
  • Your hairline, to see where incisions can be best-placed and hidden as much as possible.

Dr. Breidahl will discuss the benefits and risks of having a facelift. When making a decision, keep in mind that we cannot guarantee that the surgery will meet all your expectations, or that the surgery bears no risks.

Anaesthesia 

A facelift is performed under general anaesthesia. Modern anaesthesia is safe and effective, but does have some risks. Rarely, side effects from an anaesthetic can be life threatening. You will be informed of all risks prior to surgery.

Surgery

Dr. Breidahl makes an incision in or behind the hairline and then just in front of the ear between the ear and the cheek, ending behind the ear and within the hairline. The skin is carefully separated from the muscle and fat layers that lie below it. The muscles and deeper tissues are tightened using sutures. This is sometimes called the SMAS lift. Excess fat is then trimmed or removed with liposuction. The facial skin is then pulled backwards towards the incisions, and excess skin is removed. The wound is closed with very thin sutures (stitches). In some patients, loose skin and excess fat from the front of the neck is removed at the same time as the facelift. This requires an additional incision that is made below the chin. Facelift surgery usually takes between two and four hours to complete.

The incisions for facelift surgery are hidden, as much as possible, in the hairline, in the creases of the face, and behind the ears. While all surgery leaves a scar to some degree Dr. Breidahl closes the incisions in a way that makes the scar as thin and unnoticeable as possible.

Endoscopic Face Lift

Some facelift surgery may be performed using an instrument called an endoscope. It is a small fine tube with a light on the end, which is connected to a video camera. Dr. Breidahl will discuss the most appropriate procedures with you.

Recovery

Facelift surgery may be undertaken in a hospital or day surgery facility. It usually involves one to two nights in hospital but can also be performed as a day procedure. You should arrange for a relative or friend to drive you home after the surgery. Arrange for someone to stay with you at least for the first day after you go home and preferably for a few days. You can usually drink fluids and eat a light meal two to three hours after surgery. You can resume your normal activities a few days after surgery but do not smoke, undertake strenuous activity or consume large amounts of alcohol during the healing period. Smoking and heavy exposure to tobacco smoke can slow down the healing process.

Most people take between two and three weeks off work. Healing is usually completed within a few months. You may have some pain and discomfort, particularly around the incisions. Dr. Breidahl will prescribe pain medication. To see the final results of the surgery, a few months of healing is required.

Follow up

You will return to Dr. Breidahl for a check-up after a week. Any further appointments will be scheduled at the check-up visit.

'Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.'

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Team

Dr. Alan Breidahl

Dr. Alan Breidahl

Dr. Alan BreidahlPlastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Alan Breidahl is one of Australia’s most respected Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. He is a specialist in post-traumatic and cleft lip-associated Rhinoplasty and has over 20 years clinical experience in all...

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Dr. Shiba Sinha

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Fiona NormanDivision 1 Nurse and Dermal Therapist With an eye for fine detail, Fiona is an excellent, results-driven dermal therapist. Graduating from La Trobe University and experienced in plastic surgery from her time working in London, Fiona has been at Melbourne...

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