Face Lifts and Neck Lifts

Facelift surgery involves re-supporting the soft tissues of the face, jawline and neck.

Facelift Melbourne

Age inevitably causes the face and neck to change as the skin loses its elasticity and volume, and the redistribution of fat occurs. Skin can lose its youthful appearance, and the chin and jaw region can loosen and drop. 

Face and neck lifts can be used to reduce these effects of ageing and rejuvenate the areas. This is done by re-supporting the soft tissues, restoring definition and volume, and improving sagging skin and fat deposits. An incision is made in the most inconspicuous location possible, and a small amount of skin is removed.

These procedures can be customised to cater for specific goals and requirements and are often done in combination. The techniques used allow for a natural appearance without obvious signs of treatment.

Face lift Melbourne
Neck lift Melbourne

Common reasons why people consider having facelift surgery

With the normal ageing process the soft tissues and skin of the face and upper neck sag and lose volume. Some people feel that this, combined with excess skin, makes them look tired or old. This surgery aims to improve facial and neck contouring, while restoring definition to the cheeks, jawline and neck by reducing the amount of sagging skin and soft tissues present.

Facelift surgery does not remove facial wrinkles – these may be more effectively dealt with by fillers (if deep) or anti-wrinkle injections e.g. crow’s feet. Most people considering this surgery have a desire to take away the signs of ageing but not look “operated on” or “like a different person”. 

What is involved with facelift surgery?

A facelift involves an incision starting in the temple hairline, passing down just in front of the ear, curling around the lower part of the ear and ending in the hairline behind the ear.

As compared to previous surgical methods, only a small amount of skin is removed to minimise the “operated on” look.

Play Video

Post Operative Care and Review

  • Melbourne Plastic Surgeon Dean White and his team will care for you in hospital.
  • A review appointment to take off the dressings, check your wounds and remove any sutures is generally undertaken one week after surgery.
  • Subsequent review appointments are generally made for 6 weeks after surgery and then 3, 6 and 12 months later to assess the results of your surgery.

Risks To Consider


In otherwise well people, general anaesthesia is very safe with modern techniques. A/Prof White’s rooms will give you the details of your anaesthetist prior to surgery to discuss any specific concerns.


This may need a return to the operating theatre to evacuate a blood clot. This can impact on wound healing or skin survival.

Infection in the wound

If this does occur it can usually be cleared up with antibiotic tablets.

DVT/PE (Deep venous thrombosis/pulmonary embolus)

Blood clots that are potentially very serious and even life threatening, which can form in the legs and travel to the lungs. Multiple strategies are employed to minimise the risk of these occurring.

Wound healing issues

Stretch marks may not all be removed or new ones may be created. Gathers in the wound are often present at either end. These settle over several weeks to months in the majority of cases but sometimes may need a small revision. Initially there is almost always some contour issues or puckers. These settle down in most cases over several weeks.


Typically are at their thickest and reddest at 6-10 weeks after surgery. Scars continue to mature and improve for up to 18 months after surgery. Scar management advice will be discussed in your follow up visit with A/Prof White to assist in achieving the goal of a thin, barely noticeable scar.


The scars may be slightly different on your right compared to left side.

Wound separation/delayed healing

This is much more common in smokers or if there is an infection.

Skin necrosis/loss

Very rare complication and almost only seen in smokers. If it does occur it needs significant aftercare, possibly more surgery and even skin grafting in the most extreme cases.


Clear/straw like fluid that can collect following surgery. Usually it settles down with no intervention but if persistent or large may require drainage in the rooms (sometimes on several occasions) or even a drain tube to be inserted.


Generally settles down over weeks to months.

Nerve injury

The main risks are to the facial nerve which controls facial movement. There may be some weakness post operatively but is not usually permanent although in rare cases this has been known to occur

Frequently Asked Questions

Many people choose to have a face lift procedure in their mid/late forties and beyond.

It is recommended you reach and maintain a healthy weight prior to surgery to avoid changes afterwards due to increased or decreased fat deposits and accompanying skin changes.

Face lifts target skin laxity and the loosening of the lower region of the face. Neck lifts focus on creating a smoother neck and chin area.

Most of the swelling after a face lift generally reduces after a few weeks. Some swelling may remain for a few more months after the majority has subsided. 

The benefits acquired with a face lift are typically long lasting. This differs from person to person due to the ageing process, lifestyle, and weight changes.

Surgical Goals

  2. Address symptoms.
  3. Improve appearance.

No Surgery Is Risk Free

All surgery is a balance between realistic surgical goals and knowledge of possible risks and complications. Risks are minimised by careful patient selection and planning, high standards of surgical training, meticulous surgical technique and vigilant post-operative care. Small, less serious issues are common and every effort is made to resolve them quickly. These very rarely have any long term effect on an excellent final result.
Play Video

Face Surgery Resources

Scroll to Top
Contact Us Call Now