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A Facelift is also known as Rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure during which the loose muscles of the face and or neck are tightened, improving the most visible signs of aging by removing excess fat, tightening underlying muscles, and re-draping the skin to improve the contour of the face.


A facelift is the most comprehensive approach to treating facial wrinkles and sagging caused by aging. A facelift removes excess skin, tightens underlying tissues and muscles, and re-drapes skin on the face and neck. It can correct midface sagging, marionette lines, jowls, and a double chin. The best candidate for a facelift is a person 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 forties to sixties, but facelifts can be done successfully on people in their seventies or eighties as well.

Facelift surgery is a complex procedure with risks and possibility of complications associated with the procedure that will be discussed during your consultation. If you are considering face lift surgery the information below will give you a basic understanding of the procedure when it can help, how it’s performed and what results you can expect.

A facelift can make you look younger and fresher. It may enhance your self-confidence in the process, but it can’t 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 your surgeon.


There are two options:

Full facelift: Your surgeon will make incisions in your hairline at the temples, continuing down and around the front of your ears and hidden in the natural creases behind your ears in your lower hair-bearing scalp.

Mini facelift: Your surgeon will make short incisions in your hairline, starting at your temples and continuing down and around the front of your ears, hidden in the natural creases.

Facelifts are very individualized procedures. During your initial consultation, the surgeon will evaluate your health and face (including the skin and underlying bone) and will recommend an approach based on your goals and facial characteristics, including the shape of your face. The procedure will be discussed in detail, explaining the risks and limitations, making sure you understand the procedure as well as the scarring that will result. Facelift scars can be virtually invisible: narrow, flat, and well placed behind the ear so you can wear your hair close-cropped. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and explain your expected results. One thing to remember is that it is not possible to remove all the folds of the skin or to eliminate all the wrinkles.


Facelift procedures are performed at the Centurion Day Hospital under general anaesthesia and can be combined with additional procedures, once the surgeon understands your goals and medical condition. The surgeon will give you instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery go more smoothly. We advise that you need to stop smoking two weeks before surgery and two weeks after surgery. This will help expedite your healing at cellular level and to avoid unforeseen complications.


After your consultation, you will be provided with a personalised quotation based on the recommendation of your surgeon. While making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and stay with you for the first twenty-four to forty-eight hours or longer.

A facelift usually takes two to three hours – or somewhat longer if you’re having more than one procedure done. Every surgeon approaches the procedure in his/her own way. Some complete one side of the face at a time and others move back and forth between the sides. The exact placement of incisions and the sequence of events depends on your facial structure and your surgeon’s technique. Most facelift techniques focus on the lower facial areas, such as the jawline, jowls, and cheeks. A facelift can also focus on the midface or the forehead. Today, many different techniques exist with outcomes that can be consistently reliable, safe, and durable. Your incisions will depend on the area of the face that is targeted and the amount of change you want.


Incisions usually begin above the hairline at the temples, extend in a natural line in front of the ear and continue behind the earlobe to the lower scalp. Once the incisions are made, various degrees of ‘undermining’ of your skin is performed, and the deeper layers of your face are lifted. Undermining separates the overlying skin of the face and neck from the muscles and tissues deep to the skin. This free or loosens facial and neck skin so it can be re-draped at the end of the procedure, making sure skin is smooth. Then, your surgeon will raise the skin from the temples, cheeks, and neck, and lift and reposition the underlying connective tissue, removing excess fat and skin. Finally, your surgeon re-drapes the skin over the new underlying structure and closes the incisions with sutures.

You are likely to feel tired and sore but you will be able to mobilise after surgery. You should expect to be back at work in about two weeks after the facelift procedure. The first follow-up appointment usually takes place between seven and ten days, post-op when your stitches will be removed. A second follow-up appointment will be scheduled in six weeks. Most discomfort can be controlled by prescribed medication. You may be placed in a supportive elastic face garment that is to be worn according to your doctor’s instructions.


At the beginning your face may look and feel rather strange. Your features may be distorted from the swelling, your facial movements may be slightly stiff and you’ll probably be self-conscious about your scars. Some bruising and tightness may persist for ten to fourteen days but swelling will take longer to resolve. By the third week, you’ll look and feel much better.


Your surgeon will give more specific guidelines for gradually resuming your normal activities. They’re likely to include these suggestions: Avoid strenuous activity, including sex and heavy housework, for at least two weeks; avoid alcohol, steam baths, and saunas for several months. Above all, get plenty of rest and allow your body to spend its energy on healing.

“Put yourself at the top of your to do list.”



Centurion Cosmetic Clinic, understand that getting a plastic surgery procedure is one of your biggest life decisions.
It takes time, planning, and resources. We want you to know that our Plastic Reconstructive Surgeons and the Centurion Cosmetic Clinic team are here to help you every step of the way.



Contact us for free phone consultation with one of our knowledgeable surgical consultants who are trained by our Plastic Reconstructive Surgeons. They will answer many of your questions, provide you with additional information on procedures of your interest and pro-forma quotations. You can decide if you are ready for your consultation with one of our Plastic Reconstructive Surgeons.

Consultation with Dr Paul Pienaar or Dr Liana Volkwyn

Meet your Plastic Reconstructive Surgeon during your one-on-one consultation. During the consultation the surgeon will discuss the procedure, preparations, after care and answer all additional questions. You will be provided with a personalised quotation after your consultation. The consultation fee is R 900.

Preparations & Surgery Day

After you reserve your surgery date, Centurion Cosmetic Clinic will need a 30 % deposit to secure your theatre booking at the Centurion Day Hospital. The surgeon and the Centurion Cosmetic Clinic team will make sure you are well informed and prepared for your big day. Preparation and After care are very important parts of your plastic surgery journey.

Enjoy Results

The post-op phase is an important time. The Centurion Cosmetic Clinic team will make sure you are well informed with post-op information and will arrange your first follow up appointment on the day of your surgery. You will have to visit the Centurion Cosmetic Clinic for your first follow up appointment 7 to 10 days after surgery and then again on 6 weeks after surgery. Healing and recovering are of great importance so you can enjoy your amazing results and your improved quality of life that you have envisioned.

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