FACELIFT SURGERY WITH SYDNEY PLASTIC SURGEON DR ELLIS CHOY
Facial ageing affects your appearance in various ways. From skin laxity and loss of muscle tone to the degeneration of the various facial structures, time continues to manifest itself in the shape, grooves and fabrics of your skin. As the ageing process continues, you may feel disappointed or let down by your external appearance, particularly when it misrepresents your spirit and attitude toward life. Even when you feel happy and well-rested, your ageing face may say otherwise, which can dramatically affect your confidence and quality of life.
Dr Ellis Choy sees concerns like these regularly, with many patients feeling that their appearance inaccurately reflects their personality. A facelift is a surgical rejuvenation procedure designed to address the facial features that diminish, sag or deflate with age, and ultimately restore the balance between your inner and outer beauty.
Drawing on his exceptional artistry and skill, Dr Choy performs facelift surgery by surgically lifting and tightening the underlying facial structure to enhance your facial definition. Based on an individualised treatment plan, Dr Choy can create a more refreshed and well-rested appearance that harmonises naturally with your age and stage of life. Book your in-person consultation in Sydney with Dr Choy today. He will address any questions and personal concerns you may have as you explore your options for facial rejuvenation.
THE BENEFITS OF FACELIFT SURGERY
A youthful face is defined by smooth, taut skin that’s free of wrinkles and has supportive fat in the right places. As we age, our skin loses elasticity, grows thinner and develops wrinkles caused by a combination of collagen depletion and muscle movement. Changes also occur below the skin surface. Our deeper soft tissues slacken and sag. We lose fat volume, which can lead to a sunken or gaunt appearance, and remaining fat pads can droop downward. Even our bone structure changes.
Facelift surgery addresses these changes so you put your best face forward and feel confident at any stage of life. Patients typically start to consider surgery when they no longer get the results they want from nonsurgical treatments, or if they desire longer-lasting improvements than nonsurgical options can provide.
AM I A CANDIDATE FOR FACELIFT SURGERY?
The most suitable candidates for facelift surgery are women and men who feel disappointed or unhappy about the way age has affected their profile. As an invasive procedure, facelift surgery is ideal for those whose issues cannot be addressed with nonsurgical treatments. During a facelift, Dr Choy lifts and tightens sagging skin and repositions the underlying tissues to restore a more youthful expression and a rejuvenated overall appearance.
A facelift may be right for you if:
- You have loose, drooping skin around your cheeks
- You’re bothered by heavy jowls
- You have deep nasolabial folds
- You have lost shape and definition in your lower face
- You’ve accumulated fat below the chin (double chin)
- You desire a more permanent solution than injectables or a thread lift can provide
In addition to the concerns above, you should ideally meet the following criteria:
- You’re in good physical and emotional health
- You do not smoke
- You’re prepared to follow Dr Choy’s pre- and postoperative instructions
- You have reasonable expectations for the results of your facelift
Contrary to the popular notion of facelift surgery, it is not only for senior patients. Factors like lifestyle, genetics or weight fluctuations can have a significant impact on skin elasticity and facial volume. Some people start to develop prominent wrinkles and lax skin in their 30s, and don’t want to wait until a more advanced age for surgical intervention. Facial rejuvenation surgery can be considered whenever you begin to feel that your appearance no longer reflects how you feel inside.
In your consultation, Dr Choy will examine your concerns and needs to ensure that a facelift is the most suitable option for you. He will also help you select the right types of facelift for you based on your anatomy, aesthetic goals and preferences regarding downtime and recovery.
WHAT’S INVOLVED IN A FACELIFT?
Your facelift journey will begin with an in-depth consultation at our office in Sydney, where Dr Choy will take the time to understand your reasons for treatment and your expectations for results. He will carefully analyse your unique facial anatomy, observing how age has affected your face and your primary areas of concern, to determine what he can achieve with facelift surgery. Once he has identified the most realistic outcome and the most suitable surgical techniques, Dr Choy will walk you through the steps of the procedure to ensure you are comfortable and fully aware of what to expect during your journey.
A facelift focuses primarily on the lower third of the face. Though the procedure will vary for each patient, it generally involves lifting and tightening the structural tissue to restore a smoother facial contour. From sagging facial tissue to the deflation of fat, a facelift is designed to address the various components of facial ageing and combine their correction in a holistic and harmonious way. By targeting each facial layer, this surgery can re-sculpt your natural features to create a lasting rejuvenation effect. Taking a customised approach to treatment, Dr Choy will design a surgical plan tailored to your age, facial structure and cosmetic goals to ensure a personalised and satisfying aesthetic outcome.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF FACELIFT SURGERY?
Facelift surgery is individualised to the patient’s needs. After assessing your concerns and discussing your goals, Dr Choy will tailor his techniques accordingly.
The standard facelift, also called the full facelift or traditional facelift, is a time-tested approach. This technique can fully address moderate to advanced ageing in the lower two-thirds of the face.
Incisions for the standard facelift are concealed within the hairline, starting near the temples and continuing around the front of the ear. This provides optimal access for the surgeon and yields the most dramatic and long-lasting results for most patients. An additional incision may be placed under the chin.
Patients often choose to combine isolated procedures, such as a brow lift or blepharoplasty, with their full facelift to enhance their results.
Full Facelift and Neck Lift
This approach combines a standard facelift with a neck lift to address the lower two-thirds of the face and the neck simultaneously. This is the most extensive and effective facelift technique.
Rejuvenating the face without rejuvenating the neck can sometimes create an incongruous appearance. By rejuvenating the face and neck together, this operation ensures a harmonious result. Patients look younger and refreshed, without obvious indications they have had “work done”.
A full facelift and neck lift is best for people with notable ageing throughout their face and neck, who are interested in the substantial results.
A short-scar facelift or mini facelift is a less invasive technique that focuses on the lower third of the face only. Depending on the case, this surgery may be performed using local anaesthesia with sedation or general anaesthesia.
As its name suggests, a short-scar facelift requires a shorter incision than a traditional facelift. The incision begins around the temporal hairline, extends down the front of the ear and ends around the earlobe. Scarring is minimal.
Patients with a mild degree of jowling and sagging skin around the upper neck and jawline make the best candidates for the short-scar technique.
The SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system) layer of tissue sits deep within the face, between the muscles and subcutaneous fat. SMAS facelifting techniques target these deep tissues for impactful and lasting rejuvenation.
When performing a SMAS facelift, surgeons manipulate the skin and SMAS layers individually. This allows them to tighten and reposition the tissues in multiple directions and to a more significant degree than is possible with other techniques.
Because the SMAS approach tightens underlying tissues instead of the skin, many patients feel it provides natural-looking lift without the tell-tale “windswept” look of older facelift techniques.
The MACS (minimal access cranial suspension) lift is a gentle, short-scar facelift that can be performed under intravenous sedation.
The MACS facelift involves making a small incision along the front of the ear and weaving two threads into the tissues. When the threads are tightened, the cheeks and corners of the mouth are lifted, and the contours of the neck, chin and jawline are restored.
The facial tissues are not detached from the underlying muscles in a MACS facelift, which reduces risk and recovery time. The MACS lift is suitable for younger patients with better skin elasticity.
Deep Plane Facelift
The deep plane facelift lifts the face from underneath the SMAS, focusing on the underlying structural elements of the face rather than the skin. Many surgeons and patients feel this gives more durable and natural results, as well as a more favourable recovery.
In a deep plane facelift, the skin and muscle (SMAS) are moved together as one unit, and deep cheek fat pads and musculature are repositioned. Drooping tissues are lifted vertically rather than outward. This approach creates a youthfully smooth, but not excessively tight, appearance and helps restore volume in the midface area.
A deep plane facelift can be performed using only an abbreviated incision behind the ear. This minimises visible scarring for patients who wear their hair cut short or styled in a ponytail.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING RECOVERY?
A facelift is an invasive surgical procedure, so the recovery process is a crucial part of your journey. Expect facial swelling, minor to moderate bruising and a feeling of tightness for at least the first week after your surgery. The focus during this time should be rest and proper incision care. It’s helpful to have assistance around the house, although you can do some moving around. Bruising and swelling usually reach their height around days three and four.
After approximately seven to ten days, a follow-up appointment will be scheduled so Dr Choy can remove your sutures and assess how your face is adapting to the new contour. You’ll likely still have some bruising and swelling at this point. You may also experience some tingling, numbness or tightness in the surgical area. These are common occurrences after a facelift and should not cause alarm.
It may take up to two weeks for the swelling to subside. After this point, you will be able to see the effects of your procedure more clearly. This is when many patients start to feel like themselves again and return to work and social activities. You may also resume light activities like walking for exercise.
After the one-month postoperative mark, you should be back to your normal routine and enjoying life with your refreshed look. It can take up to one year for very minor swelling, tightness and numbness to subside, but these lingering effects typically are only noticeable to you.
Dr Choy believes that patient education and preparation is vital to the patient journey; he will ensure you are adequately prepared for what to expect and how to care for the area during recovery. Following Dr Choy’s postoperative care instructions will make a big difference in the results of your facelift.
COMPLEMENTARY SURGICAL PROCEDURES
Based on Dr Choy’s custom-tailoring approach, he can combine multiple surgical techniques to treat various signs of facial ageing. However, specific skin concerns may be better addressed with other procedures, which can be combined with a facelift to produce a more holistic and proportional result.
The neck is highly vulnerable to the effects of age, gravity and sun exposure. Loosening skin around the jawline, wrinkles on the neck or the hanging skin known as a “turkey wattle” can sometimes betray a person’s age even more than their face. At Dr Choy’s clinic in Sydney, many patients undergo facelift and neck lift surgery as a combination treatment. Since the face and neck complement each other in natural unity, addressing these areas simultaneously helps to create a balanced and natural-looking transformation. Dr Choy believes that treating the entire area as a whole, rather than a collection of parts, produces the most convincing and harmonious aesthetic results.
Facial Fat Grafting
Facelift techniques excel at tightening loose tissues, but they cannot address another hallmark sign of facial ageing: volume loss. The process of losing facial fat is gradual. Hollows begin to form in areas like the tear troughs and temples. Round cheeks sink downward. Facial skin sags and wrinkles. Patients with moderate to severe facial deflation may choose to combine facelift surgery with facial fat grafting. While the facelift helps to soften facial lines, fat grafting can restore fullness and optimise skin quality for a more dramatic improvement. By strategically inserting your own tissue into depleted facial areas, a fat transfer can fill in fine lines, improve facial definition and restore natural vitality to your face.
Because facelift surgery focuses on the lower region of the face, many patients choose to combine it with a rejuvenation procedure for the upper face. Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, corrects contour irregularities and signs of ageing around the eyes. The procedure can target the upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both areas simultaneously. Cosmetically, eyelid surgery provides improvements in loose and drooping skin, fine lines, puffiness and bags, leaving you with a more refreshed and rested appearance. Functionally, eyelid surgery can remove heavy excess skin on your upper lids that may cause irritation or chronic forehead pain, or interfere with your vision.
The long-term effects of gravity can leave you with drooping eyebrows that create heaviness around your eyes and make you appear tired or sad. In addition, wrinkles or deep furrows may develop horizontally along your forehead or vertically between your eyebrows. One of the most impactful ways to rejuvenate an ageing forehead is a brow lift. This procedure elevates the brows to a more youthful position and softens forehead creases for a gentler, more approachable look. It may also help to decrease excess upper eyelid skin. A brow lift pairs well with facelift or eyelid surgery, and some patients elect to have all three for total facial rejuvenation.
COMPLEMENTARY NONSURGICAL PROCEDURES
Nonsurgical procedures are frequently done in conjunction with surgical procedures to improve the overall result or give patients a more efficient treatment plan. In your consultation, Dr Choy will work with you to determine which nonsurgical treatments may complement your facelift surgery best.
Anti-wrinkle injections treat wrinkles caused by muscle contraction. They work by blocking the impulses that travel from the nerves to the facial muscles, so the muscles never receive signals to contract. When the muscles relax, the skin over them smoothes out and the unwanted lines fade. Anti-wrinkle injections are typically used in the upper face on concerns such as crow’s feet, horizontal forehead lines, “bunny lines” around the top of the nose and vertical “eleven lines” between the eyebrows. The full effects of anti-wrinkle injections typically develop within seven to 14 days after the procedure and last three to four months.
Like fat grafting, dermal fillers enhance the skin-tightening effect of a facelift by correcting facial volume loss. They can also help soften wrinkles and scars, plump lips and contour areas like the cheeks, nose, chin and jaw. Fillers can re-inflate and sculpt areas of the face that a facelift does not address, providing an even more youthful and well-rested look. Most fillers are made from a naturally-occurring substance that safely breaks down in the body over time. Results can last anywhere from six to 24 months, depending on which product is used.
We feel our best when we look our best. A facelift with Dr Choy counters the effects of time and restores the vibrant appearance you remember from years past. You will look naturally youthful and refreshed, with minimal scarring and no “windswept” look to indicate that you’ve had something done. Dr Choy’s patients report that facelift surgery has a rejuvenating effect on more than their physical appearance — they feel more vibrant, more energetic, more confident in social settings, more driven at work and more excited about what the future holds.
Facelift surgery offers the longest-lasting benefits of any facial rejuvenation technique. Your improvements can last a decade or more, especially if you take good care of your skin with a healthy diet, no smoking and diligent sun protection. A good maintenance routine can help ensure you enjoy your results for as long as possible.
WHAT IS THE COST OF FACELIFT SURGERY IN SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA?
A number of factors determine how much your facelift surgery costs. These include:
- Surgeon’s fee
- Anaesthetist’s fee
- Surgeon’s assistant’s fee
- Hospital fees
- Post-surgical supplies
The cost of a facelift is also influenced by the complexity of the procedure, the location of the clinic and the experience of the surgeon.
Additional procedures add to the cost of your surgery. However, combining procedures is often more cost-effective than having them separately, as you only need to pay facility and personnel fees once.
Neither Medicare nor private health insurance covers the costs of elective cosmetic surgeries. Please keep this in mind as you plan.
In Sydney, the cost of facelift surgery typically starts at around $10,000 to $15,000 for a standard full facelift. Complete facial rejuvenation that combines multiple procedures can reach up to $30,000 to 40,000. Remember, these numbers are generic ranges. A face-to-face consultation with Dr Choy is a must to find out what approach is needed for your facelift surgery and what it will cost.
DR CHOY’S APPROACH TO FACELIFT SURGERY
Beyond his surgical experience, Dr Choy draws on elements of artistry, elegance and grace to perform facelift surgery. He believes that beauty is not about looking younger, but about looking and feeling your best at whatever stage of life you’re in – the key to ageing gracefully. At the core of Dr Choy’s work is his aim to bring out the best of your unique beauty by revitalising and accentuating your natural features. With careful consideration of your age and motivations for treatment, he can refine your profile in harmony with your current stage of life to help you look and feel your best. This philosophy is how Dr Choy empowers his patients to embrace a free, more relaxed lifestyle and a more comfortable and confident state of mind.
*This information about facelift surgery was reviewed by Dr. Ellis Choy. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us here.
Face And Neck Lift Information Sheet
Download and print out the Face And Neck Lift Information Sheet that includes a list of questions to ask Dr Choy during your appointment.