Face / Neck Lift

As part of the ageing process, our facial muscles tend to slacken and the skin loses its elasticity, thus creating folds and lines. This process can be made worse by sun exposure, stress, smoking or lack of sleep.

The naturally-prominent cheek bone areas will become less prominent, with a sunken appearance over the cheek area, formation of jowls over the jaw line and slack skin on the neck. The typical patients will comment that, when they look in the mirror, the person looking back at them is not the person they feel.

A face lift procedure is designed to lift the facial skin and underlying muscles over the jaw line and cheek areas, in order to give a tighter, smoother and more youthful appearance.

Face Lift Procedure

There are different techniques available, but the most commonly-used approach for a full face lift is the "classic" face lift. This procedure is performed under general anaesthetic and involves making a cut in the hairline next to the temple area and extending it in a natural line down the front of the ear. The cut is continued around behind the earlobe, up into the crease behind the ear and into the lower hairline. The tissues are pulled upwards and the excess skin is removed from around the ears. The operation takes approximately three hours and a two-night stay in hospital is advisable.

Face Lift Recovery

The operation is not generally painful, although the face will feel tight and uncomfortable for one or two weeks. The bruising and swelling will settle during the first two weeks but may take longer to subside fully. There is usually an area of numbness around the ears and full feeling may take up to six months to return.

Patients are usually out of circulation and away from work for a minimum of two weeks. Most women find it possible to hide the scars with their hair for the first few weeks. The scars will fade over time and are usually hidden by their hair and natural creases of the skin.

How long will the effects last?

Face lift results should last between 5 and 10 years, depending on the consequent speed of the ageing process. However, the effect of the face lift is always likely to persist even when the ageing process sets in again.

Face Lift Risks

With With the use of the appropriate technique, proper planning and meticulous surgery, risks are rare. Possible risks may include reaction to the anaesthetic, bleeding, infection, wound healing problems, nerve damage, noticeable scarring, asymmetry and lumpiness under the skin.

Mr Prinsloo will explain how the possible risks will apply to you.

Due to the Data Protection Act etc. our supply of pre/post operative pictures is currently limited.

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Other procedures available:

Face Lift/Neck Lift


Re-draping and removal of excess sagging skin of the face, jowls and neck to produce a more youthful appearance. (Just as you would do in front of a mirror). The excess skin is removed around both ears.

Who are candidates?

If you have:

  • Loss of skin elasticity and muscle tone of the face and neck
  • Developed jowls and deep creases from nose to mouth and from mouth to jaw line
  • Developed face and neck wrinkles that give you a tired, aged look
  • Sagging skin around the jaw and neck

How is it done?

  • Incisions are made within the hairline, above the ear, extending down around the lobe and ending in the hairline behind the ear
  • The deeper layers are tightened, the facial skin is re-draped and lifted, and the excess skin is removed
  • A mini facelift procedure is done using slightly shorter scars.

Length of surgery

Facelift/Neck lift 2 - 3 hours

Mini Facelift 1 - 2 hours

Hospital stay

Two night stay is recommended


General anaesthetic

Time to heal

  • Small drains are removed within 24 hours
  • All sutures are removed within 2-3 weeks
  • Facial tightness and discomfort for one to two weeks
  • Back to work in 2-3 weeks
  • Swelling, bruising and stiffness may persist for 6-8 weeks
  • May take several months to see final results


Risks are rare but may include:

  • Bleeding, haematoma (blood clot), infection, wound breakdown, nerve damage, visible scarring, asymmetry of two sides, lumpiness under the skin, hair loss, altered hairline and complications related to anaesthetic (DVT, PE and chest infection)
  • Facial nerve damage resulting in possible muscle twitches or paralysis of muscles to forehead, eyebrows, cheek and corner of the mouth. Nerve damage may be permanent (<1%)

Duration of results

  • Long-lasting, but will depend on skin type, life style and the natural ageing process
  • The effects of ageing and gravity will continue following a face lift procedure


  • Turning the clock back by restoring youthful facial features


  • Permanent scarring at the side of the face, will fade over time, hidden by hairline and natural creases
  • A facelift cannot remove deep skin creases such as:

- forehead lines
- frown lines between eyebrows
- crows feet around the eyes
- naso labial folds
- upper lip wrinkles

Answers to myths

  • It is possible to repeat a facelift
  • It is possible to create a natural appearance rather than an operated look
  • There is no quick fix alternative for a facelift procedure offering long lasting results
  • Eyelid correction procedures can be done at the same time as facelift.

"Dear Mr Prinsloo, THANK YOU. Just a note to let you know how grateful I am, for the sympathy and compassion you have shown me over the last few months. You have been so kind to me, thank you so much, it will make a huge difference to my confidence."

JT - June 2012 - Face lift

"Dear Mr Prinsloo, I am so thrilled, pleased and happy with the face and neck lift you did for me. I, in the past, have enjoyed on invite to one of your seminars at the Hospital. I would like to volunteer for you to use me as an example of your brilliant work for the older lady. The opp was unpainful and I just love the results. Thanking you again."

SD - 8 February 2012 - Face lift and Neck lift

"Mr Prinsloo, Thank you for Everything. Kind regards."

BT - July 2009 - Face lift

Who are good candidates for facelift surgery?

Loss of skin elasticity and muscle tone of the face and neck
Developed jowls and deep creases from nose to mouth and from mouth to jaw line
Developed face and neck wrinkles that give you a tired, aged look
Sagging skin around the jaw and neck

How long will the facelift operation be?

A Facelift/Neck lift will be around 2 - 3 hours and a mini facelift 1 - 2 hours; both under general anaesthetic.

How long will I have to stay in hospital after the facelift surgery?

After facelift surgery, a two night stay is normally recommended.

Copyright, Dan Prinsloo Cosmetic Surgery, 2013

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