Facelift (Rhytidectomy)

Facelift Surgery (Rhytidectomy) in Perth

A facelift, also called rhytidectomy surgery, is a surgical procedure that removes excess facial skin. Men or women may seek this surgery who wish to achieve a firmer and more uplifted facial appearance, provided that they are good candidates with realistic goals for their outcomes.

Candidates for Facelift Surgery (Rhytidectomy)

Good facelift (rhytidectomy) candidates are prepared to thoroughly follow the pre- and post-operative instructions and have realistic expectations. Following your consultation, Dr Quinn will be able to tell if a patient is a good candidate for surgery, or if a different procedure is a better option.

Good candidates for surgery share important traits including:

  • Realistic expectations: A facelift (rhytidectomy) candidate should know what the procedure can accomplish as well as the limitations of facial plastic surgery.
  • Strong bone structure: Rhytidectomy candidates should have a clear underlying bone structure.
  • Skin elasticity: A suitable candidate has skin that preserves part of its organic flexibility and suppleness. Results depend on how well the skin can adjust to its remodelled contours.
  • Loose skin on the face/neck: Candidates generally want to get rid of excess skin from the face and/or neck, tighten skin and decrease the look of wrinkles at the same time.
  • Good health: A good candidate for this surgery will be healthy and inform Dr Quinn of any previous medical conditions. A facelift (rhytidectomy) requires significant recovery and healing, so it is vital that patients are physically ready for surgery.

What does the operation involve?

Studies show that the deeper facial structures like the muscles and ligaments all participate in the ageing process. Facelift surgery (rhytidectomy) involves elevating the tissues of the lower and middle part of the face, and tightening and lifting the underlying muscle and skin of the middle and upper areas of the neck.

Incisions are placed in the hair bearing areas or in the intricate folds at the front of the ear. If the tissues of the neck require tightening, a short incision is placed just beneath the chin. The fascia and muscle, loosened and stretched ligaments are restored, and the fat on the neck may be sculpted if desired. Once the deeper structures have been treated, the overlying facial skin is re-draped and any excess skin is removed.

A facelift operation (rhytidectomy) may be conducted combined with eye and brow surgery (blepharoplasty or cornoplasty) if needed. Under certain circumstances rhytidectomies can be done under local anaesthetic, with or without sedation, depending on the complexity of the operation.

Is a hospital stay necessary?

The operation may be administered as a day case procedure, but a stay overnight in the hospital is recommended.


A support garment, available from Dr Quinn’s rooms, is advised in the post-operative period. Stitches will be applied immediately following surgery, and we recommend that patients rest with their head and shoulders raised for seven to ten days following the procedure.

It is common to experience some bruising and swelling, and in the second to third week most of the swelling should reduce, and a gradual return to regular quiet activities may take place. Complete recovery takes three to four weeks after the procedure.

Although you’re aware of the substantial change in your looks, friends and family may not be so perceptive. We advise patients to be ready for varying reactions among friends and family you come in contact with following the procedure.

Rhytidectomy Risks

As with all surgical procedures, Facelift, or rhytidectomy, is associated with a number of risks. Find more information here.

Patients should endeavour to educate themselves on these potential complications prior to undergoing surgery.

Potential general risks of surgery are:

  • bleeding
  • anaesthesia reactions
  • infection
  • poor scarring
  • poor results
  • abnormal scarring
  • persistent pain and swelling

Specific risks and complications associated with facelift (rhytidectomy) surgery include:

  • Hair loss around the scars, this is usually temporary but sometimes may be permanent
  • Loss of skin due to impaired blood supply. This may require a skin graft
  • Bruising and swelling
  • Numbness around operated sites. In most cases this is temporary and will change over many months
  • Deformity of the earlobe
  • Slight difference in appearance between the right and left side of the face
  • Damage to the facial nerve, which occurs in about one in every one hundred patients. It can result in partial loss of movement and a “lopsided” appearance of the face. In rare cases, the damage may be permanent
  • Revisional surgery may be necessary to correct complications


Will there be scarring after the procedure?

Many patients are concerned about scars after having facelift surgery (rhytidectomy). Proper planning and attention to detail are set in motion to reduce the visibility of potential scarring. Facelift (rhytidectomy) scars are carefully created to be concealed in the hairline and behind the ear; however, there is a risks that they may still be visible.

What are the risks involved with facelift surgery (rhytidectomy)?

As with any surgical procedure, there are inherent risks involved. A detailed discussion of the risks is always required by the surgeon.

How long does a facelift (rhytidectomy) last?

The results of a rhytidectomy surgery will be different for every patient according to their unique features and requirements for surgery. The procedure involves the excision of tissue, which means the removed tissue is gone permanently. However, the surgery does not prevent further facial ageing into the future.