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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are things I should know before getting a face lift?

    Related Topic
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  • 5


    Dr Anh Nguyen

    Plastic Surgeon (Reconstructive & Cosmetic)

    Dr Anh Nguyen (MBBS (Hons) PGradDipSurgAnat FRACS (Plast)) is a highly qualified, Australian-trained and registered Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon based in Perth, WA. She … View Profile

    Getting a face lift is a major life-changing procedure and requires thorough research. 

    You must understand that it is a major operation that can take 4-8 hours depending on the complexity of the surgery. Most patients stay overnight in the hospital and then go home with a head bandage or face/neck garment. Sutures are removed at 5-10 days depending on their location. Bruising may be present for 2-3 weeks. Swelling may persist for 4-6 weeks or sometimes even longer. The true result may not be fully appreciated for 6 weeks to 3 months on average. 

    A face lift has potential risks and complications such as bleeding/haematoma, wound breakdown, skin and fat necrosis, unsightly or thickened scars, contour deformities, asymmetries, motor nerve injury causing facial muscle paralysis, numbness and paraesthesia of the face or ear lobe or neck, distorted hairlines, altered facial shape and infection.

    It is thus imperative to assess why you want a face lift and to have realistic expectations of what can be achieved and whether you will be happy with the outcome. A facelift cannot make you suddenly look 20 years younger, but studies do show it makes people look on average 7-9 years younger.

    It is essential to do your research and see as many surgeons as possible, ask as many questions as possible and choose a surgeon who you trust and feel comfortable with. Give yourself plenty of time to recover, as most people are not ready to socialise for at least 2 weeks, and for those who perform a physical job, give yourself 4-6 weeks to recover.

  • 4


    Dr Mark McGovern

    Plastic Surgeon (Reconstructive & Cosmetic)

    Hi, my name is Mark McGovern. I am a qualified Cosmetic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. I have been in practice on the Sunshine Coast since … View Profile

    This is your face. You want to be sure that your Facelift surgery will result ina natural, younger looking you! The only way to achieve this is to choose a surgeon  who specialises in this field.  

    Only Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon's have the qualification's for this surgical procedure. To be sure your surgeon is qualified , look for the letters FRACS behind their name. This stands for “Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons” and is the only recognised surgical qulification in Australia!

    If your doctor does not have these initials after his name  - he is NOT a surgeon (would you hire a gardener to build your house? I'm sure the answer is “ NO!” - and this is your face)

    The abbreviations after the letters FRACS explain the field that this particular surgeon has specialised in -if the abbreviation is ENT the person is an Ear Nose & Throat specialist, if the letters are Gen Surg, they are a General Surgeon. A Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon will have the abbreviation Plast. Recon.Surg

    Do your homework and choose a specialist  Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon that has been performing facelift surgery for many years.

  • 3


    Dr Ross Farhadieh

    Plastic Surgeon (Reconstructive & Cosmetic)

    Mr Farhadieh, is a former recipient of the prestigious Surgeon Scientist Scholarship and an internationally renowned and recognised Australian trained plastic surgeon. Most recently he … View Profile

    This is a complex topic, perhaps amongst the most complex in the field of cosmetic surgery. 

    As we recnelty wrote on this topic in a comprehensive international plastic surgery texbook 

    Mendelson BC and Farhadieh RD: Facelift, Plastic Surgery Fundamentals: Approach and Technique: 992-1003, Wiley and Blackwell, London, United Kingdom, 2015

    "A person’s face is their most important tool in communicating with the world and in projecting their image of ‘self’. For most people their sense of identity is inextricably connected to the face, more so than any other part of the body. The face can be thought of as an individual’s unique complex three-dimensional structure, with combinations of varied foundations of solid bone, supporting soft tissue volumes, held together by visible and invisible ligamentous extensions, upon which his or her canvas of life is spread. Environment, time and gravity all take their toll, and this canvas in time bears the blemishes of the process from inside and out, leading to the development of wrinkles, a tired look and changes in the shape of the face, and a loose neck and jowls."

    With this in mind its important that your plastic surgeon has specific post fellowship training in facial aesthetic surgery in my opinion for the best and most consistent results. Do your research into their training their contributions to the field of facial aesthetic surgery. Seek multiple opinions, make sure that you are happy not only about their training but your relationship with your surgeon which is the cornerstone of sucessful and happy experience. 

    For more information on the topic please refer to my website.

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