A facelift – clinically referred to as a ‘rhytidectomy’ is a common facial cosmetic surgery procedure performed by Mr Chris Fenn, consultant plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgeon based in Leeds, West Yorkshire.

What is facelift surgery?

Facelift surgery aims to reduce the visible signs of ageing by removing and tightening the skin and soft tissue to create a smoother, more youthful appearance. It is often combined with other cosmetic surgery procedures such as eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), neck lift and brow lift.

What are the benefits of facelift surgery?

The natural ageing process, genetic make-up, skin type and life style all have an effect on the way a person’s face changes as they grow older.

Eventually the skin on the face becomes looser, muscles become slack and crease, lines and wrinkles develop around the eyes, nose and mouth. Consequently, the face develops a heavy ‘sagged’ look along the jaw line (jowling), often with marked crease lines above and below the corners of the mouth.

As well as transforming the visual appearance of the face by creating a more youthful look, facelift surgery often boosts a person’s confidence and self-esteem. Their whole outlook on life and feeling of well-being is enhanced because they feel happier in the way they look.

Am I suitable for facelift surgery?

If you have reached middle age and feel unhappy with your facial appearance or if you feel that your face has aged prematurely due to genetic disposition, smoking or sun exposure then you could be suitable for surgery.

You may find a consultation with Mr Chris Fenn helpful. After examining your face and discussing your medical history, Mr Fenn will confirm your suitability for surgery. He may recommend a limited or full facelift and he might also suggest that it would be beneficial to combine the surgery with other procedures such as blepharoplasty or brow lift.

Mr Fenn can also advise on other possible alternatives such as fillers. If surgery is an option, he will recommend that you take time to think about it carefully and ask as many questions as possible before you decide to proceed.

What does facelift surgery involve?

Performed under a general anaesthetic facelift surgery takes approximately two-three hours and involves a two night stay in hospital.

Mr Fenn uses a variety of techniques when performing facelift surgery depending on the needs of the individual. He will discuss the most appropriate technique for you during your initial consultation.

Full facelift

A full facelift generally involves an incision extending from the temple area, down in front of, and around the ears, then into the hair behind the ears. The underlying soft tissue is tightened and excess skin removed. The remaining skin is repositioned over the face and the incisions are closed with absorb-ablesutures. Although you are left with a scar, it is barely visible as it is hidden by your hairline, ears and natural skin creases.

Before facelift 

Position of facelift incision and 
zone of undermining  

SMAS lift - tightening of the 
underlying soft tissue 

 Excess skin removal   After facelift - position of scar

A minimal access facelift (MAC facelift)

A MAC facelift is performed using an alternative surgical technique which leaves a smaller scar. Similar to the full facelift, an incision is made around the hairline but with a MAC facelift, the incision is not continued behind the ears.  This particular technique is very effective in achieving lift and improvement in the jowl and cheek area. If your problem is predominantly sagging around your mid and lower face then this may be the most suitable facelift for you.

How long does it take to recover?

You will need to stay in hospital for two-three nights following your surgery. 

For the first couple of days, you will wear a Lycra garment to secure the light dressing. At this stage it is common for your face to feel tight, bruised and sore but this can be managed with painkilling tablets.

Although the recovery time varies between individuals, it is likely that you will have fully recovered from your facelift surgery three weeks after the operation. 

Depending on the nature of your job, you should be able to return to work 2-3 weeks after surgery although you will be advised to avoid any rigorous activity or exercise for four weeks after surgery. 

Mr Fenn and the cosmetic surgery team will ask you to come back to the hospital for follow up appointments to ensure your face is healing as expected.

How much does facelift surgery cost?

If you would like to know the price of facelift surgery, contact Mr Chris Fenn’s secretary, Claire Herbert on 0113 218 5971, email Claire.herbert@spirehealthcare.com or complete an on-line enquiry form.

How can I find out more about facelift surgery?

To find out more about facelift surgery or to book a consultation with Mr Chris Fenn, call his secretary Claire Herbert on 0113 218 5971, email Claire.herbert@spirehealthcare.com or complete an on-line enquiry form.