Facelift FAQs


    Modern facelift surgery is quite a bit different from the way the procedure was performed in the past, which is also the way many people think it is still done. A facelift is no longer the stretching of wrinkled skin to create a smoother aesthetic. The advanced modern techniques used today look to reshape the layers of connective tissue that sits under the skin.

    The exact process of the procedure will depend on the needs of the patient, namely the ways in which their specific tissue will need to be manipulated, trimmed, folded, and fixed in place. All procedures look to achieve a natural, youthful appearance and discreet incisions which minimise scarring will be required. You will also go under general anaesthetic and twilight anaesthesia during the procedure.

    A saggy neck, double chin, or “turkey neck” can cause significant distress and lack of confidence in men. To fix this, you may be suited to the mini-lift procedure, which will firm and create tension in the underlying muscles of the upper neck. Alternatively, you may require a neck lift or standard facelift. Dr. Hodgkinson has extensive experience in facelifts and will be able to determine which procedure will be best to rectify your situation during your consultation with him. Neck lifts are usually performed in the 35-45 year age group.

    There are many factors that will determine how long the results of a facelift will last, including genetics, the amount of drinking and smoking relevant to the patient, sun exposure, and stress. This varies for everyone, but the facelift will restore a more youthful look to the face. The ageing process will always continue, however. Most patients don’t need secondary surgery for 8-12 years.

    Ageing in the lower half of the face is often the cause of jowls, which is a commonly noted cause of distress for patients. The ageing process also affects the elasticity of our skin, which, when combined with issues in the underlying tissues and fat, creates a sagging, loose appearance, in the jawline. This loss of definition can lead to a double chin, which a facelift that focuses on the lower two-thirds can elevate.

    To have an effective outcome, this may also require fixation of the tissues underneath to create a long-lasting and natural result.

    facelift for men

    A three-month image of before and after a facelift surgery performed by Dr. Hodgkinson which exemplifies the possible improvements to the neck.

    Each man heals differently, which means there is no direct answer to this question. Modern facelift surgery, however, is less invasive, meaning that on average, you will be able to return to work after two weeks. You will likely experience some bruising and swelling, however, this should disappear no later than the third week. We recommend avoiding physical work, stress, and sudden movements for the first ten days to assist in the most optimal healing.

    You may have heard people refer to a mini facelift as a “weekend” facelift.” While there is undoubtedly less downtime required for this procedure, a weekend is a little inaccurate. The healing process can be hard to quantify as everyone heals differently. Some patients have previously been able to return to work a week after surgery, while others need several weeks to recover from swelling or other side effects properly.

    Mini Facelift

    Face with Rhinoplasty

    In extreme cases, the actual results of the procedure are not evident until a year post-surgery. All of this being said, a mini facelift is classed as an outpatient procedure. This means that you will not have to remain overnight, and will be allowed to head home after your procedure. When home, you should focus on resting, wear a compression garment, and avoid any strenuous activity. The less strain placed on your body during recovery, the sooner you are likely to heal.

    The longevity of the results of a mini facelift will vary for each patient but should last anywhere between eight to ten years. During this time, however, the aging process continues, which works against the work of the procedure.

    There is a range of non-surgical treatments that help the results of a mini facelift to last for as long as possible, including:

    • Ablative laser treatments for skin blemishes
    • Cosmetic injections to target fine lines and wrinkles
    • Dermal filler injections for the lips, cheeks, and various other areas of the face
    • Liposuction which can target stubborn fat, restoring definition to specific areas of the face
    • Radiofrequency technology that can tighten skin

    The most common side-effect experienced by patients as a result of this surgical procedure is swelling. This is a normal part of the healing process that will subside with time and no cause for alarm. In some other cases, patients may experience bruising, another relatively normal side-effect, that will subside each day as your body heals.

    Mini Facelift

    The main goal of the mini facelift is the replenishment of a youthful jaw and neck.

    Our team will keep you well-informed as to the guidelines regarding your aftercare to ensure that you have a pleasant, and quick, healing process. Everyone’s body heals differently, so we cannot offer any exact timeframes. If required, we may prescribe certain medications or wound care, and our team is always on-hand to support you through your healing journey.

    The main goal of the mini facelift is to replenish the jaw and neck line contour. This can create a refreshed, youthful look that takes a few years off while helping people to feel more confident and comfortable with their appearance.

    The major risk with a facelift procedure is hematoma or blood collecting under the skin flaps of the face. To ensure this does not happen, a specialised clinic nurse stays with all of Dr. Hodgkinson’s facelift patients in order to stabilise the patients’ blood pressure and reduce anxiety or discomfort. The nurse stays in contact with Dr. Hodgkinson and the anaesthesiologist and can detect if a hematoma forms early on for immediate attention.

    As with any facelift procedure, it is important to time your surgery so that you have ample time off. We recommend a recovery period of at least a few weeks to fully heal before returning to the rigours of daily life, however, the targeted nature of the mid and lower facelift requires slightly less downtime than a full standard procedure. Winter is a popular time of year for a facelift procedure as it will reduce exposure to the sun, which can make the healing process a little more straightforward.

    The double chin or “turkey neck” can occur as early as the late teens due to the hereditary feature of a chubby neck. Unfortunately, diet and exercise won’t always fix the problem. Prior to the age of 40, liposuction can be an effective way to target and remove these fatty accumulations. After 40, we must consider the laxity of skin and sagging muscles under the chin that begin to occur with age. To rectify this, the mini-lift is the treatment of choice as it will firm and provide tension to the underlying muscles of the upper neck. From the age of 45 onwards, fat and sagging skin combine, making the problem more severe. This is where the neck or a facelift procedure is a more effective option.

    To obtain a definitive answer on the most suitable procedure for you, we recommend a consultation with Dr. Hodgkinson, who has extensive experience in facelifts, and can provide the most honest and valuable information for making an informed decision.

    mid lower facelift surgery

    Before and 4 months post male facelift and blepharoplasty. Note the natural result

    There are a number of factors that will determine how long the results of this surgery last. Genetics and lifestyle habits such as drinking and smoking will play a part, along with sun exposure and stress. It is essential to keep in mind that you will continue to age after surgery; however, the mid and lower facelift procedure can help set back the hands of time, on average lasting from 8 to 10 years.

    mid lower facelift surgery

    Before and After a Facelift Procedure

    Jowls are usually caused by ageing in the lower half of the face. While this is not always something that affects everyone as they age, it is a common situation we are presented with from patients. As we age, our skin loses elasticity and the underlying tissues and fat pats atrophy. This creates sagging or a loose appearance affecting the definition of the jawline and creating a laxity of the tissues under the chin (causing a double chin). The mid and lower facelift is the best procedure to treat sagging jowls as it will elevate the tissue. By focusing on this area, there is also the benefit of less scarring and down-time while still obtaining a long-lasting and natural result.

    Bruising and swelling are normal after facelifting, but the severity depends on the extent of the surgery and is minimised by bandaging and early ice application to prevent excessive swelling. Most people can go back to work after about two weeks, but the visible signs of surgery will still be evident for several weeks.

    mid lower facelift surgery

    Before and 3 months after Mid Facelift and Necklift by Dr Hodgkinson

    Feeling a bit depressed is quite common during the immediate postoperative period and is more related to the reality of the process rather than the outcome; in fact, as time goes by and your rejuvenated, more youthful appearance settles in, the happier you will feel about it.

    It is not uncommon that after the neck liposuction procedure, you will experience temporary bruising, swelling, or possibly numbness, particularly around the incision marks. For most patients, the discomfort is considered minimal and easily managed with medication; however, it is important to be aware that everyone has a different pain threshold.

    We strongly recommend avoiding strenuous activities for about two weeks to allow enough time for healing and to help achieve the most optimal results. All recovery information will be discussed during your consultation, along with any specific instructions that you will need to adhere to during your healing. As always, our highly skilled team is on-hand 24 hours a day to ensure that you do not experience any issues and have the necessary support during the healing process.

    We make it clear to patients that all surgeries come with a level of risk; however, none of the standard complications which are listed as surgical risks have been experienced by Dr. Hodgkinson’s patients.

    The potential risks associated with neck liposuction, or any other liposuction procedure are;

    • Adverse anesthesia reactions
    • Asymmetry
    • Infection
    • Pigmentation changes
    • Skin injury
    • Bagginess or rippling of the skin
    • Prolonged bruising
    • Fluid retention or fluid loss

    Dr. Hodgkinson and his team are highly skilled and trained and take every precaution to ensure that your liposuction procedure is extremely safe and handled professionally. Our in-depth aftercare program ensures that from consultation to recovery, you have a pleasant experience with excellent results.

    Scarring will be minimal if existent at all, as only two tiny incision marks will be left under the jaw. It is common that you may experience a small amount of fluid weeping from the incision points, as is standard with all forms of liposuction.

    neck liposuction cost

    Before and 6 months after Neck Liposuction

    Neck liposuction produces a long-lasting result which will have a very low chance of requiring a second procedure however your weight must remain stable after the proceedure.

    Neck liposuction is often one of the most effective procedures in creating a younger aesthetic as a tight neckline is a key element to a youthful look. Sagging necks are usually a sign of ageing, and neck liposuction will give a very refreshed appearance to the patient.

    If you have loose, sagging skin and excess fat in the neck area that you are able to hold, then it can likely be removed. Your consultation with Dr. Hodgkinson is crucial and will be the determining factor as to whether or not this is the right procedure for you, or if a different course of action may be more suitable for your situation and goals.

    neck liposuction before and afte

    Before and 6 months after Neck Liposuction and rhinoplasty

    It is common that you will be able to return to work quickly after the procedure, but this will vary with each patient as everyone has varying levels of healing ability. After surgery, you will be required to wear a neck garment which will help retract the skin, and it is common that you may experience slight bruising after the treatment.

    Dr. Hodgkinson and his team place significant importance on minimzing procedural effects and easing the recovery for every patient to ensure the lowest risk of any complications developing. With any surgery however, there is a level of risk associated regardless of how skilled your medical team may be. In the case of a neck lift, you will likely experience some swelling or bruising for several days after the procedure. Your neck may feel tight, and you could also feel a tingling sensation or in some cases, even a slight burning. It is also quite common to experience numbness; however, all of these reactions are normal and expected within the first few weeks of surgery. They should not raise any concerns and the severity will differ for every patient.

    neck lift sydney


    Before and After Face Lift and Neck Lift Surgery

    All surgery will run the risk of infection; however our team and facilities work hard to keep this risk level low. Let us know if you experience high temperature post surgery, and if you do have a fever or unusual discharge from the incision, contact us immediately. Another rare but possible side effect can be an allergic reaction to anaesthesia; however, this risk is lessened by disclosing any drug allergies you may have to us during your pre-operative consultation.

    We have a 24hr after hours call service for all patients in the immediate post-operative period.

    The exact recovery time from a neck lift procedure will differ per patient; however, you will likely be able to return to work around 10-14 days after surgery.

    In regards to physical activity, we recommend waiting around three weeks before returning to strenuous movements like playing sport. Resting during this time will only help your recovery and results so holding off on anything too physical for as long as possible is to your benefit.

    Our team will give you in-depth instructions on how best to prepare for a neck lift procedure once you have decided this surgery is right for you. We will let you know if there are any medications or vitamins you should avoid prior to surgery, and if you are a smoker, it is strongly recommended that you quit two weeks before the procedure.

    Wear comfortable clothing on the day of surgery that does not pull on, or restrict the neck area and plan for your recovery time off from work. We also like to recommend that you set up a comfortable home recovery area prior to surgery, so that you can adequately rest after your procedure.

    Whilst a facelift can be done at any time, it is important to time your surgery so that you have ample time off (at least a few weeks) to fully heal before returning to the rigours of daily life.  That said, facelifts and other procedures, such as eyelid surgery, brow-lifts, neck-lifts and skin rejuvenation techniques like chemical peeling, laserbrasion and dermabrasion, are especially popular in winter. These procedures require the patient to reduce their exposure to the sun and this is easier to do in the cooler months. This exposure to the sun, however, if controlled does not preclude other seasons. Winter is also traditionally socially quieter than summer when holiday parties tend to take over.



    Before and After Facelift Surgery by Dr Hodgkinson

    Whilst there is nothing set in stone as we all age differently, the age limit for a facelift is probably in the seventies unless the patient has unusually excellent health.  More and more people in their late 60s and 70s and occasionally now into their 80s are still in the workforce and still very active socially and professionally.

    Therefore, if 70 is not the time to give up activities then why would it be the time to give up appearances?


    Before and 6 months after Facelift and Blepharoplasty by Dr Hodgkinson

    A Mini-Lift is a minimal incision procedure on the lower two-thirds of the face that elevates and “fixes” the underlying tissues. The results always look more natural than just tightening the skin.

    The advantage of a minimal incision procedure over a traditional one is less scarring and less “down-time” while maintaining the longer lasting and more natural result of a complete facelift procedure by securing the lax underlying SMAS and muscle tissues.


    Before and After a Mini-Lift by Dr Hodgkinson

    No-one wants a double chin (or “turkey neck”) but regardless of your age, you can usually do something about it. From late teens some people notice the hereditary feature of a chubby fat neck. Just looking at your relatives gives you the clue that diet and exercise are not going to fix the problem. Liposuction is generally very effective for these fatty accumulations up to the age of about 40. After 40 years, men and women who are ageing relatively normally, note a laxity of skin and sagging muscles under the chin. A mini-lift is the treatment of choice at this age and can result in a marked “firming” and tensioning of the underlying muscles of the upper neck. After about age 45, fat and sagging skin combine to make the problem more severe and at this stage a neck-lift or a facelift is a better option. To find out the most suitable procedure for you, be sure to consult a surgeon with extensive experience in facelifts. Beware of the “latest”, the “newest”, the “L”, the “S” or “the turbo”! These procedures may have a nifty name but liposuction, a mini-lift and neck-lift have a proven track record of more than 20 years.

    neck lift cost sydney

    Before and After Face Lift & Neck Lift Surgery by Dr Hodgkinson

    Because the Australian environment is especially harsh on the skin and the skin may be sun-damaged, you may need more than just the tightening of the underlying tissues. In combination with a facelift you may benefit from a skin rejuvenation program using laser resurfacing or a chemical peel which can smooth out fine lines and wrinkles and make a great deal of difference to the texture of the skin and your complexion.

    Before and After Facelift & Eyelid Surgery by Dr Hodgkinson

    Men are also feeling the pressure of normal ageing—the sagging of the jowls, the double chin and the aged tired look. Most 50-year-olds, however, do not regard themselves as old and still feel competitive and turn to the gym, nutritional awareness, less smoking, anti-ageing medicines and yes, facelifts. Encouraged by the success of rejuvenation surgery in women, men are now coming forward for surgical procedures and 30 per cent of Dr Hodgkinson’s practice is comprised of men.

    The key to facelifts for men is to concentrate on defining the jaw and eliminating the double chin whilst not taking away all the lines of expression that are a natural part of a masculine face.


    Before and After Male Facelift Surgery by Dr Hodgkinson

    A common concern of men and women in their sixties is that they have loose skin on their face. They want to get a facelift but they do not want that obvious stretched look of a facelift.  The ideal result is a natural looking facelift, with not so obvious changes.

    Fortunately, today’s procedures if done properly do not lead to that stretched, over-operated on “Hollywood” appearance of by-gone years. To achieve an un-operated, natural appearance the focus in the over-60 age group is completely different. Because the bones are degenerating and the mid-face is getting smaller, it is essential to focus on the bony structure of the face and facial volume. Because aged skin has more laxity, more redundant skin will need to be removed, usually resulting in longer scars. I concentrate not only on the skin and muscles, but also on the shape of the face. I re-establish the cheek projection and jaw-line and often put in more than I take out using volume-enhancing procedures such as cheek implants and fat transfer.


    Before and After Facelift & Eyelid Surgery by Dr Hodgkinson

    A common question we hear is if a patient is for example in the forties and they have their first facelift, will they need another on 20 years later in their sixties?

    You will need another lift if you want to keep your youthful look, however it’s unlikely to be the same type of facelift. The second lift is likely to be more of a touch-up procedure at about 8 to 12 years after the first lift. The old incisions are revisited and the sagging tissues re-tightened.

    The over-operated-on “wind tunnel” appearance after two or three facelifts as often seen in the social pages, needs to be avoided. The tight look is avoided with judicious restoration of sagging tissues and by not removing any more skin. Another obvious look to be avoided is the long or distorted earlobes and a stepped or too high hairline.

    If you are committed to staying youthful, budget for later life; look after your first facelift by not smoking or taking drugs and by avoiding excessive sun exposure.

    Before and After Facelift Surgery by Dr Hodgkinson

    Definitely not. As we age, we begin to notice some excess wrinkling around our eyes, jowling and maybe some thickness under our chin and around the neck.

    The whole idea of waiting until 60 for a one-off facelift has gone. There has been a growing trend over the past ten years for people in their late 30s and early 40s to actively seek facelifting. In this age group the skin starts to give way to gravity—the brow may droop a little and the skin around the eyes loosen. However, muscle and ligament tone is still quite elastic and patients usually require less extensive rejuvenating techniques.

    Dr. Hodgkinson will minimise incisions by using less invasive techniques, often using the endoscope or limited incision surgery. Usually some tightening of the underlying muscle and ligament tissue is enough. The jowls and neck area can be tightened and the brow-lift procedure can elevate the corners of the eyes and also tighten the upper cheek area to restore the youthful contours of the face.

    Before and After Facelift by Dr Hodgkinson

    How long the results of restoration surgery will last depends on many factors. These may include genetics, life-style habits such as drinking and smoking, sun exposure, stress and the effectiveness of the original procedure.

    While we continue to age after we have had surgery, the surgical procedure can help set back the hands of time and start them ticking again from an earlier point.


    Before and After Facelift by Dr Hodgkinson

    Yes you can.  The mid-face lift is ideal for people who have lost tone and volume in the middle third of their face.  High cheek bones have always been associated with youth and the maintenance of a youthful face as we age. The problem with ageing in the cheek area is that the tissues underneath the eye slide down with the effects of gravity and facial movement, producing nasolabial folds. These can be improved with injections of non-permanent injectibles; however, there comes a point where simply plumping up will not do the job.

    Fortunately, we now have a newer procedure called “Mid-Face Lifting” which is done without leaving evident scars. Small incisions in the mouth and hairline enable us to endoscopically release these droopy tissues to bring them up higher, recreating the fullness of youth in the cheek area. If a patient has always had a flat cheek, we can add cheek implants using the same manoeuvre.


    Before and After Facelift & Eyelid Surgery by Dr Hodgkinson

    Many patients ask this. The S-Lift is a re-invention of a very antiquated technique of facelifting; one that was abandoned because it did not address the major problems of ageing which include laxity of the soft tissues of the neck and fat accumulation. The S-Lift is described as “surgery for beginners” and a technique which “merely approaches the laxity of skin issue”. It is commonly known that tightening the skin alone leads to unacceptable scars and extremely short-term results. Before and after results most often published show patients after only a few days or weeks. The plastic surgical community abandoned the initial facelifting techniques (which were introduced in the 1920s and 1930s and continued into the 1950s) to perform more thorough procedures.

    neck liposuction

    Before and 6 months after Neck Liposuction

    With these early techniques, patients were dissatisfied with the fact that they underwent a surgical procedure with subsequent visible scarring and very temporary results. In the 1970s and 1980s, with the introduction of the more thorough procedures, it was established that by working first on the fat and the loose tissues underneath the skin to re-establish a youthful contour and then redraping the skin, a longer lasting, more natural and hence cost-effective result without the unwanted scars could be achieved. Dr. Hodgkinson states “I am still following up the first facelift I did for a patient upon my return to Australia in 1990. This patient is still satisfied with her result almost 30 years later, because the issues and tissues of the ageing face were dealt with properly at the outset. I hope this explains to you what the S-Lift is and why I would never revert to a procedure which I know is a waste of a patient’s time, energy and money.”

    Before & After Pan Facial Rejuventation by Dr Hodgkinson: SMAS Full Facelift & Eyelid Surgery

    A double chin is not only a sign of ageing or being overweight but can also be a hereditary area for fatty deposits. For persons in their teens to thirties who still have good elasticity in their skin (and even older in some cases) Liposuction to the chin and neck can produce remarkable results. Naturally, the surgeon must be artistically skilled in remodelling the patient’s profile to suit their features and facial balance.

    Jowls are commonly associated with ageing in the lower half of the face. Everyone ages differently but jowls are a common complaint of patients that present at the clinic to find out what their options are and what is the best procedure to correct their sagging jowls.  As we get older, not only does our skin lose elasticity but the underlying tissues and fat pats atrophy as well.  This ageing process creates this sagging, loose appearance, wherein the jawline loses its definition and often there is also a laxity of the tissues under the chin, giving the person a double chin.

    The best procedure or treatment for sagging jowls usually involves a facelift of just the lower two-thirds of the face, which is enough to elevate these tissues combined with some fixation of the tissues underneath (not just a skin lift or S-Lift). It is not possible to create natural looking results when the skin is stretched and tightened like cling wrap to hold the sagging tissues in place. The advantage of the facelift combined with the fixation of the underlying tissues over more traditional procedures is that there is less scarring and “down-time” while still providing for a long lasting and more natural result. This is referred to as a SMAS lift.

    neck lift surgery sydney

    Before and After Face Lift and Neck lift Surgery

    Everyone heals differently, so whilst there is no one answer to this question, there are of course guidelines to help you plan for your surgery and an uneventful recovery.  The less invasive nature of today’s facelift procedures means that most people can be back at work after two weeks. There will be bruising and swelling after the operation but even the most severe swelling should be gone by the third week. Heavy work, stress and sudden movements should be avoided for the first ten days so as not to aggravate swelling or put any stress on the stitches.


    Before and 3 Months After Facelift by Dr Hodgkinson