The Science & Expertise

Facelifting – The Science & Expertise Behind Creating Natural Results

Before and after facelift by Dr Hodgkinson (with makeup)
Before and after facelift by Dr Hodgkinson (with makeup)


No one wants a tight facelift or to face the public derision that so many celebrities face, especially men, when they have a tight, stretched and unnatural looking face after face lift surgery.  Why is it that that is it that so many people have this operated on, tight look that is a giveaway that they have been “under the knife”?  The answer could be twofold: they have opted for lesser procedures such as S-lifts or skin lifts or the surgeon lacks the experience and expertise in facelifting necessary to create a result that is both visible and natural.

In the case of the lesser procedure, the skin lifts which are marketed under many different names, use the skin like cling wrap to pull back the tissues.  These cases seem attractive at first as they take less time, less expertise, have potentially less down time for the patient in healing and therefore cost less.  The problem arises in that in using the skin like a corset to hold back the sagging tissues underneath is that these lax structures and fat pads which needed to be secured are still underneath ready to bulge out like when you squeeze yourself into too tight jeans just to find your‘muffin top’.  Another problem is that this pulling back on the skin under tension places stress on the suture lines which can cause scars to migrate and be more visible.  Finally, to create this tension more skin need to be removed than is natural and so if a secondary or corrective procedure is considered at a later date, it will be more difficult as there may not be enough skin and there may be wider scares to contend with.

The second case is of course experience and expertise.  As in all cosmetic plastic surgical procedures, the number one factor in defining the quality of the result is the skill of the surgeon. Neck lifting and face lifting surgery are an area of expertise unto themselves.  The surgeon must have a highly detailed knowledge of the intricate facial anatomy to work in the deep plane to secure these tissues without damaging tissues or worse nerves which could lead to a facial palsy.  Also there are many techniques which can be deployed in conjunction with one another to create an overall more natural look as no two faces age exactly alike.  Some faces age around the brow with drooping and sagging or furling of the brow, some around the eyes with drooping, bulging and wrinkling, others through the mid face with hollowness created as the fat pads resorb from the cheeks while others are mostly around the jowls and neckline.  Some people have a little of each of these aspects and to adopt one approach to all faces will lead to the classic maligned facelift: tight face with pulled earlobes and the tell-tale droopy neck which has been forgotten all together.

If you’re considering cosmetic surgery in Sydney, here are five crucial questions to ask before making that life-changing decision to put your body in someone else’s hands.

Dr. Darryl Hodgkinson is an experienced cosmetic plastic surgeon and is the Surgical Dean of The Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgeons as well as serving on the editorial board of the international journal Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.  He is an invited guest lecturer and teacher to plastic surgeons internationally on the topics of facelifting, rhinoplasty, body contour surgery and general cosmetic surgery and has more than 30 years of experience in performing a range of surgical procedures. His Double Bay clinic is a fully licensed and accredited day surgery centre.

To learn more about cosmetic surgery book in a consultation email the clinic on [email protected] or call us to discuss procedures or make an appointment on 02 9362 7400

About Dr Darryl Hodgkinson

Dr. Darryl J. Hodgkinson is recognized world-wide as an expert in cosmetic plastic surgery with more than thirty years of experience in both cosmetic and plastic/reconstructive surgery.

Dr. Hodgkinson did his plastic surgical training at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in the United States and is amongst an elite group of a very few surgeons to hold two degrees in plastic surgery from American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons and the Royal College of Surgeons, Canada.

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