Discover Your Facelift Options

What Is Face Lift Surgery?

Also referred to as a meloplasty or a rhytidectomy, face lift surgery is a type of cosmetic procedure that’s designed to remove excess skin from the face and neck and smooth the jawline. Face lift surgeries are effective at removing or reducing the appearance of sagging jowls that may occur naturally as a result of ageing.

Face lift surgeries are also effective for tightening jaw muscles to enhance muscle tone or definition. Excess fatty tissue around the face and neck can also be repositioned to change the shape of the face during face lift surgeries.

The different types of face lift surgery

Face lift surgeries can target virtually every section of the face or only focus on select areas. Here are the most common different types of face lift surgeries:

  • SMAS face lift – also referred to as a traditional face lift, an SMAS lift involves making precise incisions to access the SMAS (superficial muscular aponeurotic system) in order to lift, reposition, and then tighten it below the skin before then removing excess skin. Lifting and repositioning the SMAS not only helps alleviate the appearance of wrinkles, but also helps tighten and tone the facial muscles.
  • Skin-only (cutaneous) face lift – an alternative to traditional SMAS face lifts, skin-only/cutaneous face lifts only the facial skin. As the loss of elasticity to the SMAS is what causes superficial skin ageing, this type of cutaneous face lift surgery has grown outdated in recent years as the procedure has been known to deliver shorter term results than a traditional SMAS face lift that targets both facial skin and muscles.
  • Short scar face lift – also referred to as an S-lift or partial lift, short scar face lifts involve lifting the SMAS of the middle and lower face. Incisions for short scar face lifts are typically made in front of the ear, ensuring that patients experience minimal visible scarring following the procedure. Short scar face lifts don’t address wrinkling and signs of ageing in the upper face or in the lower neck.
  • Deep plane face lift – a deeper alternative to traditional SMAS face lifts, deep plane lifts are designed to access deeper layers of facial tissue in order to lift the cheeks higher. Although deep plane face lifts allow meloplasty surgeons to attain a higher lift of the cheeks on average, this procedure is accompanied by a higher risk rate than traditional SMAS face lifts, which makes surgeons hesitant to recommend it to their patients.
  • Brow/forehead lift – a face lift procedure designed specifically to address signs of skin ageing on the eyelids and forehead. As traditional SMAS face lifts don’t include a brow lift, patients may seek to combine their full face lift with a brow or forehead lift.
  • Cheek lift – also referred to as a mid face lift, cheek lifts are designed to only address the cheeks (or the nasolabial folds).
  • Neck lift – a face lift procedure solely aimed at addressing signs of ageing across the neck and lower jawline, neck lifts are effective at correcting double chins, sagging jowls, and loose skin around the upper and lower neck.

Alongside the surgical face lifts outlined above, patients also have the option to undergo non-surgical alternatives, like:

  • Liquid face lifts – involves the application of dermal fillers (or smooth gel injectables) to restore volume to facial skin and reduce the visibility of wrinkles.
  • Thread lifts – also called ‘suture lifts’, this procedure involves inserting non-absorbable medical polypropylene fibre threads under facial skin to tighten skin and tissue.
  • Ultherapy – a face lift treatment that involves using ultrasound therapy to naturally stimulate skin cells into producing collagen and reducing the visible signs of facial ageing.
  • Microneedling – another type of collagen induction therapy, microneedling involves repeatedly puncturing the skin with small needles to stimulate collagen and elastin growth.

What to consider before scheduling a face lift surgery

As there are many different types of face lifts, it’s imperative that patients carefully consider which procedure is most likely to provide the results they’re looking for. Your face lift surgeon can work with you to determine whether a surgical or non-surgical face lift may be the ideal solution for you.

It’s also important to note that as face lifts are surgical procedures that can include the use of liposuction and anaesthesia or intravenous sedation, 2018 amendments to the Health Services Act 1988 stipulates that meloplasties and rhytidectomy procedures should only be performed in Australia by qualified surgeons and only in clinics and facilities that are registered with state health departments.

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Face Lift Surgery FAQs.

Breast Reduction Average Cost Breakdown

Estimated prices do not include post-care, garments, consultations and any complications.

Item Min. Cost Max. Cost
Est. Total Cost $26,000 $50,000
Surgeon Cost $16,000 $16,000
Daily Hospital Cost $6,500 $7,000
Anaesthetist $1,200 $3,600
Surgery Time 3 Hours+ 3 Hours+
Hospital Time Day Surgery + 1 Night Day Surgery + 1 Night

The results of a full-face SMAS lift can last for up to 5-12 years, with non-surgical face lifts typically delivering shorter lasting results. With age, your skin and facial muscles will continue to lose their elasticity again, in which case you may opt to undergo a second treatment in the years following your procedure, or to use non-surgical face lift treatments instead.

As is the case with any surgery, face lifts are accompanied by some risks, including:

  • Bleeding, infection, and other general risks of surgery
  • Swelling and fluid accumulation
  • The formation of keloids and hypertropic scar tissue
  • Nerve damage and/or numbness around surgical sites
  • Blood clots
  • Allergic reactions to anaesthesia/sutures, etc.
  • >Facial asymmetry

The duration of your face lift surgery will depend on the type of meloplasty procedure you’re looking to secure. For traditional full face SMAS lifts, however, you can expect your surgery to take anywhere between 2-4 hours, depending on the volume of skin and fat tissue that may need to be removed.

Most patients can expect some light pain and discomfort as well as swelling or bruising in the first 4-10 days following their face lift procedure. After surgery, your surgeon will provide medications that may be applied topically to the skin to aid in the healing process, or medication that must be taken orally to aid in pain relief. It’s also recommended that patients stay indoors and refrain from any strenuous physical activity to avoid risks of infection or disturbing surgical wounds before they’ve had a chance to heal.

Prior to your preliminary face lift consultation, it’s recommended that you research the different types of face lift procedures and determine what treatment is best suited to your healthcare needs. Our Pirk Cosmetic Consultant will also provide you with a list of questions to ask your face lift surgeon during your consultation, as well as on the day of your procedure, and even post-surgery.

Face lift surgeries typically involve making precise incisions at regions across the face, with incision sites depending on the type of face lift procedure you’ll be undergoing. Once the incisions are made, your meloplasty surgeon will lift the facial skin and muscle system higher to reduce sagging skin and other visible signs of ageing. Once the procedure has been completed, these incision sites are then either stitched or sutured.

As is the case with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of scarring. If you follow your surgeon’s post-op advice and aftercare instructions, however, the risk of experiencing lasting scarring should be minimal.

Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog and on the Pirk website is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered professional advice. While we collaborate with qualified surgeons, we are not medical specialists, and the content provided is of a general nature. It is strongly recommended to seek personalised professional advice tailored to your specific situation.

If assistance in finding a qualified surgeon is needed, Pirk can offer support. This content does not constitute personal advice, diagnoses, or treatment plans. By reading our blogs, you acknowledge and accept these terms. For further assistance or clarification, please contact us at

We can help you find your Surgeon

To ensure your facelift procedure meets your expectations, it’s vital to choose a surgeon with FRACS accreditation. With various facelift methods available, finding your ideal surgeon can be challenging.

Pirk’s Cosmetic Consultation Service simplifies this process.

How We Make It Easy

  1. Tell Us What You Need: Start by filling out our simple enquiry form. It’s quick, easy, and helps us understand exactly what you’re looking for.

  2. Let’s Chat: Schedule a Discovery Call with one of our Pirk Cosmetic Consultants. We’ll dive deep into your preferences and requirements to match you with qualified surgeons who fit your needs.

  3. Find Your Match: Based on our conversation, we’ll handpick a list of recommended surgeons near you. Take your time to browse through their profiles and find the one that feels like the perfect fit.

  4. Book With Confidence:Once you’ve found your ideal surgeon, book your initial consultation. You can do it directly through Pirk, making the process smooth and stress-free.


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Start your journey by filling out our enquiry form.

Let us know what you’re looking for, and our expert team will ensure you have everything you need, matching you with the ideal surgeon for your requirements.