The face and neck are usually the first places where you will begin to notice signs of ageing. Many cosmetic surgical procedures aim to refresh and rejuvenate the face and neck areas, erasing or diminishing these visible signs.
Dr Marcells, an accomplished facial plastic surgeon, performs a number of these procedures, including facelifts, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), brow lifts, nose surgery (rhinoplasty) and revision rhinoplasty.
What a facelift can do for you
You can find out what a facelift can do for you and view the before and after photos of patients who have undergone facelift procedures with Dr Marcells in the Face Gallery of this website. All the gallery photos are of Dr Marcells’ real patients.
All facelifts are not the same
Facelifts can be performed using a number of techniques, addressing different soft tissue layers of the face.
Skin-only facelifts operate on the most superficial layers of the face. In many cases the skin-only facelift produces a pulled skin look and isn’t suitable for everyone
The standard facelift these days, the SMAS facelift, addresses the superficial musculo aponeurotic system (SMAS), a fibrous connective tissue layer found beneath the facial fat. Although the SMAS procedure produces a more natural look than the skin-only technique, a bit of skin pulling may still be necessary for best results.
Not every facelift has to result in unsightly and tell tale pulled-looking skin. The deep plane facelift addresses the deeper structures of the face. By going below the SMAS layer, the deep plane facelift produces a naturally rejuvenated look, which is one reason why it is much in demand among the Hollywood set. Only a few surgeons have the skill and experience needed to perform this procedure.
The deep plane facelift sounds serious, but from a patient’s point of view it offers a shorter and often less complicated healing experience—another reason for its popularity. This is because, compared to other techniques, the deep plane facelift technique only minimally disrupts the facial tissue close to the skin.
Dr Marcells prefers the deep plane facelift to other techniques because it produces a natural appearance, and its results last longer. The deep plane face and neck lift technique repositions soft tissues below the SMAS layer, releasing them from the underlying muscles and reattaching them at higher anchor points. Deep plane techniques allow the whole face to be lifted, giving better definition to the jaw, neck and cheekbones.
Are you a candidate for a deep plane facelift?
Anyone who is a candidate for a standard facelift can be a candidate for the deep plane facelift.
You can benefit from a deep plane facelift if:
- You have loose skin or severe sagging on your face.
- Changes that have occurred over time in your face are making you look angry, upset or tired when you really are not.
- You would like your facelift procedure to result in a natural-looking result, not the ‘done look’ that makes it obvious you’ve had a facelift.
- You wish to look and feel refreshed by the facelift and are not seeking a dramatic transformation.
- You value a surgical procedure with long lasting results, with little need for revisions. Deep plane facelift results can last ten or 15 years.
Surgeons performing revision or secondary facelifts often use the deep plane facelift, because most first-time facelifts are SMAS or skin only. Better results can be achieved with a deep plane procedure in such instances, because there is a natural limit to how far the skin and muscle of the face can be stretched and pulled without making you look grotesque.
How a deep plane facelift is performed
Deep plane facelifts are performed in hospital under general anaesthesia. You will be required to stay overnight.
Depending on the extent of work needed, your deep plane facelift procedure may take several hours to complete.
Surgical incisions will be placed in front of and behind your ears. Sometimes the incisions will extend into your scalp.
The deep plane facelift involves lifting the deeper layers of the face, tightening the muscles and repositioning or removing excess skin. Liposuction may be used in the neck and jowls to remove unwanted layers of fat and better contour the chin and neck. The deep plane facelift reverses the effects of gravity, tightening the soft tissues of the face and restoring its youthful contours.
You will be photographed before and after the procedure. Dr Marcells uses the ‘before’ images extensively in planning your deep plane facelift procedure. You will also be asked to clearly communicate what you want to see at the end of the deep plane facelift.
Photos taken after the surgery will be used for comparison purposes, so you and your surgeon can objectively judge the outcome.
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Preparing for your facelift
The preparation process for facelift surgery involves a number of tests and imaging procedures. You may need to take specific medications or adjust the medications you normally take.
Dr Marcells will give you a set of instructions to help you prepare for your facelift. Follow those instructions closely. If you have any questions or need any clarifications, we will be glad to help.
Among other things, giving up cigarettes well ahead of the surgery helps make your recovery fast and uneventful.
You will be asked to stop taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, certain other medications and herbal supplements to minimise the risk of excessive bleeding.
People with short hair often let it grow a bit prior to the surgery. The longer hair covers their surgical incisions during the recovery period. If you bleach, dye or chemically treat your hair, have it done before surgery. It will not be safe to treat your hair for at least a month following surgery.
After facelift surgery
After the surgery and hospital discharge, make arrangements to be picked up and driven home. It is also advisable to have someone stay overnight with you your first night home.
When you wake up your face will be bandaged. You will be given pain medications to lessen any discomfort you may have, but many patients report surprise at how little pain they feel after a deep plane facelift.
It is natural to experience some swelling and bruising, especially during the first week after surgery. Healing after a deep plane facelift is generally faster than after a standard facelift. Rather than separating the skin from the deeper tissue, as happens during a standard facelift, the deep plane technique focuses on repositioning the entire loose facial soft tissue as one unit. This causes less tissue trauma and speeds up healing.
Bruising on the face usually diminishes within a fortnight, but some puffiness will remain. Dr Marcells will guide you on medications and remedies to minimise discomfort. Cold compresses will help control swelling and bruising.
You will be told about steps that help speed up the healing process. To make sure you heal properly, Dr Marcells will also give you specific instructions and tips on what to do and what to avoid.
The tips include:
- Keeping your head elevated and using extra pillows when resting or sleeping.
- Sleeping on your back. Use pillows to ensure you do not roll over in your sleep.
- Avoid turning your head too much or flexing your neck for at least a week after the facelift.
- Following Dr Marcells’ instructions closely about what is allowed and not allowed during your recovery period. You will be told when it is safe to resume normal activities and how long you should keep away from anything strenuous. Typically it is best to avoid strenuous activity for four to six weeks.
- Avoid straining, bending or lifting anything soon after facelift surgery because it can cause bleeding.
- Dr Marcells will give you instruction on when you’re able to return to wash your hair, based on the exact facelift procedure you’ve had.
- You should not use concealing makeup for at least a week after surgery.
- Refrain from smoking and avoid second hand exposure to smoke. It can increase your risk of skin death, poor healing, wound separation and raised red scars.
- Keep away from the sun until your healing is complete. Sun exposure can lead to prolonged swelling and discolouration of your scars.
- Typically we say it is safe to return to work after two weeks, but that obviously depends on your job and on how your healing is progressing. Different people heal differently, and the demands of each job are different as well. It is best to discuss with Dr Marcells when it will be safe for you to return to work.
Your instructions will include contact numbers to use in an emergency. Do not hesitate to use those numbers. Having your mind at rest is important for uneventful and speedy healing, and if a call can put your mind at rest, go ahead and make that call.
Potential risks and complications
Every surgical procedure carries some level of risk, including the risk of infection and adverse reactions to anaesthesia. Facelifts are no exception.
Dr Marcells will discuss how any potential risks apply to you and how best they can be avoided or minimised.
Now it’s your call
People seek facelifts to refresh their appearance and to look the age they feel.
Facelifts are classified as elective cosmetic surgeries and are not covered by Medicare Australia or by private health insurance companies.
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Meet Dr Marcells
MBBS (Syd), FRACS (ORL-HNS)
President – Australasian Academy of Facial Plastic Surgeons
Dr George Marcells is known for excellence in facial plastic surgery and is considered a true master of rhinoplasty. He performs advanced surgical techniques to restore balance and harmony to the face and can also resolve functional issues such as breathing difficulties.