Facelift (Rhytidectomy)

Facelift Surgery

Procedure: Restoring the natural shape of a youthful face
Anaesthesia: Local or General
Surgical Time: 4 hours
Hospital Stay: Day Case / Overnight
Time off Work: 2 weeks
Back to Light Sports: 6 weeks
Full Recovery: 3-6 months
Follow-up: 1 week, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months

Facelift surgery is performed in order to restore the youthful appearance of the face that has undergone the natural ageing process, leading to:

 Loss of volume and tone
 Sagging of the skin


In principle, a rhytidectomy aims to tighten the muscles of the face and also to re-drape the skin. Additionally, in some cases during the procedure there may be a need to enhance certain areas of the face with fat grafting.

A facelift can be performed on its own all or in combination with other cosmetic facial procedures such as eyelid surgery or neck lift. There are a number of facelift techniques, including:

 Short scar facelift
 Regular facelift
 Mini facelift

The surgery method chosen will depend on what results you wish to achieve, and while the effects can be significant, it’s important to manage your expectations: a facelift can make you look fresher and more youthful, but nothing can completely turn back time.

The Procedure and the Recovery Process

During your consultation in one of Mr Akhavani’s London clinics, he’ll discuss your medical history with you and carry out a physical examination, including an assessment of your skin and the underlying bone structure of your face. This process is essential in order to confirm that you’re a suitable candidate for the surgery.

Depending on the type of facelift to be performed, it can be carried out under local anaesthesia with sedation or general anaesthetic. Typically, the procedure takes 3 to 4 hours, with most patients staying overnight.

After the surgery, drains may be placed under the skin to help remove any excess fluid. These are normally removed the following morning. You should plan to take two weeks off work, and refrain from any form of exercise for 6 weeks, at which point you should be able to resume some light activity.

Possible Facelift Complications

When a facelift is performed by an experience and qualified plastic surgeon, the patient can achieve a great outcome with an uneventful recovery.

However, in a small proportion of cases, and as with any surgical procedure, some complications are a possibility, such as:

 Minor skin infection
 Unfavourable wound healing (in particular in patients who smoke)
 Damage to the facial nerve which controls the movement of the muscles of the face
Mr Akhavani will carefully explain all of the risks and complications of the surgery during your consultation, and give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

To book a consultation for a facial surgery at one of Mr Akhavani’s London practices, please call 0203 733 3224 to make a booking.


For further information on facelift surgery, please visit the following links:

BAAPS Patient Information on Facelift
BAPRAS Patient Information on Facelift
ASPS Patient Information on Facelift