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Before and After: Facelift & Neck Lift

Facelift Surgery in London, UK

Written by Dr Julian De Silva

A facelift is a surgical procedure performed to reduce signs of ageing and enhance natural facial contours. When performed by an experienced plastic surgeon, it can completely revitalise your appearance and provide results that last for years.

With more than 10 years of surgical experience, Dr De Silva continues to teach nationally and internationally on facelift surgery. He is also a keen advocate of improving safety and quality of care.

Approach to Facelift Surgery

Dr Julian De Silva is a highly experienced facial cosmetic and plastic surgeon in London. His approach to surgery delivers a natural, artistic result by focusing on the individual characteristics of each patient.

Dr De Silva performs a signature deep plane facelift based on his research of facial beautification with the golden ratio. Currently, 20-30% of our patients are revision surgeries performed by other surgeons.

Surgery Safety is a Priority

Patient safety is of crucial importance in facial plastic surgery. The intricate anatomy of the face requires precision and care, which is why Dr De Silva is a keen advocate of patient safety. He has championed the need for patient safety on Sky News and in medical conferences around the world.

Facelift Before and After Photos

Photos: Before and After Facelift (Rhytidectomy) Treatment

Click here for more before and after photos.

What is a Facelift?

A facelift, also called a rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that enhances the cosmetic appearance of the face. It achieves this by reversing the signs of ageing to produce a revitalised, natural look. Specifically, a facelift can:

  • Lift sagging skin
  • Tighten loose skin
  • Decrease wrinkles and lines
  • Restore youthful facial contours

While facelifts were first performed over 100 years ago, the techniques, technology, safety and overall outcomes have improved exponentially – it’s no wonder that this is one of the most common cosmetic surgeries in London and the UK.

Dr De Silva is a leading expert in facial cosmetic and plastic surgery and has over 10 years of surgical experience. Using precise surgical techniques and his artistic sculpting ability, Dr De Silva has pioneered his own customised techniques.

The Benefits of Having a Facelift

As we age into our 30s and 40s, the natural elasticity of our skin diminishes. This results in fine lines and wrinkles, sagging skin, and a tired, aged appearance. A rhytidectomy offers many benefits, including:

  • Boost your confidence knowing that you don’t have to feel frustrated with your outside appearance and aging skin.
  • Acts as a preventative measure, especially if our career is linked to your physical appearance. For example, acting.
  • It offers a more permanent solution. Some patients may be frustrated with the temporary nature of fillers and non-surgical treatments.

A facelift procedure restores a youthful and revitalised look while maintaining a natural result. The results are often subtle enough for friends and family members to not notice. Dr De Silva’s number one philosophy is that patients achieve a natural and refreshed look – like themselves, but better.


Different Types of Facelifts

There are in fact a number of different types of facelifts available. As part of your consultation, Dr De Silva will thoroughly assess your skin and facial characteristics, and discuss your cosmetic goals with you, as well as the reasons for wanting to see an improvement in your looks.

Based on this, he will recommend the best option for your unique needs. Here are some of the common types of facelifts available, and Dr De Silva believes each procedure must be tailored to the individual, to give a natural and enhanced result.

Signature Deep Plane Facelift – Golden Ratio

While the most ‘advanced’ option, the deep plane facelift offers the most natural augmentation. The natural facial layers are elevated to their original position to address facial volume and sagging skin. An intricate procedure requiring excellent knowledge of the intricate facial anatomy, it is performed by less than 5% of general plastic surgeons.

Dr De Silva has developed a signature deep plane facelift surgery based on his research with facial enhancement and beautification with the Golden Ratio, augmented femininity or masculinity to give a sharper and more attractive appearance.

A Skin-Only Facelift

This procedure involves only lifting the skin, rather than the skin and tissue underneath. A more traditional technique is used when only some skin needs to be excised without disturbing any underlying muscles. A skin-only facelift is generally performed on younger patients who have not had any advanced ageing set in.

SMAS Based Facelifts

A SMAS facelift addresses the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) – the thin layer of fibres that covers the face and the neck. This procedure flattens the nasolabial folds and adjusts sagging cheeks and jowls by excising both skin and facial tissue to produce a naturally ‘lifted’ look. In some cases, fat deposits can be removed for further definition.

S-Lift, MACS Lift

The S-Lift is named after the ‘S’ shape of its incision. Both the S-Lift and MACS (Minimal Access Cranial Suspension) lift are known for their shorter incisions. They are also quicker to perform, with less downtime. These procedures focus on the middle and lower third of the face to erase jowls, wrinkles, and other sagging skin.

Mini Facelift

The mini facelift is similar to the s-lift in that smaller incisions are used. In this case, only the SMAS muscle is altered, for a lift that provides a refreshed look but less dramatic results than more traditional or invasive surgery. This procedure is suitable for those with early facial ageing.

Before & After Photos

Woman's face, before/after Facelift and NeckLift treatment, side view, patient 1
Woman's face, before/after Facelift and NeckLift treatment, side view, patient 2
Woman's face, before/after Facelift and NeckLift treatment, front view, patient 3

Video Testimonials

Real Self. Top Doctor - Blepharoplasty 2020


4.98 from 588 reviews

By An, Facelift surgery on Mar 28, 2020

From start to finish I found the whole experience absolute first class. The consultation was informative and reassuring and after surgery the aftercare and subsequent follow ups showed great care and interest in my well being. The surgery itself has been a great success and I wish to praise very highly Dr De Silva for his patience , care, advice and attention to detail. I would certainly strongly recommend Dr De Silva and all the team.
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By Facelift surgery on Mar 16, 2020

Having this surgery was always something I thought about however was nervous on the results. From the very minute we met Dr De Silva I knew he, and the practice, was the right choice. Through the entire process I was made to feel at ease, and the procedure (date I say) was actually enjoyable! The results have been nothing short of life-changing, and my only regret was not doing it years ago. I wonderful surgeon and a wonderful set of staff - highly recommended
read more

Read More Reviews Here *Results May Vary

How Much Does a Facelift in London Cost?

Every surgery is unique, and this influences the way it is priced. Surgery fees for a rhytidectomy in London can consist of the consultation fee, anaesthetists fee, and surgeons fee.

It also depends on the surgery complexity, cost of equipment, other chosen treatments included during the surgery, and follow-up appointments. In some patients, the use of 3D computer modelling is used to give a visual representation of the results they could expect to see.

Know Your Options

Dr De Silva discusses treatment options available, as well as any risks associated with them to give a full overview and allow patients to make an informed decision regarding surgery or alternative treatment. In the case a patient decides to proceed with surgery, the consultancy fee is waived.

Surgery fees can consist of the consultation fee, anaesthetists fee, surgeons fee, the surgery complexity, cost of equipment, other chosen treatments included during the surgery, and follow-up appointments. This is subject to change but is all-inclusive, so there will not be any further costs at a later stage. All fees are discussed and agreed upon with you prior to commencement.

We offer several payment options including cash and all major credit cards, and our knowledgeable staff is always ready to guide you through the financing process.

Why Choose Dr De Silva?

Dr De Silva is a widely credited and celebrated facial plastic surgeon who specialises in the eyes, nose, face and neck areas only, and is known for natural results.

His customised approach incorporates his artistry and experience from working in the cosmetic centres of Los Angeles and New York, ensuring each unique face he works on achieves a natural and youthful look. Dr De Silva provides patients with the latest advancements backed by scientific research.

“My focus has and always will be to be the very best at what I do, to continually innovate to provide World Class leadership to all my team, all my patients and all my associates. My mission is to help every patient be the very best version of themself with World-Class services, life-long follow up with complimentary facial aesthetic procedures.”

In a world of increasing complexity and misinformation, Dr De Silva’s passion has been focused on providing sincere advice, low risk and fast recovery procedures.

Patient Support and Safety

We are a team of fully accredited physicians who specialise in anaesthesia, as well as registered nurses who specialise in plastic surgery. It is of the utmost priority that patients feel calm and comfortable before, during and after any surgery.

London facial plastic surgeon Dr De Silva uses surgical techniques that greatly reduce the risk of any severe side effects after surgery. In some cases, a specialised form of sedation anaesthesia, also known as “twilight anaesthesia,” is used, which allows a patient to sleep through a procedure while having a far shorter recovery time.


Although rare, some potential risks can include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Poor wound healing
  • Scarring
  • Facial nerve injury
  • Fluid accumulation

The possible risks will be discussed with you prior to your consent. It is also important to raise any questions you may have about the procedure, with Dr De Silva.

Facelift Recommendations

Just as every person’s face is unique, everyone ages differently. Dr De Silva takes a thorough and customised approach to his consultations to understand what has led to patients looking to improve their appearance.

Dr De Silva’s recommendations when suggesting an appropriate surgery come from years of experience as both a surgeon and artist. Face and neck lift surgery is a substantial step for some patients. However, it offers a facial rejuvenation that cannot be achieved by other means (such as non-surgical treatments or creams).

Dr De Silva and his team take a personal approach to facelift surgery, and fully support patients during their journey.

What to Expect

On the day of your surgery, you will be welcomed into our state-of-the-art facility and prepared for your procedure. Dr De Silva sees all his patients before surgery, check his patient and put specific markings that are unique for each patient.

For the surgery itself, you will be asleep with gentle yet powerful sedation anaesthesia. Dr De Silva is meticulous and will ensure that he takes the time and care to complete your surgery to allow for invisible scars and minimal downtime.

Preparing for Facelift Surgery in London

Prior to your surgery, you may need to:

  • Refrain from certain medications like blood thinners
  • Stop smoking
  • Stop eating for at least six hours before surgery

As part of your pre-surgery consultation, we will advise on which exact actions you must take before your surgery to aid in both the surgery itself and your recovery afterwards.

office building: londonfacialplasticsurgery
Preparing for Facelift Surgery in London

Recovering After Surgery

The length of recovery will depend on which surgery or treatment has been completed. However, you can expect to have a period of rest and recovery of approximately one to two weeks, and return to social and professional activities after one to three weeks.

You may experience bruising, which resolves over one to two weeks, and swelling, of which 80% will diminish within two weeks and continue to disappear. While you will have very little pain, you may experience numbness around the ears and chin, which can take six to 12 months to disappear completely.

3d female face: recovering After Surgery, numbness around the ears and chin

Speeding Up Facelift Recovery

There are a number of ways you can aid in your recovery after surgery.

It is important to rest and allow your body the time it needs to recover without putting it under extra pressure. You may be provided with a wrap for your face and head that helps with swelling and gently icing the area for ten minutes at a time encourages swelling to dissipate.

Sleeping in a reclined or sitting up position is recommended for five to seven days after surgery. It is also recommended not to do any heavy lifting or strenuous activities for at least two to three weeks after surgery.

Your Consultation

The decision to undergo surgery can be a big choice for people. That’s why Dr De Silva ensures his patients have all the information they need to make an informed choice.

  • Your consultation will involve a comprehensive study of your face and skin, your medical history, and the reasons for wanting to change your appearance.
  • In consultation prior to your surgery, we discuss expectations and possible outcomes with you in-depth.
  • He will take you through each step of the surgery process in detail, including how long you should expect to take to recover, and how you can aid in your recovery.

If you wish to inquire about how you can look and feel your best again, or have any questions about facelift surgery, contact us at book your consultation.

Julian De Silva and his work in office - photo

Facelift Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

  • How long does a facelift take?

    Depending on the facelift type and if any other treatments are being undertaken, surgery can take anywhere from two to four hours or more.

    Dr De Silva takes as much time as he needs to ensure his surgeries provide the best possible results.

  • How do I recover from surgery?

    Dr De Silva will provide personalised recommendations on how best to optimise your recovery.

    In general, it is best to rest, take action in preventing swelling (such as icing swollen areas for ten minutes at a time), avoiding sunlight for one to two weeks, and avoiding strenuous activity.

  • What type of facelift is best for me?

    Using his experience as a facial plastic surgeon, the current state of your face and skin, and information gained from discussion during your consultation, Dr De Silva will recommend the optimal surgery to undergo in order to achieve your desired outcome.

  • Are there any side effects?

    Like any surgery, there can be some side effects, ranging from mild to severe. Dr De Silva takes all precautions in order to prevent or avoid serious side effects during surgery.

    However, there are highly some rare yet possible side effects, including visible scarring, nerve damage and infection.

  • How do I choose a facelift surgeon in London?

    One of the most important parts of surgery is choosing your surgeon, especially for surgery on the delicate and complex face. There are a few things to ensure when it comes to making your choice:

    • That they are a specialist facial plastic surgeon
    • That they are detail-oriented and meticulous
    • That they understand facelifts require not just medical technique but an artists’ touch
    • That you have a good rapport and feel comfortable with them

    Patients come from all over London, the UK, and the world to be treated by Dr De Silva and his team, who treat each patient like family.

  • Can I combine a rhytidectomy with other procedures?

    As part of your procedure, we may recommend other treatments, such as a neck lift, blepharoplasty (eyelid lift) or fat transfer to supplement and enhance the end result.

    These will be conducted during your surgery to combine recovery time.

  • Will I have visible scars?

    Where possible, Dr De Silva hides incisions within the natural creases in the face. 99% of scars are virtually invisible, achieved by using meticulous technique and 3 levels of stitches.

  • Is surgery painful?

    Before surgery is commenced, you are put to sleep, before having a local anaesthetic applied.

    Aside from mild discomfort, many patients report having very little pain after surgery, and often only require basic pain relief, if any.

  • What kind of anaesthesia is used?

    During surgery, sedation anaesthesia, also known as “twilight anaesthesia,” is used, which is a combination of local anaesthesia and sedative medications.

    We have further developed our own specialised form of this anaesthesia. A patient is made to sleep as they would on a normal night, without the breathing tube and side effects of general anaesthesia.

    As soon as the anaesthetic is stopped, patients wake within 30 minutes. Read more about our anesthesia here.

  • Am I a good candidate?

    A good candidate for a facelift is facial ageing with symptoms of sagging of the skin and soft tissues of the face, deepening of the nasolabial folds (a line between nose and mouth) and loose skin below the neck with loss of the angle between the chin and neck.

    The patient should be in good health, and a non-smoker with have realistic goals of rejuvenating their face.

  • What happens after surgery?

    A bandage is placed around your head from the top of your head to under the chin, this gives support to the face and reduces swelling.

    We use micro-drains for some patients to reduce swelling and enhance recovery. By the use of meticulous techniques, patients are able to leave the surgical centre and go home after 1-2 hours.

    Most patients have little or no pain; however, they should take things relatively easy and avoid all forms of exercise.

    Dr De Silva will see all of his patients the day after surgery and provide you with contact details so he may be reached 24-hours a day. The following day you are able to have a shower and wash your hair.

    From 5-7 days, your facial stitches will be removed, and after two weeks most of the swelling will have resolved. The scars are hidden behind the ear and in the hair, the remainder fade over a period of months.

  • How long does recovery take?
      • Typically patients will go home on the day of surgery. There is a support bandage that applies pressure to the face and neck for the first day.

    Dr De Silva advises his patients to apply ice packs to their faces for the first 2-days as this speeds up recovery and reduces swelling.

    Patients often feel good after a few days, and the face is usually swollen and bruised for two weeks. Occasionally patients can feel really drained for the first couple of weeks.

    After 1-week patients may return to most normal activities, although strenuous activity should be avoided for 3-4 weeks.

    Most of the stitches are removed between 1-2 weeks. Dr De Silva avoids the use of staples as these promote scar formation through tracks. In addition, Dr De Silva takes steps to minimise leading, with meticulous techniques and fibrin tissue glue and drains in the face to enhance recovery after surgery.

    Dr De Silva follows his patients very carefully after their surgery and is readily accessible 24-7, he also advises patients on minimising scarring and may use medications that facilitate hidden incisions with the use of creams or local treatments.

  • What age is suitable for a facelift?

    The average person having facelift surgery is between 50 and 70 years old.

    Younger ages for this surgery are the 40s, all faces age at different rates, where a combination of natural genetics and exposure to the sun may result in early ageing.

    In younger patients, this can be used as a form of preventative maintenance, a requisite in some professions such as the actresses and actors in the movie industry.

    There is no fixed age limit to undergo cosmetic surgery; the person must have good health and be a non-smoker as safety always comes first.

    The father, one of my surgeon’s colleagues, was in good health and underwent a facelift at the age of 85, he was absolutely delighted with the results.

    There are no absolutes to age in having a facelift it is necessary to do a comprehensive series of blood tests, electrocardiogram (heart tracing) and chest x-ray to establish good health.

  • What is the difference between a full facelift and a mini facelift?

    A mini facelift procedure is a technique that benefits a person with relatively early features of facial ageing, including facial sagginess with deep facial lines (termed nasolabial folds) with or without early jowls (softening of the smooth jawline) and some skin laxity in the cheeks and lower face.

    Key for suitability for a mini-facelift is relatively good skin elasticity and relatively mild changes in the lower third of your face and neck. The advantages of a mini facelift are a small incision and a hidden scar with rapid recovery after surgery.

    There are circumstances where a mini-facelift procedure is not adequate. If you have is substantial skin laxity, marked jowls, droopiness in the neck including vertical bands (termed platysmal bands). With these features usually from your 50s, a full facelift is required to provide a natural rejuvenation.

    A full facelift requires a larger incision as more surgery is required to lift and rejuvenate the face. The incision is longer as it needs to extend behind the ear into the hairline principally to treat the increased skin laxity.

    At the same time, the incisions can be largely hidden in natural creases and contours to avoid visible scars after surgery. The recovery from a full facelift is approximately 2-weeks, although the final result is 6-12 months later.

    Key to a natural rejuvenation in both mini-facelift and full-facelift techniques include meticulous attention to detail, lifting beneath the skin including the SMAS and deep soft tissue layers (to avoid a wind-swept appearance) and multi-layered closure (to avoid visible scars).

    Both techniques are effective at rejuvenating your face depending on your clinical needs, and an assessment is required to determine your individual needs and suitability for this facial surgery.

    Both techniques may be completed with other facial techniques, including blepharoplasty (eyelid lift), fat transfer (volume rejuvenation), and CO2 laser resurfacing to augment the natural results.

About the Author: Dr. De Silva

About the Author

Finding the most reputable facelift expert is never easy. Therefore, you should always research the best surgeons in your area and ask plenty of questions. Dr De Silva is a facial cosmetic and plastic surgeon, author, global educator, with a track record of doing procedures for top celebrities. He is based at world-renowned Harley Street in Central London and specializes in three main procedures: Face and Neck lifts, Blepharoplasty, and Rhinoplasty.

Come witness a custom-built surgical centre that is not your average hospital. You are guaranteed to experience natural-looking results and fast healing thanks to growth factors, oxygen therapy, and state of the art technology.

By specialising in only the face, you can rest assured knowing that you’re getting premier results. Dr De Silva achieves natural-looking results for his patients using the latest technology, so they can heal quickly and look their absolute best. No matter what your reason for wanting a cosmetic treatment is, Dr De Silva and his team are here to help. To find out more information about Dr De Silva and his work, check out our website.

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