Face Lift in Singapore (Rhytidectomy): Take Years Off Your Actual Age

What is a Face Lift?

A face lift is a cosmetic procedure aimed at rejuvenating the facial appearance by reducing sagging or folds of skin on the cheeks and jawline, and other changes in the shape of your face that occur with age. Medically known as a rhytidectomy, this surgical procedure lifts and tightens the underlying muscles of the face to create more aesthetically pleasing contours and rejuvenate the facial structure. Read on to learn more about face lifts and what they have to offer you!

How Your Skin Ages Over Time

Ageing and environmental factors such as UV exposure lead to visible changes in our facial appearance. These changes include loss of skin elasticity, sagging, uneven pigmentation, diminished facial fat, and changes in bone structure. These alterations can affect the face’s overall contours and skin texture. Modern plastic surgery, including both minimally invasive treatments and more intensive procedures like facelifts, aims to counter these effects.
4 layers of the skin (muscle, subcutaneous, dermis, epidermis)

How Does a Facelift Work?

A facelift starts with the administration of anaesthesia for patient comfort. Incisions are then made, usually around the hairline and behind the ears, to minimise visible scarring. Through these incisions, the surgeon can access the underlying facial tissues. They may reposition or remove some of the fat and tissue to create a smoother, tighter facial contour. Excess skin is then trimmed away, and the remaining skin is gently laid back over the newly rejuvenated facial structures. The incisions are closed with sutures, and the area is bandaged.

Recovery time varies, but patients typically experience swelling and bruising that subsides within a few weeks. The results of a facelift can be dramatic, offering a rejuvenated appearance that can last for many years. It’s crucial for patients to have realistic expectations and to understand that a facelift doesn’t stop the ageing process but rather resets it to a more youthful stage.

Different Types of Face Lifts

Type of Facelift Description Target Area Ideal For
Traditional Facelift
Incisions around the ears, hairline, and chin. Separates skin from tissues, tightens muscles, removes excess fat.
Full face
Moderate to significant ageing, comprehensive rejuvenation.
SMAS Facelift
Focuses on the superficial musculoaponeurotic system. Tightens muscle layer, reshapes skin and fat in the lower face.
Lower two-thirds of the face
Enhanced contouring of cheeks and lower face.
Deep Plane Facelift
Lifts SMAS, fat, and skin as a single unit. Addresses multiple facial areas simultaneously.
Multiple facial areas
Comprehensive facial rejuvenation, alternative to surgery.
Repositions cheek fat, tightens skin, enhancing cheekbones and reducing midface sagging.
Cheek area
Enhancing cheekbones, reducing midface sagging.
Focuses on the lower face and neck. Less invasive with quicker recovery.
Lower face and neck
Early signs of ageing, younger patients.
Cutaneous Facelift
Targets skin in the neck and lower face. Tightens skin without altering muscle structure.
Neck and lower face
Skin laxity without severe facial sagging.

Am I a Good Candidate for a Face Lift?

Are you considering a face lift? Here’s how to know if you’re a suitable candidate:

✅ Exhibit signs of facial ageing yet retain some skin elasticity.
✅ Generally aged between 40s to 70s.
✅ In good overall health.
✅ Non-smokers.
✅ Possess realistic expectations regarding the procedure’s results.

Face Lift Procedure

Before the Procedure

doctor doing a close up check on a mature woman

The face lift process at Covette Clinic starts with an in-depth consultation to set goals and realistic expectations, discuss procedure details, review medical history, and provide pre-surgery instructions, including medication adjustments and dietary recommendations. Necessary pre-surgery testing like blood work or imaging studies is conducted to ensure suitability for the procedure.

During the Procedure

The surgery involves precise incisions along the hairline and ears to minimize visible scarring. The surgeon reshapes and repositions underlying tissues and muscles, including the orbicularis oculi muscle around the eyes, removes excess skin to smooth wrinkles, and then closes the incisions with fine sutures.

After the Procedure

Post-procedure recovery includes managing initial symptoms like swelling, bruising, and discomfort. Patients are advised to rest, limit physical activity, and follow the surgeon’s guidance for a smooth recovery. Pain management strategies and wound care instructions are provided. Regular follow-up appointments are crucial for monitoring healing and addressing any concerns.

Follow-up Appointments

Regular follow-up appointments play a pivotal role in your recovery:

Monitoring Healing: Your surgeon will assess your healing progress, check for any signs of complications, and ensure scars are healing properly.

Addressing Concerns: An opportunity to discuss any discomfort, concerns, or questions about the recovery process.

Adjusting Care Plan: Based on your progress, the surgeon may adjust your post-operative care plan, including medications or activities.

Self-Care and Maintenance

woman practising self care with skin products at a cosmetic table
Long-term care involves adhering to the recovery plan, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, protecting the skin from the sun, and following a skincare routine recommended by the surgeon to enhance and sustain the results of the face lift.

Face Lift Recovery Timeline

Immediate Post-Operative Phase (Weeks 1-2):
  • During the first two weeks, patients commonly experience swelling and bruising, with these symptoms being most prominent immediately after surgery. Limited physical activities are advised, and patients are often required to keep their head elevated. Pain medication may be necessary to manage discomfort.
Short-Term Recovery Phase (Weeks 3-4):
  • By the third week, there is a noticeable reduction in swelling and bruising. Most patients start to feel comfortable returning to work and engaging in light activities. This phase marks the beginning of more visible improvements.
Intermediate Recovery Phase (Months 2-3):
  • The second and third months post-surgery are characterised by continued improvement in swelling and the beginning of scar maturation. Patients will start to see more significant changes in their facial contour, although scars may not be fully healed at this stage.
Long-Term Recovery Phase (3-6 Months to 1 Year):
  • The final results of the facelift are typically visible around 6 months post-surgery, with the full outcome apparent by the end of the first year. Scars continue to mature and fade during this period, and the patient’s face settles into its rejuvenated appearance.
Note: The specific timeline can vary depending on the type of facelift performed, individual healing processes, and adherence to post-operative care instructions. Regular follow-up appointments with the surgeon are crucial for monitoring the healing process and addressing any concerns.

Benefits of a Face Lift

1. Rejuvenation of Appearance

A face lift effectively minimises visible signs of ageing such as wrinkles, sagging skin, and fine lines, predominantly around the lower face and neck. It smooths out creases and folds, resulting in a more youthful and refreshed facial appearance. Additionally, the procedure enhances facial contours by tightening skin and repositioning underlying tissues. This leads to a firmer face with a more defined jawline, reduced jowls, and a smoother neckline, thus achieving a sculpted and rejuvenated look.

2. Psychological and Confidence Boost

Undergoing a face lift often brings a significant boost in self-confidence and self-esteem. The improved appearance can positively impact one’s sense of well-being, leading to enhanced confidence in both social and professional environments. This psychological uplift is a crucial benefit, contributing to an overall better quality of life.

3. Durability and Longevity

Facelifts provide long-lasting results, making them a durable solution compared to non-surgical treatments. The effects of the surgery can endure for many years, influenced by factors like skin quality, lifestyle, and overall health. This longevity offers a more permanent improvement for those aiming to combat the signs of ageing.

4. Customization and Synergy with Other Procedures

Facelift surgery is highly customizable, tailored to individual ageing patterns and facial structures, ensuring alignment with personal aesthetic goals. Moreover, it can be effectively combined with other cosmetic procedures such as eyelid surgery, brow lifts, or dermal fillers. This synergy allows for a holistic approach to facial rejuvenation, addressing multiple ageing concerns for a more comprehensive and satisfying transformation.

Face Lift Side Effects

It’s important to note that while temporary side effects such as swelling, bruising, numbness, and discomfort are common following a face lift, including addressing fine lines and wrinkles, they are typically short-lived and resolve within a few weeks. Most patients find these side effects manageable and see them diminish as the healing process progresses. The end result, a more rejuvenated appearance, often outweighs these temporary inconveniences. Rest assured, your healthcare team will provide guidance and support throughout your recovery to ensure your comfort and well-being.

Face Lift Risks & Complications

woman consulting a beautician regarding cosmetic procedures at skin clinic
At Covette Clinic, ensuring the safety and satisfaction of our patients is a top priority, particularly when it comes to face lift surgery. We employ comprehensive measures to mitigate the associated risks:
  • Infection Prevention: At Covette Clinic, our adherence to strict sterilisation protocols and the employment of advanced surgical techniques significantly mitigate the risk of infection. Additionally, our vigilant post-operative care includes monitoring for complications such as hematoma, the most frequent complication following a face-lift. Hematomas, which are accumulations of blood under the skin, can cause swelling and pressure, typically developing within the first 24 hours post-surgery. Our team’s prompt response, including surgical intervention when necessary, is crucial to prevent any potential damage to the skin and underlying tissues, thus ensuring a safer recovery process while maintaining a sterile environment.
  • Anesthesia Safety: Working with skilled anesthesiologists, we conduct detailed preoperative assessments to ensure the safety of anaesthesia. Continuous monitoring during surgery and a quick response to any adverse reactions are key to safeguarding your wellbeing.
  • Managing Expectations: Clear communication about realistic outcomes is crucial. We discuss what a face lift can realistically achieve, aligning your expectations with potential results to avoid dissatisfaction.
  • Customised Approach: Every face lift is tailored to individual needs, enhancing the surgery’s effectiveness and client satisfaction.
  • Post-Surgery Care and Support: Our comprehensive post-operative care includes follow-up appointments and support to address any recovery concerns.
  • Risk Considerations for Smokers: It’s important to note that smokers face a higher risk of complications. We strongly advise stopping smoking completely at least 2 to 4 weeks before surgery to minimise these risks.
While complications like nerve injury, hematoma, or scarring are rare, Covette Clinic takes all necessary precautions to minimise such risks, ensuring a safe and successful procedure.

Facelift Glossary: Key Terms Explained

Understanding the terminology associated with face lift procedures is crucial for anyone considering this transformative cosmetic surgery. This section provides clear, concise definitions of key terms you’ll encounter during your face lift journey.

A combination of medications and gases administered during surgery to alleviate pain and affect consciousness.

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon (or Certified Plastic Surgeon)
A medical professional who has completed specialised training and certification in plastic surgery, ensuring high standards of care and expertise in procedures like facelifts.

The accumulation of blood under the skin’s surface.

Intravenous Sedation
A type of sedation where calming drugs are injected into a vein to aid in relaxation.

Tear Trough
The pronounced indentations situated below the lower eyelids.

Nasolabial Fold
Prominent lines running from the nose to the corners of the mouth.

Loose skin located around the lower cheek and jaw area.

Local Anaesthesia
A numbing medication injected at the site of surgery to desensitise the area.

Rhytidectomy (Removal of Wrinkles)
Commonly known as a facelift, this procedure aims to diminish sagging in the mid-face, lower cheek (jowls), and neck area.

SMAS (Submuscular Aponeurotic System)
A layer of tissue beneath the skin and above the facial muscles, often adjusted during a facelift to enhance facial contours.

A facelift method that involves deeper surgical techniques to lift and reposition cheek tissues for improved facial contours.

How Much Does a Face Lift Cost in Singapore?

Costs vary based on the type of procedure, surgeon’s expertise, and clinic location. Generally, face lift costs in Singapore range from SGD 10,000 to SGD 30,000.

Subsidies for Face Lift Treatment in Singapore

No, there are no subsidies available for a face lift procedure in Singapore. As a face lift is considered a form of cosmetic surgery, it typically does not qualify for coverage under health schemes like Medisave and CHAS.

Cosmetic Procedures That Complement a Face Lift

When undergoing a facelift, it’s common for individuals to opt for additional procedures to achieve a more complete rejuvenation. These complementary treatments often include:

  • Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty): This surgery focuses on the eye area, lifting and tightening the eyelids to give a more alert and youthful appearance. It addresses issues like drooping eyelids and can be combined with a facelift for overall facial enhancement.
  • Fat Grafting: A technique often used in conjunction with facelifts, fat grafting involves transferring fat from one part of the body to the face to restore lost volume, particularly effective in addressing marionette lines and hollow cheeks.
  • Neck Lift: Specifically targets loose skin and excess fat in the neck area, often performed alongside a facelift for comprehensive rejuvenation.
  • SMAS Facelift: This procedure focuses on the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) layer, which involves tightening the muscle layer to reshape the skin and fat, especially in the lower face and jowls.
  • Composite Facelift: A more extensive procedure that lifts not only the skin but also the deeper soft tissue layers for a more comprehensive rejuvenation, especially effective for addressing deep-set wrinkles and sagging.

Why Choose Covette Clinic for Your Face Lift?

The Covette Edge: Excellence in Facial Surgery

At Covette Clinic, nestled in the heart of Raffles Place, we redefine the essence of facial rejuvenation. Our clinic, designed for the discerning individual, is a sanctuary where aesthetic and plastic surgery treatments transcend expectations. With a team of world-renowned, board certified plastic surgeons boasting extensive credentials, we bring the pinnacle of expertise to every procedure. This ensures that our clients receive care from professionals who have met the rigorous standards and certifications necessary in the field of plastic surgery, providing peace of mind and assurance of quality in all our treatments.

Meet Our Expert Team

Dr. Gavin Kang

Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Medical Director

Dr. Gavin Kang is a renowned plastic surgeon in Singapore, with a career spanning since 2005. A Fellow of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore, he specialises in Plastic Surgery and holds a Master of Medicine (Surgery) and MBBS from the National University of Singapore. His expertise includes craniofacial cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, trained at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan, and further honed with advanced training in the USA and Korea.

Dr. Kang is skilled in a wide array of procedures, ranging from facial and body cosmetic surgeries to laser treatments and cosmetic injections. He holds the position of Chair of the Chapter of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgeons at the College of Surgeons, Singapore, and is a member of various aesthetic societies, marking his dedication to excellence and innovation in plastic surgery.

Dr. Shauna Tan

MBBS Singapore, Member of AAAM

Dr. Shauna Tan, a well-regarded plastic surgeon, holds an MBBS from Singapore and is a member of AAAM. Her career is marked by roles in plastic surgery departments across major hospitals in Singapore, and she has also completed an elective posting at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore. Dr. Tan is recognized for her empathetic approach and commitment to continuous learning, specialising in a range of cosmetic procedures.

She is passionate about boosting patient confidence and is sensitive to the influences of societal beauty standards. Dr. Tan’s expertise in aesthetic surgery is complemented by her dedication to the latest research and practices in the field. Her approachable nature makes her a preferred choice for those seeking cosmetic enhancements, as she ensures her patients are comfortable and confident throughout their aesthetic journey.

Both Dr. Gavin Kang and Dr. Shauna Tan at Covette Clinic bring a blend of extensive experience, specialised training, and a patient-centred approach, ensuring the highest standards of care and cosmetic excellence. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and experience the epitome of personalised cosmetic care.
Frequently Asked Questions
The ideal age for a face lift is not set in stone and largely depends on individual ageing signs and personal goals. Generally, people in their 40s to 60s seek face lift surgery as this is when the signs of ageing become more pronounced. However, the suitability of a face lift is more dependent on the specific ageing changes in the face rather than the person’s chronological age. A consultation with a plastic surgeon can provide personalised advice based on the individual’s facial structure, skin condition, and ageing process.
Choosing the right type of facelift depends on your age, the extent of ageing signs, and specific facial concerns. A traditional facelift is ideal for significant ageing, SMAS for deeper tissue sagging, and a mini-facelift for early signs of ageing. Mid-facelifts target the cheek area, while cutaneous lifts focus on skin laxity. Consulting with a plastic surgeon is essential to assess your individual needs and recommend the most suitable option for your unique facial structure and aesthetic goals.
A face lift typically involves several steps to rejuvenate the face. The procedure usually includes the removal of excess skin, tightening of underlying tissues, and repositioning of the skin for a more youthful appearance. It can target various areas like the jowls, neck, and cheeks. The specifics of the procedure can vary depending on individual needs, such as focusing more on the lower face or combining the lift with other treatments like eyelid surgery or a brow lift for a more comprehensive rejuvenation.
The longevity of a face lift varies based on individual factors like skin quality and lifestyle, but typically, the results can last anywhere from 8 to 12 years. It’s important to note that while a face lift can significantly reduce signs of ageing, it doesn’t halt the ageing process. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, protecting your skin from the sun, and following a good skincare routine can prolong the effects. Future touch-up treatments might be necessary to maintain the desired appearance as natural ageing continues.
To maintain your facelift results, follow a comprehensive skincare routine, including regular use of sunscreen, moisturisers, and anti-aging products as recommended by your surgeon. Adopt a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and sufficient hydration. Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, as these can accelerate ageing. Protect your skin from excessive sun exposure. Additionally, consider non-invasive treatments like facials or laser therapy for ongoing maintenance. Consistency in these practices will help prolong the youthful appearance achieved by your facelift.
Yes, non-surgical alternatives to facelifts include treatments like dermal fillers, Botox injections, thread lifts, and laser skin resurfacing. These methods can effectively reduce signs of ageing, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and mild skin laxity, offering a non-invasive approach. Dermal fillers restore lost volume, while Botox addresses dynamic wrinkles. Thread lifts provide a subtle lift using dissolvable threads, and laser treatments improve skin texture and tone. However, these options typically offer less dramatic results compared to surgical facelifts and may require regular maintenance.
In Singapore, the cost of a face lift surgery can range broadly depending on various factors like the complexity of the procedure, the surgeon’s expertise, and the facility where the surgery is performed. On average, prices can range from SGD 10,000 to SGD 30,000. It’s crucial to consider that the cost should also factor in post-surgery care, follow-up appointments, and any additional treatments that may be necessary for optimal results. Always discuss the full cost breakdown with your surgeon during the consultation.
Whether a face lift is worth it depends on personal goals and expectations. For many, the benefits of improved facial appearance, boosted self-confidence, and reversing the signs of ageing justify the cost and recovery time. A successful face lift can result in a more youthful, refreshed appearance, often making patients feel more positive about their image. However, it’s crucial to have realistic expectations and understand that a face lift doesn’t stop the ageing process; it merely resets it.
While a face lift is a significant surgical procedure, the pain involved is generally manageable. Patients are given anaesthesia during the surgery to ensure comfort. Post-surgery, some discomfort, swelling, and bruising are expected but can be effectively managed with prescribed pain medication. Most patients report that the discomfort is less than anticipated and subsides significantly within the first week following the procedure. It’s important to follow your surgeon’s advice on pain management and recovery for the best experience.
The timeline for returning to work and normal activities post-facelift varies. Generally, patients can resume non-strenuous work and light activities within 2 to 3 weeks. However, full recovery, including engaging in more vigorous activities and exercise, may take up to 4 to 6 weeks. The exact duration depends on the extent of the surgery and individual healing processes. It’s crucial to follow your surgeon’s post-operative care instructions for a smooth and safe recovery.
After a face lift, it’s important to avoid activities that can hinder the healing process. This includes avoiding strenuous activities, heavy lifting, and vigorous exercise for at least two to four weeks. Smoking and alcohol consumption should be avoided as they can impair wound healing. Direct sun exposure should be minimised to prevent scarring and skin damage. It’s also advisable to avoid wearing makeup or using hair styling products that can interfere with the incisions until your surgeon gives the go-ahead.
Typically, a single face lift procedure is sufficient to achieve the desired results. The effects of a face lift are long-lasting, and most patients do not require multiple sessions. However, some individuals may choose to have additional procedures years later as the natural ageing process continues. The need for further sessions largely depends on personal preferences, the effects of ageing, and the desired level of maintenance for the results achieved from the initial face lift.
A facelift can boost self-esteem and confidence by enhancing appearance, leading to greater satisfaction with one’s image. However, it’s vital to have realistic expectations, as the procedure might not address all self-image concerns. Some patients could experience anxiety or disappointment if results vary from expectations. Open communication with the surgeon and potentially consulting a mental health professional are important for effectively managing these psychological effects.

Post-facelift, it is crucial to get in touch with your healthcare provider or surgeon without delay if you encounter any of these conditions:

  • Your bandages are heavily soaked with blood.
  • Unusually severe swelling.
  • A fever.
  • Unusual discharge, like pus, from the site of your incisions.
  • Intense pain.
  • If your stitches come undone prior to the scheduled removal time.

Face Lift: A Quick Summary

 Treatment Time: Varies by type of facelift: Traditional, SMAS, Deep Plane, Mid-Facelift, Mini-Facelift, Cutaneous. Involves incisions, tissue reshaping, and   skin repositioning.

 Recommended Interval: 2-3 weeks for light activities; 4-6 weeks for full recovery and more vigorous activities.

 Recovery Time: Typically, a single procedure offers long-lasting results for several years. The need for repeat procedures varies based on individual ageing  processes and personal preferences. Future touch-up treatments might be necessary to maintain the desired appearance as natural ageing continues.

 Ideal For:

  • Traditional: Moderate to significant ageing.
  • SMAS: Lower two-thirds of the face.
  • Deep Plane: Comprehensive rejuvenation.
  • Mid-Facelift: Cheek area.
  • Mini-Facelift: Early ageing signs, lower face and neck.
  •  Cutaneous: Skin laxity in neck and lower face.

 Benefits and Results:

  • Reduces signs of ageing.
  • Improves facial contours.
  • Enhances self-confidence.
  • Tightens sagging skin.
  • Addresses specific facial areas for rejuvenation.

 Cost: In Singapore, it ranges from SGD 10,000 to SGD 30,000, varying by procedure complexity, surgeon’s expertise, and facility. Post-surgery care and   additional treatments may affect the final cost.

Medical References

Buchanan, P. J., Mihora, D. C., & Mast, B. A. (2018). Facelift practice evolution. Annals of Plastic Surgery, 80(6S), S324–S327. https://doi.org/10.1097/sap.0000000000001321

Halepas, S., Chen, X. J., & Ferneini, E. M. (2020). Thread-Lift Sutures: Anatomy, technique, and review of current literature. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 78(5), 813–820. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joms.2019.11.011

Kaya, K. S., & Çakmak, Ö. (2022). Facelift Techniques: An Overview. Facial Plastic Surgery, 38(06), 540–545. https://doi.org/10.1055/a-1877-9371

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