How soon before a big event should I plan my facelift?

Facelift surgery is a very popular procedure before major mid-life events, such as weddings, children’s weddings, milestone birthdays, starting a new job or relationship – or anniversaries. It’s an exciting period and a facelift can provide the alignment that people understandably seek between how youthful and energetic they feel, as they approach a big moment in their lives – and how they look.

So you’ve decided to have a facelift – what next?

At the risk of dampening the excitement of the moment – planning and research is paramount!

Facelift surgery should only be performed by a qualified plastic surgeon (visit the RACS website or Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons to confirm your surgeon’s credentials) and patients should expect a wait to consult those with extensive experience in facelift surgery. Waiting periods can range from 6-12 months depending on the time of year to see a plastic surgeon in Brisbane who performs lots of facelifts; so we recommend planning ahead.


Facelift plastic surgeon Brisbane scaled
facelift before and after Brisbane Dr David Sharp

 Do your research; check their qualifications, view their websites, and if you feel comfortable, talk to friends for recommendations – you might be surprised how many people in Brisbane have had a facelift! Before and after photos are important, but typically, facelift patients wish to keep their identify concealed and don’t consent to their images being used online. So ask your surgeon if they have in-clinic images that are consented for face-to-face consult sharing between surgeon and patient, for educational purposes. Some of the most experienced plastic surgeons in Australia have the least-glossy social media accounts, so don’t always believe the hype.

Ask lots of questions at your pre operative initial consult; the surgeon should answer them in detail, and in plain terms.

Some things to consider if you are planning a facelift

Dr Sharp recommends having a facelift at least 6 months before a big life event, if possible. He doesn’t perform this procedure within 6 months of a milestone, such as a wedding. The reasons for this are:

  1. The deeper swelling involved with a facelift can vary from patient to patient but in some cases, can still be visible up to 6 months. During an active or busy period, increased blood pressure etc can cause parts of the face that are still healing to swell up, and take a few days of light activity (and compression garment when sleeping) to subside. It can be very distressing if the patient is unlucky enough to develop recurrent swelling just before the special event.
  2. Despite being rare, nerve compression, or even damage, is the most serious complication after facelift surgery. The vast majority of nerve compression or damage recovers fully, but can take 6-24 months. During this time, the patient can have a lopsided smile or issues with normal lower face movement. Although it is very rare, the risk of this occurring before a special event compounds the trauma caused if it does happen.
  3. Scarring is at its reddest, most prominent during the early recovery period, and even if hair is worn down and makeup is used, can be visible during this phase of healing. Once healing is complete, most scarring is easily covered by makeup, or not even required at all – but it can take at least 6 months (up to 24) for some patients to get to that point, depending on their skin quality and how their body inherently scars.
facelift scars
facelift results Dr Sharp

 Most patients recover so quickly, the above aspects aren’t be a problem at all by 3-6 months post surgery, but unfortunately we aren’t able to predict who will have a speedy recovery, and who won’t, so we err on the side of caution.

 Right, before and 1 year after facelift surgery with Dr Sharp and left, the same patient at 1 month and 5 months after facelift surgery with Dr Sharp.

Brisbane surgeon facelift before and after Dr David Sharp
facelift before and after Dr Sharp scaled

Want to find out more about facelift surgery pricing, recovery and results?

Enquire with our helpful team here…

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