Tees Plastic Surgery is one of the regions leading plastic surgery clinics for facelift surgery.

All our cosmetic procedures are performed by Consultant Plastic Surgeon Chris Dunkin who has more than 15 years clinical experience delivering high quality, high value, clinical solutions to both men and women of all ages.

Mr Dunkin specializes in reconstructive surgery to the face and neck and facial palsy surgery in the NHS and has a wide experience in cosmetic facial surgery.

All your care is provided by Mr Dunkin and his expert team at the Nuffield Health Tees Hospital Stockton-on-Tees or BMI Woodlands Hospital Darlington - the regions leading private hospitals. At Tees Plastic Surgery you can be assured you will receive the best quality of care and a level of service that is second to none.

>> Book a consultation with our Consultant Plastic Surgeon.

What is a facelift?

A facelift is an operation lifts and tightens the skin and soft tissue of the face and improves fine lines and wrinkles and give a fresher, more youthful look.

Am I a good candidate for a facelift?

You would benefit from a facelift if you have age-related changes to the skin and soft tissue of your face.

What are the benefits of a facelift?

Facelift lifts the skin and soft tissue of the face, re-suspends them and removes any excess skin. This is often combined with surgery to the eyelids and treatment to the neck to improve your chin and neck contour.

What does a facelift involve?

There are a number of different types of facelift and Mr Dunkin will help you decide which is best for you. This depends on you and your face and the result you want to achieve. Facelift involves making an incision that runs from the temporal hairline, down in a crease line in front of the ear, under the ear lobe and, if necessary, behind the ear. The soft tissues of the face are resuspended and the skin is redraped to give a rejuvenated look, a smooth jawline and improved neck shape. Excess fat in the neck can be removed using liposuction or via a short incision under your chin. Facelift is usually done with you asleep takes about 2-4 hours depending on the procedure used.

Different types of facelift are described:

Thread lift.

Thread lift is a type of facelift that involves using barbed sutures (stitches with hooks) to lift the soft tissue of the face. This can work well in the right people and can be tightened later if required.


Mini-facelift is a short procedure that can be done with you awake (under local anaesthetic). It takes around 60-90 mins and you can go home afterwards. Mini-facelift is suitable for people with early age-related changes who want to avoid more invasive treatment.

Short scar facelift.

Short scar facelift involves using a short incision in front of the ear to do the facelift. This works well in younger people without too much excess or lax skin. 

MACS lift.

MACS lift stands for Minimal Access Cranial Suspension lift. This type of facelift can be done through a short scar and uses stitches to suspend the soft tissue of the face to gain the lift. MACS lift is an effective technique, particularly in the lower third of the face, jawline and neck, in the right patient.

Facelift with SMAS-ectomy or SMAS plication.

The SMAS layer (superficial musculo aponeurotic system) invests the muscles of the face and supports the overlying soft tissue. Lifting this layer provides the rejuvenating effect of facelift surgery. SMAS-ectomy involves precise excision of a strip of the SMAS to achieve lift and primary closure whilst SMAS plication overlaps the SMAS. These techniques produce significant longlasting suspension. 

Neck lift.

Neck lift is often combined with facelift but we sometimes do this as a standalone procedure if the neck is the main area of concern or when people have had a facelift without addressing the neck. Neck lift can be done with liposuction or via a separate short incision under the chin and involves removal of excess fat and tightening and redraping of the underlying platysma muscle.

What happens before my facelift?

Your first appointment will be with our Consultant Plastic Surgeon Chris Dunkin.

This initial assessment includes a full medical and cosmetic history and a full examination. We will then talk about what we can do to help, what is involved and what you can expect in terms of outcome, recovery and aftercare. Following your first consultation, we will write to you with further information and then see you again to get you ready for your procedure. During your second appointment we will discuss the procedure you would like and go through this in detail, including any potential problems.

What happens after my facelift?

Most of our patients stay in hospital overnight after facelift but it does depend on the procedure you choose. We often use a dressing overnight and remove drains and the dressing in the morning before you go home. You can shower and wash your hair from day one and we give you some ointment to apply daily until your stitches are removed on day 7-10. Some swelling and bruising is common for a few days and can persist for a few weeks. Sitting up, cool packs and an extra pillow in bed can help reduce this. Most people return to their normal activities and work 10-14 days after surgery (or when the bruising has gone so no one knows you have had surgery!). We will review you in dressing clinic to keep a close eye on your progress.  

What are the downsides to facelift?

This depends on the type of surgery you choose. You might have a little slow healing which needs good nursing care but thankfully, in our hands, significant problems are rare. There is 

There is a small risk of bleeding, infection, slow healing, skin loss, poor scars and hair loss around the scars. Cheek, neck and ear lobe numbness is common and usually resolves. Itching is quite common during the healing process and can be helped with moisturising. Facial weakness due to injury to the facial nerve is rare (0.7% facelifts) and usually temporary but permanent weakness can occur. Deep lines and wrinkles may be improved but will not be removed by facelift. Facial resurfacing may help later. Facelift will not stop the clock but is often said to ‘reset the clock’ and give your face a fresher and more youthful look.

How can I reduce my risk?

If you smoke then stop! Smokers have a significantly greater risk of complications such as haematoma, wound infection and skin loss. Likewise stop Vitamin E and Aspirin 2 weeks before surgery. Tell us if you suffer with cold sores – we can help by giving you Acyclovir.

Are there any alternatives to facelift?

There are lots of treatments that can help, short of a facelift: Botox is good for creases around the eyes and and forehead; chemical peels and LASER resurfacing are useful for fine creases; blepharoplasty and browlift can freshen your eyes.

How long will my facelift last?

This is a good question and the answer is it depends! The main determinant is the procedure you choose to have done. A mini skin-only facelift will not provide the lift and support of a SMAS facelift. Good evidence on the latter suggests the effect of a facelift lasts around 8-10y.  

Paying for treatment

Tees Plastic Surgery offers Consultant-delivered state-of-the-art cosmetic surgery proceduresat the Nuffield Health Tees Hospital Stockton-on-Tees and BMI Woodlands Hospital Darlington. Paying for your treatment could not be simpler and both Nuffield Health and BMI hospitals offer loans to fund surgical treatment.

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What do I do now?

Our clinic is based at the Nuffield Health Tees Hospital Stockton-on-Tees or BMI Woodlands Hospital Darlington.

Please contact us on 0844 272 5951 for a consultation
or click on the link below to email us.

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