BELLA Lift South Africa

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As people age, the effects of gravity become visible… Deep creases form between the nose and mouth and the jawline grows slack and jowly.

Therefore Dr. Nerina Wilkinson pioneered the BELLA Lift – a relatively minor surgical procedure designed to “turn back the clock,” improving the most visible signs of aging by tightening underlying muscles and re-draping the skin of your mid-face.

What is the BELLA Lift?

The “BELLA Lift” is a relatively minor surgical procedure done to lift the jowls and remove excess skin from the mid-face. The aim of the procedure is to improve the most visible signs of aging by tightening underlying muscles and re-draping the skin of your mid-face. A “BELLA Lift” can be done on its own, or in conjunction with other procedures such as eyelid surgery, facial fat grafting, or laser resurfacing. 

Find out more about our approach to the signature BELLA Lift or book a consultation with Dr. Nerina Wilkinson.

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Frequently asked questions about the BELLA Lift

What is a BELLA Lift?

The “BELLA Lift” is a relatively minor surgical procedure done to lift the jowls and remove excess skin from the mid-face. As people age, the effects of gravity, exposure to the sun, and the stresses of daily life can be seen on their faces. Deep creases form between the nose and mouth and the jawline grows slack and jowly. A “BELLA Lift” can’t stop this aging process. What it can do is “turn back the clock,” improving the most visible signs of aging by tightening underlying muscles and re-draping the skin of your mid-face.

A “BELLA Lift” can be done on its own, or in conjunction with other procedures such as eyelid surgery, facial fat grafting, or laser resurfacing. Dr. Wilkinson aims to achieve a natural rejuvenated look in all her patients. The reason most patients age is due to lax skin, but more importantly loss of the underlying soft supportive tissues.

Who is the best candidate for a BELLA Lift?

The best candidate for a “BELLA Lift” is a person whose mid-face and jowls have begun to sag, but whose skin still has some elasticity and whose bone structure is strong and well-defined. A “BELLA Lift” can make you look younger and fresher and may enhance your self-confidence, but it won’t necessarily change your looks to match your ideal nor can it restore the health and vitality of your youth.

Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with Dr. Wilkinson. The best candidates are those who fully understand the procedure and have realistic expectations about the results.

Start your BELLA Lift™ journey! Contact us to book a consultation. 

How is the BELLA Lift performed?

The “BELLA LIFT” usually takes a couple of hours and sometimes longer if you’re having more than one procedure done. Every surgeon approaches the procedure in his or her own way. Some complete one side of the face at a time, and others move back and forth between the sides. The exact placement of incisions and the sequence of events depend on your facial structure and your surgeon’s technique. Incisions usually begin above the hairline at the temples, extend in a natural line in front of the ear, and continue just behind the earlobe.

In general, Dr. Wilkinson separates the skin from the fat and muscle below. She then tightens the underlying muscle and membrane, pulls the skin back, and removes the excess. Stitches secure the layers of tissue and close the incisions. At this point, she may inject fat into the areas which need added support to enhance the result of the “BELLA LIFT”. Your head is loosely wrapped in bandages to minimise bruising and swelling and may be removed the next day.

How long is the recovery period for a BELLA Lift?

It may take you a few weeks to feel like your old self again. You should be up and about in a day or two but plan on taking it easy for the first week after surgery. Be especially gentle with your face and hair, since your skin will be both tender and numb, and may not respond normally at first. Dr. Wilkinson will give more specific guidelines for gradually resuming your normal activities. They’re likely to include these suggestions and reminders:

You will need to avoid strenuous activity, including exercise and heavy housework, for at least two weeks (walking and mild stretching are fine).

In the beginning, your face may look and feel rather strange. Your features may be distorted from the swelling, your facial movements may be slightly stiff, and you’ll probably be self-conscious about your scars.

Some bruising may persist for two or three weeks, and you may tire easily. It’s not surprising that some patients are disappointed and depressed at first, but by the third week, you’ll look and feel much better.

Most patients are back at work about ten days to two weeks after surgery. If you need it, special camouflage makeup can mask most bruising that remains.

Normal activities can be resumed after 3 weeks. Exercising may be resumed between 3 and 6 weeks.

You can expect some loss of feeling in your skin, caused by the swelling after surgery. This usually fades over the next six weeks or so. In some patients, however, it may last a year or more, and occasionally it may be permanent.

How long do results of a BELLA Lift last?

Healing is a gradual process but eventually, the swelling and redness will subside. However, the positive results of your BELLA Lift are that your new, rejuvenated look will last for years. For many people, these results are permanent. 

Your satisfaction with a BELLA Lift is likely to be greater if you understand the procedure thoroughly and if your expectations are realistic. Please contact us to discuss your specific concerns. 

What does the BELLA Lift cost?

The average cost for the BELLA Lift is +/- R 75 000 – R 90 000.

Additional costs you may be looking at:

  • Consultation fee of R 1 800
  • Medication required for surgery +/- R 1 200 – R 1 500
  • Other investigations advised by the practice at consultation


Please
contact us for any more information. Please also note that these fees are only estimates and can change once you have seen the doctor for your first assessment.

Are there alternative non-surgical treatments to the BELLA Lift?

With the BELLA Lift being the cream of the non-surgical crop when it comes to mid-face rejuvenation, the most advanced results will be achieved with this procedure. Less invasive treatments to consider will include the Morpheus8 or Morpheus Enhance, advanced medical aesthetic treatments done by both a medical aesthetic doctor and skincare specialist simultaneously.

Is the BELLA Lift safe?

Surgery is normally safe when performed by a qualified Plastic Surgeon. Nevertheless, as with any surgery, there is always a possibility of complications, including bleeding and/or infection. You can reduce your risks by closely following Dr. Wilkinson’s advice both before and after surgery.

What are the possible risks and complications associated with the BELLA Lift?

When this surgery is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Still, individuals vary greatly in their anatomy, their physical reactions, and their healing abilities, and the outcome is never completely predictable. Complications that can occur include haematoma (a collection of blood under the skin that must be removed by the surgeon), fluid collection, infection, and wound breakdown. There will be facial swelling which may persist for a few weeks. Scars result from operations however every effort will be made to limit and make them as inconspicuous as possible. Part of the undermined skin could be lost. This could result in wide scars or necessitate a skin graft. Poor healing, which may result in conspicuous scars is common in people who form keloid-type scars and smokers. Smokers are advised to stop smoking 4 weeks before and 4 weeks after surgery as smoking may increase the risk of complications and delay healing. There may be areas of numbness over the mid-face following the surgery. This can persist for an unspecified period of time. There is a possibility of injury to the facial nerves that could result in temporary or permanent weakness of some of the facial muscles. There may be hair loss. You can reduce your risks by closely following Dr. Wilkinson’s advice both before and after surgery.

BELLA Lift Before and After

The initial consultation with Dr. Wilkinson is very important. She will need your complete medical history so check your own records ahead of time and be ready to provide this information. After your initial consultation, she’ll decide if the BELLA Lift is suitable for you. 

You will have a comprehensive examination that includes a Visia Skin Analysis and Next Motion photographs which track your before and after progress. Based on the results she will be able to determine the best course of treatment. 

It’s important to discuss your expectations frankly with Dr. Wilkinson and to listen to her opinion. She will discuss the variables that may affect the procedure: such as your age, medical illnesses, and social habits. You’ll need to discuss whether any additional procedures are appropriate. Dr. Wilkinson will describe the procedure in detail, explaining its risks and limitations. 

Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have, especially those regarding your expectations and concerns about the results. When you make the decision to proceed with surgery you will receive comprehensive documentation from her assistant to help prepare you for your procedure both pre-operatively and post-operatively.

What to do before your BELLA Lift?

Schedule and complete all pre-operative tests requested by Dr. Wilkinson, including blood tests and medical reports.

STOP SMOKING (4 weeks before and 4 weeks after surgery) – nicotine reduces blood flow to the skin and causes delays in wound healing.

Stop taking aspirin, anti-inflammatories, herbal medicine, diet pills, etc. (2 weeks before surgery).

Ensure that you have arranged everything you will need for your recovery e.g. meals, pillows, straws, ice, books, etc.

Report any signs of a cold or infection occurring within 2 weeks prior to your surgery. If your hair is very short, you might want to let it grow out before surgery, so that it’s long enough to hide the scars while they heal.

Arrange for someone to drop you off at the clinic and collect you after discharge. You may not drive for 24 hours after receiving sedation.

Schedule a pre-operative consultation with Dr. Wilkinson 2 weeks before surgery.

Please contact us to find out our specific requirements before undergoing a BELLA Lift at Dr. Nerina Wilkinson + Associates.

Day of BELLA Lift surgery

Take normal daily medication e.g. blood pressure, diabetes, and anti-depressants in the morning with a very small sip of water.

Shower/bath using the antiseptic body wash supplied by us. Make sure you wash your body and hair. Don’t apply any body lotion, body oil, or hair conditioner after using the antiseptic soap.

Wear comfortable loose-fitting clothes. We recommend a button-up top and pull-on pants with easy-to-slip-on flat shoes. Don’t wear clothing that must be pulled over your head.

Bring a scarf, hat & sunglasses to put on when you are discharged from the clinic.

What to bring to the clinic on the day of the procedure:

MEDICATION – please bring all your post-op medication as prescribed by Dr. Wilkinson.

 Do NOT bring valuables or jewellery with you. You will not need them, and you wouldn’t want to risk losing them. 

You may bring your mobile phone which can be locked in the cupboard at your bedside. Please make sure you have your charger and adapter with you. 

Sunglasses and hat/scarf for when you are discharged.

Ensure you have arranged for someone to collect you from the clinic as you will not be able to drive yourself.

After the BELLA Lift

You will be discharged from the practice when you have recovered from the procedure. Dr. Wilkinson will see you before you leave. We will give you an estimated discharge time but the person fetching you should be flexible with their time because we won’t discharge you if you are not yet ready to leave. You may not leave unaccompanied.

At the time of your first follow-up (usually 3 days post-treatment), you will also have an appointment at our skin clinic for a special cleansing treatment with a Smitten to help the last of the dead skin come off and a complimentary Dermalux LED Light Therapy treatment

Where is the BELLA Lift performed in Cape Town?

Dr. Nerina Wilkinson + Associates is a private, high-end, luxurious clinic located in the prestigious V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Dr. Wilkinson founded the House of Aesthetic Couture and Skin Science. Your surgery will be performed at Dr. Wilkinson’s clinic.

What is the type of anaesthesia used during a BELLA Lift procedure?

Anaesthesia for the BELLA Lift will be a combination of oral sedatives and painkillers together with local anaesthetic injections.

The

Procedure

It’s important to discuss your expectations openly before undergoing the procedure. Dr Nerina will take time to describe different options available and the risks, benefits, and limitations of each treatment. 

The procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and oral sedation in a sterile procedure room. The BELLA Lift is a bespoke treatment, tailored to each individual patient’s needs, and the sequence of procedures would be determined after Dr. Wilkinson has assessed your skin and tissues.

The “BELLA LIFT” usually takes a couple of hours and sometimes longer if you’re having more than one procedure done. Every surgeon approaches the procedure in his or her own way. Some complete one side of the face at a time, and others move back and forth between the sides. The exact placement of incisions and the sequence of events depend on your facial structure and your surgeon’s technique. Incisions usually begin above the hairline at the temples, extend in a natural line in front of the ear, and continue just behind the earlobe.

In general, Dr. Wilkinson separates the skin from the fat and muscle below. She then tightens the underlying muscle and membrane, pulls the skin back, and removes the excess. Stitches secure the layers of tissue and close the incisions. At this point, she may inject fat into the areas which need added support to enhance the result of the “BELLA LIFT”. Your head is loosely wrapped in bandages to minimise bruising and swelling and may be removed the next day.

Please note you will need to stay at the practice for +/- 1 hour after the procedure for us to ensure you are recovering as expected and are fully prepared with all necessary aftercare before you are discharged.

It may take you a few weeks to feel like your old self again. You should be up and about in a day or two but plan on taking it easy for the first week after surgery. Be especially gentle with your face and hair, since your skin will be both tender and numb, and may not respond normally at first. Dr. Wilkinson will give more specific guidelines for gradually resuming your normal activities.

At the time of your first follow-up (usually 3 days post-treatment), you will also have an appointment at our skin clinic for a special cleansing treatment with a Smitten to help the last of the dead skin come off and a complimentary Dermalux LED Light Therapy treatment.

 

In the beginning, your face may look and feel rather strange. Your features may be distorted from the swelling, your facial movements may be slightly stiff, and you’ll probably be self-conscious about your scars. Some bruising may persist for two or three weeks, and you may tire easily. It’s not surprising that some patients are disappointed and depressed at first. By the third week, you’ll look and feel much better. Most patients are back at work about ten days to two weeks after surgery. If you need it, special camouflage makeup can mask most bruising that remains. Normal activities can be resumed after 3 weeks. Exercising may be resumed between 3 and 6 weeks. You may also experience random, shooting pains for a few months. You can expect some loss of feeling in your skin, caused by the swelling after surgery. This usually fades over the next six weeks or so. In some patients, however, it may last a year or more, and occasionally it may be permanent.

Failure to adhere to these instructions may lead to complications and jeopardize the results of your surgery.

Dr Nerina Wilkinson has over 20 years of experience in the field of plastic surgery, and fully understands her patients, their needs and their emotions leading up to surgical/aesthetic procedures, which allows her to provide world-class advice and care. Additionally, her staff are exceedingly well trained and experienced and equipped to provide you with incredible pre and post-operative care.

Put yourself in excellent hands and contact our clinic today to book your consultation for our signature BELLA Lift procedure.

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Meet

The Cosmetic Surgery Team

Dr Nerina Wilkinson - experienced cosmetic surgeon in Cape Town

About Dr Nerina Wilkinson FCS (Plast SA)

Dr Nerina Wilkinson and her team of aesthetic doctors and skincare specialists are considered the “go-to” expert for patients seeking a highly personalised, bespoke facial rejuvenation treatment plan. We take our clients on the ultimate curated journey to beauty and confidence.

Dr Nerina Wilkinson and her team specialise in Eye Rejuvenation & Restoration

In treating the delicate periorbital area, she is passionate about the combination of advanced technologies, energy devices, skin treatments and surgery: resulting in the most natural rejuvenation and regeneration

Our Patients'

Testimonials

“Every day I look in the mirror, I can’t believe that this new skin in mine! I reached a point in my life where I thought that I would have to live with the consequences of the severe sun damage I have caused myself through years of surfing. Not only have you given me new skin Nerina, you have actually given me a new life.”

L.S, CO2 Laser Resurfacing Treatment

“My grateful thanks to you all for everything you do for me, and I mean that from the heart of my bottom!”

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“Dr Wilkinson’s team of doctors and highly experienced practitioners show such kindness and attention to detail and are not in a hurry to spend my money on unnecessary treatments, but sincerely want what they feel is best for my personal needs to improve my skin’s appearance as best they can.”

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