Facelift Surgery: What Are Your Options?

Facelift Surgery: What Are Your Options?

by Plastic Surgeon, Dr Nerina Wilkinson

Welcome to aging gracefully: A space where we delve into the world of modern facelift surgery and cutting-edge techniques to enhance your natural beauty.

As we age, our skin and facial structures undergo changes, leading to visible signs of aging. The way you age is however unique and for this reason, it is important to explore and have a comprehensive guide to the top five facelift surgery options for complete facial and neck rejuvenation.

Age is but a number, but the effects it leaves on our faces can sometimes make us feel otherwise. The significance of facelift surgery goes beyond merely turning back the hands of time; it empowers you to regain your confidence and youthful appearance. Through advanced surgical techniques, a facelift can address a range of concerns, including sagging skin, deep wrinkles, and loss of facial volume, resulting in a revitalized and refreshed look that lasts for years (sometimes even for the rest of your life).

Whether you’re looking to rejuvenate your entire face, target specific areas like the neck alone, or seek a minimally invasive solution, here you’ll find the answers you seek here to make an informed decision. Did you know there is a difference between a traditional facelift and some newer innovative techniques? Empower yourself with knowledge and discover the various facelift surgery options for facial and neck rejuvenation.


A traditional facelift, also known as rhytidectomy, is a powerful surgical procedure designed to tighten and lift sagging facial tissues, providing a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance.

The primary goals of a facelift are to reduce wrinkles and fine lines, restore facial contours, and create a smoother, more youthful appearance. It can help improve the appearance of nasolabial folds, marionette lines, and loose skin in the neck area.


During a facelift, incisions are typically made around the hairline, extending along the natural contours of the ear and sometimes into the scalp. The underlying tissues are then repositioned, excess skin is removed, and the remaining skin is carefully redraped for a natural-looking result.

In more advanced facelifts, additional procedures like liposuction or fat grafting may be performed to further enhance the facial contours.

By understanding the purpose and general procedure of a facelift, it is clear why the outcome is a visibly less tired look and the appearance of a sad face is reversed. It is important to remember that each procedure (whether traditional or more advanced) is tailored to the unique needs and desired outcomes of each person resulting in natural-looking beautiful results.

Considering this, it is easy to see that when it comes to cosmetic facelift surgery, there is more than one traditional option available to help you achieve optimal, yet natural-looking results.


When it comes to facelift surgery, there are various options available to cater to specific concerns and desired outcomes. Let’s explore our top five facelift surgery options that have transformed my approach to facial rejuvenation:

Traditional facelift surgery

The classic traditional facelift surgery technique addresses sagging jowls, deep wrinkles, and loose skin in the lower face and neck, providing comprehensive rejuvenation.

The traditional facelift procedure involves carefully placed incisions along the hairline, extending around the ears and sometimes behind them. Through these incisions, the underlying facial tissues are lifted and repositioned, removing excess skin and tightening the remaining skin for a smoother, more youthful appearance.

Signature BELLA Lift surgery

A minimally invasive facelift option, the signature BELLA Lift focuses on lifting and tightening the midface and jowls using smaller incisions and specialized muscle plication sutures for a subtle yet noticeable improvement.

Stem Cell Facelift

The innovative stem cell facelift approach addresses facial deflation as well as sun-damaged skin, which are the first signs of aging. Using the regenerative properties of stem cells to promote tissue rejuvenation and cutting-edge laser technology to resurface damaged skin, this is the ultimate scarless facelift.

Neck Lift Surgery

Specifically targeting the neck area, a neck lift addresses sagging skin, muscle banding, and excess fat to create a more defined and youthful neck contour.

Facial Fat Grafting (Lipofilling)

Facial fat grafting involves transferring fat from one area of the body to replenish volume in the face, enhancing facial contours, and addressing hollowed or sunken areas.

Each of these facelift surgery options can be customized (or combined) to address specific concerns, such as sagging jowls, neck laxity, deep wrinkles, or volume loss.

During your consultation, your unique needs and goals will be assessed and the approach will be tailored to achieve the most natural-looking and harmonious results.


Invasive facelift surgeries, such as the traditional facelift, involve incisions and more extensive tissue manipulation (unlike scarless stem cell facelifts). These procedures typically require longer incisions, often extending from the hairline to the natural creases around the ears or even into the scalp. Traditional facelifts are more complicated procedures that require general anaesthetic and admission to an overnight facility. Whereas stemcell facelifts and the BELLA Lift are in-room procedures done under local anaesthetic.


Traditional facelift surgeries excel at addressing various signs of aging. They can effectively lift and reposition sagging facial tissues, including the skin, muscles, and underlying structures. By restoring youthful contours, these surgeries reduce the appearance of jowls, deep folds, and loose skin in the lower face and neck. The result is a more defined jawline, smoother facial appearance, and an overall more youthful and rejuvenated look.

While traditional facelift surgeries may require more extensive incisions and recovery time compared to non-invasive options, they offer comprehensive solutions for individuals seeking significant facial rejuvenation. It is important to understand that my approach ensures that these invasive facelift surgeries are tailored to meet the unique needs and desired outcomes of every individual patient, providing natural-looking and transformative results.


At our practice, we use innovative techniques to enhance the outcomes of traditional facelift procedures. These may include the incorporation of fat grafting to restore lost volume, the use of advanced suturing and muscle plication techniques, focal liposuction to further contour facial features, or complementary procedures such as CO2 Fractional Laser to address the quality of the skin for a truly harmonious rejuvenation result.

A good example of one of these signature procedures is the StemCell4DLift, where 5 techniques are combined in one scarless surgical procedure to achieve optimal results.


Facelift surgery, like any medical procedure, is not suitable for everyone. The ideal candidate for facelift surgery typically meets certain criteria to ensure safety and optimal results.

  • Visible signs of facial aging: Ideal candidates will have noticeable signs of aging in the lower face, jawline, and neck, such as sagging skin, deep wrinkles, jowls, and loss of facial volume.
  • Good overall health: Candidates should be in good physical health and free from any medical conditions that could pose risks during surgery or hinder the healing process.
  • Non-smoker: Smoking can impair the body’s ability to heal, increase the risk of complications, and negatively impact the results of facelift surgery. Ideal candidates should be non-smokers or commit to quitting smoking for a specified period before and after the procedure.
  • Realistic expectations: Candidates should have realistic expectations about the outcomes of facelift surgery. While it can provide significant improvement, it is essential to understand that the procedure cannot stop the natural aging process entirely.
  • Stable weight: Candidates should have a stable weight, as significant weight fluctuations can affect the longevity of the facelift results.
  • Loose or sagging skin: Facelift surgery is particularly effective for candidates with moderate to severe skin laxity. Patients with mild signs of aging may be better suited for less invasive treatments.
  • Good bone structure: Strong underlying bone structure can contribute to favourable facelift results, as it provides a solid foundation for repositioning and tightening the facial tissues.
  • Emotional well-being: It’s crucial for candidates to be emotionally and mentally prepared for the surgery and have a support system in place during the recovery period.

Remember, only a qualified plastic surgeon can determine if you are an ideal candidate for facelift surgery after a comprehensive evaluation of your medical history, facial anatomy, and aesthetic goals.

If you are considering facelift surgery, schedule a consultation with a reputable and experienced plastic surgeon to discuss your options and address any questions or concerns you may have.


Neck lift surgery (also known as neck improvement surgery), or the magical “turkey neck vanishing act,” is a surgical procedure designed to tackle sagging skin, muscle banding, and even that unwelcome guest, fat accumulation, in the neck area.

Most neck lift procedures are performed in conjunction with a traditional facelift as most of the sagging of the neck starts upstream in the midface.


During neck surgery, incisions are made either around the ear (as with a traditional facelift) or under the chin, depending on the specific needs of the patient. Through these incisions, the surgeon can reposition and tighten the underlying tissues, tighten the platysma muscles to reduce the appearance of banding and remove or redistributes excess fat. The remaining skin is then carefully redraped for a smoother and more youthful neck contour.

The grand finale? A beautifully redraped neck, smoother than a silk scarf on a summer breeze..


Anyone with a “turkey neck” sighting who is in good health is a prime candidate for this neck revolution. This includes noticeable signs of neck aging, such as loose or sagging skin and the formation of jowls.

If you’re tired of hiding behind turtlenecks or dreaming of a neck that defies gravity with a more youthful and defined neck contour, it’s time to join the neck-volution.


Facial fat grafting, also known as lipofilling, is a transformative procedure that utilizes a patient’s own fat to restore volume, contour, and rejuvenate the face.

Facial fat grafting is like a “love story” between your body’s fat and your face. By harvesting fat from areas like the abdomen or thighs, we’re able to restore volume where it’s needed most. It’s a natural and safe way to rejuvenate your face and bid farewell to hollowed cheeks or sunken areas.


The first step to facial fat grafting is to gently extract fat from a donor site on your own body (such as the flanks, abdomen, or knees) using minimally invasive liposuction techniques.

Next, the extracted fat undergoes a purification process, separating the healthy fat cells from unwanted components. Finally, the purified fat is skilfully injected into specific facial regions, carefully sculpting, and restoring volume for a naturally rejuvenated appearance.


Facial fat grafting is a fantastic option for individuals with volume loss, hollowed cheeks, facial asymmetry, or even those who simply desire a more youthful appearance. If you’re tired of temporary injectable filler solutions and are ready to embrace your body’s own power to rejuvenate, you may be an ideal candidate for this transformative procedure.

So, let your body’s fat become the superhero of your facial rejuvenation journey. Get ready to fall in love with your naturally rejuvenated face and embrace the beauty that lies within.


Minimally invasive facelift surgery options (such as stemcell facelifts) are revolutionizing the world of facial rejuvenation. These procedures offer a fantastic alternative to traditional facelifts, with smaller incisions, reduced downtime, and remarkable results.

Say goodbye to large incisions and long recovery times! Minimally invasive facelifts are all about working smarter, not harder. These procedures utilize advanced techniques that require smaller incisions, resulting in minimal scarring (or no scars at all) and faster healing. They offer a convenient option for individuals looking to refresh their appearance without the commitment of a traditional facelift.


In the world of minimally invasive facelifts, we have some exciting players.

  • Barbed sutures and skin biostimulators, lift and tighten sagging facial tissues. Not considered surgical procedures, these aesthetic procedures provide an instant yet subtle lift and stimulate collagen production for long-lasting results. These sutures and injectables are strategically placed to achieve a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance, without the need for extensive surgery.
  • Minimally invasive facelifts (such as the signature BELLA Lift – or “Little Lift”) offer a fantastic opportunity to achieve natural-looking results with much less downtime than a traditional facelift.
  • StemCell4DLift facial rejuvenation combines regenerative medicine and cutting-edge laser technology to deliver the ultimate scarless facial rejuvenation.

So, if you’re ready to embrace a new era of facial rejuvenation, explore the world of minimally invasive facelifts and experience the transformative power they have to offer.


The signature surgical BELLA Lift procedure is a revolutionary approach that combines the best of both worlds: the benefits of a facelift with minimally invasive techniques.

Imagine having the power of a facelift without extensive surgery and downtime. That’s exactly what the BELLA Lift offers. It’s a cutting-edge procedure that combines minimally invasive techniques with remarkable results. With the BELLA Lift, you can achieve a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance, all with less disruption to your daily life.


A BELLA Lift utilizes a special technique with smaller traditional facelift incisions and strategically placed muscle plication sutures.  to lift and reposition facial tissues. They create a subtle lift, effectively reducing sagging and enhancing facial contours for a more youthful look. This surgical procedure is often used in combination with regenerative facial fat injections for a comprehensive approach to sagging and facial volume loss.


If you’re experiencing moderate facial aging and seeking a less invasive option, BELLA Lift™ might be the perfect fit. It’s ideal for individuals who want to rejuvenate their appearance without the need for extensive surgery. Whether you’re looking to reduce sagging jowls, define your jawline, or restore facial contours, BELLA Lift™ can help you achieve your goals with precision and grace.

A BELLA Lift is the ultimate harmony between regenerative innovation, aesthetics, and plastic surgery. Embrace the power of a BELLA Lift and experience a new level of facial rejuvenation that leaves you feeling confident, refreshed, and ready to embrace life’s beautiful moments.


The stem cell facelift harnesses the remarkable regenerative properties of stem cells and cutting-edge laser technology to achieve facial rejuvenation. Stem cells have the unique ability to transform into different cell types, including those responsible for skin elasticity and firmness. By utilizing these regenerative cells, the stem cell facelift offers a holistic approach to facial rejuvenation. Laser resurfacing literally removes the old sun-damaged skin to reveal beautiful new skin that has been hiding behind aging wrinkles and sunspots.


During a StemCell4DLift (our signature stemcell facelift procedure), a small amount of fat tissue is gently extracted from a donor area, such as the abdomen or thighs. The harvested fat is then processed to isolate and concentrate the valuable stem cells within it. Finally, the concentrated stem cells are skilfully injected into targeted areas of the face, stimulating collagen production, and promoting natural rejuvenation.

There are different laser technologies used at the end of the procedure to ensure the best skin rejuvenation results: this can include CORE fractional skin resurfacing laser, Erbium “glass skin” laser, or the deeper tightening radiofrequency micro-needling such as MORPHEUS8.


The ideal candidate for a stem cell facelift is someone seeking natural-looking results with potential skin rejuvenation benefits. Whether you desire a refreshed appearance, improved skin texture, or enhanced facial contours, the stem cell facelift offers a personalized and transformative solution.

Embrace the power of stem cells and experience the targeted and natural-looking facial rejuvenation of a stem cell facelift; also known as “the fountain of youth “procedure.

Unlock the potential of your skin’s own regenerative abilities and rediscover a youthful and vibrant appearance with the transformative StemCell4DLift.


In wrapping up our exploration of our top facelift surgery options, let’s take a moment to reflect on the exciting possibilities and personalized approach to achieving your desired rejuvenation:

Throughout our journey, we’ve uncovered a range of facelift options that cater to diverse concerns and goals. From the traditional facelift’s comprehensive transformation to the minimally invasive BELLALift and the regenerative power of the stem cell facelift, there’s something for everyone. Not to forget the wonders of eyelid surgery, neck surgery, and facial fat grafting, each offering unique enhancements to specific areas of the face.

It’s important to remember that the best facelift surgery option for you depends on your individual needs and aspirations. That’s why it’s crucial to consult with a skilled surgeon, who with their expertise and understanding of your unique facial characteristics, she can guide you towards the most suitable option tailored to your specific concerns and goals.

While the journey to rejuvenation is thrilling it can also be daunting and confusing due to so many social media “opinions”. it’s vital to approach it with realistic expectations. Each facelift surgery option carries its own set of potential risks and recovery considerations, which is important to understand.  By being informed and prepared, you can confidently embark on this transformative path, knowing that you are in safe and skilled hands.

Your journey to renewed confidence and a more youthful appearance begins now.

So, whether you’re dreaming of saying goodbye to sagging skin, bidding adieu to pesky jowls, or restoring youthful contours, take the next step and reach out to our team at Dr Nerina Wilkinson + Associates. Our team of experts is here to answer your questions, address any concerns, and guide you toward the facelift surgery option that will unleash your inner radiance.

Contact us at capetown@drnwilkinson.co.za to enquire today.

Written by Plastic Surgeon, Dr Nerina Wilkinson