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Partial Facelift – Rhytidectomy (S-Lift)

A Partial Facelift (Rhytidectomy), often referred to as an “S-Lift” is a cosmetic surgical procedure designed to alter the lower portion of the face. The Partial Facelift (Rhytidectomy) primarily targets the lower third of the face, including the jawline, jowls, and neck, it is not as comprehensive as a Full Facelift (Rhytidectomy), which addresses the entire face. It is a less invasive alternative to a full Facelift (Rhytidectomy) and is typically used to address mild to moderate signs of ageing in the lower face and neck.

Why consider Rhytidectomy (S-Lift)?

Tighten and lift around the lower face

Minimal Scarring

Reduce Marionette Lines

Reduce nasolabial folds

Am I a Suitable Candidate For a Partial Facelift (Rhytidectomy)?

A suitable candidate for a Partial Facelift (Rhytidectomy) typically exhibits specific characteristics and desires that align with the goals and limitations of the procedure. The following are some of the factors that may make someone a suitable candidate for a Partial Facelift Rhytidectomy):

  • Mild to Moderate Facial Ageing: Candidates should have mild to moderate signs of ageing in the lower face and neck, such as loose skin on the jowls, loose neck skin, and loss of jawline definition. A Partial Facelift (Rhytidectomy) is not designed to address more extensive facial ageing concerns.
  • Realistic Expectations: It is important that candidates have realistic expectations about the outcomes of a Partial Facelift. The procedure may provide noticeable results, but it will not create the same level of change as a Full Facelift (Rhytidectomy).
  • Good Overall Health: Candidates should be in good general health, free from medical conditions that could complicate surgery or hinder the healing process. They should also be non-smokers or willing to quit smoking during the recovery period.
  • Stable Weight: It is advisable for candidates to be a stable weight. Significant fluctuations in weight can impact the results of the procedure.
  • Age Range: The ideal age range for candidates typically falls between their 40s and 60s. However this is not a strict rule and suitability depends more on the individual’s specific ageing concerns and goals.
  • Skin Quality: Candidates with relatively good skin elasticity and quality are often more suitable candidates. The ability of the skin to contract and conform to the newly repositioned facial tissues contributes to the result of the procedure.
  • Motivation: Candidates should be motivated to alter their facial appearance and be willing to follow pre-operative and post-operative instructions from their surgeon to achieve the desired results.

A Partial Facelift (Rhytidectomy) is a less invasive alternative to a Full Facelift (Rhytidectomy) and may not be suitable for individuals with more extensive facial ageing concerns. Your Plastic Surgeon will help you make an informed decision and create a personalised treatment plan tailored to your unique needs and goals.

What are the Possible Outcomes Of a Partial Facelift (Rhytidectomy)?

A Partial Facelift (Rhytidectomy), or an S-Lift offers several possible outcomes for individuals looking to address mild to moderate signs of ageing in the lower face and neck. Some of the outcomes of a Partial Facelift (Rhytidectomy) include;

Less extensive
Compared to a Full Facelift (Rhytidectomy), a Partial Facelift (Rhytidectomy) is a less extensive surgical procedure. It involves smaller incisions, which typically results in reduced scarring.

Targeted Change
The procedure is specifically designed to target the lower third of the face, addressing concerns like loose skin on the jowls, loose neck skin, and loss of jawline definition. It provides a focused change in this area.

Reduced Swelling and Bruising
The limited extent of tissue manipulation in a Partial Facelift (Rhytidectomy) often results in less post-operative swelling and bruising.

Scarring Visibility
The incisions for a Partial Facelift (Rhytidectomy) are typically smaller and strategically placed, often in front of and behind the ear, making scars less noticeable compared to a Full Facelift (Rhytidectomy).

It is important to note that the suitability of a Partial Facelift (Rhytidectomy) depends on an individual’s specific ageing concerns, goals, and overall health. Consulting with a fully qualified Plastic Surgeon is essential to determine the most appropriate procedure and create a personalised treatment plan. While Partial Facelifts (Rhytidectomy) offer several outcomes, they may not be the best option for everyone, especially those with more extensive facial ageing concerns.

What to Expect during Partial Facelift (Rhytidectomy) Surgery

The exact details of the procedure may vary depending on the Surgeon’s technique and the individual patient’s needs, but the following is a general overview of what to expect during a Partial Facelift (Rhytidectomy):

  • Anaesthesia: Partial Facelifts (Rhytidectomy) are performed using general anaesthetic. Your surgeon will discuss the anaesthetic options with you during the pre-operative consultation.
  • Incisions: The surgeon will make small, inconspicuous incisions in front of and behind the ear. These incisions are strategically placed to minimise scarring and provide access to the targeted areas.
  • Tissue Manipulation: The surgeon will lift and reposition the underlying facial tissues in the lower face and neck. Excess fat may be removed and loose skin is tightened. The extent of tissue manipulation depends on your specific concerns and the surgical plan.
  • Suturing: Once the necessary adjustments are made the surgeon will close the incisions with sutures. These sutures are typically placed beneath the skin to minimise visible scarring.
  • Dressings and Bandages: The surgeon will apply dressings or bandages to the incision sites to protect the areas and promote healing.
  • Recovery: After the procedure, you will be monitored in a recovery area until the anaesthetic wears off.

Risks and Complications

Like all invasive surgery Partial Facelift (Rhytidectomy) Surgery has several risks and potential complications. These can include but are not limited to;

  • Anaesthetic
  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Haematoma
  • Seroma
  • Nerve damage
  • Asymmetry
  • Poor wound healing
  • Allergic reactions
  • Prolonged swelling and bruising
  • Unsatisfactory results
  • Need for revision surgery

All surgery has risks – for detailed information about the risks and potential complications of Partial Facelift Surgery please visit the risks of surgery page.


Recovery from Partial Facelift (Rhytidectomy) Surgery is a crucial period during which your body heals and the results of the procedure become more apparent. Following the proper post-operative care instructions provided by your Surgeon is essential.

You may experience some discomfort, swelling, and bruising. Your Surgeon will prescribe pain medication or recommend over the counter pain relievers to help manage pain. Your Surgeon will apply dressings or bandages to the incision sites to protect them. Keeping your head elevated when resting or sleeping can help reduce swelling.

If non absorbable sutures were used, your surgeon may remove them within the first week. You should avoid strenuous activities and exercise during the first week or as advised by your surgeon. Follow your Surgeon’s recommendations for scar care, which may include topical treatments, silicone gel or laser therapy to minimise scarring.

Follow a skincare regimen to protect and nourish your skin. Discuss skincare products with your Surgeon and Dermal Therapist. Continue with regular check-ups with your Surgeon to monitor your progress and address any concerns.

Remember that the recovery experience can vary from person to person and the timeline for healing is not the same for everyone. It is crucial to follow your Surgeon’s specific post-operative care instructions and attend all follow-up appointments to ensure the desired outcome. If you have any concerns during your recovery, don’t hesitate to contact your Surgeon for guidance and reassurance.

What is the Cost of a Partial Facelift (Rhytidectomy)?

Average Facelift (Rhytidectomy) surgery prices in Melbourne can vary depending on which Surgeon you consult with and what approach they believe will suit you best. A Specialist Plastic Surgeon may start from approximately $15,000 but this is entirely dependent on what surgical technique is used and whether you are combining surgery.

Options for your Partial Facelift (Rhytidectomy) surgery will be discussed and recommendations will be offered by your Surgeon. You will then receive a detailed quote for your chosen procedure, which will include your Surgeon’s fee, an Anaesthetist fee, a Surgical Assistant fee and hospital fees.

Why Choose Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery?

Not all Surgeons have the same experience or intensive training and testing qualifications. Be sure you learn the differences between a Plastic Surgeon, a General Surgeon, a Medical Practitioner or other types of Surgeon.

Choosing a Specialist Plastic Surgeon means you are choosing an accredited recognised plastic surgeon that performs surgery in an accredited hospital. Look for members of FRACS (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) memberships. ASPS (Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons) ASAPS (Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) or ISAPS (International Society Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) as some of the Qualifications of your Plastic Surgeon.

How to Book Your Initial Consultation

  • Email us below or Call on (03) 8849 1400 to arrange your surgeon consultation appointment OR
  • A Referral from your General Practitioner (GP) or from your Medical Specialist is required (as of 1st July 2023).
  • A consultation with one of our surgeons is $300.00

Download our 2023 Facelift (Rhytidectomy) Guide

This complete guide to Facelift (Rhytidectomy) Surgery covers everything you need to know about this procedure, including:

  • Your surgery explained
  • How to assess if you are a suitable candidate.
  • Planning for your surgery
  • Answers to most frequently asked questions.
  • Before and after gallery
  • Learn more about Facelift (Rhytidectomy) Surgery

Download Now

Facelift Guide Download

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Dr Craig Rubinstein
Dr Broughton Snell
Dr Stephen Kleid
Dr Gary Kode

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001124843 Dr Craig Rubinstein

Dr Craig Rubinstein is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon based in Hawthorn East, Melbourne. With over 20 years of surgical experience especially in all areas of Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, but particularly in breast surgery. These include Breast Augmentation and Breast Reduction as well as Breast Surgery Revision.

Furthermore, he believes that surgical customisation, precision planning and technical expertise help him to provide optimal surgical outcomes for his patients.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001190266 Dr Broughton Snell

Dr Broughton Snell is a Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. His training in Plastic Surgery took place in Australia and the United States of America (USA).

Dr Snell is a fully qualified specialist plastic surgeon having completed his Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeon MED0001052799 Dr Stephen Kleid

Dr Stephen Kleid is an experienced Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon (Otolaryngologist) based in Melbourne with a passion for Septo-rhinoplasty, Septoplasty, as well as, a strong interest in Rhinoplasty Revision.

Dr Kleid trained at Melbourne University, then completed surgical training at various hospitals including Royal Melbourne, Royal Children’s, The Eye and Ear and St Vincents. He worked as a surgeon at the University of Florida Medical school for further experience.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001405964 Dr Gary Kode

Dr Gary Kode is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, with experience in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, as well as non-surgical treatments.

Dr Kode is a member of several organisations, including the Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), The International Confederation for Plastic and Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, and he holds a Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

What to do next?

Our Patient Liaison Team can assist with any questions you may have when considering a procedure. You can send in an enquiry form below or call our Melbourne Clinic between 9 am – 5 pm Monday - Friday.

Disclaimer: Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly. Results may also be impacted by a variety of factors including your lifestyle, weight, nutritional intake and overall health. Consult your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for details. This information is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your Surgeon.

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