MACS Lift (Meloplasty) – Mini Face Lift Sydney

There are many types of face lifts and your surgeon will need to consult with you to determine which method will be most suitable for you and your needs.

Our most popular kind of face lift surgery is the MACS (Minimal Access Cranial Suspension) Lift, also known as meloplasty. This is a new type of face lift which is less invasive than traditional techniques and leaves the patient with a shorter scar. It also offers a faster recovery time, minimal risk and excellent long-term lifting effects.

Am I a good candidate?

Most commonly performed on patients in the 40-60 age range, MACS lifts can also produce great results for people in their 60s – 80s.

  • Great for lower face lifting and jowl lifting
  • Improving the look of the neck area especially from the sides
  • Can be performed slightly higher to improve upper cheek area

What should I expect at the consultation?

A personal consultation with our surgeon is the first step for any patient considering a MACS lift surgery. We will assess your physical and emotional health, discuss your aesthetic goals and address any questions or concerns you may have.

Your physical evaluation will include an assessment of your bone structure and underlying facial tissues, as well as the thickness, texture and elasticity of your skin and the severity of the wrinkles and folds being addressed.

Issues you should be prepared to discuss during the consultation include:

  • Medical conditions, both past and present
  • Current medications, including nutritional supplements and herbal remedies
  • Previous surgeries
  • Weight loss history and goals
  • Other treatments you have received

For a more complete facial rejuvenation, we may discuss additional procedures that can be performed along with MACS lift surgery. Such procedures might include fat transfer to the face for volumisation; mini neck tuck for correction of “turkey-neck”; threads for additional subtle lifting e.g. to eyebrows; upper eyelid tuck; and/or laser procedures to smooth and rejuvenate facial skin.

How is the procedure done?

The MACS lift is done with a small incision from the ear lobe up to the top of the ear, which then runs forward just behind the hairline of the temple. Through this incision, the facial skin is undermined for a distance of a few centimeters (slightly less than a traditional facelift). Two to three “purse-string” sutures are then placed in the underlying facial connective tissue (known as the SMAS), the first one running down into the neck, the second one over the cheek and, if needed, a third one high over the cheek bone.

These sutures are all anchored to the cheekbone to provide a secure tissue suspension. These sutures lift and reposition facial tissues (skin, fat and muscle) to produce a more youthful appearance. The sutures are placed in the SMAS and lift as in traditional face lifting. The sutures are absorbable and gradually disappear over time. Nonetheless after the sutures dissolve, the facial tissues stay in their new elevated position because of internal fibrosis.

Because lifting of the SMAS has occurred (just as in a traditional facelift), the benefits of the MACS lift are long-lasting over several years.

The MACS lift involves less undermining of the skin than the traditional face lift and does not require exposing the facial nerves. In fact, the extent of undermining of the skin is around 50% of that of the traditional face lift. The procedure is characterised by short incisions, limited skin undermining and suture suspension of the deep tissues of the face.

The MACS mini face lift procedure is quicker, taking an average of two hours versus the four to five hours required for a traditional face lift, plus the operation can be performed under local anesthesia with sedation and is tolerated quite well by the patient.

Are there safety concerns?

Although thousands of people undergo MACS lifts each year and experience no major complications, all surgical procedures do carry some degree of risk. It is important you are well informed of these risks when considering a MACS lift.

The discussion of potential risks and complications is one of the most important aspects of patient consultation. During your consultation, we will discuss these potential complications with you, listen to your safety questions, and offer recommendations on how to minimise your chance of risk.

How should I prepare for my surgery?

You will be issued pre-operative instructions immediately after you make your decision to proceed. It is important to read and understand these instructions when preparing for surgery in order to ensure the best possible results.

Those instructions may include:

  • Refraining from smoking for several weeks before and after surgery
  • Avoiding certain medications
  • Arranging for help following surgery, such as transport and in-home care for the first 24 hours
  • Taking the herbal medication Arnica for reducing post procedural bruising and recovery time. We recommend that it should be taken daily for at least five days before your treatment day. It is available over the counter through most pharmacies and herbal food stores.

What type of anaesthetic is used?

For your comfort and convenience, the MACS lift procedure will take place under local anaesthetic with intravenous sedation. We will carefully monitor your physical status throughout the operation and during your recovery.

What is the recovery time?

You will receive a complete list of postoperative care instructions before you leave the clinic:

  • Your sutures will be removed 5 – 7 days after surgery.
  • Your incision lines will usually be very faint at first. However you can expect them to thicken and redden slightly for a few months after your surgery, before they return to a more natural skin colour and texture.
  • It is normal to experience some bruising, swelling and numbness after a MACS lift.
  • These symptoms are temporary and should mostly disappear after two weeks.
  • Numbness takes longer to settle down, and it will require approximately a month for the cheeks and 3 – 4 months for the underside of the chin.

What results should I expect?

Most people who undergo a MACS lift are very pleased with their results. The healing, however, will take some time, so you may not see the final results of your surgery for several months. How long your face lift surgery results last depends upon a number of factors, including your genetics and the lifestyle you lead.

Although a MACS lift cannot stop the ageing process, patients are typically very happy with their facial appearance for many years following their procedure. Additional improvements, such as a neck lift or brow lift, can be performed at a later time to maintain a more youthful look.

Follow-up visits are important to answer any questions or concerns you may have and to monitor your healing process. Your first post-operative visit will be scheduled after the initial healing period, during the first few days after surgery. In the following months, we may ask you to return for periodic check ups. Keeping these appointments is important to assessing your long-term results and address any questions or concerns you may have.

What are the advantages of MACS lift over face lift?

  • No overnight stay required
  • No neck dissection: liposuction only
  • Quicker recovery
  • Less bruising and swelling
  • Can be done under local anaesthetic
  • Few and less onerous complications.
  • Less invasive