Meloplasty (Facelift)

Our FRACS certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr Drew Cronin has many years of experience in performing meloplasty/facelift surgery on the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

Our Plastic Surgery Clinic at The Coastal Clinic Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics

The Procedure

What is meloplasty?

A facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, is a resuspension procedure intended to improve the visible signs of aging in the face and neck by lifting the underlying facial muscles back to their normal position, and removing any excess, stretched facial skin.  It is the most reliable, long-term treatment for patients that have advanced facial ageing associated with facial descent.  Patients need to be in reasonable health and be a non-smoker in order to be a candidate for facelift surgery.

Who may be a candidate for meloplasty surgery?

The face is often the first area of the body in which people notice the changes of ageing.  Gradually, telltale signs such as lines around the eyes, forehead, and mouth begin to become deeper and more pronounced.  Excess skin may begin to accumulate above and below the eyelids, and under the neck, and the cheeks may begin to drop, leading to jowls.  Combined, these processes can quickly age the face. 

How long do the results of a facelift typically last?

The results of meloplasty vary depending on various factors such as genetics, lifestyle choices, and the natural aging process. It’s important to remember that a meloplasty does not stop the aging process.

The Surgery

Meloplasty surgery is performed as an inpatient procedure and patients are required to stay in hospital overnight. The surgical procedure typically takes four hours. 


Like most surgical procedures, you will experience swelling, bruising, and some discomfort. You may be prescribed pain medication to manage any discomfort. It’s important to follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding post-operative care, such as keeping your head elevated, applying cold compresses, and avoiding strenuous activities. Most people can return to work and resume light activities after about two weeks. At six weeks post-operatively the majority of swelling and bruising should have subsided and most patients can return to regular activities.

Before and After Gallery

Individual results will vary from patient to patient and according to factors including genetics, age, diet, exercise. All invasive surgery carries risk and requires a recovery period and care regime. Be sure you do your research and seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon before proceeding. Any details are general in nature and are not intended to be medical advice or constitute a doctor-patient relationship.⁠

For comprehensive information on the potential risks and post-surgery recovery process, please see risks associated with surgery section towards the bottom of this page.

To view patient before and after images, please book a consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

If we haven’t addressed your inquiries yet, here are some frequently asked questions that may provide the information you’re looking for. However, if you still have any remaining questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our clinic at 07 5683 0820 or via email at Our team is ready to assist you.

From the age of 40, the amount of elastin in the skin gradually declines, until it ceases to be created by the age of 70. The skin gradually becomes thinner and easier to become wrinkled.  Decades of everyday sun exposure also deteriorate the quality of the external layer of the skin, the epidermis.

A lifetime of facial movements starts to take its toll in the form of fine lines and wrinkles. Facial muscles differ from those of the rest of the body in that whilst most muscles attach to bones, and are designed to flex or extend joints such as a knee or shoulder, facial muscles attach directly to the skin, and are involved in forming the full spectrum of facial expression.  Smile at a mirror and see how the movement of the skin causes the lines of facial expression – notably around the eyes, forehead, and across the cheeks.  Over the course of a lifetime (particularly a happy one) these lines become more and more pronounced. 

The incisions for a meloplasty procedure are usually made within the hairline, starting above the temple area and extending along the natural crease in front of the ear. The incisions then continue behind the earlobe and into the lower scalp. This approach allows for discreet placement of the incisions, with the aim to minimise visible scarring.

Before undergoing a meloplasty procedure, it is highly beneficial to establish a consistent and effective skincare regimen. By focusing on skincare prior to the surgery, you can enhance the overall condition of your skin which may help the result of your meloplasty.

If you are uncertain if you are a suitable candidate for meloplasty, we suggest scheduling a consultation with our qualified dermal therapist or registered nurses. They will provide guidance on various dermal treatments, including anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers, tailored to your specific concerns.

Most people can return to work and resume light activities after about two weeks. At six weeks post-operatively the majority of swelling and bruising should have subsided and most patients can return to regular activities.

Risks associated with surgery

As part of our commitment to delivering exceptional patient care, we aim to provide you with comprehensive information regarding the general risks associated with surgical procedures, anaesthesia, and procedure-specific risks.

General Operative and Anaesthetic risks

  • Acute medical event: Heart or lung complications (e.g. heart attack, stroke, chest infection)
  • Death
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or Pulmonary Embolisms (PE)
  • A sore throat/breathing difficulty due to the general aesthetic or the endotracheal tube, which can cause swelling, noisy breathing or discomfort
  • Short-term nausea following general anaesthesia
  • Wound infection, which may result in treatment with antibiotics or further treatment/surgery. This is more likely in a smoker or a person with diabetes.
  • Heavy bleeding from the wound, which may result in further treatment/surgery
  • Wound discharge
  • Poor or slow healing of the skin; wound breakdown; skin necrosis
  • Wound dehiscence (wound ruptures along the surgical incision)
  • Bruising and swelling. This will start to subside in one to two weeks but can take up to several months to settle
  • Abscess/Haematoma/Seroma/Oedema
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Allergic reaction to sutures, dressing, antiseptic solutions
  • Altered or loss of sensation in and around the treated area, which may persist for some months, numbness maybe permanent
  • Adverse scarring
  • Revisionary surgery
  • Psychological impact of change in appearance
  • Unsatisfactory cosmetic appearance

Specific Procedure Risks:

  • Skin necrosis
  • Haematoma
  • Seroma
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Asymmetry
  • Alopecia
  • Movement of ears
  • Parathesia (may be numbness or tingling)
  • Facial nerve injury
  • Extended drainage period
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