Can a Bad Facelift Be Corrected?

A facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that lifts and tightens the skin and muscles of the face in order to reverse signs of ageing such as saggy skin and wrinkles. An experienced and skilled plastic surgeon must perform a facelift in order to achieve a flawless and natural look. When performed incorrectly, a bad facelift can result in aesthetic and medical complications for the patient. 

A skilled plastic surgeon accurately tailors a bespoke solution to address the specific signs of facial ageing in each patient. Therefore, the final result should look completely natural due to the right type of facelift, surgical techniques, and level of intensity being used. In contrast, a bad facelift can be the result of a one size fits all approach that utilises incorrect surgical techniques and disregards the needs of the patient. 

However, it is possible to correct a bad facelift with a procedure known as a revision facelift. Our recommended plastic surgeons design a bespoke solution for each patient that takes into consideration their unique needs and signs of facial ageing.  

What Does a Bad Facelift Look Like?


A facelift should not leave behind any visible scars. When done correctly, the natural contours of the face will hide the surgical incisions of a facelift such as behind the ear and along the hairline depending on the type of facelift you had. Therefore any visible scarring is a sign of a bad facelift. 

Distorted Skin

A facelift that involves only the lifting of the skin can leave patients with distorted skin that looks stretched out and artificial. Despite being the most common facelift technique many patients are left dissatisfied by its ‘unnatural’ appearance. 

Our recommended surgeons eliminate this concern by using either the SMAS or MACS surgical techniques, both of which produce a natural result by addressing the underlying facial muscles as well as the skin. 

Altered Sideburns

Another sign of a bad facelift, which is more prominent among men, is the loss or displacement of sideburns. When a plastic surgeon makes the incisions in the wrong place, it can elevate the sideburns and destroy the hair follicles. A skilled plastic surgeon will leave the sideburns unaltered by making the incisions in front of or behind the sideburn. 

Elongated Ears

A bad facelift can result in elongated ears where the earlobes stretch downwards. This is often referred to as ‘pixie ears’. This occurs when a plastic surgeon closes the incisions incorrectly, causing the scar to pull and stretch the earlobes. It can also occur when a surgeon removes too much skin, thus placing downward pressure on the earlobe when the incision is closed. 

Altered Hairline

A bad facelift can leave behind a receding hairline if the plastic surgeon repositions the excess skin too high. A facelift done right makes small incisions along the frontal hairline without displacing the hairline or destroying hair follicles. Furthermore, the scars should be discreetly hidden beneath the hairline in order to produce a natural outcome.  

Medical Complications

Not only does a bad facelift leave the patient with unsightly aesthetic concerns, but it can also result in harmful medical complications. When carried out by an unqualified or inexperienced surgeon, the patient is much more likely to develop a list of severe complications including infection, hematoma (severe bruising), skin necrosis (dead tissue) and nerve damage. 

How to Fix a Bad Facelift

In most cases, a bad facelift can be corrected with a procedure known as a revision facelift. It is a more complicated procedure than a regular facelift since the surgeon faces more challenges due to the surgically altered structure of the face and the presence of scars. Therefore, a plastic surgeon that specialises in revision facelifts ought to perform the procedure. 

Prof. Ghassan Abu-Sittah and Prof. Ali Ghanem are both specialised in the procedure and have performed the surgery many times. 

Facelift Revision

What is a Revision Facelift?

A revision facelift is a secondary procedure that corrects facial deformities that have arisen following an initial facelift or enhances the effects of a previous facelift that have faded as a result of age. 

Patients that have been left with the above-mentioned aesthetic concerns can undergo a revision facelift in order to correct the signs of their bad facelift and restore a natural and rejuvenated appearance to their face. 

Revision Facelift Cost

The exact cost of a revision facelift varies depending on each individual’s circumstances and the complexity of the procedure. In general, the average price of a full revision facelift in the UK starts from £13,900. 

Facelift Revision Procedure

The surgical techniques used for a revision facelift varies depending on the revisions that are required to produce the patient’s desirable outcome. For example, the surgeon may remove excess skin to create a tightening effect; transfer fat to increase facial volume; reposition scar tissue to hide it with natural facial contours. 


In general, revision facelifts tend to be less invasive than the original facelift procedure. Therefore, you can expect less downtime as most patients return to their normal daily routine in 1-2 weeks. During this period, you may experience some swelling and bruising which will gradually dissipate.

How Long Do You Have to Wait for a Facelift Revision?

Most patients qualify for a facelift revision six to twelve months after the previous facelift. By this time, the effects of the previous surgery will have settled and the body will have had time to heal. 

On the other hand, patients who wish to maintain the youthful appearance from their original facelift usually return after 7-10 years for a revision facelift. 

Is Facelift Revision Worth It?

The skin on the face is a central defining feature of one’s aesthetic appearance. When done right, a facelift elevates the skin and restores a youthful appearance to the face. However, when done wrong, a bad facelift can leave patients feeling self-conscious and unhappy with their appearance. 

Since a facelift revision corrects unsightly signs of a bad facelift, many patients consider it to be a worthwhile procedure. When performed by a skilled plastic surgeon, a facelift revision can restore the smooth and rejuvenated facial skin that they were after.

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