The MACS Face Lift: What you need to know

March 13, 2014

*Disclaimer – There is no guarantee of specific results and results can vary from patient to patient. Our team of consultant plastic surgeons will ensure you are in safe hands and discuss your results at your consultation.

You’ve surely heard of a ‘Traditional Facelift’. Also known as a rhytidectomy, it is a procedure that ‘lifts’ excessive skin of the face or neck to smooth wrinkles or lift saggy parts of the face. The incision usually starts in the hairline above the ear, extends around the ear and curves back either along the hairline behind the ear.

The lifting technique in a facelift varies, from “skin-only” to deep plane techniques. The MACS (Minimal Access Cranial Suspension) lift is different from the ‘traditional’ Face Lift because it uses a minimal incision.

While other techniques pull the direction of the facial skin to flatten and give an appearance of revitalization, the MACS facelift targets the direction of deep tissues, essentially pulling the underlying muscles up without dissection. Many patients prefer this simpler approach as it means less dissection and less skin is raised. This reduces the risk of nerve damage and bleeding.

Who is a good candidate for MACS?

The MACS facelift is ideal for patients wanting to reconstruct sagging jowls and/or neck. The surgery is also beneficial for reducing excess skin around the cheek and flattening deep lines around the mouth. A good candidate for MACS surgery is someone who, while experiencing sagging in these areas, still has some elasticity in the skin. Patients are most commonly between the ages of 40-60, however, the surgery is still very often beneficial to those above the age of 60.

The MACS Procedure

The procedure itself generally takes about 2-3 hours and is performed under general anaesthesia. Small incisions are made in front of the ear which extends along the hairline. This incision technique means the scar blends with the hairline rendering it almost unnoticeable.

A tiny area of skin is lifted, and depending on the requirements of the patient, a number of sutures are woven into the muscle to restore tightness and dictate a more vertical direction.

There are two options here:

  • S-MACS (Simple MACS)

    Two sutures are used to rejuvenate sagging of the neck and lower face.

  • X-MACS (Extended MACS)

    A third suture is woven to tighten the mid-face and the lower eyelid.

Excess skin is removed around the eyelid and hairline, and the skin is then closed up.


Since the surgery by nature is minimally invasive, the recovery time is quite short. Minuscule drains are inserted behind the ears, and the day after surgery these drains are removed along with the bandages.

Patients are required to wear a bandage on the chin for about a week to reduce facial movement and speed up the healing process. A recent survey we carried out showed that most patients will be back at work within 7-10 days following this procedure.

Read columnist Liz Jones’ “diary of a facelift” to get an idea of her experience.

Here’s a before and after photo from one of the Avoca Clinic’s Facial Specialists below:

Avoca Clinic Face lift before and after


If you would like to know more about the MACS Facelift, our Patient Advisors would be happy to give you more details. Give us a call on 01 201 4563.

It is important to note that no surgery is risk-free. All the risks associated will be discussed at length with your consultant and you will leave the clinic ready to make an informed decision. Your suitability will be determined during your complimentary consultation with one of our team of consultant plastic surgeons and our promise to you is safe surgery, premium service in luxurious surroundings at affordable prices.

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