Face lift or brow lift

What is a face or brow lift?

A face or brow lift (rhytidectomy), is a type of cosmetic surgery procedure used to give a more youthful facial appearance. There are multiple surgical techniques. It usually involves the removal of excess facial skin, with or without the tightening of underlying issues, and the redraping of the skin on the patient’s face and neck.

Face or brow lifts are effectively combined with eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) and other facial procedures. Face or brow lifts are not routinely funded by the patient's local NHS commissioning organisation for cosmetic reasons and have restricted criteria for non-cosmetic/other reasons.

Patient eligibility criteria:

The patient's local NHS commissioning organisation will only fund this treatment if the patient meets one of the following criteria:

  • Recognised diagnosis of facial abnormalities, present from birth (congenital)
  • A weakness of the facial muscles, mainly resulting from temporary or permanent damage to the facial nerve (facial palsy)
  • As part of the treatment of specific conditions affecting the facial skin such as rare connective tissue disorder (cutis laxa), a genetic connective tissue disorder (pseudoxanthoma elasticum, PXE and Grönblad-Strandberg syndrome) and a genetic disorder that causes tumours to form on nerve tissue (neurofibromatosis)
  • To correct the consequences of trauma
  • For significant deformity following corrective surgery. However, funding will not be approved to improve previous cosmetic surgery.

The clinician in charge of the care of the patient’s specific condition, usually a hospital doctor, can assist the application, if there is exceptional clinical need for the treatment to be funded. The patient’s clinician must evidence clinical exceptionality and must be supported by the patient’s local NHS commissioning organisation. See separate leaflet for more information on Individual Funding Requests (IFRs).

Advice and further guidance:

  • For more information search for ‘cosmetic surgery’ at www.nhs.uk
  • Choosing Wisely UK is part of a global initiative aimed at improving conversations between patients and their doctors and nurses.

Treatment policy for patients covered by NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG

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