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Dr Zurek & SAFE (S-Access Facial Elevation™)

Dr. Longin Zurek - Cosmetic Surgeon

DOB: was born on 13 November 1943

1969: Graduated in Medicine from the Silesian University of Medicine (Poland).

From 1970: migrated to Australia in 1970, trained in surgery at Sydney teaching hospitals from 1971 to 1975 and passed the Part I Fellowship exam of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 1975. Subsequently, worked in private practice developing a special interest in skin cancer and cosmetic surgery.

Amongst other postgraduate qualifications:

  • Was awarded a Diploma in Practical Dermatology from the University of Wales (UK) in 1994.
  •  Was a Founding Fellow of the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery in 1999 and served as a member of the Council Preceptor and Examiner.
  • Was awared a Diploma from the International Board of Cosmetic Surgery in Facial Cosmetic Surgery by examination 2004.

He has experience in all areas of cosmetic surgery and pioneered the approach of minimally invasive cosmetic surgery from 1998 and performed the first S-Lift in Australia in the same year. He subsequently modified the procedure into a specific technique which he named S-Access Facial Elevation (SAFE) TM. His technique has been published and presented at a number of congresses in Australia and internationally. He has conducted many workshops on his technique.

His other contributions include facelifting without incision with customised barbed sutures, which he named Anti-Gravity Elevatiion (AGE) Filaments TM.

In recent years, his main area of interest is fat grafting using state of the art technique, based on scientific evidence.

He is also completing details of a breakthrough procedure of neck tightening which he looks forward to sharing with his colleagues in the very near future.

About Dr. Zurek

  • Fellow of Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery
  • Diplomat of International Board of Cosmetic Surgery
  • Fellow of International Academy of Cosmetic Surgery
  • Fellow of European Academy of Cosmetic Surgery
  • Fellow of International Society for Dermatology Surgery

Dr. Zurek has over 35 years experience in surgery and medicine in Australia. He completed 5 years of surgical training in Sydney's hospitals and passed the Part 1 Fellowship exam of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Subsequently, he trained in cosmetic surgery centres of excellence in the USA, Europe, Asia and practices exclusively in this field.

Dr. Zurek is a Fellow of the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery.
He is the first Australian Cosmetic Surgeon certified by the International Board of Cosmetic Surgery. Amongst other postgraduate qualifications he holds a Diploma in Practical Dermatology, University of Wales, Cardiff, UK.

He has many years experience in skin cancer surgery with special interest in aesthetic facial reconstruction following the removal of malignant lesions.

Dr. Zurek keeps abreast of the latest advances in Cosmetic Surgery by participating in
local and international scientific conferences and workshops several times a year. He has been invited overseas on a number of occasions to present his work at conferences and conduct workshops on his surgical techniques.


  • Mayer DM, Swanker WA. Rhytidoplasty. Plast Reconstr Surg 6:255, 1950.
  • Skoog T. Plastic Surgery: New Methods and Refinements. Philadelphia : Saunders, 1974.
  • Mitz V, Peyronie M. The superficial musculo-aponeurotic system (SMAS) in the parotid and cheek area. Plast Reconstr Surg 58:80, 1976.
  • Larrabee WF, Makielski KH. Surgical Anatomy of the Face. New York : Raven Press, 1993:45-48.
  • Owsley JQ. Facelift. Masters Series I. Plastic Surgery 2005, Chicago , Illinois , September 2005.
  • Webster RC, Smith RC, Papsidero MJ, et al. Comparison of SMAS placation with SMAS imbrication in face lifting. Laryngoscope 92:901, 1982.
  • Duffy MJ, Friedland JA. The superficial plane rhytidectomy revisited. Plast Reconstr Surg 93:1392, 1994.
  • Ivy EJ, Lorenc ZP, Aston SJ. Is there a difference? A prospective study comparing lateral and standard SMAS face lifts with extended SMAS and composite rhytidectomies. Plast Reconstr Surg 98:1135, 1996.
  • Ansari P. Neue Methode der Gesichts- und Halsstraffung. Kosmetik J 8:14-15, 1983.
  • Ansari, P. Elimination of the retroauricular incision in face lifts. Aesthetic Surg 23(1):14-19, 2003.
  • Ansari P. Instructive course: short scar facelift. The European Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, London , May 1998.
  • Zurek LH. S-lift patient survey. International Journal of Cosmetic Surgery and Aesthetic Dermatology 2(4):235-241, 2000.
  • Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery Annual Conference, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005.
  • Zurek L. Survey of Randomly Following the S-Lift Procedure. EACS 5th Annual Meeting on Cosmetic Surgery Berlin May 2001
  • Zurek L. Live Surgery Workshops: Face Lift Zurek's Technique. 5050 Aesthetic Surgery Clinic, Seoul , South Korea September 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006.
  • Zurek L. Instructive Course: SAFE 2nd World Congress of Cosmetic Surgery Mumbai , India December 2003.
  • Zurek L. Live Surgery Workshop: SAFE, 4th World Congress on Cosmetic and Dermatology Surgery. Manila , Philippines February 2004.
  • Zurek L. SAFE International Congress of Advanced Cosmetic Surgery HCMC, Vietnam August 2004.
  • Zurek L. Instruction Course: SAFE, 49th Meeting and World Congress of the International Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. Lisbon , Portugal September 2004
  • Zurek L. SAFE Instructional Course and Live Surgery Presentation. The 1st World Congress of the Taiwan Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Taipei Taiwan December 2005.
  • Saylan Z. Workshop: Facelift and The new S-Lift, Dusseldorf , Germany , January 1999.
  • Saylan Z. The S-lift: less is more. Aesthetic Surgery J 19:406, 1999.
  • Saylan Z. Personal communication. Berlin , Germany , October 2004
  • Tonnard P et al. Minimal Access Cranial Suspension Lift: A Modified S-Lift. Plast Reconstr Surg 109:2074, 2002.
  • Tonnard P. Instruction Course: MACS, Congress IPRAS Sydney 2003.
  • Tonnard P, Verpaele A. The MACS-Lift Short-Scar Rhytidectomy. QMP 2004.
  • Massiha M. Short-scar face lift with extended SMAS platysma dissection and lifting and limited skin undermining. Plast Reconstr Surg 112:663, 2003.

SAFE ( S-Access Facial Elevation ™ )

The advanced S-Lift.

The majority of people today considering a facelift to improve the sagging, tired appearance of their face, are not prepared to spend many months recovering from aggressive procedures that carry risks from nerve damage, too many tell-tale signs of intervention and a lengthy period of pain and discomfort. These trends led Dr Zurek to pursue the option of minimally invasive facelifts. In 1998 he performed the first S-Lift procedure in Australia and has worked on developing this specific technique right up until today, which he now calls his SAFE procedure.

Every surgical procedure carries some inherent risks but less intervention is likely to be safer and also means a shorter downtime for recovery, and the refreshed, firmer appearance that still looks like YOU.

The SAFE procedure

The "S" relates to the shape of the incision, put your index finger into your hair line above the ear, about 2-3cm, this marks the beginning of the incision. It then descends down in front of the ear, past the little notch on the ear (tragus) and neatly curls back behind the ear lobe for 1-3 cms, completing the S shaped curve.

This allows Access to the underlying fibromuscular structure (SMAS); this unit is lifted, along with the attached skin, using strong, biocompatible sutures in a vertical direction (lifting upwards makes sense, as everything has been heading downward)!
This results in a natural appearance as opposed to the old methods of lifting where the final result looked as if you had been caught in a wind tunnel, due to a more horizontal pull on the skin.

Only the redundant skin is removed, the wound is repaired without any tension. resulting in an imperceptible scar, almost impossible to detect.

Is it for me?

The SAFE procedure addresses the sagging skin around the jaw (jowls) and the loose skin on the neck and to a certain degree the mid face. To further improve the mid-face, often volume replacement is required (see Fat Transfer).

(Liposculpture may also be necessary to reduce the fat pad under the chin).
It is not a procedure to correct the loose skin around the eyes (see Blepharoplasty).

Patients often make the comment; I want to still look like ME, just refreshed.

To assess the degree of skin laxity (looseness), observe yourself in the mirror and pinch and pull at the sides of your face as demonstrated. A moderate to severe amount will benefit from the SAFE procedure. If you have only a mild laxity the AGE Filaments™ can be the alternative for you.

Surgery does not address the texture, pigment marks and heavily sun damaged skins, you would have to consider improving the skin itself with Chemical Peel or Laser, IPL and in milder cases Microdermabrasion.

The Procedure

The procedure is performed in the clinic under local anaesthetic (a special anaesthetic that lifts the skin and reduces bleeding). Oral sedation is given and most people sleep comfortably through the whole procedure; which takes approximately 3 hours to complete.

After a brief post operative period you will be able to go home or to a local hotel if you prefer.

You will be given medication for pain relief and sleeping if required, to take with you.

A small dressing will cover the wound and you will be required to wear a special support garment which fastens with velcro on top of the head and at the back of the neck. This needs to be worn every day for the first week. A large headscarf, hooded jacket or beanie can be worn to conceal this.

You will need to attend the clinic the next day for dressing change. You may have a shower (not too hot) on the first day and wash your hair on the third day.

Stitches need to be removed 7 days after surgery. (Interstate patients can have them removed by their local GP or nurse).

Most patients return to work approximately 10 days after the SAFE procedure. However the healing process will continue for a few weeks beyond that, until the final results are seen.

The option of additional procedures can be combined with the SAFE eg blepharoplasty, lip lift, brow lift. (see other procedures listed).

Summary of SAFE

  • Performed under local anaesthetic
  • A natural looking result
  • Brief downtime
  • Incision line imperceptible
  • No hair loss

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