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Home/Surgical Procedures/Face/Facelift

Length: 1-5 hours (this applies to all facial procedures)
Anesthesia: IV Sedation
Inpatient/Outpatient: Outpatient
Potential Side Effects/Risks: Bruising, numbness, muscle weakness, and nerve weakness
Principal Benefits: More youthful, alert appearance

Any of a number of factors can cause facial skin to sag or droop: excessive sun exposure, the aging process, changes in weight. Such wrinkles and jowls can make you look much older than you really are and misrepresent how you feel. Facelift is a surgical procedure that can give you a smoother, more youthful appearance with long-lasting results.

What Is a Facelift?

A facelift is a surgical procedure focused on lifting and tightening the deep tissue and skin of the lower third of the face and, oftentimes, the neck area as well. There are many facelift techniques that our experienced plastic surgeon can utilize to create a customized approach to your facelift. The surgical plan she develops is based on the visible signs of facial aging you present and cosmetic goals you’d like to achieve.

What Are the Benefits of Facelift Surgery?

For men and women experiencing moderate to significant signs of facial aging, facelift surgery performed by our plastic surgeon can provide several cosmetic benefits, including:

  • Reduction in deep facial creases and folds
  • Elimination of excess skin
  • Smoother, more lifted facial contours
  • Reduction of jowls along the jawline
  • More youthful-looking neck if combined with neck lift techniques
  • A more graceful facial aging process
  • Long-lasting results

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you & your wonderful staff for my experience at your facility. From the moment I entered until the time I left the staff was so sincere & caring. The whole process was very calming. I know that I am still in the healing stage but from what I can see I am very happy!”

Combining Facelift Surgery with Other Facial Rejuvenation Procedures

During the consultation process, your plastic surgeon may suggest combining a facelift with complementary non-surgical treatments or facial plastic surgery procedures that can address other areas of skin laxity, diminished volume, wrinkling, pigmentation concerns, and other common signs of aging. When integrated into a customized rejuvenation treatment plan, multiple surgical and/or non-surgical approaches can help create a more natural-looking and youthful appearance overall. Based on the patient’s unique needs, Dr. Houssock often recommends that a facelift be performed in conjunction with one or several of the following options:

  • Neck lift and contouring techniques
  • Facial fat grafting procedures
  • Brow lift surgery
  • Eyelid lift surgery
  • BOTOX® Cosmetic injections
  • Skin rejuvenation treatments (i.e. IPL Photofacial and VirtueRF Microneedling)
  • Dermal fillers

Another important benefit of combining surgical procedures into one operation is that it lowers costs, minimizes risks of anesthesia complications, and consolidates recovery time into a single period. Dr. Houssock will always take the time to explain all of your options and help you decide on the treatment path that is best suited to your personal aesthetic and priorities.

What Happens During the Facelift Procedure?

During an in-depth consultation with our plastic surgeon you will have the opportunity to discuss your cosmetic concerns and goals. Dr. Houssock will assess both your physical health and appearance to determine if facelift surgery is the right option for you. If you are a good candidate for a facelift and choose to proceed with surgery, you can schedule your procedure and learn about what to expect at each stage of the process.

On the day of surgery, a sedation method is administered and the procedure begins. Your surgeon makes two incisions within the hairline and in front of the ear, following the carefully devised surgical plan. The techniques used can vary from patient to patient depending upon the degree of improvement desired. Through these small incisions, your surgeon accesses the connective tissue and musculature that requires lifting and tightening. Once the soft tissue has been properly addressed, the surgeon focuses on smoothing the facial skin over the newly rejuvenated framework for a natural look. Finally, any excess skin is removed and the incisions are closed. The face is then bandaged and wrapped.

What Is Recovery After Facelift Surgery Like?

Some degree of swelling, bruising, tenderness, and numbness is common after a facelift and should subside as the face heals. Moderate soreness should only remain for a few days, and improve quickly thereafter. Many patients choose to take off about two to three weeks from work to recover. In order to minimize swelling and discomfort, it is important to keep your head elevated as you recover. Any discomfort experienced after surgery can typically be managed with medication, if desired. Usually, patients are able to return to low-impact activities after a couple of weeks of rest. A tight feeling may persist for a few weeks, and numbness of the face can be present (to some degree) for several months as the nerves heal. Follow-up appointments with Dr. Houssock will keep you updated on the progress of your healing.

How Long Does a Facelift Usually Last?

Depending on the patient’s age, health, smoking history, and skin type, a facelift’s results should last ten years. As an additional consideration, Dr. Houssock commonly tells patients that the facelift can be thought of as lasting forever due to the fact that individuals who undergo a facelift will always look better having had the procedure than not.

What Can My Facelift Surgery Results Look Like?

When residual swelling has subsided completely, the final results of your facelift will be revealed. Patients who have undergone a facelift performed by Dr. Houssock are typically thrilled with the natural-looking results of their procedure. Our plastic surgeon’s expertise in facelift surgery has earned her a reputation of excellence nationwide. If you are considering a facelift, we encourage you to browse through our before-and-after photo gallery featuring many of our facelift patients. To schedule a facial rejuvenation consultation, please contact our office.

Will I Have Facelift Scars?

Once you heal, some scar tissue from your surgery will remain; however, any scarring should be well concealed. During your facelift surgery, the necessary incisions are kept hidden within the hairline, behind the ear, and beneath the chin to minimize the potential for visible scarring. To help you heal properly, it is important to refrain from smoking, stay out of the sun, and closely follow the post-op care instructions on how to care for your incisions. Infected incisions have the potential to create abnormal scarring, so be sure to take your antibiotics as prescribed, keep incisions clean, and notify our office at the first sign of any developing concern.

View our full patient results photo gallery

Are There Any Facelift Alternatives?

While facelift surgery is the only way to remove excess facial skin and delivers the longest-lasting rejuvenation results for the lower two-thirds of the face, there are facelift alternatives available. Facelift alternatives can be ideal solutions for individuals who are not good candidates for surgery or those who prefer a non-surgical approach to facial rejuvenation. At our practice Dr. Houssock may recommend dynamic non-surgical treatments to reduce visible signs of facial aging, such as:

  • liquid facelift accomplished entirely with injectable dermal fillers (i.e. JUVÉDERM®, Restylane®, etc.) and wrinkle relaxers, such as BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport.
  • VirtueRF radiofrequency microneedling treatments with PRP (platelet-rich plasma) for comprehensive rejuvenation of the skin and deeper tissue.
  • Photofacial/ IPL® skin treatments to enhance skin texture and tone, while reducing various types of irregular pigmentation.

If you are interested in non-surgical facial rejuvenation methods, a consultation with our experienced plastic surgeon is the first step toward finding out which treatments are right for you.

How Much Does a Facelift Cost?

At our practice the average cost for a standard facelift is between $19,000 and $23,000. If you choose to combine facelift surgery with additional procedures the cost increases; however, as you can see below, you will save money by bundling multiple procedures into a single surgery:

  • Facelift combined with neck lift, brow lift, & eyelid surgery: $30,000 to $38,000
  • Facelift combined with neck lift & eyelid surgery: $23,000 to $26,000

These prices are all-inclusive, meaning all costs and fees associated with the surgery are included in the price. While these price ranges can provide you with an accurate estimate of how much your facelift could cost, it is important to schedule a consultation with Dr. Houssock to receive an exact estimate for your personalized surgical plan.

Once you are presented with your estimate, a knowledgeable member of our office team can discuss different ways of paying for your treatment. In addition to accepting traditional payment methods, we have partnered with several third-party lenders who offer a variety of plastic surgery financing options. Qualified applicants may be approved for affordable loans and flexible payment plans that can make paying for treatment more manageable and convenient.  We want plastic surgery to be as accessible as possible, so please feel free to ask us how financing can help you receive the treatment you desire!

Additional Facelift FAQs

I do not want to look like I had a facelift or appear tightly pulled; can I obtain a natural look?

Absolutely! My goal is to have patients appear younger and refreshed, not “operated upon.” The technique I use for the procedure pulls deep layers and does not require tight skin stretching. I encourage patients to bring photos of themselves taken 15 years ago to the consultation. This serves as an important starting point for the planning of the procedure.

Will a facelift help if I have a lot of facial wrinkles?

A facelift itself is not entirely effective against very fine facial lines. In addition to a facelift, you might need laser resurfacing, dermabrasion and/or fat augmentation.

Do men commonly get facelifts, and are there any special concerns?

Yes, men commonly have facelifts with terrific success. A man’s face has more blood vessels than a woman’s because of the male beard. Therefore, there can be a higher incidence of postoperative bleeding. Also, the bearded skin is pulled closer to the ear and behind the ear so shaving will be necessary in those areas.

How can I reduce swelling after facelift surgery?

Keeping your head elevated while you recover is an important key to managing post-operative swelling. Dr. Houssock suggests that patients arrange pillows to keep themselves propped up during rest and sleep in the first few days following surgery. Cold compresses may also be applied to the face at recommended intervals. Additional suggestions to minimize swelling include eating nutritious foods, monitoring salt intake, limiting alcohol consumption, and drinking plenty of hydrating fluids. Your post-operative care instructions will include detailed directions on how to help optimize comfort during recovery.

Will I need a neck lift and/or neck contouring along with my facelift?

If you have loose skin along your jawline and neck, or unwanted fullness and excess fat that has developed beneath your chin, integrating neck lift techniques and/or liposuction contouring into your surgical plan can potentially optimize the quality of your outcome. The goal of these approaches is to enhance jawline definition, along with providing smoother, leaner, more lifted neck contours. During your facelift consultation with Dr. Houssock, you will have the opportunity to discuss all of your concerns and learn more about the recommended options for achieving natural-looking facial and neck rejuvenation.

Is there an ideal age for a facelift?

While there is no perfect age for undergoing a facelift, there are some telltale signs of facial aging that can indicate it could be the right time to explore facial rejuvenation surgery. Jowls, sagging facial skin in the lower two-thirds of the face, and deep folds around the nose and mouth can typically be improved with a facelift; however, a consultation with our experienced plastic surgeon is the best way to find out if a facelift is the best solution for your aesthetic concerns.

Are you considering a facelift? Contact our practice today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Houssock to learn more about the procedures and treatments that can help you look and feel your very best!