Home/Face/Facelift & Neck Lift

Rhytidectomy, more commonly known as a facelift, is a rejuvenation procedure designed to reduce many signs of aging and restore a more youthful appearance to the face. A facelift involves restorative surgery that is designed to reduce sagging, loose skin, and deep creases while restoring tightness and muscle tone. Neck lift techniques may be performed as an independent procedure or more commonly incorporated into a facelift to achieve more comprehensive rejuvenation along the jawline, below the chin, and along the neck. During a neck lift, excess fat is removed, musculature is tightened, and the skin is lifted to create a more youthful-looking neck to complement the facelift. If an individual desires additional enhancement, a brow lift or eyelid surgery may also be performed. To learn more about facelift and neck lift surgery, please explore the informative sections below or contact our practice.

Who Is a Candidate for Facelift Surgery?

Those who wish to undergo facelift surgery should be in good physical and psychological health. The patient’s skin should also still have some elasticity for best results. As with any form of surgery, prospective patients need to discuss any current or past medical problems with medications, including those that are purchased over the counter, with our physicians prior to any recommendations for a facelift procedure.

It is important for those who are considering facelift procedures to have realistic expectations of what can be achieved through the use of facelift surgery. It is important for prospective patients to understand that this procedure cannot drastically change a person’s appearance and it doesn’t stop the process of aging. It can, however, bring back and restore a more youthful appearance to the face and neck.

Those who wish to undergo a facelift procedure should be non-smokers. Smoking increases surgical risks and interferes with the healing process. Smoking affects blood vessels and blood flow in the face, delaying healing and often resulting in damage to skin tissue. Those who smoke need to quit and be smoke-free for at least six weeks prior to any cosmetic surgery.

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The Facelift and Facial Rejuvenation of Today – Pinsky Plastic Surgery – Dr. Mark A. Pinsky

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Are There Alternatives to Facelift Surgery?

At Pinsky Plastic Surgery, we offer a wide range of facial rejuvenation treatments that can correct visible signs of aging with natural-looking results. Although facelift combined with neck lift techniques can deliver the maximum degree of rejuvenation of the face and the neck, there are less invasive treatments that our physicians perform for patients who either want a non-surgical option or are not good facelift candidates, including:

  • Dermal Fillers
  • BOTOX® Cosmetic
  • Laser Skin Resurfacing
  • Liquid Facelift

During your consultation, your surgeon can discuss which treatment or combinations of treatments can be performed as an alternative to facelift surgery. There are a variety of ways for us to address your cosmetic concerns and help you navigate the state-of-the-art options that are available to you.

How Do I Prepare for a Facelift?

A facelift surgical procedure takes on average between two to four hours, depending on personal circumstances and the desired results. Although this procedure is frequently done on an outpatient basis with just a few hours needed for recovery and observation, some patients may wish to stay overnight. This should be discussed with your physician prior to the facelift surgery so that advance preparations can be made if necessary.

Two weeks before the surgery, stop taking over-the-counter pain relievers that can thin the blood, such as aspirin and ibuprofen. It is also important to quit taking any other over-the-counter preparations and supplements, such as vitamins and herbs. Also avoid alcohol during this time period. All of these mentioned products can increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. They also can increase bruising and interfere with proper blood clotting during the healing process.

Drink plenty of water before and after the facelift surgery to remove toxins and promote healing. Limit salt in the diet before and after the surgery to reduce the risk of inflammation and swelling. The day before surgery, a liquid diet is recommended.

What Happens During Facelift Surgery?

Unlike facelifts of the past, modern treatment involves more than just tightening of the skin in the face and neck. During a facelift procedure, muscles and connective tissue can be manipulated for a firmer, more youthful appearance. Fatty deposits may be repositioned or removed with liposuction. Excessive skin is cut away and removed for more natural-looking results.

The facelift surgery may be performed in a hospital or outpatient surgical center. Anesthesia will be used during the procedure. The type of anesthesia administered will be discussed prior to the surgery and may vary depending on a variety of factors. Typically, general anesthesia or twilight anesthesia will be used, depending on what is available, patient preference, and your surgeon’s recommendations. Vital signs will be monitored closely during the surgical procedure so that any medical issues can be handled appropriately if needed.

Your physician will follow natural creases as much as possible to conceal and minimize the appearance of any scars. A facelift procedure involves cutting the skin, beginning in front of and above the ear at the temple area. The incision will then continue around and behind the ear and down toward the hairline near the neck. A second incision is made for your surgeon to properly access necessary muscles and connective tissue in the neck area.

The skin, muscles, and connective tissues are then manipulated to achieve a lifted, not “pulled or tight”, look with more youthful contours. Fat tissue may also be repositioned or it may be removed through the use of liposuction, depending on the desired results. Excess skin is then cut away, the skin positioned appropriately, and the incisions sutured. A small drainage tube is occasionally inserted to help with removal of accumulated fluids.

What Can I Expect During Facelift Recovery?

Pain medications will be prescribed to help alleviate any discomfort. Swelling is most commonly experienced within the first 24 to 48 hours following the procedure and can be alleviated by elevating the head. Use ice packs only if recommended by your surgeon. Bruising may last up to two weeks. Numbness following surgery is common and should resolve itself within a few months.

Drainage tubes will be removed at one of the earlier of many follow up appointments that will be necessary in the first few weeks. The sutures should be ready for removal within the first two weeks. As the healing process progresses, there might be uneven swelling, puffiness, and discoloration in the face and neck. In most cases, facial concealer and makeup may be worn after the first week.

*Follow your surgeon’s recommendations on activities and return-to-work instructions. It may take several months for all swelling to diminish and final results to be noticeable.

*Individual Results May Vary

Will I Have Scars After Facelift Surgery?

Our physicians are always mindful of keeping facelift incisions as hidden as possible to minimize the potential for visible scarring. Incisions are typically concealed within the hairline, behind the ear, and beneath the chin (if a neck lift is being performed). Throughout the healing process it is important to refrain from smoking (to promote optimal blood-flow and healing) and care for your incisions as outlined in your post-operative instructions. Keeping the incisions clean and dressed, as well as taking your antibiotics as prescribed, helps prevent infections (which can affect the appearance of scars) from developing. As healing of the incisions progresses, redness gradually fades and scar tissue texture should flatten. Scarring should heal within six months to a year following a facelift; however, this estimate can vary. When scars are completely healed they are typically undetectable without a close examination and trained eye. For patients who are concerned about the appearance of scars, we do offer laser skin resurfacing and RF microneedling treatments, which can be effective in reducing the prominence of scar tissue; however, the majority of our facelift patients do not find this kind of scar reduction treatment to be necessary.

How Much Does Facelift Surgery Cost?

The average price for a facelift and/or neck lift at Pinsky Plastic Surgery typically falls between $9,000 and $17,000. Although this price range is accurate, it is still important to visit Pinsky Plastic Surgery for a personal facelift consultation to determine an exact price quotation for your customized facial rejuvenation treatment plan. In order to calculate the cost for facelift surgery, our physicians must consider a variety of important factors that can affect the overall cost of a patient’s treatment plan, including:

  • The technique used to accomplish the facelift
  • The simplicity or complexity of the facelift procedure
  • Additional procedures or treatments performed during the surgery (i.e. neck lift, liposuction, eyelid lift, etc.)
  • Whether it is a primary or secondary facelift procedure
  • Anesthesiology costs

At the end of your consultation you will be presented with a detailed cost quote for your proposed treatment. A knowledgeable member of our office team can discuss the payment options we accept (cash, check, and major credit cards) and explain the plastic surgery financing options that are available to you. We have partnered with patient financing companies —CareCredit® and Alphaeon Credit—which are trusted third-party lenders, to offer qualified applicants the opportunity to take advantage of no/low-interest loans and flexible payment plans that can make paying for treatment more affordable and convenient. Affording the facial rejuvenation surgery you want may be more budget-friendly than you imagined! We encourage you to contact Pinsky Plastic Surgery today to learn more about our pricing and how to overcome financial obstacles standing in the way of your cosmetic goals.

Additional Facelift & Neck Lift FAQs

Does a facelift address the entire face?

A facelift does not address the entire face—improvements are generally seen from the cheeks to the jawline, and when a neck lift is included the improvement extends down to the base on the neck. Your surgeon may suggest incorporating a mid-facelift (for the middle third of the face), brow lift (for the top third of the face), eyelid lift (for the eyes), fat transfers, and/or injectable treatments to achieve a more comprehensive degree of facial rejuvenation.

Do I always need a neck lift with my facelift?

A neck lift is not always necessary when a facelift is performed; however, most patients who are ready to undergo a facelift can benefit from the addition of a neck lift to provide consistent rejuvenation of the lower face and neck region. Prominent jowls and excess skin below the jawline and chin are typically best corrected with the combination of a facelift and neck lift. During your consultation, your surgeon can discuss the procedure or combination of procedures that can help you achieve your cosmetic goals.

How can I reduce swelling after a facelift?

Temporary swelling following facelift surgery is to be expected, and there are many things you can do to help reduce swelling and provide more comfort during the recovery process:

  • Recline with your head elevated while you rest and sleep. Additional pillows can help provide adequate support.
  • Cool compresses can be carefully applied to the face.
  • Drink plenty of water, avoid alcohol, and reduce salt intake.
  • Eat nutritious foods.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Take all post-operative medications as prescribed.

If swelling becomes bothersome or excessive, you can always call Pinsky Plastic Surgery to discuss your concerns. When necessary, our team can schedule an urgent appointment for you to be seen.

Is facelift surgery different for women and men?

A facelift between a woman and a man are very different; facelifts are even different between patients of the same sex, as every patient’s anatomic structures and aging process are different. Our physicians always customize the facelift procedure to suit the aesthetic preferences of the patient and to maintain a natural look. The goal is always to enhance the appearance of a patient’s face without changing the essence of the way a patient looks. Your surgeon will make variations that take into account the differences in skin thickness, depth of aging, bone structure, and desired outcome to suit masculine and feminine appearances. When you choose one of our physicians to perform your facelift surgery, you can rest assured that the procedure will be personalized just for you. We will walk you through all steps of the process so that you can feel comfortable about what to expect at every phase of care.

What is the best age for a facelift?

There is no “best age” for a facelift, as every individual ages at a unique rate based on genetics, skin quality, environmental exposure, and other factors. Typically, facelift surgery is best suited for women and men who are experiencing noticeable skin sagging, tissue displacement, muscular laxity, deep wrinkles, and/or jowls in the lower portion of the face. While the majority of facelift patients are 40 or over, younger individuals can potentially be candidates based on the condition of their face and the severity of aging. During your consultation, your surgeon can perform a full evaluation of your face and neck to determine whether a facelift (and/or neck lift) is indicated, or if less invasive facial rejuvenation methods may provide adequate correction for visible signs of aging.