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Face Lift Surgery

Face Lift Photos
Face Lift Before and After Photos

What is a Face Lift?
How much does a face lift cost?
Where are face lifts commonly performed?
How many people have face lifts every year?
What should you expect at your first facelift consultation with your plastic surgeon?
Who is a good candidate for a face lift?
What happens in a face lift surgery?

What is a Face Lift?

A face lift is the process of using plastic surgery to smooth out and tighten the skin and muscles of the face and neck, giving the patient a younger looking appearance. Another name for a facelift is a rhytidectomy. A facelift reduces or eliminates facial wrinkles, creases, and folds. A neck lift tightens sagging skin and muscles in the neck. The cheeks, jawline, chin, jowls, and neck are typical areas that greatly benefit from a face lift or neck lift.

To get a visual idea of how your face may benefit from a face lift, place your open hands flatly on the sides of your face. With the pads of your fingers on your cheekbones near your ears, press gently while pulling your skin back and up. You will see the skin tighten. Adjust the position of your fingers to tighten other areas of your face, neck, chin, and jawline. By softly pinching the skin on various parts of your face, you can also get an idea of where excess skin and fat may exist.

A face lift primarily improves the lower and middle part of the face and the neck. To address concerns with the upper part of the face, a face lift is sometimes combined with an eyelid surgery, a brow lift, or Botox®.

How much does a face lift cost?

The U.S. national average surgeon’s fee for a face lift for 2010 was $6,231* according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. An in-person consultation is necessary for an accurate individualized estimate.

*The amount only reflects the average surgeon’s fee. Charges for the anesthesiologist, for the facility where the surgery is performed, and for other associated costs are additional.

What part of the country are face lift surgeries commonly performed?

Face lift surgeries are commonly performed in California, New York, Florida, Texas, and Illinois. But one can find experienced board certified plastic surgeons throughout the United States and Canada.

How many people have facelifts every year?

Face lifts are a common and popular plastic surgery procedure. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, nearly 116,086 face lift procedures were performed in the United States in the year 2011 alone.

Face lifts are currently the sixth most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in America after breast implants, rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, liposuction, and tummy tucks.

What should you expect at your first face lift consultation with your plastic surgeon?

Be prepared for your initial consultation with your doctor. You will want to provide a detailed description of which areas of your face you want to improve. Take some time before your consult to think about how you would specifically like to improve your looks. Write down your ideas and goals and discuss them with the doctor.

A face lift from a top plastic surgeon can take years off the appearance of your face. But even the best plastic surgeon will be limited by the unique physical structure of your face. Let your doctor know what you ideally want to get out of your face lift. A good cosmetic surgeon will be able to provide a realistic prognosis of your results.

Who is a good candidate for a face lift?

To be a good candidate for a face lift, the potential patient is someone who wants to achieve a more youthful facial appearance. The person will have loose or sagging skin on face and/or neck, but ideally will still have some elasticity. The candidate should be in good overall health for his or her age, should be emotionally fit, and have expectations that are reasonable and realistic.

There are additional risks for complications if the patient smokes, has diabetes, or has heart, lung, or liver disease. Your doctor will help you understand these risks if they apply to you.

What happens in a face lift surgery?

The face lift operation may be performed at a surgical center, or at a hospital, or even at a special doctor’s office. A general anesthesia or deep sedation may be used in the surgery. The surgery typically will last between two and five hours. The time will be longer, of course, if the patient is combining the facelift with another surgical procedure such as eyelid surgery or a forehead lift. The face lift patient commonly will be back home the next day, sometimes sooner.

The standard methods for performing a face lift vary depending on the needs of the patient. The main face lift methods include the “two layer face lift,” a “skin only face lift,” a “deep face lift,” a “neck lift”, and a laser or endoscopic lift. The two layer face lift is the most common procedure, and is usually the most effective.

All face lift procedures essentially follow the same course. The surgeon carefully makes precise incisions in inconspicuous locations around the ear, the hairline, and the scalp. The skin to be tightened is gently separated from the fat and muscle of the face and/or neck. The doctor then pulls the loose skin back and slightly upward. Sometimes muscle and other tissue may also be tightened. After the skin and muscle is tightened, the surgeon will then carefully remove any excess skin and meticulously suture close the incision to ensure that any scarring is minimal.

Related Links: Costs of Plastic Surgery | Face Lift Before and After Galleries | Blepharoplasty Before and After Photos | Eyelid Surgery Information | Find a Plastic Surgeon | Plastic Surgery Guide