What Is a Face Lift?
A face lift surgery, or rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure performed to improve the appearance of the face.
The goal of a facelift is to make the face look younger, by tightening the skin and reducing the appearance of wrinkles and sagging.
The surgery involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the face and neck, and the tightening of the facial muscles.
Most people choose to have a facelift to improve their appearance and reduce the signs of aging.
You can use the procedure to correct several different facial concerns, such as wrinkles, sagging skin, and drooping eyelids.
Rhytidectomy can also be combined with other cosmetic procedures, such as eyelid surgery or a brow lift, to achieve a more comprehensive result.
There are many types of facelifts, and the type of rhytidectomy performed depends on the individual’s needs and goals.
The most common type of facelift is the traditional facelift, which involves making incisions in the hairline and around the ears and lifting the skin and underlying tissues to improve the appearance of the face.
Other types of rhytidectomy include:
- Mini facelift: is a less invasive option, with shorter scars and a shorter recovery time. It is the best option for patients who are not quite ready for a full facelift. The mini facelift can give you a more youthful appearance by correcting sagging in the mid-face and jowls, while the full facelift corrects sagging in the lower face, neck, and jawline
- A traditional or standard facelift: is typically performed on middle-aged to older patients who have developed wrinkles and sagging skin around the face and neck.
- A SMAS facelift: involves lifting and tightening the deep facial tissue, known as the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS). This tissue is located beneath the skin and helps to support the facial structures. The SMAS facelift can help you improve the appearance of wrinkles, sagging skin, and jowls.
- Deep plane facelift: addresses the deep structures of the face to achieve a more youthful appearance. This type of facelift is often used to correct sagging in the mid-face, as well as enhance the appearance of the lower face and neck. The deep plane facelift can be an effective way to achieve a more youthful appearance, and with proper care, the results of this surgery can last for many years.
- Mid-face lift: also called a mid-face lift or a cheek lift, A mid-facelift is a type of facelift that focuses on correcting sagging in the middle area of the face, including the cheeks and around the mouth. A mid-facelift can correct sagging in these areas and restore a more youthful appearance.
- A cutaneous facelift: is a procedure in which the skin on the face is lifted and tightened. This can be done with or without surgery, and it can be done on any area of the face. The most common areas treated with a cutaneous facelift are the cheeks, jawline, and neck.
You are a good candidate for a facelift if you have noticeable signs of aging in the face, such as loose skin, wrinkles, and sagging.
You should be in good overall health and have realistic expectations for the procedure.
Facelift surgery can be combined with other facial procedures, such as a brow lift or eyelid surgery, to achieve comprehensive facial rejuvenation.
The cost for a facelift starts at about $4,000 to $15,000. However, the final price will depend on the extent of the procedure and the surgeon’s experience.
Face Lift Surgery Costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:
- Surgeon’s fee: The surgeon’s experience and geographic location will affect the cost of the procedure.
- Anesthesia fee: The cost of anesthesia also varies depending on the type of anesthesia and time required.
- Facility fee:The cost of the facility will be based on the type of facility and geographic location.
- Additional expenses: Depending on your goals and the type of rhytidectomy you choose, there might be other costs involved such as the cost of medications, post-operative care, and other expenses that will also be included in the final cost of the procedure.
The average cost of a facelift is $5,500. However, the final cost will depend on the surgeon’s fee, anesthesia fee, facility fee, and other expenses. Below is an average of how much a facelift costs in different locations.
- Texas: $6,000
- California: $7,000
- Florida: $6,500
- New York: $7,500
The final cost will depend on the surgeon’s fee, anesthesia fee, facility fee, and other expenses. For the correct price, visit or call your surgeon’s clinic for more information.
The risks of facelift surgery vary depending on the individual surgeon and the techniques used. It is important to discuss these risks with your surgeon before having the procedure.
Some of the common risks experienced during facelift surgery include:
- Nerve injury or damage
- Skin loss
- Unfavorable cosmetic results
These risks are typically low but can be serious if they occur.
Infection may require additional surgery to treat, and bleeding can cause bruising and swelling.
Nerve damage can cause numbness, tingling, or weakness in the face. In rare cases, it can be permanent.
Facelift surgery can also cause problems with the skin, such as skin necrosis (death) and skin loss.
These problems are more likely to occur if the surgery is not performed properly by a certified and experienced plastic surgeon.
- Before your facelift surgery, your surgeon will go over the details of your procedure with you and answer any questions you have.
- You will be given a general anesthetic to put you to sleep for the duration of the surgery.
- Your surgeon will make incisions in strategic locations around your face, often starting in your hairline near your temples.
- Once the incisions have been made, your surgeon will begin to lift and reposition the skin and underlying tissues of your face.
- Excess skin will be trimmed away and the remaining skin will be pulled taut and secured with stitches.
- Your surgeon may also place drains under your skin to help remove excess fluid and blood.
- The incisions will be closed with stitches or surgical tape and you will be taken to recovery to rest and heal.
Most people report excellent results following surgery.
Recovery times vary from individual to individual but are typically pretty short.
Most people take approximately one week before feeling well enough to return to work and other everyday activities.
Bruising and swelling are common and usually subside within two weeks. It is important to follow your surgeon’s postoperative instructions to ensure a smooth and successful recovery.
The first few days after your facelift will be the most uncomfortable. You will have drainage tubes in place to help reduce swelling and bruising.
You will be on pain medication and should rest with your head elevated.
By the end of the first week, most of the swelling and bruising will have resolved and you will be able to return to your normal activities.
It can take up to six weeks for all the swelling to resolve and for your incisions to heal.
The results of a facelift are usually long-lasting.
However, over time, the aging process will eventually take its toll again. Most people will need a touch-up every 10 to 15 years to maintain their youthful appearance.
The answer is yes. If you don’t like the idea of surgery, there are several nonsurgical facelift options for a face lift including:
- Dermal fillers: Injections of dermal fillers are one of the no-surgery facelift options. It can help to plump up sunken areas of the face and smooth out wrinkles.
- Botox: Botox injections can help temporarily relax facial muscles, reducing wrinkles’ appearance.
- Microneedling: This treatment involves using a device to create tiny punctures in the skin, which can stimulate collagen production and help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
- Laser resurfacing: This treatment uses a laser to improve the appearance of the skin by reducing wrinkles, scars, and other blemishes.
These are just a few of the nonsurgical options that are available for a face lift.
Talk to a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon to learn more about which option may be right for you.
Face lift surgery, also known as rhytidectomy, can be an excellent way to rejuvenate your appearance and improve your self-confidence.
If you are considering face lift surgery, it is important to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your goals and expectations.
The surgeon will evaluate your facial anatomy and skin condition to determine if face lift surgery is right for you.
If you are a good candidate for face lift surgery, the surgeon will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan.
- American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. (2017). Face lift surgery. americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org/procedure-learning-center/face/face-lift-surgery/
- Chang, J. Y., & Lee, W. J. (2015). A Systematic Review of Surgical Techniques and Outcomes of Facelift. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery-Global Open, 3(8), e438. journals.lww.com/prsgo/Abstract/2015/08000/A_Systematic_Review_of_Surgical_Techniques_and.10.aspx
- Friedman, M. H. (2014). The deep-plane facelift. Seminars in plastic surgery, 28(02), 127-132. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4178407/
- Kawamoto, H., & Koshima, I. (2017). The current status of facelift surgery. Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, 70(2), 273-282. sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1748681516305010
- Pessa, J. E. (2015). Facelift surgery: A comprehensive review. Clinics in plastic surgery, 42(3), 447-465. sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0094668515000326