Face Lift
In-Depth Guide

Have you ever looked at your face in the mirror, pushed back the extra skin with your fingers and thought, “There! If only my face looked like this again!”

What is a face lift?

A face lift is a procedure that rejuvenates and restores the appearance of the face and neck. As we age, the effects of gravity, exposure to the sun, and the stresses of daily life can be seen in our faces. Deep creases form between the nose and mouth; the jawline grows slack and jowly; folds and fat deposits appear around the neck. A face lift (technically known as rhytidectomy) can’t stop this aging process but what it can do is “set back the clock”. It does so by improving the most visible signs of aging by removing excess fat, tightening underlying muscles, and redraping the skin of your face and neck. In addition, it can lift the underlying structure of your face in a natural and pleasing way. 

Today’s facelift surgery has significantly improved and advanced upon face lifts of the past. Our goal is to keep you you, only better.


Is a face lift right for me?

Have you ever looked at your face in the mirror, pushed back the extra skin with your fingers and thought, “There! If only my face looked like this again!”

Although there are many minimally invasive things that can be done to turn back the clock, oftentimes nothing works as well as surgery to give your face back that more youthful, vibrant appearance that you had in the past. 

Some people are afraid of surgery itself. Others may have seen some results that they did not like. What is important to remember is that with today’s advanced treatments, face lift surgery is safer and gives better results than we’ve been able to achieve in the past. 

There are multiple benefits to face lift surgery. A face lift can:

  • Correct sagging facial skin and muscles
  • Remove excess skin and fat
  • Restore firmness to create a more youthful, vibrant appearance

How is a face lift performed?

Have you heard the expression that real estate is all about “location, location, location”? It may not surprise you to hear that when it comes to surgery, it’s all about “technique, technique, technique”. We believe that the most meticulous technique yields the best results and we strive for the highest caliber of outcomes with each and every patient. 

The face lift surgery incisions usually begin above the hairline at the temples, extend in a natural line in front of the ear, and continue a variable distance behind the earlobe. If the neck needs attention, a small incision may also be made under the chin.

The skin is then carefully separated from the fat and muscle below. Fat may be trimmed or suctioned around the neck and chin to improve contour. The underlying muscle and membrane are tightened, skin redraped, and any excess removed. When the surgery is complete, the incisions will be closed with meticulous attention to detail. 

You should know that this “attention to detail” is the driving force behind all of our facelift procedures. We do not believe in a “factory” or “one-size-fits-all” approach. Every step we take is done to provide natural, effective and safe results. Many of our face lift patients come as referrals from other patients. Rather than splashy ads, our reputation has been built over time, one satisfied person after another. We hope you will give us the opportunity to see us for a consultation so you can see for yourself why patients choose our office over others.

How is the recovery process?

The good news is: the recovery process is probably easier than you think.

The key to a fast and successful face lift surgery recovery involves three steps: pre-operative preparation, intra-operative preparation and post-operative preparation.

Pre-operatively, you will be glad to know that your surgeon meets with you extensively before the surgery in order to go over everything you need to know:

  • What preparations you need to make before the surgery
  • What to expect on the day of surgery
  • What you need to prepare and know for after the surgery.

This knowledge and being prepared will make you much more confident looking forward to the big day. 

During the surgery itself, your surgeon will take utmost care to treat the facial tissues gently. This will minimize postoperative inflammation. 

Post-operatively, there usually isn’t significant discomfort after surgery. Any pain at the incision site is often minimal and can be controlled with medication. For a few days after surgery, keeping the head elevated will help keep the swelling down. Some numbness of the skin is normal; it will improve in a few weeks or months.

Although many patients are up and about in a day or two, plan on taking it easy for at least the first week after surgery. Be especially gentle with your face and hair, since your skin will be both tender and numb. Avoid hot foods for the first day or two after surgery. Bandages are removed between one to five days. It is common for the face to be bruised, and puffy at this time. The stitches in the front of the ear are removed after about five to seven days. The remaining stitches are removed a few days later.

Most patients are back to work or school in 10 to 14 days. Avoid strenuous activity, including jogging, bending, heavy housework, sex, or any activity that may increase blood pressure. By the second and third week, you’ll look and feel much better.

What are the common risks & complications?

Face lift surgery is relatively straightforward. But, as with any operation, there are risks associated with surgery and specific complications associated with this procedure.


As with any types of surgery, bleeding following the operation may cause some pain and swelling. If there is excessive bleeding, another operation may be needed to control the bleeding and remove the accumulated blood.


Your surgeon will show you exactly where the incisions will be placed. We make every effort to make the scars as inconspicuous as possible. The great majority of people heal very well after this surgery. The final results of your healing, however, depend largely on your own genetic heritage and vary from person to person.

Frequently asked questions

Q: How much time is required for a face lift?
A: The surgery requires approximately 3-5 hours. As with all surgeries, the amount of time needed varies from patient to patient.

Q: Is a face lift an inpatient or outpatient procedure?
A: Outpatient.

Q: What are some common side effects?
A: Most side effects of face lifts are temporary. They include discomfort, swelling, numbness, bruising, and feeling of tightness of the facial skin.

Q: What is the recovery time?
A: Most patients are able to return to work or school in 10 to 14 days.

Q: How long do the results last?
A: The results after a face lift last for many years, often up to 10 years or more. However, the procedure does not stop the clock. The influences of aging and gravity will continue as time passes. The exact length of time varies with each individual.

Q: What are the differences between the many different types of face lifts? Such as Mini-lift, C-lift, S-lift, MACS lift, SMAS lift, Subperiosteal face lift, etc.
A: Each of the above procedures are variations of the standard face lift. At the Advanced Institute for Plastic Surgery, our surgeons are trained in all the above techniques. Our surgeons will need to talk and discuss with you to better understand your goals and desires. The actual technique used will be customized to your needs.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Glad you asked! Because a face lift is highly personalized, our surgeons would love to meet and chat with you about your goals. Please call us at 951-699-9201 or use the link below. We hope to see you soon!

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