Am I a Candidate for Facelift?

Posted April 11, 2017
How do you know if you qualify for a facelift procedure?


A facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, is a surgery that serves to reduce and improve the signs of aging that become visible on the neck and the face. Some of the signs of aging that a facelift improves include skin that is loose and sagging, creases in the eyelids and in the corner of the mouth, excess fat and deep wrinkles. Signs of aging occur due to gravity, stress and heredity. A facelift can be performed along with eyelid surgery to reduce signs of aging and with a brow lift to fix a brow that is sagging or furrowed.

Good Reasons for Facelift

  1. Tired appearance
  2. Sagging neck
  3. Deep creases and wrinkles
  4. Improve self-confidence
  5. Address loose skin located on the neck or face

Bad Candidates for Facelift

  1. A person with unrealistic expectations
  2. Patients without a good amount of skin elasticity
  3. Patients who want to have the surgery as a “preventative measure” against aging
  4. Someone who is not in good overall health

Cost Expectations

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, as of 2015, the average cost of a facelift is $6652. The price varies according to the extent of the facelift, the type of facelift and any additional procedures performed along with the facelift. The price also depends on additional fees charged by the surgeon, anesthesia fees, the area of the country where the surgery is performed and any facility fees.

Choosing the Type of Facelift

There are a number of facelift techniques to choose from and they include:

  • Mini Facelift – This type of facelift focuses on the jawline in order to restore any definition that has been lost due to skin elasticity being diminished. A surgeon makes periauricular incisions around the ears in order to elevate the skin as well as the SMAS (superficial muscular aponeurotic system) which is the thin layer of tissue and muscle just below the skin. The surgeon lifts the tissue up and outward and then removes any excess tissue. Fat grafting can be performed with a mini facelift to restore lost volume and liposuction can also be performed with a mini facelift to get rid of fat deposits.
  • Brow Lift – This is also known as a forehead lift or an upper facelift. It is performed to reduce the lines and wrinkles located in the upper third of the facial area after the incisions are placed in the hairline. Combining it with blepharoplasty (eyelid lift) results in a more rested appearance.
  • Mid-Facelift – A technique that specifically addresses the area that goes from the cheekbones to the jaw. The SMAS and skin tissue is pulled outward to achieve the lift and also flatten any folds located around the mouth. Permanent sutures hold the tissue in place. Any excess fat is trimmed away before the incisions are closed.
  • Neck Lift – A neck lift tightens the skin of the neck, as well as its underlying muscles, all the way from the chin to the collar bones. The surgical incision can be done through a periauricular incision or incisions under the chin. A neck lift can also add definition to the jaw line and neck when it is combined with liposuction.
  • Full Facelift – This method combines parts of the upper, lower and mid-facelifts to reduce sagging skin and wrinkles and also rejuvenate the appearance by adding definition to the features. A full facelift is most commonly performed on older patients looking for a greatly rejuvenated appearance.

Risks and Complications

Patients need to be aware of potential risks and complications before undergoing any type of facelift. Some of these risks and complications include:

  1. Bruising
  2. Hematoma
  3. Scarring
  4. Bleeding
  5. Hair loss near the site of the incision
  6. Temporary sensation loss
  7. Infection
  8. Asymmetry
  9. Skin necrosis

Recovery Information

Following a facelift, the face and head will be covered in a bandage in order to reduce any bruising and swelling. Pain medication is usually prescribed to help patients more comfortable after they have surgery. There will be some discoloration of the skin as well as numbness and swelling for about two weeks. The head needs to be elevated for the first few days to help minimize the swelling. Depending on the type of facelift performed, the recovery time varies from ten days to two weeks before patients return to work.

Facelift Results

The final results from a facelift depend on a number of factors including the age and skin of the patient. Skin that is thin, sun-damaged or fairer does not respond as well while patients younger than 60 often see results that are longer-lasting. In general, a full facelift can last 10-15 years (or even longer if combined with fat transfer). Mini facelifts results last 2-5 years while 5-7 years is the average length of time for a brow lift. A neck lift can last 10-15 years while mid-facelift results last 4-7 years.



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