The Aesthetic Guide is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.



Procedure Description: A facelift can firm and tighten the skin of the face and neck, all in one step. It is most effective for the lower face (jowls and neck). Surgeons can offer patients different degrees of face lifting, depending on the amount of correction needed. The incision for your facelift usually begins in the hair near the temple and continues in front of the ear, around the ear lobe, behind the ear and into the hair. The muscles and sagging tissue are tightened, excess skin is removed and the remaining skin is repositioned to create a more youthful look. The surgeon will close the incision with stitches, or with metal clips on the scalp. If the neck needs lifting, a small incision may be made under the chin.

Length of Procedure: A facelift takes an average of two to three hours and can be performed using either a local or general anesthesia.

Recovery: Patients usually feel and look okay surprisingly quickly after a facelift. Despite the fact that it is a large operation, there is usually very little pain. Swelling disappears within a few days, and bruises are usually gone by two weeks. Patients generally feel a sense of tightness and numbness that should gradually return to normal within several weeks. It is important to follow a careful plan on return to strenuous activity, in order to avoid tension on the wound (which could lead to worse scarring). The scars will remain pink for a few months before maturing to less visible white scars, which can be hidden with makeup. Furthermore, the scars are often hidden within your hair and in the normal creases of your skin. Thirty years ago facelift surgery required a 4.5 day hospital stay, and today, most patients are home on the same day. Surgical techniques, anesthesia and technology advancements have been responsible for this along with the establishment of in office accredited surgery centers.

Risks: A facelift is a surgical procedure, subject to all of the usual problems that accompany surgery. Bleeding from the cut tissues, leading to bruising and possible accumulations of blood under the skin, is a possibility in any surgery. Smoking can increase complications from all types of surgeries, but particularly from those procedures that involve undermining the skin, such as a facelift.

Results: While a facelift cannot stop the aging process, it can often make a person appear to be a decade younger. After recovery, patients can expect a more rested and often youthful appearance. Although a facelift can last for many years, patients continue to age. Therefore, it is impossible to predict how long it might be before an individual would consider a second lift. Some believe that a facelift also helps prevent the skin from sagging again, by holding it tighter to the face. The results of a facelift are different for each person. The people who look best after a facelift are those who looked the best before the procedure. Some people have one facelift in a lifetime, while others have a second surgery seven to 15 years later.

Estimated Cost: The average cost of facelift cosmetic surgery ranges from $6,000 to $15,000.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.