Which Facelift Procedure Should I Choose?

I am 40+ and interested in getting a facelift. However, browsing through the Internet, I came across so many options that I'm now confused about which one is best for me. Can those who have done a facelift recently please educate my choice. Thanks in advance : )

Doctor Answers 26

Pick the surgeon, not the procedure

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Don't be misled by the catchy names of procedures-this is only a marketing ploy.

Choose an experienced plastic surgeon, and let him tell you the pros and cons of doing things in different ways, based on your specific issues.

See live patients of long-term photos, at least one year after surgery.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Facelift surgery

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Cosmetic surgery is unlike any other field of surgery. The surgical techniques are performed to achieve the surgeons artistic goals. There are many variations of the facelift. There are advantages and disadvantages to all of the techniques.
This is compounded by the individual variations we encounter in the human face. A single operation should never be applied to every face.
That being said a skilled, artistic surgeon will be able to adapt their technique or apply the correct technique to your particular situation.
A key here is to evaluate your surgeons results through photos. Speak to a patient your surgeon has operated on. Ask questions so that you understand what is going to be done. I am not suggesting you tell your surgeon what to do but make sure you understand and agree with what they are proposing.
Remember things which seem to good to be true usually are.

Robert W. Kessler, MD, FACS
Corona Del Mar Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 130 reviews

Look for the RIGHT Surgeon, NOT the Procedure or a Trademark Name

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If you are in your 40s and considering a facelift it is important to understand your anatomy, aging patterns and desires. Only then an experienced facelift surgeon will be able to recommend options that are right for you.

The world of facelift "names" is very confusing, not only to patients but to us facial plastic surgeons alike. It ranges from "non-surgical facelift" to "extreme facelift" and in between there are "2-stitch", "Lifestyle", "mini" and many other lifts. The name does not mean much, but the surgeon and his skills can make a big difference.

Consult with well-respected facelift specialists, look at before and after photos, preferably one year after surgery (a photo 2 weeks after any lift does not mean anything) and then make your decision.

Most facelift surgeons are board certified in facial plastic surgery or plastic surgery. At the end, board certification means little if your plastic surgeon only performs the occasional lift but specializes more in body sculpting surgery. Most busy facelift surgeons will perform in excess of 100 procedures a year.

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Choosing the right facelift technique

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There is no single "best" facelift (rhytidectomy) technique. Different surgeons use different techniques based on their training, experience, and the needs of the individual patient. The skill of the surgeon is the most important factor in getting good results. You should consult with a few surgeons before making a decision and take a look at their before/after photos.

Also, there are a number of other procedures which can be performed simultaneously and can complement the facelift results beautifully. These include midface lift, fat transfer, eyelid surgery, browlift, platysmal plication, submental liposuction, chin implant, laser treatment, and others. Ask about these and find out if you are a candidate for any of these in lieu of, or in addition to, your face/necklift procedure. Good luck!


Dr. Mehta

Umang Mehta, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Which Facelift procedure should I choose?

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The web provides you the initial tools for knowledge BUT you will have to see it to believe. Look at my web site link. Good information for you plus actual surgical video.

The real step is when you are ready to go to the next level vs what you are doing in terms of collecting information. You would have to meet with your "potential" surgeon. Make sue you have your questions ready. Normally, for patients that come in from out of town, I do a phone consult first.

Michael Kulick, MD, DDS
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Choosing the Best Facelift Procedure for someone in their forties

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Advances in Minimal Scar Facelift Surgery: The Lite Lift™

Minimally invasive procedures are the focus of all surgical fields and plastic surgery is no exception. The trend for looking your best has moved towards procedures that have rapid healing times, reduced risk and leave significantly less scarring than traditional methods. More importantly, most patients want a natural, refreshed look without the appearance of having had surgery. The Lite-Lift™, modified facelift procedure, exemplifies these principles by having 40% less scarring, and nearly half the surgical down time. Rather than being performed with general anesthesia, most are performed in our office with oral sedation and local anesthesia without an IV.

It seems rational that the more extensive a procedure is, the more dramatic and long lasting the outcome will be but this is not always true. Though there is still a place for the traditional facelift, with it there is also increased recovery time and potential for problems. By using advanced techniques deep to the skin, we are able to minimize external skin incisions and scarring. For example, placing the scar within portions of the ear and ending the incision behind the earlobe crease eliminates the usual telltale scar of a full facelift. Similarly, repositioning the incisions to hide them is also used. For example, beveling the incisions just behind the hairline allows the sideburn not to be displaced too high while allowing hair to grow through the scar to conceal it. In contrast to the traditional facelift, the Lite-Lift™ re-draping of skin is upward, a more natural, antigravity, direction eliminating the “swept away” unnatural pull too often seen in Hollywood stars with older facelift techniques. These and other advanced techniques along with modifications and innovations by Dr. Nichter  are what make up the essence of the Lite Lift™.
The techniques of the Lite Lift are advanced and predictable in the most skilled hands of Plastic Surgeons Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery . The best candidates are those patients with some remaining skin elasticity (late 30’s to 60’s) but this technique is also applicable to most patients including those in good health but advanced age. Best of all, this technique can incorporate synergistic procedures such as blepharoplasty (eyelid lift), temple/brow lift, cheek lift, and liposuction of the neck and jaw line, chemical peels and more. These added procedures heal simultaneously so a speedy recovery is expected.
Our patients remain our biggest source of our referrals. Over time they remain thrilled with their Lite-Lift™ results. I share their enthusiasm and appreciate their long lasting rejuvenation which affects them inside and out.
I agree there is a wide variability techniques out there. Many of the latest advances focus on minimal skin incision with maximum improvement beneath the skin.. This is not surprising as there are many techniques, different elasticity of the skin, anatomical variation, different fat deposits (or wasting) and so on. Some techniques  focus on underlying structural lifting (SMAS lifts). But probably most important factor of all is in fact  the skill and experience of the surgeon. Always check out his/her before and after photos and ask to see long term results and most of all that he is trained and a board certified plastic surgeon by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or board certified facial plastic surgeon. It is their role to see you through this complicated decision making process. You will probably also want to ask your plastic surgeon about the difference between a traditional facelift and a mini lift (both usually address the deeper structural lifting you mentioned).
A full or "traditional" facelift addresses the sagging upper and lower neck skin and (platysmal) vertical neck bands, jowls, lower and mid nasolabial folds and marionette lines. It involves incisions from the temple scalp, along the front of the ear (inside the mid part for women), behind the ear in the crease then along or into the scalp hair behind the ear towards the back of your neck with undermining of the skin and  tightening of underlying support tissues.

A mini-facelift, or "short scar facelift" or as I call it in my practice addresses all of the above except for the lower neck. The difference is that the incisions are shorter - basically the same description in front of the ear and temple scalp but ending at the level of the earlobe (in front or in back) - as much as 40% less scarring. Remember it is the expertise and skill of the surgeon, not the technique that is most important.

Choices in Facelifts

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 The ideal choice for a facelift is dependent upon the individual’s aging characteristics and the type of skin and facial atrophy that you have. I prefer a “Lift & Fill” type of facelift where I fill the central part of your facial compartments which you have lost over the aging process. I also perform deep layer facial tightening with SMAS and skin reshaping. This gives you an optimal, long-lasting result without having the overdone windswept appearance.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Facelift: The Surgical Experience

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It is most important to find a surgeon that you can trust, be sure that the surgeon is Board Certified in Plastic Surgery. Try to get a recommendation from someone you know that has had a good result. Be sure to see many before and after photos of actual patients of the surgeon. You should probably see a least three surgeons, before making your decision. Take careful notes for comparison later. When describing what issues bother you the most, see how the surgeon addresses them and what recommendations are made.  Attached is a video of one of my patients that tells of her facelift experience .

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Facelift Approach

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I perform facelifts, but have not had one. This is a very complicated question to answer, as there are a large variety of facelift approaches. My suggestion as your next step is to do some research and look for doctor’s websites that have photos of your appearance in other patients, and see how the results turned out. You want naturalness, as well as an appropriate amount of improvement in results. We are also happy to evaluate any photos you send to us, as well as to put you in touch with some of our patients.

Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

A full facelift is an excellent procedure with predictably good results. Avoid gimics.

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A thorough facelift (different varieties) gives almost always excellent results.  It is no physiologically hard on the patient and convalescence is similar to lesser procedures.  Avoid gimics.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.