Procedure: Approximately 2–3 hours (facelift alone)
Anesthesia: General anesthesia
Recovery: About 2 weeks (desk jobs / light exercise); 4 weeks (social events)
Post-op Visits: 1 day, 1 week, 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 6 months
Cost: Approximately $15,000 for the total fee
What Is a Facelift?
A facelift is a cosmetic procedure designed to reduce wrinkles, sagging skin, and various other signs of aging in the face and upper neck region for a more youthful and revitalized appearance. Dr. Jon Kurkjian—our board-certified plastic surgeon—is subspecialty-trained in this aesthetically demanding treatment, providing him the advanced anatomical knowledge and surgical skill to achieve exceptionally natural-looking results for women and men seeking facial rejuvenation. For all facelifts, Dr. Kurkjian’s goal is to make sure his patients look like a more rested and refreshed version of themselves.
Customizing a Facelift Treatment Plan
Dr. Kurkjian underwent training on the most advanced facial rejuvenation techniques directly from pioneers in the field of facelifting in both New York City and Dallas. It is this unique experience that enables him to individualize every procedure for each patient.
At the time of the consultation, Dr. Kurkjian will identify areas that can be improved for enhanced facial harmony, starting from the top of the head and down to the neck. Depending on your specific aesthetic concerns, he may recommend combining facelift surgery with complementary procedures like fat transfer or eyelid surgery—though he will only do so in the event an additional treatment would help produce a better, more natural outcome.
Once both of you have agreed upon the procedural strategy, Dr. Kurkjian will provide a comprehensive overview of how the surgery will be performed, detail what to expect before and after treatment, and answer any questions you may have. If you are satisfied with the proposed plan and feel comfortable moving forward, our team will assist you in booking an appointment for facelift surgery on a date that is convenient for you. At this time, we can also discuss available payment plan options should you desire financial assistance.
In the end, Dr. Kurkjian and our staff want your facelift experience to be as pleasant and stress-free as possible, and we will do whatever we can to make sure you achieve the outcome you desire while delivering an unmatched level of care.
What Are the Benefits of Facelift Surgery?
Facelift surgery can help address some of the key signs of facial aging, including:
- Lines and wrinkles
- Drooping cheeks
- Facial volume loss
- Hanging jowls
- Sagging neck skin
- Stubborn fat
It is important to note that while a facelift is considered one of the most comprehensive facial rejuvenation procedures available, it will not directly address aesthetic concerns pertaining to the eye and forehead regions. To resolve cosmetic issues in these areas, patients can often elect to combine their facelift with eyelid surgery and/or brow lift surgery.
Facelift vs. Mini Facelift
In comparison to a full facelift—which is designed to address significant signs of aging from the midface down throughout the neck—a mini facelift targets a reduced treatment area consisting of only the lower face and neck. As a result, the latter is typically reserved for patients whose aesthetic concerns are somewhat mild in nature and limited to this smaller region of the face and neck. For qualified candidates, a mini facelift can offer the benefits of a shorter incision and quicker recovery period than that of a full facelift. For more information about this variation of facelift surgery, please visit our page devoted to mini facelift.
Am I a Candidate for Facelift Surgery?
A facelift is an excellent option for men or women who want to look refreshed again. There is no defined upper age limit for facelift surgery, though we recommend that you are in good health and have the approval of your primary care physician before proceeding with facial rejuvenation. During the consultation, Dr. Kurkjian will evaluate your overall health status, facial anatomy, and cosmetic goals. Most importantly, he strives to formulate a detailed and comprehensive plan that is ideal for you. If it is determined that facelift surgery is not an appropriate option at this time, Dr. Kurkjian will recommend alternative treatments that would be better suited to your needs and goals.
What Is the Facelift Procedure Like?
Facelift surgery is performed under general anesthesia, typically taking about two to three hours to complete by itself. In order to avoid a wind-swept or overly tight appearance, Dr. Kurkjian tightens and lifts the deeper (SMAS) layers of the face without putting any tension on the skin. This not only avoids a pulled look, it also extends the duration of the results and diminishes the visibility of scarring. Once facial tissues are elevated to an ideal position and extra skin is excised, Dr. Kurkjian will carefully close the incision sites.
While many surgeons perform a SMAS facelift approach, Dr. Kurkjian prefers deep plane facelifts (also known as “high-SMAS facelifts”), which is a more technically challenging technique he learned directly from pioneers in facelifting surgery. The deep plane method is different from a SMAS facelift in that it involves tissue dissection and elevation below the SMAS layer. This leads to several distinct advantages, including the ability to simultaneously address the aging cheek and achieve even longer-lasting, more natural-looking results. Post-operative bruising and swelling side effects are typically less, as well. Most importantly, a deep plane approach releases the SMAS in order to improve the magnitude and longevity of the facelift.
In specific cases, Dr. Kurkjian may perform facelift surgery using the SMASectomy and SMAS plication techniques, both of which he also learned from renowned facelift surgeons during his extensive training. Regardless of the approach, he can tailor treatment to fit the unique needs of each patient.
Due to the complexity of aging, facial rejuvenation often requires a multi-modality approach. To help address all the different ways the human face loses its youthful exuberance, Dr. Kurkjian will commonly combine facelift surgery with techniques such as chemical peels, dermabrasion, dermal fillers, and/or fat transfer (fat grafts) to achieve the best possible outcome. When these procedures are also performed—or if eyelid surgery or brow lift is added—facelift treatment times may be extended.
What Can I Expect During Recovery from Facelift Surgery?
Facelift patients may return home with the aid of a friend or family member on the same day as surgery or, if desired, stay overnight and receive around-the-clock care the first night. For overnight stays, Dr. Kurkjian will then personally visit patients the following day to change the dressing prior to their return home, which is convenient for both those traveling from out-of-town and those who live locally.
During the initial days after surgery, patients are instructed to rest with the head slightly elevated. While some degree of swelling and bruising throughout the treatment region is common, initial swelling usually lessens within a week and bruising often fully resolves after about two weeks. Most individuals feel comfortable returning to desk jobs and light exercise after approximately two weeks, and a full social recovery can typically be expected after about four weeks. To ensure proper healing, strenuous activities and vigorous exercise should be avoided for at least a couple more weeks.
Dr. Kurkjian and our team aim to provide every patient with detailed care and attention to make the facelift experience at our practice a safe, comfortable, and memorable one. We use several follow-up appointments throughout the course of recovery to touch-base and assess healing progress, and we are always available to answer questions or address any concerns that may arise along the way.
Will I Have Obvious Facelift Scars?
Although some degree of scarring is an inevitable aspect of any procedure involving incisions, the limited skin tension afforded by Dr. Kurkjian’s facelift surgery technique helps to greatly diminish the final appearance of any post-operative scars. In addition, incisions are made in areas that often remain concealed by the ears and/or hairline, further reducing the potential for visibility. In the end, the majority of patients have little to no concern about facelift scarring once incision lines have fully healed, particularly when postoperative instructions and scar management recommendations are followed closely.
What Does a Facelift Cost?
A face and necklift typically costs $15,000 including all fees. Additional components that can impact the total expense of treatment include:
- Hospital and anesthesia fees
- The specific concerns being treated
- The facelift technique used
- Any necessary pre- or post-op medications
- Complementary procedures
- Location of the practice
It is also important to keep in mind that a plastic surgeon’s fee is often an indication of his or her training, talent, and experience in performing facelift surgery. As a result, it is not generally advised to choose a practitioner simply because they offer treatment at a lower cost than someone else. This is, after all, your face!
At our practice, we never want treatment pricing to prohibit patients from receiving the aesthetic care they desire, which is why we offer plastic surgery financing through several of the most trusted healthcare lenders in the nation. These organizations provide numerous payment plan options that break the cost of treatment into manageable monthly payments for virtually any budget. If you desire financial aid, our staff will be happy to help you get started on the application process for your plan of choice.
*This facelift cost is taken from the latest cosmetic surgery statistics made available by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons—it is not a price quote for facelift surgery at our practice. To receive a personalized cost estimate, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Kurkjian.
How Long Does a Facelift Last?
Generally speaking, results achieved through facelift surgery “turn back the clock” approximately 10 years. Aging will continue after surgery, however, this process can be slowed with proper skin care and non-surgical treatments. Most people find that another procedure may be of benefit 10-15 years after their first facelift. That said, at that point in time, patients still look younger than if they never received a facelift in the first place.
While there are a variety of elements that impact how long facelift results ultimately last, one of the most important factors is the surgical method utilized. Techniques that tighten the skin only tend to yield shorter results than those that target deeper layers of the face, such as the SMAS layer (and sometimes tissues below the SMAS layer) that are tightened with Dr. Kurkjian’s approach to facelift surgery. Additional components that can influence the longevity of one’s outcome include skin quality and care, as well as one’s lifestyle habits (i.e. diet, sun exposure, tobacco use, etc.).
Following an in-person consultation, Dr. Kurkjian will be able to provide a more personalized answer as to how long you can expect your facelift results to last based on your unique needs and overall lifestyle.
Can I Get a Facelift Without Surgery?
A surgical facelift will typically provide a more comprehensive and longer-lasting enhancement than any non-surgical alternatives for ideal candidates; however, not every individual needs and/or desires to undergo a surgical procedure to achieve their aesthetic goals. For patients seeking a non-surgical facelift, Dr. Kurkjian can often combine several dermal fillers and other injectable treatments (such as fat transfer and KYBELLA®) as part of a “liquid facelift.” This customizable treatment can help diminish facial lines and wrinkles, augment areas of lost volume, lift sagging skin, and reduce under-chin fullness without the need for incisions or prolonged recovery. At the time of your consultation, Dr. Kurkjian can help you decide whether or not a liquid facelift would be right for you.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions
Does a Facelift Address the Entire Face?
Facelift surgery targets the middle and lower sections of the face, including the cheeks, chin, jaw, and the neck in many cases, as well. For those with aging in the upper third of the face, such as the eyelids or forehead, Dr. Kurkjian may recommend eyelid surgery or a brow lift, either alone or in conjunction with a facelift.
How Can I Reduce Swelling After a Facelift?
Some degree of swelling is normal after facelift surgery, but there are certain precautions you can take to help control the amount you experience. In addition to following your post-operative care instructions, using cold compresses can help to reduce discomfort, heal bruising, and manage swelling. Keeping your head elevated, waiting the recommended time to resume strenuous activities, and getting ample rest to help your body heal are all important parts of your recovery that can help control swelling.
Do I Need a Neck Lift with My Facelift?
Facelift and neck lift surgery are often performed together, as they provide a more natural-looking and uniform rejuvenation. If a patient has prominent signs of aging in both areas, but they only undergo a facelift, this can cause the facial results to look unnatural while making sagging neck bands and skin more noticeable.
While a facelift and neck lift can provide beautiful results when combined, not all patients may need both. The best way to learn if you need a facelift, neck lift, or combination of the two is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Is Facelift Surgery Different for Men vs. Women?
While cosmetic surgery is often associated with female patients, many men seek plastic surgery to improve their appearance as well. Facelift surgery, in particular, can provide unique advantages for men and women, and since their aesthetic goals often differ, the procedure must be tailored as a result.
Common reasons women pursue facelift surgery is to eliminate jowling and diminish wrinkles and creases, allowing them to achieve a softer, more youthful look. Men, on the other hand, tend to want a more masculine result, helping to define their jawline and address neck folds that can make shaving more difficult. By focusing on these goals and the different characteristics of the male and female face, Dr. Kurkjian has helped numerous patients achieve the younger look they desire.
Is There an Ideal Age for Facelift Surgery?
Most patients interested in facelift surgery are in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, but those older or younger can also be good candidates for the procedure. While there is not an ideal age for undergoing facelift surgery, patients can typically benefit most from the procedure when they have more advanced signs of facial aging, which tends to become more noticeable in a person’s late 40s. Certain factors will impact the rate at which every person ages, such as their genetics and lifestyle habits.
In many cases, patients closer to their 20s and 30s can achieve satisfactory results through non-surgical rejuvenation. Patients in their 70s can still be eligible for facelift surgery, as long as they are healthy enough to undergo surgery with anesthesia and properly heal during their recovery.
Contact Our Practice
If you would like more information about facelift surgery, or if you wish to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kurkjian, please feel free to contact us today.