What is a facelift?
A full facelift surgery, also known as a rhytidectomy, is a procedure that improves the signs of aging in the face and neck. Our face and neck lifts not only addresses the skin, but also the deep tissues and facial muscles, creating a more lasting result.
A full facelift surgery focuses on the loose skin in the midface (cheek), lower face (jowl), and neck. Some of the causes of loose skin are:
- Sun damage
- Loss of facial fat
- Thinning of the skin
- Environmental stress
What can I expect from a facelift procedure?
Facelift surgery can smooth out wrinkles by removing excess skin, tightening the underlying facial muscles, and re-draping the skin of your face and neck. The primary objective is to enhance and accentuate the youthful contours of the face that have diminished over the years.
Facelift before and after pictures
To view facelift before and after photos, please schedule a complimentary viewing of our photo gallery with our patient coordinator or schedule a consult with Dr. Freed to learn more about the procedure as well as view before and after pictures of facelift procedures that Dr. Freed has performed.
Am I a good candidate for facelift surgery?
You are probably a good candidate if:
- You are in overall good health
- You have unwanted loose, sagging, or excess skin on the mid and lower face and neck.
- You have realistic expectations.
- You are committed to taking care of your skin by using sunscreen and good skincare and facial treatments to help maintain your investment.
Do men get facelifts?
Facelifts for men are a very common surgery. As men age, the chin and jawline become less defined. They can often have excess loose skin or what is commonly called a “turkey neck”; a facelift is an excellent option to address this issue.
How much is a facelift?
The cost of a facelift in the Roseville, Sacramento, and Auburn area can be highly variable depending on the type of facial procedure you will be having as well as whether or not other treatments are recommended, such as laser, eyelid procedures, peels, or other non-surgical treatments. We are not able to give you exact facelift prices until you have consulted with Dr. Freed, however, at Freed Plastic Surgery we include the following in the cost of a facelift:
- Dr. Freed’s professional fee
- Anesthesia fee
- Operating room fee
- Pre and post-op appointments and all follow-up appointments
- Complimentary makeover
- Complimentary skincare regime
Dr. Freed has an on-site medical spa, which allows him to offer a special gift to each of his cosmetic patients as well as providing a 10% savings on all services and treatments for one year following your cosmetic surgery.
Financing your facelift
Financing for your facelift is an option as well. We work with a variety of excellent financing companies that can be used for all types of cosmetic procedures. CareCredit and Alphaeon Credit are both reputable companies that offer a variety of easy monthly payment plans.
We understand that having a facelift procedure is a big investment, so financing may be a great option for you. Whether you finance your surgery or pay with another form of payment, the surgical balance must be paid within 2 weeks of your surgery.
How should I prepare for facelift surgery?
It is important to stop smoking at least six weeks prior to having a facelift. Nicotine can impair and delay the healing process. It’s important that you do everything you can to ensure the best results, especially when the procedure has to do with your face.
Discontinue all blood thinners and any medication that can increase your chance of bleeding two weeks prior to surgery. This includes ibuprofen, diet pills, herbal medications, fish oil, flaxseed oil, and vitamin E. Any prescription blood thinners must be discussed with Dr. Freed prior to being discontinued.
Dr. Freed requires that all facelift patients have an EKG (electrocardiogram) if they are a woman 55 years or older or a man 50 years or older. However, if you have had an EKG within the last 6 months you may provide our office staff with that report.
Please arrange transportation with a responsible adult/caregiver that can take care of you during your immediate postoperative time period.
Stock your refrigerator with healthy food before your facelift surgery, especially foods rich in protein and fiber, and low in sodium.
If you color your hair, we recommend you do so prior to surgery since you won’t be able to again for another 3-5 weeks after surgery. Depending on the type of color processing you use, you may have to wait longer due to the harsh chemicals used.
What is the recovery time for a facelift?
Facelift recovery time is different for each patient, depending on your age, skin quality as well as your overall health. However, most of our patients can resume social activities and work 2-4 weeks after surgery. By then, most of the swelling and bruising will have significantly subsided.
We also have an on-site makeup artist that is available to provide any camouflage makeup that will help in covering up any of the signs of surgery that you may want to hide.
First Two Weeks
- Dr. Freed will instruct you to get out of bed the day after surgery and take short walks around your home as well as take deep breaths throughout the day. Walking helps keep the blood flowing and prevents blood clots. This may sound simple, but it’s very important. Deep breaths also help prevent lung infections and improve the oxygenation of the blood.
- DO NOT apply ice or anything frozen directly on the cheeks or neck, apply any pressure, nor apply heat.
- Apply Bacitracin antibiotic ointment on your incision twice a day for the first two weeks. It is normal to have drainage from the incision site for the first 24 to 48 hours.
- Dr. Freed will prescribe you pain medication after surgery. The medication is given with the instructions to take 1 to 2 pills every 4 hours as needed for pain. If you are not experiencing pain do not take pain medication.
- Some patients are sensitive to pain medication and may experience nausea with it. Taking small amounts of food may help this. Also, patients can begin taking ibuprofen AFTER surgery for pain. Remember not to take ibuprofen BEFORE surgery.
- Avoid straining, bending at the waist, and lifting objects over 20lbs for the first few weeks, this will lower your risk of swelling, bleeding and pain.
- Sleep on your back and slightly elevated your head for at least the first 3 nights, as this will help to reduce swelling.
- You will have a drain placed after surgery that will need to be emptied twice a day. The fluid that is removed will need to be recorded in a drain log that will be provided by Dr. Freed. Detailed instructions will be provided by Dr. Freed or his assistant prior to your surgery.
- You may shower after the drain is removed, which is usually 24 hours after surgery. You may wash your hair carefully at this time, using a gentle shampoo and a blow dryer for your hair (using the cool setting). Please have someone with you the first time you shower in case you feel dizzy or light-headed.
- IMPORTANT: A small amount of swelling is normal after surgery, but if one side of your face is significantly larger than the other, it is important to contact Dr. Freed immediately at 530-885-4151 or 530-889-5841.
- Avoid vigorous exercise and lifting for the first two weeks following surgery.
- Avoid hot tubs and saunas for the first two weeks, or until your surgical sights are completely healed and Dr. Freed gives you the approval.
Two to six weeks
- You can expect to have some numbness around your earlobes, face, and neck for several weeks after surgery.
- Your scars may appear red and be slightly firm and raised for up to 6 weeks after surgery. It’s important that you apply an SPF 30 sunscreen each morning.
- It takes a minimum of a year for you to see the final results of your scar, so it’s critical that you do all you can to protect the scars from the sun during that time as well as use a good medical-grade skincare program. You have invested in a procedure that addresses your deep wrinkles, so why not address the fine lines, tone, texture, and pigment of your skin with skincare? This is an important piece for getting the best results.
Frequently asked questions about facelift recovery
When will the stitches be removed?
Stitches will be removed on two separate appointments. The first set is removed 5 days after surgery and the second set is removed 14 days after surgery.
When can I cut and color my hair after a facelift?
We typically recommend that you wait at least 2 weeks before cutting your hair. This is when the second set of sutures is removed.
You may color your hair approximately 3 weeks after your surgery. Depending on the type of color you are using, some of the products have very harsh chemicals that can irritate the scalp and the suture areas.
When can I wash my face and hair after a facelift?
You are able to wash your face and hair the day after your surgery. When washing your face, we recommend that you use a gentle cleanser. We have a variety of options at our medical spa. Also, when blow drying your hair, do not use the high heat setting, but rather use the cooler setting.
When can I wear makeup after a facelift?
Your first set of sutures will come out post-op day 5, so after the sutures are removed then you will be able to apply makeup.
We recommend that our patients see our makeup artist for makeup options that were created specifically for post-surgical procedures. The foundation that is recommended is Oxygenetix. It is breathable and non-clogging and has an SPF of 25, all of which help heal the skin while providing good coverage.
We offer a complimentary makeup application. If you are interested, you may ask one of our staff to set up a consultation at Vibrance Medical Spa.
How long does a facelift last?
A full facelift typically lasts 10-15 years; however, it is important that you do all you can to maintain the investment you have put into your face. Although there is tightening of the skin and deep tissues with a facelift, this procedure does not address the following:
- Skin tone
- Skin texture
- Fine lines
There are a variety of ways you can maintain your facelift:
- Schedule regular facials and peels
- Apply sunscreen daily
- Keep your skin hydrated by drinking plenty of water
- Maintain a healthy weight and eat a healthy diet
- Be on a high-quality medical-grade skincare routine
- Receive injectables (such as fillers and Botox)
Are there different types of facelifts?
Full facelift with a neck lift
A full facelift improves the cheek contour, jowls, jawline, neck contour, and nasolabial folds. It takes 3 ½ hours for this procedure and is performed in an accredited operating facility under general anesthesia.
A lower facelift is similar to a full facelift; however, it excludes the work done on the upper cheeks. A lower facelift takes 2 ½ hours to perform and this is performed in an accredited operating room under general anesthesia.
A Mini Facelift addresses wrinkles and sagging skin in the lower face and has small incisions placed around the ears. A Mini Facelift surgery is a common procedure performed by Dr. Freed and is one of his favorites. The Mini Facelift procedure takes 1 ½ hour and is performed as an office procedure.
As wonderful and popular as a mini facelift is, there are limitations in its ability to improve the upper cheek, and is not completely able to solve the problem of a very loose neck.
This procedure has many benefits:
- Patients do not need to undergo general anesthesia.
- The recovery process is fairly quick. Most patients return to their normal daily activities between 1-2 weeks.
- Fewer side effects than a full facelift. There is less swelling, bruising, and tenderness.
Non-surgical facial procedures
At Freed Plastic Surgery, we have an on-site medical spa with nurses and skincare specialists that offer a variety of treatments and procedures for facial aging. Fillers and injectables are just some of the great non-surgical treatments to have in conjunction with facial surgery or as a stand-alone procedure.
Will my facelift leave a scar?
With all cosmetic surgery, patients are concerned about their scars, especially when it’s on the face. The facelift incision is carefully placed to be hidden in the crease lines around the ears, behind the ear, and into the hairline. However, with that said, it is very important that you put sunscreen on your face and incision lines daily, with reapplication if you are out in the sun or sweating. Sun can darken scars and interfere with the healing process.
In our medical spa, we offer a variety of sunscreens and makeup with sunscreen in it that are great for covering up the scar and protecting them at the same time. Our patients also find our brush-on sunscreen by Colorscience to be an easy way to reapply their sunscreen throughout the day. Please ask one of our staff for more information.
Why choose Freed Plastic Surgery for your facelift?
We believe that choosing a plastic surgeon is a very important decision and there are many questions that must be answered when considering cosmetic surgery. You want to make sure your physician is board certified in plastic surgery, experienced, confidential, caring, and provides excellent care. It’s also important you’re your surgeon is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
We have listed just a few reasons why we believe Freed Plastic Surgery is the best option for you:
- Dr. Freed and his staff have a wonderful reputation in the Roseville, Sacramento, and Auburn areas for being kind, patient-focused, and providing excellent care in a private setting.
- Dr. Freed has over 25 years of post-residency experience with this procedure, resulting in beautiful facelift results.
- Dr. Freed understands the aging process and how to create a more youthful and natural appearance.
- We have a fully accredited private operative suite on-site with a board-certified plastic surgeon and anesthesiologist.
- Dr. Freed offers each cosmetic patient a 10% savings for a year after surgery at his onsite medical spa.