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About Face Lift Surgery

With age and sun damage, the face begins to sag. This process actually begins in the early 30’s. While there are some noninvasive tightening procedures, the surgical facelift is still the gold standard. Lifting the facial skin to create a pleasing rejuvenating affect has been performed for over a century. One of the first doctors to describe a facelift, and publish a book on it was Marie Noel, a Parisian cosmetic dermatologist.

The facelift has evolved since that time when it was a skin only procedure and its effect short lived. Facelifts can be tailored to your needs. No longer do they produce the dreaded “wind tunnel” effect. Because the face and neck normally sag downwards, a facelift should gently recreate a natural look with a more vertical vector. Depending on your needs, a mini-lift, a lower facelift, or a neck lift can be performed. These procedures can be performed with others such as laser resurfacing and blepharoplasties or browlifts. At the Berman Skin Institute, the facelift and neck lift are performed with tumescent anesthesia and oral sedation. By performing these procedures with local anesthesia, there is a quicker recovery time and less bruising.


• Reduces sagging skin
• Tightens skin’
• Reduces jowls
• Creates a smoother jawline
• Elevates the lower and mid cheek
• Reduces marionette lines (the “bulldog” look)
• Creates a stronger chin and submental profile
• Reduces the turkey neck
• Smoothes the neck contour

How Does it Work?

The facelift works by making an incision, loosening the skin, and then tightening soft tissue under the skin known as the SMAS and the platysma. This tightening produces a lift that will last approximately 8 years. The excess skin is then trimmed, and sewn back together. At the Berman Skin Institute, neck liposuction is almost always performed together with the facelift or neck lift because the liposuction will help to further tighten the skin and remove any excess fat.

There are three different lifting procedures for the lower face and neck. The mini lift is for patients who have jowls and marionette lines. The lower facelift is appropriate for those patients with jowls, marionette lines and loose neck skin including the “turkey” neck. Both types of facelift, to some degree, will also elevate the cheeks. The neck lift will diminish loose neck skin, create a pleasing neck contour.

Who is a Candidate?

Every individual ages differently, though sun damage can play a major role in increasing sagging, particularly in fairer skinned patients. An individual in their 30’s may be a candidate, and because it is performed under local anesthesia, there may be a wider age range than the traditional facelift. A patient’s medical history is an important factor in determining whether these procedures are appropriate.

What can I Expect?

A mini lift will decrease jowls and the “hangdog” look of the lower face. The submental area (underneath the chin) and upper neck will also have a better contour. A full lower facelift will provide more dramatic but natural results than the mini lift, and will also significantly improve your neck’s contour. A neck lift will dramatically reduce the turkey neck, and shape, but will have very little effect on jowls.

While facelifts will improve wrinkles to a degree because of the tightening process, laser resurfacing is the best procedure for dramatically reducing wrinkles. In addition, the facelift’s tightening effect will somewhat reduce smile lines, but the best therapy for correction of these lines are fillers. Likewise, a facelift will not reduce sunken cheeks; fat transfer or fillers such as Sculptra or Radiesse will rejuvenate the cheeks.

Results may vary.

What type of scar will there be?

For the mini lift, there will be a thin line starting in front of the ear. For the full lower facelift, this scar extends behind the ear and into the scalp hair. The neck lift scar starts behind the earlobe goes behind the ear and into the scalp hair. These scars hide well, though they can be rendered virtually invisible with a technique known as medical micropigmentation. This procedure can be performed 3-6 months after the lift procedure.

Safety & Side Effects

Risks include scarring, infection, temporary numbness and nerve damage In experienced hands, these risks are minimized. Because the facelifts are performed above the level of the facial nerve, the risks are lessened. The specific risks and the suitability of these procedures for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk, Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occasionally occur. Major complications are unusual.

Recovery Time

Before being able going back to work
Mini-lift: 4-7 days
Lower facelift: 7-10 days
Neck lift- 7 days

Because these procedures are performed under local anesthesia, you will be able to eat right after the procedure, and not have nausea. During the first week, you will be sore, but there should not be pain. You will be able to work from home and perform no strenuous activities such as going for walks starting the day after surgery. There still will be swelling after these periods as well as resolving bruises that can be covered up. The scar will be visible for up to 3 months. We recommend growing your hair long so that your hair will hide will cover the healing scar.

Does it Hurt?

All procedures are performed within our state accredited outpatient surgery center. Oral sedation is administered before the numbing. You will feel small initial pinches when the numbing medication first goes in, but then your face and/or neck becomes numb. Most patients drift in and out of sleep during the procedure.

Before Treatment Instructions

Avoid aspirin and pain relievers such as Ibuprofen, smoking tobacco for two weeks, and alcohol consumption for two days before the procedure.

After Treatment Instructions

The incisions will be bandaged which you will need to change daily for two weeks. A compression garment will be provided which should be worn for the first two weeks after surgery. One month after surgery, silicone gel may be applied daily to the incision sites to promote scar reduction.

Who Performs the Treatments?

Our Physicians

Loose Skin Gallery

Face Lift & Neck Lift

*Results may vary.

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