Facelift

Custom facelift options for a busy lifestyle in Nashville and Memphis

What is Facelift Surgery?

A facelift surgery, or rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that improves signs of aging, such as sagging skin, deep nasal folds, developing jowls, and excess fat and skin around the neck and chin. It is often combined with a brow lift or eyelid surgery to rejuvenate the eyes. You will achieve the best facelift results if your plastic surgeon supplements the surgery with a minimally-invasive treatment, such as radio frequency assisted lipolysis to remove fat and tighten the skin.

We offer facelift surgery to Tennessee patients at our cosmetic surgery centers in Nashville and Memphis, each led by a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 20 years of experience. 


Each patient is unique. What your treatment will look like is determined by you and the plastic surgeon who you will meet with in a personal consultation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Every patient has unique circumstances, and we will make sure to put together a procedure that best fits your needs. We typically combine minimally-invasive techniques such as liposuction and radio frequency assisted lipolysis with targeted surgery. Our goal is to ensure that you achieve the desired results while keeping your recovery time to a minimum. The less invasive the procedure, the faster your recovery. By using local anesthesia and IV sedation as needed we help you avoid a longer recovery.

Typically, a facelift is defined as a procedure that lifts the lower face and/or neck. Other procedures such as eyelid surgery (to tighten the skin of the lower or upper eyelids), brow lifts (to raise and/or arch the eyebrows or eliminate a hooded upper eyelid) and forehead lifts (to tighten the skin and help raise the brows) can easily be combined with such a facelift to give your face an overall more youthful appearance. But they are not automatically part of what we call a facelift.

No. As needed, our surgeons perform all procedures under local anesthesia combined with IV sedation to ensure your comfort throughout. This eliminates the potential risks associated with general anesthesia and also considerably speeds up your recovery. Learn more about our facelifts here.

After a facelift procedure it is common to experience some bruising and swelling, meaning results will not be visible immediately. Your results will continue to improve for 1-3 weeks after your surgery. On average, patients need 3-7 days before going back to work and/or resuming mild exercise, depending on the invasiveness of the procedure. Strenuous exercise can be resumed after 2 weeks or as advised by your surgeon. If you had stitches placed as a part of your facelift, the incisions – though discreetly placed – will take longer to heal and fade, but can typically be covered with makeup. In short, you will need about 3-7 days before resuming normal and public life.

The most dramatic results from a facelift can typically be seen in the neck and jawline. If you have sagging jowls with a lot of excess skin around your jawline, you can expect to see the biggest difference in your side view with a slimmer neck and a gently curved linear jawline.

Since a facelift turns back the clock to give you a younger appearance, you could argue that the results of a facelift are permanent. Ten years after your facelift, you will likely still look younger than you would have without a facelift. However, you might no longer be satisfied with your look ten years down the road and might opt for another facelift at that time. How effective your facelift is and how fast you age afterwards also depends on other factors such as genetics, skin elasticity, the state of your skin before the facelift, and sun exposure, just to name a few.

As your skin ages, you will initially be able to stave off the effects with a combination of non-invasive treatments – an injectable to erase fine lines and wrinkles, fillers like Juvederm and fat transfer to replace lost volume, and lasers to improve skin tone and texture. But once your skin and muscles begin to droop, most easily seen in your jowls, it may be time for a facelift. This can occur at any age from 40-70. In general, facelifts are more effective when performed earlier rather than later, when your skin quality is still good, and when fillers alone can no longer make up for lost volume.


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Additional Information about Facelift

When to Consider a Facelift

You may be a perfect candidate for a facelift procedure if you:

  • Feel your face does not reflect your own youthful spirit and energy levels
  • Believe your facial sagging and excess skin may be a social or career barrier
  • Show signs of facial aging, yet still have some skin elasticity
  • Feel you no longer look yourself due to aging, time, gravity, sun exposure or genetics, and want to regain your youthful appearance.

Types of Facelifts

Facelift surgery, or rhytidectomy, is an individualized cosmetic surgery that seeks to meet the specific needs of each client. A trained plastic surgeon will tailor the treatment to suit the needs of each patient accordingly.

Typically, there are two main types of cosmetic procedures used to perform a facelift: a mini-facelift and a traditional facelift.

Mini-Facelift

A mini-facelift is usually considered when a patient exhibits a mild degree of jowling and sagging skin around the face, eyes, neck, and mouth. It is a much less invasive technique that allows your surgeon to  tighten your deep facial tissues through smaller incisions. These incisions are typically located along the hairline above the ears or the natural crease behind the ears. Through these incisions, your surgeon can lift and tighten the structural tissues around the cheeks to correct jowling, rejuvenate your appearance, and refine the jawline.

Depending on the extent of the procedure, your surgeon may recommend using local anesthesia along with sedation or general anesthesia – the best option will depend on your individual needs. A mini-facelift is best for addressing the early stages of aging before they become too pronounced, often reducing the need for more extensive surgeries in the future.

Standard Facelift

A standard or “traditional” facelift is typically used to address more moderate to advanced signs of aging around the mid-face and neck. This procedure is more extensive than that of a mini-facelift and often produces more dramatic results. Similarly to a mini-facelift, the incisions are relatively close to the lower scalp and the folds in front of the ear and are easily hidden in the natural folds of the skin. Through the incisions, your cosmetic surgeon can reposition deeper tissues beneath the skin, remove any unwanted, excess skin to eliminate wrinkles or creases, and smooth the surface as well as remove and reduce sagging skin underneath the chin – restoring a more naturally youthful contour to your face and neck.

How is a Facelift Performed?

As mentioned above, the exact technique and steps your plastic surgeon takes during your facelift will depend on a number of factors:

  • Anatomy
  • Extent of facelift (mini vs standard)
  • Personal goals
  • Whether or not any additional procedures are being performed alongside your facelift

Once your surgeon has made the initial incisions, your skin is separated from the underlying connective tissues and muscles. This will allow the surgeon to easily reposition the deeper tissues, correct jowling, and create a firmer foundation for your skin. Once this has been completed, he or she will remove any excess skin and begin gently laying the remaining skin back over the recently rejuvenated facial tissues. Giving the face a much smoother, more youthful appearance without over-tightening.

Post-Face Lift Recovery

The physical recovery to allow your wounds to heal should not take longer than 3-5 days. However, the actual recovery time may take anywhere between 10-14 days before you may feel comfortable in public. For some people, it may be 2 to 3 months before their face feels “back to normal” in terms of texture, sensation, and elasticity. Swelling and bruising are to be expected, yet as they subside, the visible results will begin to appear.

It is important to continue using daily sun protection products and maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to extend the results of your facelift. The final results should provide a more youthful, rested appearance while also helping you feel more confident and comfortable with your appearance.

As with any surgical procedure, you should follow your physician’s post-op instructions to ensure the success of your surgery.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A facelift can improve multiple areas of the face during one procedure
  • The results are long-lasting, reaching 10 years or more, while making you appear 10 – 15 years younger
  • Can contour the neck and jawline better than other surgical or non-surgical techniques

 Cons

  • A facelift cannot “recreate” your face or give you a “new” appearance, only a younger version of yourself
  • There will be a longer downtime compared to non-surgical procedures
  • Depending on age and skin type, you may require a secondary procedure for lasting results later on