A facelift, medically referred to as rhytidectomy, is a cosmetic procedure designed to reduce signs of aging in the face and achieve a more rejuvenated and rested appearance. Using a variety of leading techniques, including the deep plane approach, Dr. Neal Goldberg can lift sagging facial tissues and position them to a higher, more youthful location. Excess skin is often removed as well, and natural-looking results are emphasized.

What Is A Facelift?

The facelift procedure is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed in the U.S. On average, patients can look over 11 years younger and may experience improved self-confidence. In this procedure, advanced techniques are used to remove excess fat, tighten underlying tissues in the face, and redrape the skin of the face and neck.

Facelifts can correct many issues, including sagging jowls, deep nasolabial folds, excess skin, folds or fat deposits around the neck, and a sagging face or neck. Most patients who undergo the procedure are between 40 and 60 years old. Ideal patients are healthy non-smokers. You should notify our board-certified plastic surgeon if you suffer from high blood pressure, problems with blood clotting, or you have a tendency to form excessive scars.

What Can A Facelift Accomplish?

Years of aging can cause our faces to sag, making us look older. If you suffer from excess sagging skin in their lower face, Dr. Neal Goldberg is proud to offer facelift procedures to correct these signs of aging. These facial plastic surgery procedures can help:

  • Reverse signs of aging in the lower face/neck
  • Remove excess fat/skin
  • Fix sagging jowls
  • Correct deep nasolabial folds

A consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon can give you insight into whether a facelift would address your concerns and help you achieve the look you desire. Facelift surgery is personalized to your unique needs and can restore a more youthful version of yourself while preserving the natural character of your face.

Is A Facelift Right For Me?

Factors that should be considered when determining whether a facelift would benefit you are similar to the requirements for any cosmetic procedure: you should have realistic expectations for the outcome, be relatively healthy enough to undergo the recovery process, and be willing to quit smoking for several weeks before and after surgery.

Candidacy for a facelift in particular also depends on whether the signs of age you wish to improve are concentrated in the lower face. Facelift surgery can rejuvenate the jowls and neck, but the procedure is not designed to correct a sagging brow, tired eyes, or other concerns in the upper third of the face. Dr. Goldberg can perform other facial plastic surgery procedures, such as a brow lift or eyelid surgery, at the same time as your facelift if you would like a more comprehensive result.

What Can I Expect From The Facelift Procedure?

A facelift procedure is highly individualized and may be performed on either an inpatient or outpatient basis. The surgery can take 2-3 hours to complete and is often done utilizing general anesthesia.

During the procedure, Dr. Goldberg makes incisions above the hairline at the temples, where they will be well-concealed and follow the natural contour in front of the ear, continuing behind the earlobe to the lower scalp. The doctor separates the skin from the underlying fat and tissue. Excess fat is then trimmed or extracted using liposuction to improve the contour of the neck or chin. Dr. Goldberg then tightens the underlying tissues and lifts and removes excess skin. If the neck is being improved, a small incision is also made under the chin. Finally, stitches will be used to fixate the tissue layers and close the incisions.

In some cases, Dr. Goldberg may choose to perform an SMAS facelift. If you undergo this procedure, the tissue underneath the skin will be lifted to decrease the sagginess of the jowls and lower face. The SMAS facelift technique is similar to the popular “Lifestyle Lift” and “Freedom Lift” in that all three techniques deal with tightening the tissues beneath your skin.

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Mini Facelift

If Dr. Goldberg decides you are a good candidate for a mini facelift, which is also referred to as a “mid-facelift” or the “short scar” facelift technique, you can expect minimal to no scarring behind the ear and within the hairline. A mini facelift is performed very similarly to a full facelift, but uses a less invasive approach to tighten the deeper facial tissues. The cheeks are still lifted and tightened to minimize jowling, but aging in the neck is not usually addressed. Patients may benefit from this less extensive version of a facelift if they exhibit mild jowling and want to improve subtle signs of aging before they become too pronounced. Dr. Goldberg may perform a facelift under local anesthesia combined with sedation, or under general anesthesia. He will discuss your goals with you during your consultation and decide the best technique for your needs.

What Is Recovery Like Following A Facelift?

Following surgery, you should expect 2-3 weeks for recovery. You should be able to return home the same day, unless Dr. Goldberg suggests otherwise. There will be loose bandages on your face, and Dr. Goldberg will provide instructions on how to care for them. We recommend that you keep your head elevated as much as possible to reduce swelling—stacking two or more pillows at night can help achieve this goal while sleeping. Most patients take about two to three weeks to heal before returning to work. After about one week, the stitches will be removed. You should avoid strenuous activity during recovery, and Dr. Goldberg will let you know when it’s safe to begin exercising again.Scars will be red and puffy at first, but they should fade with time and may be virtually unnoticeable once fully healed. Makeup can be applied after a short period to help cover the effects of the healing process. Dr. Goldberg will provide more information during your meeting. You can consult with Dr. Goldberg about any after-effects of the surgery. As with any surgery, some complications are possible. These may include hematoma, nerve injury, infection and poor healing.

How Long Will Facelift Results Last?

While no one can say for sure how long the effects will last, some patients have been known to enjoy the results for 10-15 years or more if they maintain excellent skin care, avoid smoking and sun damage, and engage in other beneficial habits. Dr. Goldberg uses some of the most advanced facelift techniques available, which are designed to provide longer-lasting results than many traditional methods. Additionally, occasional non-surgical cosmetic treatments, such as dermal fillers, can extend the outcome even longer for some people. You are welcome to ask Dr. Goldberg what you can do to get the most out of your procedure during your initial consultation, or at any time you’re meeting with him.

What Do Facelift Scars Look Like?

Any scars will be concealed within the hair and natural contours of the face and will fade gradually. In most cases, there will be a scar running from the temple around the ear to the lower scalp. Much of this scar will be hidden in the hairline. If a short scar technique is used, there should be minimal visible scarring, and most of the markings will be located in the hairline. In other instances, an incision will be made under the chin as well to address the neck area. The incisions will typically be positioned in such a way as to be as unnoticeable as possible. The location of the scars will vary slightly from person to person, depending on the technique used. Your individual treatment plan may vary, and Dr. Goldberg will discuss the details with you during your initial consultation.

How Much Does A Facelift Cost?

The price of a facelift will depend on the technique used, the complexity of your case, and whether you’re combining additional treatments into your cosmetic plan. The average cost for facelift surgery is around $15,000, but this only represents one part of the total cost. The cost of anesthesiology and using operating room facilities will also be included in your total expenses. To help you become as well-informed as possible, we will provide an overview of all expected fees during your initial consultation based on your individual treatment plan. If you have any questions, we encourage you to discuss them with Dr. Goldberg. We understand that it is standard for patients to compare quotes from several plastic surgeons, and we recommend confirming what fees are included in any estimate.

Combining Facelift Surgery With Complementary Procedures

Facelift surgery can be performed alone or in combination with other procedures, such as brow lift, eyelid lift, and cosmetic injectables, to obtain more comprehensive aesthetic enhancement. If you’re interested in expanding the beneficial effects of your treatment, Dr. Goldberg will discuss your options based on your evaluation and expressed wishes. In addition to correlative surgical procedures, many non-surgical treatments can also be used to enhance your outcome, including dermal fillers, laser skin resurfacing technology, and other techniques. Regardless of your goals, Dr. Goldberg can help guide you towards the optimal approach.

What Is The Best Age For A Facelift?

Many people believe a facelift is reserved for patients who are well into middle age or older, but the truth is there is no “best age” for a facelift. If you’re concerned with jowls, hanging skin, and/or wrinkles in the lower face that are causing you to look aged, a facelift is likely a good option for you to reclaim a more refreshed and youthful appearance. Since everyone ages at their own rate based on lifestyle factors, genetics, and the unique properties of their skin tissue, these signs of premature aging can develop in one’s thirties as much as their fifties. Dr. Goldberg has achieved beautiful facelift results for patients spanning a range of ages, so candidacy for the procedure usually depends more on whether you exhibit the appropriate concerns rather than your exact age.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Facelift Surgery

Are There Any Limitations To What A Facelift Can Achieve?

Traditional facelift surgery is designed to address sagging skin on the mid- and lower-face. While deep creases in these areas can be minimized using this technique, fine lines, uneven skin tone and texture, and some other concerns will not be affected. Additionally, sagging skin along the forehead, on the neck, or around the eyes will typically require separate procedures, which usually can be added to your treatment plan if desired. Dr. Goldberg may also recommend other supplemental treatments such as cosmetic injectables, laser skin resurfacing, or another surgical modality. All of these options can be discussed during your initial consultation, and you are encouraged to talk about any questions or concerns you may have.

Is A Facelift Without Surgery Possible?

Only a surgical procedure can achieve the same effects to the same degree as a facelift. However, it is possible to address many common signs of facial aging using minimally invasive techniques. Fine lines and wrinkles, volume loss, and mild skin laxity often can be effectively addressed with cosmetic injectables and energy-based skin tightening treatments. Moderate to advanced skin and muscle inelasticity and deep folds will, in most cases, require an operation to correct. We work closely with a state-of-the-art medical spa and can help you find the right combination of procedures to best suit your needs and goals.

Does Facelift Surgery Hurt?

Dr. Goldberg and our skilled medical team are dedicated to making your experience as pleasant as possible. Having said that, it’s not unusual to feel some discomfort following the facelift procedure. Swelling and bruising are normal effects, and they should fade with time. To minimize your pain and enhance your recovery we will provide medication.

How Long Will Swelling And Numbness Last?

For the first few days swelling and bruising may intensify, followed by speedier improvement for the next couple of weeks. Swelling may continue to gradually improve over several months or longer, but most patients are unaware that there is lingering swelling after about the first month. Numbness should decrease gradually as well, and feeling generally returns as the tissues underneath the skin begin to heal.

When Will I Be Able To Return To Work After A Facelift?

Every patient’s rate of healing is unique, and your recovery will be different from anyone else’s. Having said that, many patients are able to return to work within one to three weeks after having facelift surgery. Your downtime will depend on how quickly you heal as well as how demanding your duties are. If your work requires a lot of physical activity, you may need to take more time off than someone who has a desk job. If you have any questions about your progress between appointments, we encourage you to reach out and talk to us.

When Can I Exercise After Having Facelift Surgery?

As with recovery, your ability to begin exercising again will depend on your singular rate of healing. We understand it can be frustrating to disrupt your routine, but recovery is an essential part of achieving the outcome you discussed with Dr. Goldberg. In most cases you should hold off engaging in strenuous activity for at least a month, and Dr. Goldberg will provide more specific instructions.

Does A Facelift Differ For Men Versus Women?

In general, facelift surgery is performed to produce the most natural-looking result based on each person’s unique facial characteristics. There are many anatomical distinctions between men and women—such as the width of the jawbone and the projection of the chin—that may be taken into consideration during your procedure, but the goals of achieving a more youthful and refreshed appearance remain the same for both male and female facelift patients. Dr. Goldberg will discuss your hopes for the outcome and personalize the surgery to maintain the natural character of your facial features.

How Should I Sleep After A Facelift?

Upon returning home from facelift surgery, patients should rest and sleep on their backs with the head slightly elevated above heart level. The most ideal sleeping position is often achieved in a reclining chair or by using pillows to support your head. Elevating the head can reduce swelling, improve blood flow, and minimize stress on your stitches, all of which work to encourage an optimal healing process. Dr. Goldberg generally instructs patients to sleep with their head elevated for at least two to four weeks following their facelift procedure.

Does Insurance Cover A Facelift?

Insurance typically doesn’t cover cosmetic procedures such as facelift surgery. However, the plastic surgery financing options offered by CareCredit® and ALPHAEON® Credit can be very helpful in assisting qualified patients with their facelift expenses. These healthcare lending companies are highly reputable and widely utilized for cosmetic treatments and procedures. Best of all, those who are approved may be able to manage their payments with little or no interest rates during a given promotional period. Please call our office at (914) 840-5999 for more information about financing your procedure at our Westchester practice.

How Long Before I Can Wear Makeup After A Facelift?

Refraining from makeup application during recovery is very important, as it can help prevent bacteria from entering your incisions as well as reduce the risk of infections and poor wound healing. Dr. Goldberg will give you an idea of when you can safely resume wearing makeup based on your individual rate of healing, but the average timeframe is typically 7 to 10 days after your procedure.

Should I Get A Neck Lift With My Facelift?

Whether you need a neck lift with your facelift depends on your goals and skin quality in the submental region. If you would like to improve the look of sagging and/or crepey neck skin—sometimes referred to as a “turkey neck—you may benefit from the addition of a neck lift to your treatment plan. If the aesthetic concerns regarding your neck are mostly due to excess fat or fullness, other options like liposuction or KYBELLA® double chin reduction may provide better results. At any rate, additional treatments to enhance the neck can usually be performed at the same time as your facelift.


For more information about Facelift surgery, call our office for a consultation at 866-481-5585.