Facelift

/ /Facelift

faceolderYears 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. Facelift surgery can help:

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

Is a facelift right for me?

before after 3700 View Gallery The facelift procedure is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed in the US. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2009 more than 100,000 facelift surgeries were performed. On average, patients can look over 11 years younger and will 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, nonsmokers. You should notify our plastic surgeon if you suffer from high blood pressure, problems with blood clotting or you have a tendency to form excessive scars.

You don’t want to be overly aggressive in planning or doing plastic surgery. Most patients want to look like themselves, not like a stranger.
– Dr. Goldberg

What can I expect from the 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 under a local anesthetic, though general anesthetic is also a common option.

When performed, Dr. Goldberg will make incisions above the hairline at the temples 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 liposuctioned out 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 will also be made under the chin. Finally, stitches will be used to fixate the tissue layers and close the incisions.

If Dr. Goldberg decides you are a good candidate for a short scar facelift technique, you can expect minimal to no scarring behind the ear and in the hairline. Dr. Goldberg may instead 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.

What will my life be like after a facelift?

Following surgery, you should expect 2-3 weeks for recovery. A loose bandage wrapping will be used to minimize swelling. You should keep their head elevated and may have the stitches removed after one week. Activity should be limited during recovery.

Any scars will be hidden within the hair and natural contours of the face and will fade gradually. Consult with Dr. Goldberg about when make-up may be applied, and discuss any after-effects of the surgery. As with any surgery, some complications are possible. These may include hematoma, nerve injury, infection and poor healing.

For more information about Facelift surgery, call our office for a complimentary consultation at 914-722-1600.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Facelift Surgery

Our board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Neal Goldberg, answers some of the most common questions about facelift surgery below. If you would like to know more, or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our practice today.

What is a facelift?

A facelift, medically referred to as rhytidectomy, is a cosmetic procedure designed to reduce signs of aging on the face and to achieve a more rejuvenated and rested appearance. Using a variety of leading techniques, including the deep plane approach, Dr. 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. 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.

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.

How is the surgery performed?

Every facelift surgery is tailored to suit the unique needs and goals of the patient. In general, the operation typically takes about two to three hours and more often than not will be an outpatient procedure (with some exceptions). General anesthesia usually will be utilized. Dr. Goldberg begins by making incisions near the temples and above the hairline where they will be well concealed. The incisions will then continue along the ear and behind the lobe, following the natural contour of your face, down to your lower scalp. From here the skin can be lifted away from the fatty and soft tissue beneath, trimmed, tightened, and replaced at a higher, more youthful location. Sometimes, liposuction is used to reduce pockets of fat as needed on the face, neck, and/or chin. If a neck lift is being performed as well, an incision will also be made under the chin. Depending on your anatomic needs, a short incision may be possible, or Dr. Goldberg may recommend an SMAS facelift to address sagging in the jowls and lower face. He will discuss these options with you at your initial consultation. Once completed, stitches will be placed to secure the tissues in their new location and close the incisions.

Where are the incisions located?

The incisions typically will 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. 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. Your individual treatment plan may vary, and Dr. Goldberg will discuss the details with you during your initial consultation.

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.

What is recovery like following a facelift?

You should be able to return home the same day, unless Dr. Goldberg suggests otherwise. There will be 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.

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?

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.

How long will the results last?

Dr. Goldberg uses some of the most advanced facelift techniques available, which are designed to provide longer-lasting results than many traditional methods. 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. 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 that you’re meeting with him.

*Individual Results May Vary

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