Facelifts are one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed in the United States each year. Our faces are always on display. People want the face they present to match how young they feel. However, lost volume, sagging skin, deep set wrinkles, and drooping jowls are all common signs of aging that may make you look older than you feel.

At Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery, our award-winning, board-certified plastic surgeons have performed hundreds of facelift procedures. Both Dr. Butler and Dr. Leveque have been in practice for almost 20 years and have a tremendous amount of experience in giving patients a natural-looking facelift. Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions they receive:

What is a facelift?

During a facelift procedure the skin of the cheeks and neck, as well as the supporting structures are lifted. A small incision is made around the ears to allow elevation of the tissues which are secured in place with sutures.

Are there different types of facelifts?

There are a few different facelift techniques. During your consultation, our plastic surgeons will discuss your needs and the type of facelift procedure that will work best for you. A mini facelift is often used in younger patients. This addresses laxity in the cheeks and tightens the jowls. A short scar facelift elevates skin and underlying muscles and tissue through a small incision around the ears. For older patients in their 50’s and above, the full incision facelift provides the maximum benefits for cheeks, jowls and neck.

Why do some facelift patients appear unnatural?

Some surgeons use different techniques for facelifts and might rely mainly on tightening the skin without improving the position of the underlying muscles and fat. This technique can create a lot of tension on surface skin and give an unnatural, “pulled” look. This is most commonly seen in people who have had too many facelifts.

What’s the right age for a facelift?

Women and men who have loose skin in the lower face and neck are usually good candidates, as well as those with drooping jowls along the jawline. The typical age range for facelift patients is 40 to 75. For younger patients, non-surgical options like Ultherapy will provide subtle tightening. Ultherapy can also be used to prolong the results of a surgical facelift.

Can a facelift address all of my facial wrinkles?

A facelift can improve the look of wrinkles on the lower portion of the face like the deep marionette lines that run vertically from the corners of the mouth to the chin. It can also improve the appearance of smile lines or laugh lines that appear as parenthesis around the mouth. However, it won’t correct fine lines in the skin. Often times, patients will have laser skin resurfacing at the same time as their facelift to soften the look of fine lines.

Where are the scars located for a facelift?

The incisions location will vary based on the procedure. A qualified plastic surgeon will know where to place the incisions so that the scars won’t be noticeable. Generally, the scars are placed near or behind the ear and in the hairline. In some cases, there may also be an incision under the chin. Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery provides all facelift patients with a scar treatment protocol to help insure that the incisions heal with the least noticeable scars as possible.

Will I be bruised or swollen?

Some swelling and bruising is to be expected. Every patient is different but in general swelling and bruising peak 48 hours after surgery and gradually subside over the following week to 10 days.

How long is the recovery from a facelift?

Most patients take about one-to-two weeks off work.

If you are seeing aging in your face and want to speak with one of our award-winning, board-certified plastic surgeons about the best options for you, schedule a consultation today with Dr. Peter Butler or Dr. Jocelyn Leveque.