What Is a Facelift? (& Other Facelift FAQs)

beautiful older woman posing after facelift (model)

It’s no secret that plastic surgery has shed the stigma that once surrounded the topic. But just because more people talk more openly about getting a nip-and-tuck, it doesn’t mean everyone has all the answers to questions about specific procedures. If you’re researching facelift surgery, we’ve created this blog post just for you.

We’ll explain that there’s more than one answer to the question, “What is a facelift,” and address questions about recovery, when to schedule your procedure in time for a big event, and what your scars will look like. (Spoiler: You’ll barely notice them.)

Facelift FAQ

What is a facelift?

At its most basic, a facelift is a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure that restores a more youthful appearance for the patient. As you might imagine, plastic surgeons use various techniques to accomplish this goal. I take pride in tailoring the techniques I use based on the needs of each patient. One technique that’s become outdated is the “skin-only” facelift of yesteryear, when the surgeon essentially just pulled the skin tight and trimmed off the excess. That led to an unnatural, “windblown” look. A facelift now focuses on natural-looking results.

What is a SMAS facelift?

SMAS is short for the superficial musculoaponeurotic system, a fibrous network of tissue and muscle connecting facial muscles to the dermis. The SMAS lift is today’s most common facelift technique because it lifts the SMAS rather than stretching the skin tight. During the procedure, a surgeon uses inconspicuous incisions around the ear (and sometimes under the chin) and then elevates the SMAS layer. After gently re-draping the skin, the surgeon sutures the incisions.

How much is a facelift?

At our Fort Worth, TX, practice, the cost for a facelift that includes a neck lift starts at $17,500. You may find surgeons who charge a bit less or a bit more, depending on the practice’s location and the surgeon’s training and experience. We provide patients with a personalized price estimate after your consultation.

What will my facelift scars look like?

As I mentioned, I make incisions in areas you can easily conceal within the hairline and along the natural creases of the ears. Incisions appear reddish after healing but fade during the first year after the procedure. In the meantime, you can use makeup to camouflage them.

How long does it take to recover from a facelift?

Most patients can return to non-strenuous jobs a week after the surgery. Within 3 weeks, you can resume strenuous exercise. However, if you’re getting a facelift before a significant social or professional event, you should build a longer buffer to ensure all swelling and bruising are gone. That usually takes 4 to 6 months.

How long does a facelift last?

When patients ask this question, I think they really want to know how much younger they will look after a facelift. Patients often look like they did about 7 to 10 years earlier. The aging process continues, but you’ll still appear younger after 10 years than you would have without surgery.

What’s the best age to get a facelift?

Most women and men get facelift surgery in their late 40s and 50s or even early 60s. If you’re bothered by the aging of your lower face and want your appearance to reflect how you feel, you can get a facelift at any age. Below are before and after photos of one of my patients, who was 65 at the time of her surgery.

Request a Consultation

If the face you see in the mirror (or on Zoom calls) doesn’t reflect your youthful energy, a facelift can provide transformative, natural-looking results. If you are in Fort Worth, Texas, or the surrounding area, request a consultation or call us at  (817) 228-4315 to schedule an appointment.

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