This patient in her 50's underwent a full face lift which consists of a brow lift, mid face lift and lower face lift.

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What is a Facelift?

A facelift, also called rhytidecomy, is a plastic surgery procedure which tightens wrinkles and sagging skin on the face and neck. The goal is a natural, refreshed facial appearance which helps you look younger, not 'done.'

How is a Facelift performed?

There are actually many different types of facelifts and the results are heavily dependent on the surgeon's assessment during consultation and techniques during surgery.

"More and more plastic surgery savvy patients come to my office asking for a specific procedure. So which kind of Facelift should you get? The one that fits YOU best, even if it doesn't have a catchy name!"

During your initial Facelift consultation, it is important for you to explain just what looking younger means to you. To help us determine which procedure or combination of procedures might best produce the desired results, there has to be a good understanding between surgeon and patient. Depending on the desired changes you express, your consultation may discuss the following facelift procedures:

Full Face Lift

I feel invisible and want to do something that makes me look more vibrant

-a Baltimore patient

A full Facelift is a surgical transformation of the forehead, upper and lower eyelids, mid face, and the lower face and neck. It usually involves a brow lift, mid facelift and neck lift. In the past few years, I have been complimenting these techniques with fat injections to additionally provide volume to the dermis layer. The effect of this is to provide more fullness and youth to thin aging faces. I have found that many facelift patients who undergo a fat transfer during their procedure usually notice an improvement in their skin texture which results in more youthful, glowing skin.

Mid FaceLift

A Mid Facelift is a surgical rejuvenation of the cheekbone and lower eyelid area. This can be done by surgically lifting the structures in the mid face region. This can also be performed along with fat transfer to the cheek bone and lower eye lid area.

Lower Face Lift

The Lower Facelift addresses loose skin in the jowl and neck area. This procedure involves tightening the skin of the lower face and neck. Patients interested in the neck only should consider a neck lift procedure.

Regenerative Fat Grafting (aka Stem Cell Facelift)

You may be hearing a lot about regenerative fat grafting or the term stem cell facelift. We don't particularly like the marketing term 'stem cell facelift,' but the truth is that your own fat does contain a population of adipose stem cells. This has been known since 2001, when the first isolation of stem cells from adipose tissue was performed by a team from University of Pittsburgh.

Adipose Stem Cells (ASC's) do have regenerative tissue capabilities and they are the New Frontier of Plastic Surgery. This is not a myth. Thousands of scientific publications have researched this topic over the past decade. Currently there are scores of FDA approved Clinical Trials using Adipose Stem Cells as a regenerative mechanism to heal tissue and inflammation. It is a fact that Adipose Stem Cells function to provide more blood supply to affected areas, by virtue of the fact that they act as pericytes to increase the density of blood vessels.

So, basically, the 'Stem Cell Facelift phenomenon' is an evolution of an existing fat grafting (Fat Transfer) technique. Fat grafts can be boosted with a higher concentration of minimally manipulated adipose stem cells through well defined fat processing techniques. 

When the procedure is performed correctly, regenerative fat grafting can provide a new source of blood supply for your existing tissue and skin. Thus, the fat not only adds volume to your face, but it also has these natural regenerative properties to help make your face look more youthful. Those stem cells explain why the skin of the face looks so much better after fat transfer. Learn more about regenerative fat grafting.

What are the pre-operative requirements?

We require all facelift patients to get medical clearance two weeks prior to their scheduled surgery. A CBC blood test and an H&P (history and physical) are the minimum requirements for healthy adults.

Prior to surgery you should also stop smoking for at least four weeks and stop taking any aspirin products for two weeks. You'll also be asked to not eat or drink anything after midnight on the night before surgery.

What is the post-op recovery for like after a facelift?

The facelift procedure is generally well tolerated with a period of 1-3 days of mild pain and discomfort immediately following surgery. Facelift patients will, however, need to be prepared for the swelling and bruising that can be present for up to 4 weeks.

You will need to refrain from driving for the first 4-5 days and refrain from heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for at least 4 weeks. Residual swelling facial numbness can take a few more months to heal completely.

What are the possible complications following a facelift?

  • swelling
  • bruising
  • infection
  • hematoma
  • asymmetry
  • skin necrosis

How much does a facelift cost?

The cost of a facelift depends on the areas selected for rejuvenation.

A full facelift (brow lift + mid + lower face), with a fat transfer, averages around $17,000 in total cost. This includes the surgeon fee, the OR fee, the board-certified anesthesiologist fee, and all follow-up visits.   If the patient concentrates on only the mid face region, this total cost ranges from $5400-$8200, depending on the amount of time required in the Operating Room.  

Price-shopping this procedure can be be quite tricky. Not all facelifts are created equal and you can expect mini results from mini surgeries.

Facelift Before and After Photos

See our patient gallery of Facelift Before and After Photos to see what kinds of results you can expect from a facelift. Please note that all of these patients have given written consent to use their photos at our web site. We are very grateful for their participation in patient education!

Call our Baltimore Office for a Facelift consult

Contact UsPlease feel free to call our office at (410) 494-8100 for more information and to schedule a consultation or Contact Us to discuss your individual needs.

doctor's signatureUpdated October 19, 2015
Ricardo L Rodriguez M.D.
Board Certified Plastic Surgery

Note: Patients depicted in photos and videos have provided written consent to display their photos online. Every patient is unique, and surgical results may vary. Please contact us if you have any questions.