How do facelifts work?
A facelift tightens underlying muscles and tissues in the lower face and neck, removes excess sagging skin, and redrapes the facial skin in a natural-looking, elevated position. A facelift is the gold standard for tightening underlying musculature and lax skin to take years off your look and restore a youthful, refreshed appearance. This procedure is also known as rhytidectomy (literally “removal of wrinkles”).
Although there are many non-invasive San Diego facial rejuvenation options available today, none rivals the results facelifts can achieve. While non-surgical options like injectables may complement the results of a facelift, these options do not effectively address significant skin laxity, which facelifts specifically addresses. It is often said that facelifts turns back the clock on facial aging; results look natural, and you will continue to age, but you will also continue to look younger and more refreshed than you would have without the procedure.
Dr. Katerina Gallus
Dr. Gallus has over 20 years of experience and is a fully credentialed, board certified plastic surgeon. She will partner with you to develop a tailored surgical plan that prioritizes your safety and results.
Your facelift plastic surgery options
Each facelift procedure is customized to you. Depending on the concerns you have and how advanced your signs of facial aging are, a certain procedure variation or a combination technique may be better suited to meet your needs. Here are the most common procedure options—including the neck lift procedure, which is typically included as part of a facelift—that patients undergo at our cosmetic surgery practice:
A standard facelift is best suited for patients with sagging tissue from the cheeks to the jawline. Incisions are placed in front of the ears and extend behind the ears and into the hairline.
You may be a candidate for a standard facelift if you have one or more of the following issues:
- Excess skin that starts along the cheeks
- Sagging of soft tissues and muscles of the face and neck
- Poor jawline definition
A mini facelift is designed to treat patients with localized facial aging around the jawline. Compared with a traditional facelift, smaller (or fewer) incisions may be used to perform a mini facelift leaving smaller (or fewer) scars. Good candidates for this facelift technique have less advanced signs of facial aging, limited to the lower face.
To determine if you are an ideal candidate for a mini facelift procedure, Dr. Gallus will look for these factors:
- Signs of lower facial aging, i.e. jowls and some skin laxity
- Good skin elasticity around the upper cheeks and eyes
- Good skin elasticity in the neck (no neck rejuvenation is needed)
Neck lift in San Diego
A neck lift may be performed as a standalone procedure or in combination with other facelift techniques. (In fact, traditional facelifts includes a neck lift as well as lower face rejuvenation.) During a neck lift, an incision is placed under the chin, through which the platysma muscles are tightened. Through incisions behind the ears where scares are well-concealed, the skin is redraped over the tightened muscles.
You may be a good candidate for a neck lift if you have:
- Vertical bands on the neck
- A frustrating “turkey wattle”
- Poor neck and jaw definition caused by excess skin
Complementary procedures to combine with a facelift or neck lift
Fat grafting is often included in the facelift surgical plan if patients have a degree of volume loss in the face due to either aging or weight loss. Fat grafting, or liposuction fat transfer, involves using your own fat as a natural solution for restoring volume to areas of the face that have thinned out or grown to sag.
Here is how fat grafting works: First, fat is removed via liposuction from localized areas such as the abdomen or flanks. The fat is carefully processed, then injected in volume-depleted cheeks, lips, and temples as needed to give you a natural-looking and refreshed appearance.
While a facelift repositions tissues and helps with sagging, it doesn’t necessarily smooth all wrinkles. For patients who need to also address skin texture, discoloration, and fine lines, laser skin resurfacing can be performed at the time of your facelift surgery to improve the smoothness and tone of aging skin.
Laser skin resurfacing works by targeting the outermost layer of damaged skin, making room for fresh, healthy skin to replace it. It also stimulates collagen production, which keeps the skin looking firm and healthy, making it an ideal complement to a facelift. Many facial plastic surgery patients also receive laser hair removal to help complete their transformation.
Upper face rejuvenation with eyelid lift or brow lift
It’s a little-known fact that facelift surgery focuses on the lower face and neck, but doesn’t address issues of the upper face. Patients who have sagging upper eyelids, heavy brows, or significant upper face wrinkles may choose to combine their facelift with brow lift surgery (also called a forehead lift) or eyelid lift surgery for a comprehensive improvement.
“Dr. Gallus is the BEST! Smart, knowledgeable, patient, personable, honest and I could go on and on. After numerous consultations (all males) I decided I wanted to meet with a female doctor before making my decision and I knew in the first 10 minutes that I was going to go with Dr. Gallus. She is the only one who looked at me and made her recommendation based on my face/neck and what I wanted. All the others gave me the exact same text book version of a neck lift. Exact same thing you can read on the internet. The recovery/healing process after surgery can be a little scary and overwhelming, I know I mentioned patient but Dr. Gallus went above and beyond here, she responds to texts and is happy to see you as many times as you want to help reassure you at every step of your recovery. Restore SD Plastic Surgery and all the staff are great!”
—Actual patient of Dr. Gallus
What results can a facelift achieve?
- Enhance definition: Excess skin along the jawline and neck can obscure the attractive definition of the face. By removing excess tissue, we are able to sculpt the jaw and enhance the cheekbones, restoring a youthful v-shaped contour to the face and revealing the slim line of your neck.
- Help you look younger: The goal of facelift and neck lift surgery is to highlight the youthful tone and contours of your face—this effectively erases years from your appearance. While it doesn’t halt the facial aging process entirely, patients who choose surgery notice a more youthful quality in their appearance for many years.
- Boost your confidence: The toll that facial aging takes on the quality, texture, and beauty of your skin can have a major impact on your confidence and how you view yourself. Choosing facelift surgery won’t alter your unique facial characteristics, but the procedure can enhance your natural beauty and restore the confidence of your inner self. You will continue to look like yourself, but more rejuvenated.
Facelift & Neck Lift FAQs
What happens at my facelift consultation?
When you arrive at Restore SD Plastic Surgery to discuss facelift and/or neck lift surgery, Dr. Gallus will perform a detailed exam, as well as review your medical history and any medications you are taking. After an evaluation of your facial rejuvenation needs, Dr. Gallus will make a recommendation as to which facial plastic surgery technique is best suited for you. With our state-of-the-art Canfield software, potential surgical results can be viewed and adjustments to the surgical plan can be made in real time, helping you to visualize possible outcomes with various procedure nuances. You will have photos taken with our VECTRA® 3D imaging system, and together with Dr. Gallus you will discuss treatment areas and options while viewing your photo series. This ensures you can address all areas of concern with Dr. Gallus.
How much does a facelift cost in San Diego?
The price of facelift San Diego varies from patient to patient depending on the extent of correction required. Factors such as surgical fees, facility fees, and anesthesia fees can all affect the ultimate cost of your procedure. A detailed facelift pricing quote will be provided during your consultation, listing each cost that goes into the final calculation.
What type of anesthesia is used during facelift or neck lift procedure?
Facelift and neck lift surgeries are performed as outpatient procedures under general anesthesia to ensure your comfort and safety. This means that you will be asleep for the entirety of your procedure, but you will be able to go home to recover the same day that your surgery is performed.
What is facelift recovery like?
You will experience bruising and swelling around the face during facelift recovery, and you will need to rest. After two to three weeks, you should be able to return to regular activities and work (depending on your profession). However, more strenuous activities, like exercise, will be limited for four to six weeks. Dr. Gallus will tell you when it is safe to resume all activities. Major swelling should subside within six to eight weeks, and your results will continue to improve from there.
Will I feel pain from my facelift?
No, you will not feel pain during your facelift. Anesthesia prevents pain during your surgery, and oral pain medicine is used to alleviate discomfort following your surgery during recovery. Most discomfort only lasts for a few days following surgery.
How much time off work should I take after facelift or neck lift surgery?
The amount of time you will need away from your job after a San Diego facelift depends on your profession. As a general rule, patients should expect to take two to four weeks off from work. Importantly, you will not be able to drive until you are no longer taking narcotic pain medications. If you have a desk job that does not require you to be physically active, you may get back to work sooner; however, it is not safe to exercise or participate in vigorous activities or heavy lifting for 4-6 weeks after surgery. In your consultation, Dr. Gallus will discuss postoperative best practices and help you decide how much time to take off work after your procedure. (Your recovery time may be shorter if you have a mini facelift, for example.)
How do I minimize scars after facelift or neck lift surgery?
Facelift, mini facelift, or neck lift scars will gradually fade over time with proper care and patience during your recovery. Any surgical scar will take 9 to 12 months to fully mature, going through various changes over time; during this time, your Restore SD team will help you manage scar care with techniques like avoiding the sun, scar massage, scar cream, and fractionated laser treatments. Rest assured that Dr. Gallus will educate you about post-op scar management before your surgery, as well. During your facelift procedure, Dr. Gallus will use discreetly placed incisions to limit visible scarring.
How long do the results of facelift or neck lift surgery last?
Facelift surgery is very durable and will provide many years of a refreshed and youthful look. Over time, skin laxity and facial aging will contribute to some subtle relaxation of the facial features, and a little touch-up years down the road may be desired. There are many factors that determine the length of time that a surgical procedure lasts, but many are under your control. For this reason, Dr. Gallus will discuss a comprehensive La Jolla facelift aftercare program with you that includes sun protection and medical-grade skin care to preserve and prolong your results.
“Dr. Gallus and her team are absolutely wonderful! Everything was easy and professional, from scheduling and consults to the actual procedure and all of the follow up. My results are fantastic and I would highly recommend Dr. Gallus!”
——Ashleigh T., actual patient of Dr. Gallus
Will a facelift improve wrinkles?
A facelift may provide some minor improvement in surface wrinkles around the nose and mouth, but it is primarily designed to treat skin laxity (or loose, sagging skin). If you have concerns with wrinkles after your face lift, we offer a number of highly effective, non-surgical treatments (like injectable Botox®, dermal filler such as Juvéderm®, microneedling, and laser skin resurfacing) that can help you achieve smoother skin and maintain it with routine appointments. This combination approach is a great way to comprehensively address facial aging for patients.
How do I decide between a facelift or a mini facelift procedure?
A full facelift addresses sagging tissues from the cheeks to the jawline, and often includes a neck lift, as well. If your lower face and neck exhibit sagging, a regular facelift may be right for you. A mini facelift, on the other hand, just focuses on the lower face/jawline area, tightening jowls and early signs of skin laxity in that area. This less extensive procedure may be right for you if addressing those areas will achieve your facial rejuvenation goals. In your consultation with Dr. Gallus, you will discuss your goals and your options, and she will partner with you to come up with a surgical plan you are happy with.
What is the best age for a facelift?
There is no age that makes you a good candidate for a facelift. Instead, a general rule is that a facelift may be worth considering if you find that your nonsurgical staples, such as Botox, dermal fillers, laser skin resurfacing, or other skin treatments no longer achieve the results you desire because static wrinkles, sagging skin, thinning skin texture, or other signs of facial aging have progressed farther. While these non-invasive “tweakments” are ideally continued after a facelift, they may not achieve the complete results you desire after a certain age, and that is often the time when a facelift can help.
What is the difference between a facelift and a brow lift?
A facelift lifts and revitalizes the lower face and neck, affecting the areas around the nose, cheeks, mouth, and jawline. But a brow lift, or forehead lift, addresses the area about the eyes, including forehead wrinkles and a drooping brow that weighs down the eyelids. The eyebrows are raised to their original position, higher on the face, and extra tissues are removed from the area to reverse the sagging. A facelift and a browlift are commonly combined for full face rejuvenation.
What are the advantages of a neck lift?
Patients who experience loose skin in the throat area, known colloquially as the “turkey wattle,” “turkey waddle,” or simply “turkey neck,” may desire a neck lift for a smoother, tighter, more refreshed-looking neck. A neck lift smoothes the skin, removes excess skin, and may even remove excess fat deposits below the chin. The results are noteworthy and very long-lasting (unlike those of non-surgical treatments), and a neck lift may be combined with other surgical lifting procedures—like a facelift, eyelid lift, or brow lift—to address each patient’s individual anti-aging needs.
How do I maintain the results of my facelift?
To maintain the results of your La Jolla facelift, it’s key to maintain your overall health, develop good skin care habits, protect your skin from the sun, and undergo maintenance treatments as needed. Factors such as stress, poor diet, smoking, and excess alcohol consumption can all affect your health and contribute to premature aging, so take excellent care of your body. Dr. Gallus will discuss a skin care regimen that includes anti-aging ingredients and daily sun protection to extend your results. Finally, patients should consider routine treatments with laser skin resurfacing, Botox, and filler as needed to maintain a beautiful skin texture and prevent new wrinkles from forming.
Choose female plastic surgeon Dr. Katerina Gallus for your facelift in San Diego
Katerina Gallus, MD is a female cosmetic plastic surgeon who is board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). With over 15 years of experience as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Gallus has the skills and expertise to develop a safe surgical plan that achieves your desired results. To schedule your consultation, call 858-224-2281 or contact us online.
Your Safety = Beautiful Results
Facelift San Diego at Restore SD
At Restore SD Plastic Surgery, we maintain the highest level of clinical competence and integrity—this means we always place patient safety first. As a board-certified plastic surgeon and former Navy plastic surgeon, Dr. Katerina Gallus only operates at fully accredited, private outpatient surgical facilities located within minutes of our office. She also holds hospital privileges at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.