What is a Facelift?

A facelift can powerfully reduce signs of aging in the midface, lower face, and neck, often being labeled the “gold standard” of facial rejuvenation by both plastic surgeons and patients. The procedure is currently one of the only aesthetic surgeries that can get rid of loose, hanging skin in the lower-third of the face and attain long-term improvements that endure for years. When a facelift is performed correctly by a board-certified plastic surgeon, many individuals can look up to ten years younger.

The overly tight or “frozen” appearance often associated with a poorly executed facelift is generally not a concern with today’s more modern facelift techniques. Thanks to advancements in rhytidectomy, results from a facelift can look incredibly subtle and natural. The before-and-after photos in our patient gallery can provide you with a visual understanding of the stunning outcomes possible with facelift surgery.

What Can a Facelift Improve?

Patients who wish to improve the quality of their neck, jawline, cheeks, and overall facial appearance may be appropriate candidates for a facelift. This can be assessed during a personal consultation with Dr. Chopra, where he will ask you about your goals and evaluate your concerns to confirm whether a facelift would help you achieve your desired look. In general, the facelift procedure can minimize:

  • Jowls or sagging skin along the cheeks and jawline
  • Deep creases in the mid- to lower face
  • Loose neck skin, or a “turkey neck”

The indications above are among the most obvious signs of aging that cause patients to look older than they feel. A facelift is one of the most effective ways to reverse the effects of age and improve one’s:

  • Jawline contour
  • Neck contour
  • Mid-face projection
  • Youthfulness
  • Confidence and attractiveness

Although a facelift is only intended to treat the lower face, signs of aging in the upper face can be addressed with other procedures like blepharoplasty and/or a brow lift. If desired, you can combine a facelift with another facial procedure to achieve more comprehensive rejuvenation.

How is Facelift Surgery Performed?

A facelift is usually an outpatient procedure, which means you will be able to return home on the same day as your surgery. At our Minneapolis practice, Dr. Chopra performs a facelift by placing an incision that starts at the sideburn, moves along the front of the ear, and curves behind the earlobe partially into the posterior hairline. The skin is then lifted while the excess is removed, and descended musculature and fatty tissue are repositioned. In certain cases, fat injections may also be utilized to restore lost volume as well as to enhance the contour and fullness of the face. Incisions are closed and all scars are hidden in areas of natural anatomic transition, typically forming nearly imperceptible scars that should remain well concealed.

Quick Recovery Facelift

Some patients may be candidates for our Quick Recovery Mini Facelift, which is a targeted facial rejuvenation procedure that uses special techniques to reduce swelling and bruising while enhancing recovery and the overall quality of the result. During your consultation, Dr. Chopra will perform a detailed facial analysis, review your unique case, and determine a treatment plan. If the procedure is well-suited to your goals, you will be introduced to our Quick Recovery Mini Facelift and learn the details of surgery. You and Dr. Chopra will discuss how this technique can help you look younger, less tired, and more refreshed within weeks. This specialized procedure can achieve results that are long-lasting, look natural, and require minimal downtime compared to other common techniques. “Quick recovery” also means less swelling, bruising, and discomfort after surgery.

Can a Facelift Address the Entire Face?

The rejuvenation achieved with facelift surgery is generally limited to the lower face and neck — regions wherein hanging skin and jowling are prominent. The procedure is not designed to address signs of laxity and aging around the eyes or forehead. However, it’s very common for patients to combine their facelift with upper facial procedures to attain a more cohesive outcome. Blepharoplasty and/or brow lift surgery are performed to smooth the skin of the eyelids and brow respectively, often beautifully complementing the lower facial rejuvenation achieved with a facelift. Alternatively, non-surgical options to reduce aging in the upper face may include injectable treatments like BOTOX® Cosmetic, JUVÉDERM®, and Jeuveau™, among other fillers and wrinkle-reducing products. While rhytidectomy cannot address the entire face, there are multiple treatments available at our Minneapolis practice that can make up for the limitations of facelift surgery.


What is the Recovery Process after a Facelift?

Some mild discomfort is common, but Dr. Chopra will prescribe non-opioid pain medication to help alleviate the worst of the symptoms. You can typically expect one week of light bruising, while swelling tends to subside after the second week. There is no scientific evidence to support placing a full post-surgical “mummy wrap” often depicted in movies during the recovery period, although it is still utilized by many plastic surgeons. These “mummy wraps” can not only draw attention to healing patients who may want to remain discreet about their procedure, but the bandages can also compress delicate veins and lymphatic channels. This can result in prolonged swelling and a higher risk of undue pressure on the skin. However, our quick recovery facelift protocol does require placing a small 1 cm drain behind the ear, which is removed the morning after surgery.

Although you should get plenty of rest after your facelift, we encourage you to practice light ambulation (walking around, moving, etc.) as much as possible. Exercise should be avoided for at least one month, and we recommend refraining from vigorous activity, heavy lifting, and strenuous exercise for at least two months following your quick recovery facelift. Most patients can return to work after two weeks when the majority of swelling has subsided, although recovery can be slightly prolonged if complementary procedures were added to your treatment plan. It can take up to three months to see the full results of your facelift.

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How Long Does a Facelift Last?

No treatment can completely stop the natural aging process, but facelift patients usually enjoy their results for at least 10 to 15 years depending on their lifestyle habits and the overall quality of their skin. In most cases, the outcome of facelift surgery can be prolonged to some extent by:

  • Applying sunscreen daily and wearing sun protection (sunglasses, hats, etc.) whenever outdoors
  • Not smoking or participating in artificial sun tanning
  • Living a relatively healthy, active lifestyle
  • Using high-quality or prescription-grade skin care products

A facelift offers the longest-lasting facial rejuvenation currently available, and those who received a facelift should generally always look younger than individuals of the same age who did not undergo treatment. Periodically undergoing med spa services like laser skin resurfacing, chemical peels, and facials can also help you further maintain a healthy, glowing complexion.

How Much Does a Facelift Cost?

The cost of a facelift can range depending on the extent of your concerns, your geographic location, and the surgical technique required to achieve your goals. The price of a facelift in Minneapolis is ultimately determined by the details of your treatment plan and we will be able to provide a more personalized quote when Dr. Chopra assesses your needs in a consultation. Please don’t hesitate to ask about our plastic surgery financing options, which can allow qualified patients to pay for their procedure through a series of low monthly payments. Our practice accepts plans through CareCredit® and ALPHAEON™ Credit, which are two very reputable healthcare lending companies that each offer arrangements to suit your personal budget. Please contact our practice if you have any questions about patient financing, or if you would like to speak to one of our team members in person.

Will I Have Noticeable Facelift Scars?

Since incisions are placed in discreet locations around the hairline and ears whenever possible, there is typically little to no visible scarring after a facelift. Dr. Chopra will be able to show you what you can expect with regard to facelift scars during your consultation. Although every procedure will leave scarring to some degree, residual signs of surgery can often lighten and fade over time until they’re virtually undetectable — particularly when patients thoroughly follow Dr. Chopra’s instructions on proper wound care.

Can I Get a Non-Surgical Facelift?

While there are many non-surgical treatments that claim to reproduce a facelift without surgery, a rhytidectomy is the gold standard for authentic improvement of sagging skin in the lower face, a deflated look in the mid-face, and/or an undefined jawline. Understandably, there are several marketing terms and techniques referenced online that can confuse a patient seeking facial rejuvenation. Some of these treatments do not even involve an actual lift, such as the non-surgical  “facelift” that utilizes the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in your own blood combined with SkinPen® microneedling to improve your skin quality. Similarly, a “liquid facelift” can be useful, but this technique involves injecting dermal fillers to enhance volume rather than addressing sagging tissues. While improved skin quality and restored facial volume can indeed make patients look younger, non-surgical treatments are not usually effective alternatives to facelift surgery.

Unfortunately, there is no ultrasound therapy, dermal filler, neurotoxin, or radiofrequency treatment that can substitute a facelift. Rhytidectomy requires careful attention to detail, meticulous surgical technique, and exceptional training in plastic surgery.

At Gryskiewicz & Chopra Twin Cities Cosmetic Surgery, we offer a full range of non-surgical options that you may want to explore if you would like to enhance the quality of your skin. You can learn more about these options by perusing our medical spa services. These treatments may be performed alone or in conjunction with a facelift for additional skin rejuvenation.

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