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What Is a Facelift?

As we get older, skin loses its elasticity, muscles slacken, and as a result, wrinkles and jowls begin to form. Facelift surgery is a cosmetic procedure designed to treat all of these concerns through the removal of excess skin and lifting/tightening of tissue in both the face and neck. When performed safely and properly by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Christopher Godek or Dr. Christina Pasick, the final outcome can be a smooth, refreshed, and rejuvenated facial appearance with natural-looking results.

The team at the Personal Enhancement Center is proud to offer facelift surgery, as it is one of the most powerful tools available to plastic surgeons for the purpose of reversing visible signs of facial aging. To learn more about this popular procedure, we encourage you to browse through the detailed information provided below. If you have further questions, or if you are interested in facelift surgery and are ready to schedule a consultation, please do not hesitate to contact the Personal Enhancement Center today.

Facelift Before and After Pictures

What Are the Benefits of a Facelift?

The goal of facelift surgery is to make you look younger, not different. Depending on your unique needs and desires, the facelift procedure can be customized to help:

In contrast to what many believe, facelift surgery does not directly address the upper third of the face. As a result, patients who also have aesthetic concerns pertaining to the eyes and/or forehead region may benefit from combining their facelift procedure with blepharoplasty and/or brow lift surgery for a more comprehensive rejuvenation.

Am I a Candidate for a Facelift?

Facelift surgery can be a great option for many women and men seeking to address signs of aging in both the face and neck. Good candidates are typically those experiencing one or more of the following concerns:

In addition to being bothered by at least one of the issues above, candidates for a facelift must be in relatively good health, have no unmanaged medical conditions, and have realistic expectations for surgery. Smokers must also quit smoking at least two weeks prior to the procedure, ideally having no intention of continuing after treatment.

Facial Fat Grafting

In some cases, patients undergoing a facelift may also benefit from a facial fat grafting procedure that can be added to the facelift treatment plan. Also referred to as “fat injections” or “fat transfer,” facial fat grafting can help enhance specific facial features in a way that cannot be addressed by facelift surgery alone. This option can be ideal for adding volume to the lips, cheeks, temples, and under the eyes to enhance contour or plump the skin in these regions. Fat grafting can also be particularly useful for filling wrinkles and fine lines.

One of the many advantages of fat grafting is that the technique required for treatment essentially provides patients with two aesthetic benefits. Fat grafting involves liposuction of one region of the body followed by the transfer of excess fat cells taken from that area into the facial areas targeted for rejuvenation. Once the fat has been extracted and prepared for transfer, it will be delicately injected into the facial features chosen for enhancement. Ultimately, the process can provide improved contours in one body area and effective rejuvenation of another. Another prominent advantage of fat grafting is its ability to produce extremely long-lasting results. In fact, many patients continue experiencing the effects for years after the initial treatment, which is considerably longer than patients can achieve with many other types of injectable dermal fillers.

During your consultation with Dr. Godek, our plastic surgeon will talk with you about all of your cosmetic concerns and determine whether facial fat grafting is an ideal procedure to include in your facelift treatment plan.

How Does Dr. Godek and Dr. Pasick Perform the Facelift Procedure?

The facelift is a highly complex cosmetic enhancement procedure that requires a high-degree of artistry and a proven level of surgical expertise. Dr. Godek begins the procedure with incisions behind the hairline or other locations that are out of plain sight. During the procedure, Dr. Godek will remove excess tissue, fat, and skin. He will then work to reduce wrinkles and other visible signs of aging by tightening the remaining skin and underlying facial muscles. This should ultimately give the face a smoother, more youthful and refreshed appearance. Dr. Godek takes great care to produce results that look not only beautiful, but also very natural.

A facelift procedure generally lasts between two and three hours, depending on the extent of the surgery.

What Is Recovery After Facelift Surgery Like?

Following facelift surgery, you will need to have a close friend or family member drive you home. Once home, someone will need to assist you with lifting heavy items and taking care of basic household tasks for at least a couple of days. During this time, you should rest and avoid any overexertion to help ensure the initial stages of healing go as planned.

Within a few days after facelift surgery, and after you have had time to heal, the dressings and sutures are removed. Bruising and swelling after a facelift procedure are usually minimal, but ultimately depend on the extent of the surgery. In most cases, these side effects diminish within a week or two, at which time normal, non-strenuous work and daily routines may be resumed. A return to all activities—including strenuous exercise and vigorous physical activity—is generally allowed four to six weeks after surgery.

Will I Have Visible Scars from Facelift Surgery?

Due to the need for incisions, some degree of scarring after facelift surgery is unavoidable. Having said that, Dr. Godek and Dr. Pasick are careful to place all incisions in locations that are virtually invisible—such as behind the hairline—so that any scars remain unseen. They also provide patients with specific instructions on how to care for the incision sites as they heal to help further lessen the potential for noticeable scarring. This may include avoiding actions or activities that might place strain or tension on the healing incision lines, as well as refraining from overexposure to the sun and harmful UV rays. Ultimately, the vast majority of facelift patients have no issues with conspicuous scarring. In fact, aside from noticing they look refreshed, most say other people usually have no idea a surgical procedure was ever performed.

How Long Does a Facelift Last?

The effects of a facelift can last anywhere from 7 to 10 years or even much longer for many patients; however, to make the results last as long as possible it is important to take good care of your skin and overall health. Wearing adequate sun protection, limiting weight fluctuations, and utilizing advanced skin care products can help maintain facelift results for extended periods. An interesting thing to know about facelift surgery is that, in essence, you will always look younger than you would if you had not undergone this procedure. The process of aging will continue, of course, but a facelift basically resets the clock, taking it back to an earlier point in time where the skin is concerned.

What Are Some Facelift Alternatives?

A facelift is designed to refresh the lower two-thirds of the face; however, it may not always address the unique goals of each patient, or some individuals may prefer less invasive treatment at this time. For ideal candidates, there are other options that can be performed instead of or combined with a facelift to help with facial wrinkles, sagging skin, and tissue laxity. These options include:

Another remarkable procedure is the FDA-cleared Xact™ Facial Rejuvenation (described in its section below). The Personal Enhancement Center is the first practice in New Jersey to offer this surgery, which is a less invasive alternative because the incisions are much smaller and more hidden compared to a traditional facelift surgery.

The team at the Personal Enhancement Center can review the various facial plastic surgery procedures available to ensure the best treatment plan possible for each individual.

Is a Facelift Without Surgery Possible?

Depending on one’s specific needs and goals, our doctor may be able to utilize one or multiple non-surgical treatments to achieve a more youthful facial appearance. By strategically administering a variety of injectables and dermal fillers—a procedure known as a “liquid facelift”—he can smooth wrinkles and add fullness to areas of the face that have lost volume over time. Dr. Godek and Dr. Pasick can also employ Ultherapy® or EndyMed™ to tighten lax tissue, CoolSculpting® or KYBELLA® to reduce a double chin, and microneedling to stimulate the natural growth of collagen and elastin within the skin.

Dr. Godek and Dr. Pasick also offer a variety of laser treatments, such as HALO™ and BroadBand Light (BBL®) treatments by Sciton, which can also help smooth fine lines and promote collagen growth while removing years of sun damage.

Despite their effectiveness for some patients, it is important to note that these non-surgical procedures are not the best option(s) for everyone seeking facial rejuvenation. Additionally, they are not typically able to achieve results that are as significant and long-lasting as facelift surgery. At the time of the consultation, our plastic surgeon can help you determine the most appropriate treatment(s) for your unique case.

XACT™ Facial Rejuvenation

For patients who may benefit from a less invasive alternative to facelift surgery, Dr. Godek offers the innovative XACT™ Facial Rejuvenation procedure. In fact, Dr. Godek is a pioneer of this treatment, having served as the leading clinical investigator during the period in which the technique was being evaluated before its introduction to the marketplace. XACT™ Facial Rejuvenation can address mild to moderate signs of inelastic skin, jowls, and other signs of facial aging with long-lasting results. Compared to facelift surgery, the recovery time is minimal. This option may be ideal for patients who would like effective facial rejuvenation but are not yet ready for a full facelift procedure.

Learn More About XACT™ Facial Rejuvenation.

How to Choose the Best Facelift Surgeon

Facelift surgeries are often procedures that should lead to long-term results (about 7 – 10 years, at least) so it is important to do proper and thorough research to find a facelift surgeon capable of achieving your aesthetic goals. In addition to seeking an extensively educated and trained plastic surgeon, it’s best to dive deeper into their experience and overall practice to look for:

It is also recommended to meet with prospective plastic surgeons for an initial consultation. This will help you establish a rapport with them, evaluate your comfort and confidence in their abilities, and ask questions – such as how often the surgeon performs facelift procedures – to gain a better idea of their familiarity and ongoing experience. 

Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Facelift Surgery

Does a facelift always include a neck lift?

In many cases, a neck lift component is included in a full facelift procedure. Some extent of neck lifting is often performed during a facelift to address inelastic, sagging skin that has developed under the chin and along the upper neck; however, a neck lift is not necessary for all patients. During your consultation with our plastic surgeon, you will be provided with more details about what your customized treatment plan will entail and whether neck lifting is recommended as part of your facelift procedure.

How long before I can exercise again after facelift surgery?

The recovery process will depend on individual needs and the extent of treatment that was necessary to achieve your goals. It is typically recommended that patients wait about three to six weeks before engaging in strenuous exercise. Our plastic surgery team will provide you with detailed post-operative guidelines and advice on when you can restart your normal workout routine.

Is a facelift different for men versus women?

While the overall goal of facial cosmetic enhancement is generally the same for women and men when it comes to facelift surgery, the techniques utilized do vary in some ways based on the gender of the patient. Due to the anatomical differences between men and women, the surgical approach is tailored to take those differences into account and to achieve specific expectations. Women often desire softer, yet well-defined aesthetic results. By contrast, men usually prefer outcomes that more noticeably sharpen the definition of facial contours. The location of the incisions may differ between men and women as well, particularly for men who are experiencing receding hairlines. In those cases, the incisions may be placed in a location where residual scarring can be less noticeable.

Regardless of gender, each patient will have unique needs and desires for their facelift results, and the treatment plan will be customized based on individual goals.

Are there age limits for facelift surgery?

The general age range of our patients who seek a facelift is between 45 and 75 years old; however individuals outside of that range have received facelifts as well. There is technically no upper age limit for this procedure. The most important factors considered when one is being evaluated for candidacy include overall health, medical history, the condition of the skin, and individual goals and expectations.

How can I reduce swelling after facelift surgery? 

Our team will provide you with post-operative instructions for recovery that can help you control temporary side effects such as swelling during the healing process. Keeping your head and face elevated as much as possible is one way to manage swelling. Additionally, ice packs, cool compresses, compression bandages, and limiting salt intake can help reduce inflammation in the treatment areas. You may be prescribed medication or instructed to take certain vitamins to minimize discomfort and help speed along the healing process, as well.

Contact the Personal Enhancement Center

For more information on facelift surgery, or to schedule a consultation, contact the Personal Enhancement Center in New Jersey today by calling (732) 281-1988 or by filling out the contact form on our website. We look forward to helping you achieve the look you have been hoping for.