Surgery, Scars, Risks, Cost, and Recovery

A facelift will lift your sagging cheeks, smooth your jaw line, and eliminate jowling. Plastic surgery of the face will also tighten the loose skin of your neck, remove excess fat from under your chin, and correct the turkey-gobbler appearance of your neck. For details and pictures explaining facelifts see our Understanding Facelifts page.

A facelift will NOT (here comes the bad news) eliminate your wrinkles and other skin problems. You may want to consider Skin Care, Laser Resurfacing, Chemical Peel, and Dermabrasion to complement a facelift because they address these problems.

There are some people that are interested in gaining the benefits of a facelift, but unwilling to undergo surgery. For them, instead of a facelift, there is a procedure called Thermage.

Incisions and Scars from a Facelift

Most scars from a facelift are hard to see once they heal. Scars will extend from above your ear, down the front of your ear, around your ear lobe, up the back of your ear, and into your hairline behind your ear. There is another incision beneath your chin. Your scars can be camouflaged with make-up within three weeks and should fade beyond detection in one to three months. A picture of the scar can be found on our Understanding Facelifts page.

Ask Your Plastic Surgeon About These Risks and Telltale Signs


Skin death

Facial weakness or paralysis

Attached earlobe (pixie ear)

Open ear canal

Visible Scars

Early Relapse


Click Here for Average Cost of Facelift

(The above listed fees do not reflect those of Dr. Loftus. For a complete listing, visit Fees at The Loftus Plastic Surgery Center.)

What to Expect if You Have A Facelift

Anesthesia: Sedation or general.

Location of operation: Office or hospital.

Length of surgery: 2-4 hours.

Length of stay: An overnight stay may be recommended.

Discomfort: Mild. Anticipate 0-3 days of pain medication.

Swelling and bruising: Will be mostly gone in 2 weeks but may last longer

Numbness: Cheek numbness is expected and lasts several weeks or months.

Bandages: Changed in 1-2 days.

Make-up: May be worn in 1-2 weeks.

Presentable in public: You should be presentable within 2 weeks with the help of make-up.

Work: You may feel capable of returning within 5 days, but your appearance will be the limiting factor.

Exercise: May be resumed in 2-3 weeks.

Sun protection: Six months with SPF 15 or higher.

Final result: Seen 1-4 months following most facelifts.