A facelift is a plastic surgery procedure that treats signs of facial aging and offers long-lasting facial rejuvenation. Facelifts improve the appearance of patients with loose, sagging skin, unwanted fat deposits, and wrinkles.
There’s no stopping the inevitable signs of aging from appearing on the face. However, you can reset the clock with a facelift. This surgery not only tightens stretched-out skin, but also adjusts the underlying tissues for a naturally lifted, rejuvenated appearance that can be enjoyed for many years.
Dr. Steven Wallach is an experienced, board-certified, Upper East Side Manhattan-based plastic surgeon who uses his extensive knowledge and aesthetic surgical expertise to perform cosmetic procedures for the face, breasts, and body. He specializes in premium facial rejuvenation procedures that help his patients achieve a strikingly youthful, natural-looking visage.
- 1 Before and After Photos
- 2 Why Get a Facelift?
- 3 Facelift Candidates
- 4 Facelift Techniques
- 5 Facelift Incision Types
- 6 Personal Consultation
- 7 Facelift Recovery
- 8 Other Facial Rejuvenation Procedures
- 9 Cost of a Facelift in Manhattan
- 10 FAQ
- 11 References
Before and After Photos
Why Get a Facelift?
Signs of aging are unavoidable, and they affect everyone. Deep and superficial wrinkles and lines develop, while other tissues atrophy, resulting in lost volume.(1) At the same time, our skin becomes more lax, which can result in noticeable facial sagging that further ages our complexion. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have options!
The goal of facelift surgery is to create a more youthful appearance by elevating sagging facial tissues to a more youthful position. In addition, some patients may benefit from facial fat grafting to fill in facial soft tissue deflation or volume loss. Facelift surgery procedures can accomplish this in one effective treatment.
Facelifts are commonly performed on patients from their 40s all the way into their 80s. Some patients may experience skin sagging due to weight loss, extensive sun exposure, and genetics, whereas others may simply wish to reduce or prevent further signs of aging. The best way to find out if you’re a good candidate is to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Good candidates for a facelift procedure in New York City are:
- Healthy men and women who have significant signs of facial aging
- Patients with cheek volume depletion, and facial fat pad loss
- People with deep jowling, and moderate to severe skin laxity in the lower face and upper neck.
- Free from serious underlying medical conditions that could affect treatment outcomes
Dr. Wallach will ensure you are well-informed about the procedure itself and the results you can expect to obtain by taking the time to get to know your concerns at a personal consultation at his office on the Upper East Side.
No two facelifts are alike, because no two people are alike. This is why Dr. Wallach uses a variety of techniques to tailor each surgery to the individual’s unique needs and desires, ensuring the lasting results are both seamless and beautiful.
With advances in research and knowledge in the 20th century, surgeons developed techniques that suspend the deeper tissues of the face in a lifted, more youthful position, rather than just tightening the overlying skin. This avoids the obvious “wind-swept” look, and allows patients to enjoy more refined results. This crucial layer of tissue is known as the SMAS: the superficial musculoaponeurotic system, a connective tissue layer below the skin and above the facial muscles. These techniques also enable optimal healing and longer-lasting results.(2)
During a SMAS facelift, discreet incisions are made, and the skin is separated from this deeper layer of tissue. This allows the surgeon access to the SMAS. They can then reposition this layer using strategic incisions and sutures to create a more youthful underlying structure for the face. Rather than just lifting and trimming away excess skin, this technique both preserves and reconnects key parts of the skin with the underlying structure of the SMAS, preventing the dreaded “pulled” appearance. In this way, Dr. Wallach is better able to adjust the overlying skin for the most natural-looking effect.
As the fat pads that give our cheeks their youthful fullness begin to atrophy and descend, they can also affect the appearance of the lower eyelid, “dragging” this area of tissue down and creating the appearance of sunken eyes, hollow cheeks, and jowls. The mid-facelift is a procedure that focuses on the cheek and lower eyelid junction. The goal is to elevate the cheek fat pad and treat the lower lid region, which lifts the entire middle region of the face, even helping to resolve the appearance of mild jowling. This can be done as an isolated procedure for patients without other areas of concern, or combined with other rejuvenating facial and neck procedures. Dr. Wallach can perform this kind of facelift using only a small incision at the corner of the lower eyelid. This gives him access to the tissues underlying the cheek. This soft tissue is then freed, and moved to a higher, more youthful position, and secured to the temporal fascia of the face with a series of strategic sutures. A support procedure for the lower lid is also performed at the same time to ensure a smooth, rejuvenated appearance for the entire area.
Mini facelifts address signs of aging like wrinkles and sagging skin on the lower face. They include removing excess skin from the chin and neck area and then tightening the remaining tissue, giving patients better chin and neck definition.
Compared to full facelift techniques, the mini facelift is less invasive and offers facelift patients natural-looking results with minimal scarring and a shorter recovery time. Since mini facelifts are less invasive and utilize shorter incisions, Dr. Wallach can perform this procedure under local anesthesia.
If you have excess or sagging skin in your lower face, you should schedule a consultation with Dr. Wallach to discuss whether a mini facelift procedure is right for you.
Facelift Incision Types
A common concern among facelift patients is whether the scars from the procedure will be visible long-term. And, for Manhattanites with demanding social and professional lives, the stakes are especially high. As an acclaimed surgeon who has published, taught, led panels, and presented extensively on a wide range of plastic and reconstructive surgical procedures, patients can be sure that they are in the very best of hands. Dr. Wallach is able to offer patients the option of multiple incision locations and techniques. These are all easily concealed in the hairline and around the ear while still allowing him the necessary access to analyze and adjust the facial tissues in your desired treatment area.
- Limited Incision – Otherwise known as the “short scar” approach, this incision is usually confined to the region from the base of the earlobe to the sideburn area. This is most commonly used by Dr. Wallach for mini facelift techniques in which the SMAS needs to be addressed. This incision does not permit adequate re-draping of loose neck skin, and so it is not a good technique to use for patients that require an extensive lower facelift or neck lift. However, it is a good choice for those patients in New York that need some jowl and cheek elevation with minimal need for neck work. In addition, it is a quicker facial plastic surgery procedure, so it may be better for patients who are not candidates for longer facial plastic procedures.
- Traditional Incision – The traditional facelift incision extends from the temples to behind the ear, and is carefully concealed along the curves of the ear and behind the hairline of the patient. This allows him the access necessary to reduce jowls, smooth nasolabial lines, elevate the cheeks, and create a smooth refreshed appearance for the midface, lower face, and jawline, Dr. Wallach ensures that these incisions are carefully camouflaged and that the hairline is preserved. This often includes a retrotragal incision, in which the incision travels from the sideburn down the ear along the inside of the tragus, the small notch of cartilage that protects the opening of the ear canal. Dr. Wallach carefully plans every incision pattern to achieve the best results and ensure any resulting scar will be practically invisible.
During your personal consultation with Dr. Wallach, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your aesthetic goals face-to-face. This informative meeting will allow Dr. Wallach the chance to get to know more about you, and for you to get to know more about whether a facelift is right for you. Dr. Wallach will review your medical history and perform a thorough examination of your face, paying special attention to skin laxity and the underlying facial structure. This will allow him to recommend the best approach and design a surgical plan that achieves custom-tailored, natural-looking results. If you and Dr. Wallach agree that a facelift will be a rewarding procedure, your surgery will be scheduled and you’ll be given a detailed list of instructions so that you’re well prepared and have the best possible experience.
Your facelift procedure will be performed at Dr. Wallach’s onsite accredited surgical suite, or at one of several hospitals in Manhattan. The details of your procedure and your preferences will determine the type of anesthesia that is administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist. Nevertheless, you’ll need someone to escort or drive you home after your procedure, and to spend the next week resting. Over the next few weeks, you’ll return to Dr. Wallach’s offices for regularly scheduled follow-up appointments.
Many patients will have one or two drains that drain fluid from the face and neck region. These are often removed after a few days. Sutures are taken out over the first one to two weeks. Most patients will have some bruising and generalized swelling. Resting on your back with your head elevated and using cool compresses will help the swelling subside. The facial bruising usually goes away within a week to ten days but can last a bit longer for some. The facial swelling can last three to six weeks but may persist to a small extent for several months after that. If patients have had fat injections, the swelling may persist a bit longer. Most patients can go back to light desk work within seven to ten days. Many can start light aerobic activity within about three to four weeks and then advance to more strenuous activity within about six to eight weeks.
Other Facial Rejuvenation Procedures
Following a facelift, minimally invasive facial rejuvenation procedures can be used to treat the concerns that a facelift does not treat. This can be accomplished with laser skin resurfacing, chemical peels, and skincare products that reduce the appearance of signs of aging. In some cases, facelift surgery is not required. As an alternative, some treatment plans can instead include a delicate balance of filler products, neuromodulators like Botox, and isolated facial surgical rejuvenation procedures such as a brow lift or cheek augmentation. Facial fat grafting is also an effective volume-boosting procedure that can add youthful shape to the face. Please speak to Dr. Wallach about whether a surgical or non-surgical intervention is right for you.
To learn more about the other services that Dr. Wallach provides and for more information about plastic surgery, follow his blog!
Cost of a Facelift in Manhattan
The price of your facelift will depend on your personal goals and the type of facelift you opt for. If you would like more information about Dr. Wallach and his success with New York City facelift surgery procedures, we invite you to contact us at our Manhattan office at (212) 861-6400 or by filling out our online contact form to request additional details.
Will the lines around my mouth be improved by a facelift?
Perioral rhytids or lip lines are not treated by a facelift per se. They can be treated at the same time as an ancillary procedure. Often laser procedures using Erbium, CO2, or Fraxel can help improve the quality of the lip lines. Dermabrasion is another method to soften the lines. Sometimes I will use a neuromodulator such as Botox/Dysport/Xeomin to weaken the muscle. Fillers can be used to fill the lines as well.
When can I go to the gym after my facelift?
Facelift patients should avoid aerobic activities for about three weeks. Most surgeons instruct patients to postpone exertions that may result in excessive straining or heavy lifting for about 6 weeks.
What’s the difference between a surgical facelift and a stem cell facelift?
Don’t be fooled by seemingly miraculous treatments that can achieve the results of a facelift without any incisions or downtime. A “stem cell facelift” is a marketing ploy. There is actually no such thing as a stem cell facelift, but some surgeons market this phrase as fat grafting to the face either separately or in conjunction with a facelift. Stem cells are found within fat graft harvest specimens. So technically there are stem cells involved, but there is no scientific evidence that stem cells offer any benefit over a traditional facelift.
- Park, D. M. (2015). Total Facelift: Forehead Lift, Midface Lift, and Neck Lift. Archives of Plastic Surgery, 42(2), 111. https://doi.org/10.5999/aps.2015.42.2.111
- Shauly, O., Stone, G. L., Shin, R., Grant Stevens, W., & Gould, D. J. (2021). Evaluating Facelift Complications and the Effectiveness of the SMASectomy Technique: A Single Center’s 15-Year Experience. Aesthetic Surgery Journal Open Forum, 3(4). https://doi.org/10.1093/asjof/ojab030