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Skip Navigation LinksBoys Town National Research Hospital > Patient Services > Facial Plastics > Procedures > Facelift


​A facelift is a surgical procedure design to elevate and tighten facial tissues that have sunken with age. The procedure can only be performed surgically – non-surgical rejuvenation methods cannot achieve the same results. A full facelift can include the following procedures:

  • Forehead lift
  • Eyelid surgery
  • Mid facelift
  • Lower facelift

Who is a Candidate for Facelift Surgery?

Good candidates for a rhytidectomy include healthy individuals without medical issues that can impede healing; non-smokers; and people with a positive outlook and realistic expectations of results.

A facelift is a good option for any patient who is concerned about aging changes of the mid to lower face and neck. Aging signs include:

  • Sagging in the middle of the face
  • Deep creases below lower eyelids
  • Deep creases along the nose, extending to the center of the mouth
  • Fat that has fallen or disappeared
  • Loss of skin tone in the lower face that creates jowls
  • Loose skin and excess fatty deposits under the chin, which may cause the appearance of a double chin even in normal-weighted people

What does a Facelift Procedure Involve?

A facelift is an out-patient procedure that is generally 1-2 hours long. General anesthesia is used with IV sedation. There are three main types of facelifts.

  • Traditional Facelift: the incision begins at the temples, around the ear and ends in the lower scalp. Fat may be resculpted or redistributed, underlying tissue is repositioned, skin is redraped over uplifted contours, and excess skin is trimmed away.
  • Limited Incision Facelift: shorter incisions are used, beginning at the temples, going around the ears and possibly going within the lower eyelid or upper lip.
  • Neck Lift: the incision begins in front of the ear lobe, wraps behind the ear and ends at the lower scalp.

The closing incisions are hidden within the hairline and within the natural contours of the ears and face.

Facelift Surgery Recovery

Follow up is frequent to make sure that you recover optimally from your surgery. Recovery time is different for every patient, and also differs on extent of surgery.  For example, a mini-lift usually requires less than 2 weeks of downtime with minimal swelling. A deeper facelift for patients with more advanced aging changes may have longer periods of swelling and bruising. The sutures are removed after 1 week.