How Does Getting A Facelift Work? - PSNY


January 2022

How Does Getting A Facelift Work?

You likely stumbled on this blog while trying to find some answers about the process of getting a facelift. You are in the right place. The experts at Plastic Surgery of New York have created this article to take you through the considerations and process of getting a facelift (also known as a rhytidectomy), as well as the potential results you can expect if you begin the journey of surgical facial rejuvenation.

Why Get a Facelift? 

Lifting and tightening the facial skin is one of the main goals of a facelift. Facelifts target and fix changes in the shape of your face caused by the ageing process. Over decades, this procedure has been perfected, enabling board-certified surgeons to carry out highly effective surgeries that create a beautiful, younger appearance by reducing sagging skin and unwanted jowls and folds. A neck lift (platysmaplasty) is usually done at the same time as a facelift in order to rejuvenate the neck and remove sagging skin or fat deposits in the area. 

In terms of the right candidate for a facelift, most people are good candidates for this procedure, as long as they are generally healthy. The procedure works best for people in their 40s – 60s, which is when skin has been losing its elasticity and the noticeable signs of ageing may start to bother you.

Facelift: The Process


The first step of any aesthetic or cosmetic surgical procedure is the same; a consultation. Here at Plastic Surgery of New York, we encourage a collaborative approach between the patient and surgeon, enabling each patient to receive truly personalized care and results while being guided by the board-certified surgeon’s expertise.

On the day of your consultation, your surgeon will go through your goals and expectations with you. They will ask about your medical history, including medications you are taking, past procedures and surgeries. The surgeon will also perform a facial examination, taking photos of your face from different angles and looking at your bone structure and skin in order to advise on the best options for your facelift procedure. Through this conversation, you and your surgeon will establish if a facelift is the right option for you. If so, you will be guided through the next steps. 


You will be given detailed pre-surgery instructions and asked to arrange a trusted contact to come and get you on the day of the surgery itself. After the consultation and before the surgery, you are encouraged and welcome to ask the surgeon questions and to stay in touch with the Plastic Surgery of New York team.

When the big day arrives, you will go to the procedure facility, where the friendly team will take care of you. For the procedure itself, you will be under general anesthesia. The surgeon traditionally makes an incision at the hairline or the temples, which continues around the ear and ends at the lower scalp. They may alternatively make limited incisions at the temples, going only to the ears – this is also called a “mini-lift”. 

After the incisions are made, the surgeon will work to elevate your skin and tighten the underlying muscle. Fat in the face may be removed or redistributed. The skin is then redraped over the new contours and excess skin is trimmed away. Usually, a facelift takes two to four hours, depending on whether you are having other cosmetic surgeries being performed simultaneously. 


After the surgery, you will likely be prescribed pain medication. You may or may not experience discomfort, pain, swelling and bruising for one to two weeks. If you do, it is completely normal and part of the healing process. Some people heal faster than others, so it is important to keep that in mind. You will receive detailed, personalized instructions from your surgeon about dressings, aftercare follow-up appointments. 

Patients report being able to see an improvement in their appearance as soon as the swelling subsides. They also say that it takes a few months for their skin to “feel” normal again. It is important in the months following a facelift to moisturize the skin and also protect it from the sun. 

We hope that answers all your questions about getting a facelift. If you would like to learn more and see if this is the right option for you, call us today to schedule a free consultation.

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