How Do Face Lifts Work?



How Do Face Lifts Work?

Elderly woman with a tight and contoured face wearing red shirt

Seeing impressive facelift before and after photos can leave you wondering how this timeless aesthetic procedure actually works. In this article, we’ll delve deeper into this topic and answer the most frequently asked questions about it, starting with how is a facelift done up to what is the right age to get one.
Let’s get started!

What Is a Facelift Surgery?

A facelift (also referred to as rhytidectomy) is a cosmetic surgical procedure that accurately targets skin that has become loose and sagging due to aging. It’s an aesthetic enhancement treatment that effectively redefines the jawline, takes away the drooping in the cheeks, lifts the corners of the mouth, and makes fine lines and wrinkles disappear. The results are astounding and can make you look several years younger. Our facelift before and after photos here at McLean Clinic is a testament that age is, in fact, just a number.

How Is A Facelift Done?

Patient being marked to indicate facelift treatment area

Contrary to the common misconception, a facelift is a simple outpatient cosmetic procedure. Although it can last anywhere from a couple of hours or more (if you are having other treatments done at the same time), you can go home to rest and recuperate in the comfort of your home as soon as you wake up from the anesthetics.

Basically, a facelift is done by making a short incision on the skin, followed by lifting and pulling the facial tissues and muscles underneath to achieve tightness and definition. Depending on the client’s case and aesthetic goal, the surgeon has the option to get rid, sculpt, or transfer the facial or neck fat to other areas of the body. Excess skin will be surgically removed, and the incision will be cauterized and stitched closed.

Dr. Hugh McLean is a highly respected cosmetic surgeon with decades of solid experience in aesthetic treatments and surgeries. He uses advanced surgical techniques, which allows clients to recover quickly and gives naturally beautiful results consistently.

At McLean Clinic, a facelift is done while you are comfortably asleep under local or general anesthesia. He creates small incisions that are elegantly concealed and use premium-quality medical-grade sutures that dissolve on their own. This means that your facelift recovery will be smoother and that you do not have to come back to our clinic to remove the stitches or drain.

In addition, McLean facelift surgery does not require drains, which is frequently used by other practices supposedly to alleviate bleeding and bruising. Evidence shows that drains are of no use if postoperative bleeding occurs. A more effective way to prevent bleeding complications is by taking off patients from anticoagulant drugs or aspirin-type prescriptions at least two weeks before surgery.

Types of Facelift

Woman being prepared for facelift
During your one-on-one consultation, your cosmetic surgeon will assess your skin and overall health. He will also take note of your beauty concerns. Based on these things, he will customize his techniques to meet your needs and expectations. There are three basic types of facelift surgery. Your surgeon may select one or combine two types to address your specific aesthetic enhancement requirements.

Mini Facelift

Mini facelift surgery is a less-invasive treatment that successfully addresses slight jowls and sagging skin. It uses only short incisions along the hairline above or around the natural creases of both ears to lift the structural tissues in the face and produce a youthful appearance and a more refined facial profile.

It’s a great proactive approach for younger clients who want to counter the signs of aging before they get worse. A mini facelift may also be suggested to introduce minor alterations or touch-ups to someone who has had a standard facelift in the past.

Standard Facelift

A standard facelift, also known as a traditional facelift, is a full facelift experience. It can work wonders on severe sagging, jowls, and deeper fine lines and wrinkles. Its results are more outstanding with a shelf life that lasts much longer compared to a mini facelift. The way this type of facelift is done is the surgeon can contour the deeper structural tissues underneath the skin, get rid of the excess skin, and unveil a tighter and more sculpted face and neck.

Sometimes clients also request for a brow lift, forehead lift, or eyelid surgery in addition to any of these facelift options to bring their facial contours to perfection.


As its name implies, this type of cosmetic procedure treats loose skin around the neck area, which is a common occurrence when the skin loses its elasticity due to lack of collagen in old age or after a dramatic weight loss. Neck lifts done on clients regardless of age who are bothered by the unpleasant appearance of skin hanging loosely around the neck or as a touch-up treatment for those who have previously gotten a full facelift.

Secondary Facelift

Ultimately, getting a facelift won’t stop you from aging. Without the religious adherence to a healthy anti-aging diet, lifestyle, and skincare, it’s going to catch up on you sooner rather than later. Frequently, it’s what leads clients to get a secondary facelift. If you worked with an exceptional cosmetic surgeon with your first facelift, you wouldn’t need one until after a decade of looking enviably young.
But there are other reasons why patients get a secondary facelift. It can also be done as corrective or reconstructive surgery for botched facelifts. If you don’t look like yourself and you are unrecognizable in a wrong way, another facelift may be in sight.

Other telltale signs of a poorly done facelift include:

  • Deformity, dent, or any abnormality with the facial contours
  • Visible scarring or infection of the incision
  • Lack of improvement or visual enhancement after the facelift

There are a lot of horror stories about facelift procedures gone wrong. All of which could have been prevented from happening if people went to licensed and credible cosmetic surgeons. Always do your research about your surgeon’s training and experience first. Don’t forget to check whether he has a gorgeous facelift string before and after photos to back up his credentials.

What Is The Right Age To Get A Facelift?

 Woman with cosmetic surgeon

Age may be a factor in determining whether you’re an ideal candidate for facelift surgery. Still, other aspects weigh more than that, and that affects your skin’s quality and your overall genetic age. These include:

  • Lifestyle choices – Are you a smoker? Do you drink alcoholic beverages regularly?
  • Genetics – Do you have predominantly dry or oily skin?
  • Sun damage – Do you have serious photoaging issues due to years of constant unprotected exposure to harmful ultraviolet light.

We consider these aspects when we evaluate each case. However, we also advise our female clients that we’ve consistently seen dramatic results in patients who get their first facelift between the ages of 40 and 50. Although the signs of ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles, are beginning to become more prominent during this time, the skin still possesses sufficient elasticity to produce stunning results.

Nevertheless, you can still get a facelift surgery done in your 60s and achieve phenomenal results. As we said, age is just a number in the hands of an expertly trained cosmetic surgeon.
Dr. McLean’s expertise includes facial rejuvenation at any age. Our remarkable collection of facelift before and after photos can speak for itself.

Is Facelift Permanent?

No. Although the attractive benefits of a facelift last a significantly long time, it is not permanent. A standard facelift can hold anywhere from 10 to 15 years, depending on your skin’s natural and unique aging process. By this time, a second facelift may be performed to update or refresh your looks.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From Facelift?

Facelift recovery time can be record-ast these days, given the advancements in medical techniques and technology available. You can be back on your feet doing your everyday tasks within a week or two.

Following proper post-treatment care is crucial in the first 24 hours to ensure a flawless recovery. We suggest that you bring a companion or arrange for a ride to take you home. While the effects of anesthesia will wear off when you wake up, you are probably still groggy and lethargic, which means driving is not a viable option. We may also prescribe painkillers to keep everything manageable. In the event that the pain becomes unbearable or you experience fever, do not hesitate to reach out to your doctor immediately.

Find Out More Information

Dr. Hugh McLean is a reputable plastic surgeon with decades of experience specializing in aesthetic (cosmetic) surgery. His impressive portfolio of facelift before and after photos speak volumes to the kind of results he delivers. Sit down and chat with Dr. McLean to get the full details about how do facelifts work and how getting one can be instrumental in making your dreams of being forever youthful and glowing a reality.

Book a consultation now!

May 21, 2020

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