What is a facelift?

A facelift, also known as rhytidectomy, is a cosmetic surgical procedure designed to rejuvenate the face and reduce signs of aging. It is typically performed by a plastic surgeon. The procedure involves tightening the facial muscles, removing excess facial skin, and repositioning the skin to create a smoother, more youthful appearance.


What are the benefits of a facelift?

A facelift offers several benefits for individuals seeking facial rejuvenation. Here are some of the key benefits associated with this cosmetic procedure:


  1. Reduction of facial sagging: As we age, the skin loses elasticity, and the underlying facial muscles may weaken, resulting in sagging skin. A facelift addresses this issue by tightening the facial muscles and removing excess skin, thereby providing a more youthful and lifted appearance.

  2. Smoothing of wrinkles and folds: Deep creases, wrinkles, and folds can develop on the face over time due to a combination of factors such as sun exposure, gravity, and the natural aging process. A facelift can help smooth out these lines, particularly around the cheeks, nasolabial folds (lines from the nose to the mouth), and jowls.

  3. Improved jawline and neck contour: A facelift can enhance the definition of the jawline by eliminating jowls and tightening loose skin in the neck area. It can help create a more sculpted and youthful-looking profile.

  4. Rejuvenated facial features: A facelift can restore a refreshed and revitalized appearance to the face by repositioning and redistributing facial fat. This can help address volume loss in certain areas, such as the cheeks, resulting in a fuller and more youthful look.

  5. Boost in self-confidence: The visible signs of aging can sometimes affect a person’s self-esteem and confidence. By addressing these concerns, a facelift can help individuals feel more confident and satisfied with their overall appearance, leading to a positive impact on their quality of life.


Am I a good candidate for a facelift?

The ideal candidate for a facelift is typically an individual who is bothered by visible signs of facial aging and desires facial rejuvenation. While the suitability for a facelift is determined on a case-by-case basis, there are some general factors that can make someone a good candidate:


  1. Age: Facelifts are commonly performed on individuals in their 40s to 70s, although age alone is not the sole determining factor. The timing of a facelift can vary depending on a person’s unique aging process and their desired outcomes.

  2. Good overall health: Candidates for a facelift should be in good general health. It’s important to disclose any medical conditions, previous surgeries, or ongoing medications to the plastic surgeon during the consultation.

  3. Realistic expectations: It’s essential for candidates to have realistic expectations about the outcomes of a facelift. While the procedure can provide significant improvements, it does not stop the aging process entirely. Understanding the limitations and potential risks of the surgery is crucial.

  4. Facial concerns: The ideal candidate for a facelift is someone who is bothered by visible signs of aging in the face, such as sagging skin, deep creases, jowls, and loss of facial volume. These concerns should be the primary motivation for seeking the procedure.

  5. Skin elasticity: Candidates with relatively good skin elasticity tend to achieve better results from a facelift. Elasticity allows the skin to adapt well to the repositioning and tightening during the procedure.

  6. Non-smoker: Smoking can impair the healing process and increase the risk of complications. Ideally, candidates should be non-smokers or willing to quit smoking for a significant period before and after the surgery.


What do I need to do before having a facelift?

Before having a Richmond facelift, it’s important to follow certain guidelines and preparations to ensure a smooth and successful procedure. Here are some common steps you may need to take:


  1. Consultation with a plastic surgeon: Schedule a consultation with a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon. During this appointment, you can discuss your goals, concerns, and expectations regarding the facelift. The surgeon will evaluate your facial features, skin condition, and medical history to determine if you are a suitable candidate for the procedure.

  2. Medical evaluation: Your surgeon may require you to undergo a thorough medical evaluation. This typically includes a review of your medical history, physical examination, and possibly some lab tests. This evaluation ensures that you are in good overall health and can safely undergo the surgical procedure.

  3. Discussion of medications and supplements: Inform your surgeon about any medications, vitamins, or herbal supplements you are currently taking. Some medications and supplements may need to be adjusted or discontinued before the surgery, as they can increase the risk of bleeding or interfere with the anesthesia.

  4. Smoking cessation: If you are a smoker, your surgeon will likely advise you to quit smoking for a significant period before and after the facelift. Smoking can impair healing and increase the risk of complications, so it’s important to follow this recommendation.

  5. Avoid blood-thinning substances: Your surgeon may ask you to avoid substances that can thin the blood and increase the risk of bleeding during and after the surgery. This includes medications like aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and certain herbal supplements. Follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding the discontinuation of these substances.

  6. Pre-operative instructions: Your surgeon will provide you with specific pre-operative instructions to follow. This may include guidelines on eating and drinking before the surgery, as well as any necessary skincare preparations. It’s important to adhere to these instructions to ensure a safe and successful procedure.

  7. Arrange for post-operative care: Facelift surgery typically requires some downtime for recovery. Make arrangements in advance for someone to help you with daily tasks and transportation after the procedure. You may also need to schedule follow-up appointments with your surgeon to monitor your healing progress.


How is a facelift performed?

A facelift is typically performed in  an outpatient surgical center. The specific technique used will vary depending on your specific needs. Here is a general overview of how a facelift is commonly performed:


  1. Anesthesia: Before the procedure begins, anesthesia will be administered to ensure your comfort throughout the surgery. This can include intravenous sedation or general anesthesia, and it will be discussed and determined during your consultation with the surgeon.

  2. Incision placement: Dr. DeConti will make incisions in strategic locations, usually concealed within the hairline and natural contours of the face. Common incision patterns include incisions that extend from the temples, around the front of the ears, and possibly into the hairline behind the ears.

  3. Tissue repositioning and muscle tightening: The underlying facial tissues, including the muscles, are then accessed through the incisions. The surgeon will carefully lift and reposition these tissues to restore a more youthful contour and address sagging or laxity. Facial muscles may also be tightened to provide additional support and longevity to the results.

  4. Fat redistribution or removal: If necessary, the surgeon may redistribute or remove excess fat in the face to improve facial contours. This can involve repositioning fat pads to restore volume in specific areas or removing excess fat for a more refined appearance.

  5. Skin redraping and trimming: After the underlying tissues have been repositioned, the excess facial skin is redraped and trimmed. This helps to eliminate wrinkles, sagging, and jowls, resulting in a smoother and more rejuvenated appearance.

  6. Incision closure: The incisions are then meticulously closed with sutures, skin adhesives, or other closure techniques. Some surgeons may also use surgical staples or small drains to aid in the initial healing process.

  7. Recovery and post-operative care: Following the surgery, you will be monitored in a recovery area until you are awake and stable. Your surgeon will provide specific post-operative care instructions, including information about medications, dressing changes, and limitations on activities. You may also be given a compression garment or bandage to wear to help reduce swelling and promote healing.


What is a mini facelift?

A mini facelift, also known as a mini-lift or limited-incision facelift, is a less invasive version of the traditional facelift procedure. It is designed to target specific areas of the face, typically the lower face and neck, with smaller incisions and a shorter recovery time compared to a full facelift. The mini facelift is often performed on younger patients or those with less significant signs of aging.


Here are some key characteristics of a mini facelift Richmond Va:


  1. Incisions: The incisions used in a mini facelift are smaller and less extensive than those of a traditional facelift. They are typically limited to the area around the ears or may extend slightly into the hairline. The smaller incisions result in minimal scarring and are strategically placed to be less noticeable.

  2. Targeted areas: A mini facelift primarily focuses on improving the appearance of the lower face and neck. It addresses concerns such as sagging jowls, mild to moderate skin laxity, and excess fat in the neck area. However, it does not provide as extensive correction or address the mid-face region as comprehensively as a full facelift.

  3. Muscle and tissue tightening: Similar to a traditional facelift, a mini facelift involves the tightening of underlying facial muscles and repositioning of tissues. This helps to restore a more youthful contour and provide a subtle lift to the targeted areas.

  4. Limited skin removal: While a mini facelift does involve some removal of excess skin, it is typically less extensive compared to a full facelift. The amount of skin removed is tailored to the individual patient’s needs and desired outcome.

  5. Recovery: The recovery time for a mini facelift is generally shorter compared to a full facelift, with less bruising and swelling. Most patients can return to their normal activities within a week or two.

It’s important to note that a mini facelift may not be suitable for individuals with more significant signs of aging or those seeking more dramatic results. The best candidates for a mini facelift are typically younger patients with early signs of aging or individuals who have previously undergone a facelift and desire a touch-up procedure.


To determine if a mini facelift is appropriate for you, it’s recommended to consult with Dr. DeConti. He will assess your specific concerns, facial anatomy, and desired outcomes to help you make an informed decision about the most suitable procedure for your needs.


What is an Endoscopic facelift?

An endoscopic facelift is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that utilizes an endoscope, which is a small, thin tube with a light and camera attached to it. The endoscope allows the surgeon to visualize and access the underlying structures of the face without making large incisions, as in traditional facelift surgery. The endoscopic technique is often used to address specific areas of the face, such as the mid-face and forehead.


Here are the key features of an endoscopic facelift:


  1. Incisions: The incisions made in an endoscopic facelift are typically small, ranging from half an inch to a few inches in length. These incisions are strategically placed in inconspicuous locations, such as within the hairline or within natural creases, to minimize visible scarring.

  2. Endoscope-guided procedure: The endoscope is inserted through the small incisions, allowing the surgeon to visualize the underlying facial structures on a screen. The camera provides a magnified view of the tissues, aiding in precise tissue dissection and manipulation.

  3. Targeted areas: An endoscopic facelift primarily focuses on the mid-face region and forehead. It is particularly effective in addressing sagging cheeks, deep nasolabial folds (lines from the nose to the mouth), and brow ptosis (drooping eyebrows).

  4. Muscle and tissue repositioning: During the procedure, the surgeon can lift and reposition the underlying facial muscles and tissues using specialized surgical instruments. This helps restore a more youthful contour and provides a subtle lift to the targeted areas.

  5. Limited skin removal: Unlike a traditional facelift, which involves more extensive skin removal, an endoscopic facelift typically requires minimal skin removal. The emphasis is on tightening and repositioning the deeper structures to achieve the desired results.

  6. Anesthesia and recovery: An endoscopic facelift is typically performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation, depending on the extent of the procedure. The recovery time is generally shorter compared to traditional facelift surgery, with less bruising and swelling. Most patients can resume normal activities within a week or two.

It’s important to note that an endoscopic facelift may not be suitable for individuals with more significant signs of aging or those seeking more extensive correction. The procedure is best suited for patients with mild to moderate facial aging who desire a less invasive approach and shorter recovery period.


What is a deep plane facelift?

A deep plane facelift is a surgical technique used in facial rejuvenation procedures, specifically in facelift surgeries. It is considered a more advanced and comprehensive approach compared to traditional facelift techniques.


In a deep plane facelift, the surgeon repositions and lifts the deeper layers of facial tissues, including the underlying muscle and fat, to achieve a more natural and long-lasting result. The technique focuses on addressing not only the skin but also the deeper structures of the face that contribute to facial aging.


Here are the key features of a deep plane facelift:


  1. Deeper tissue dissection: Unlike traditional facelift techniques that primarily lift and tighten the superficial layers of the skin, a deep plane facelift involves a more extensive dissection of the deeper facial tissues. This allows the surgeon to access and lift the underlying muscle layer, known as the SMAS (Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System).

  2. SMAS facelift repositioning: By repositioning the SMAS layer, the deep plane facelift can achieve a more natural and longer-lasting improvement in facial contours and address sagging or drooping tissues. The SMAS layer is responsible for providing structural support to the face, and repositioning it can help restore a more youthful appearance.

  3. Addressing multiple facial areas: The deep plane facelift technique can address multiple areas of the face, including the mid-face, jowls, and neck. It provides a more comprehensive rejuvenation by targeting various facial regions that contribute to aging.

  4. Incision placement: The incisions for a deep plane facelift are similar to those used in traditional facelifts. They are typically made along the hairline, extending around the ear and sometimes into the natural creases of the skin. The precise incision pattern may vary depending on the individual’s anatomy and the surgeon’s approach.

  5. Longer surgical time and recovery: Due to the more extensive tissue dissection involved, a deep plane facelift surgery generally takes longer to perform compared to traditional facelift techniques. The recovery period may also be slightly longer, and there may be a temporary increase in swelling and bruising.


What is a lower facelift?

A lower facelift, also known as a lower rhytidectomy, specifically targets the lower third of the face, including the jawline, jowls, and neck. It is a surgical procedure designed to address sagging or laxity in these areas and provide a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance.


Here are some key features of a lower facelift:


  1. Jawline and jowl lift: One of the primary goals of a lower facelift is to address the sagging or drooping skin along the jawline and jowls. The surgeon will tighten and reposition the underlying tissues to create a more defined and youthful jawline.

  2. Neck contouring: A lower facelift can also improve the appearance of the neck by reducing excess skin and tightening the underlying muscles. It helps to address concerns such as a double chin, neck bands, or a “turkey neck” appearance.

  3. Incision placement: The incisions for a lower facelift are typically made along the hairline, extending around the ear, and sometimes into the natural creases of the skin. The precise incision pattern may vary depending on the individual’s anatomy and the surgeon’s approach. The incisions are strategically placed to minimize visible scarring.

  4. Muscle and tissue tightening: In a lower facelift, the surgeon lifts and tightens the underlying muscles and connective tissues to restore a more youthful contour. This may involve repositioning or tightening the SMAS (Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System) layer, which provides structural support to the face.

  5. Liposuction (if necessary): Liposuction may be combined with a lower facelift to remove excess fat deposits in the neck or jowl area, further enhancing the overall contour.

  6. Natural-looking results: The aim of a lower facelift is to achieve natural-looking results that harmonize with the individual’s facial features. The goal is not to create an overly tight or “pulled” appearance but rather to restore a more youthful and refreshed look.

  7. Recovery and downtime: The recovery period following a lower facelift can vary among individuals. Swelling, bruising, and temporary numbness are common in the initial weeks after surgery. It is important to follow post-operative instructions provided by your surgeon and allow adequate time for healing and recovery.


Where is a facelift performed?

The procedure is performed as an outpatient at an outpatient surgery center. The operation is performed under general anesthesia. Surgical time is usually 2 to 4 hours.


What can I expect after my facelift?

After facelifts, it is normal to experience some post-operative effects as your body goes through the healing process. Here are some common things you can expect after a facelift:


  1. Swelling and bruising: Swelling and bruising are common after a facelift and can vary in intensity depending on the individual. Swelling is typically most prominent in the first few days after surgery and gradually subsides over several weeks. Bruising may also occur, especially around the incision sites, but will typically fade within a couple of weeks.

  2. Discomfort and tightness: You may experience some discomfort, tightness, or mild pain in the days following the procedure. This can be managed with pain medications prescribed by your surgeon. It is important to follow the prescribed dosage and instructions for pain management.

  3. Dressings and drains: Dr. DeConti will apply dressings or bandages to protect the incisions and promote healing. In some cases, small drains may be placed to remove excess fluids and reduce swelling. Dr. DeConti will provide instructions on how to care for these dressings or drains, as well as when to have them removed.

  4. Limited mobility: Initially, you may have limited mobility and stiffness in the facial muscles due to swelling and healing. It is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding activities and movements to ensure proper healing.

  5. Numbness and sensation changes: Temporary numbness, tingling, or changes in sensation may occur in the treated areas. This is normal and usually resolves over time as the nerves heal. It’s important to be patient, as sensation can gradually return to normal over several months.

  6. Gradual improvement: Over time, as the swelling subsides and your body heals, you will begin to see the results of the facelift. The final results can take several months to fully manifest as the tissues settle and any residual swelling resolves.

  7. Follow-up appointments: You will have follow-up appointments with your surgeon to monitor your healing progress. During these visits, your surgeon will assess your incisions, remove any sutures or drains if necessary, and provide further guidance on post-operative care and activities.



What are the risks and complications of having a facelift?

While facelift surgery is generally considered safe, like any surgical procedure, it carries certain risks and potential complications. It’s important to be aware of these risks before undergoing the surgery.


Here are some possible risks and complications associated with facelift surgery:


  1. Bleeding: Excessive bleeding during or after the surgery is a potential risk. Your surgeon will take precautions to minimize the risk of bleeding, but in rare cases, additional treatment or surgery may be necessary to control bleeding.

  2. Infection: There is a risk of infection at the incision sites. Your surgeon will provide instructions on how to care for the incisions to minimize the risk of infection. If an infection occurs, it can typically be treated with antibiotics, but in rare cases, additional intervention may be required.

  3. Poor wound healing: Some individuals may experience delayed wound healing, resulting in widened or thickened scars. Factors such as smoking, diabetes, or poor blood circulation can increase the risk of poor wound healing.

  4. Nerve injury: Temporary or, in rare cases, permanent injury to facial nerves can occur during facelift surgery. This can lead to temporary or permanent changes in facial sensation, muscle weakness, or asymmetry. However, skilled surgeons take precautions to minimize the risk of nerve injury.

  5. Hematoma: A hematoma refers to the accumulation of blood under the skin, resulting in a localized swelling. If a hematoma occurs, it may require drainage to alleviate the swelling and prevent complications.

  6. Skin necrosis: In rare cases, the blood supply to the skin may be compromised, leading to skin tissue death (necrosis). This can result in delayed wound healing, increased scarring, or the need for additional surgical intervention.

  7. Hair loss: Temporary or permanent hair loss around the incision sites can occur, especially if incisions are made within the hairline. This risk is more common for individuals with a history of hair loss or those with incisions placed too close to hair follicles.

  8. Unsatisfactory results: While facelift surgery aims to provide positive aesthetic outcomes, there is a possibility of unsatisfactory results, such as asymmetry, irregular contours, or dissatisfaction with the overall appearance. It’s important to have realistic expectations and thoroughly discuss your desired outcomes with your surgeon before the surgery.

  9. Anesthesia risks: The use of anesthesia carries its own inherent risks. Your anesthesiologist will evaluate your health condition and take appropriate measures to minimize the risks associated with anesthesia.

When will I see my results after my facelift in Richmond VA?

After a facelift, it’s important to understand that the initial results will not be immediately apparent due to swelling, bruising, and the healing process. It takes time for the tissues to settle and for the full effects of the surgery to become visible.


Typically, you can expect to see the initial results of a facelift within the first two to four weeks after the surgery. During this time, the swelling and bruising will gradually subside, and you will begin to notice improvements in the contour and appearance of your face.


However, it’s important to note that the final results of facelifts can take several months to fully manifest. The healing process is gradual, and the tissues continue to settle and refine over time. It may take around three to six months for most of the swelling to resolve and for the final results to become apparent.


How long does a facelift last?

The longevity of facelift results can vary depending on several factors, including individual factors, lifestyle choices, and the surgical technique used. While a facelift cannot stop the natural aging process, it can effectively turn back the clock and provide long-lasting rejuvenation.


On average, the results of a facelift can last between 10 and 15 years. However, it’s important to note that this is an estimate and individual experiences may vary. Some people may experience longer-lasting results, while others may see the effects diminish sooner.


It’s worth mentioning that the aging process will continue after a facelift, and the face will gradually undergo natural changes over time. Factors such as genetics, sun exposure, smoking, and overall health can influence how long the results of a facelift last. Additionally, the specific techniques used by the surgeon can also impact the longevity of the results.



To prolong the results of a facelift, it is advisable to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including proper skincare, protection from sun exposure, regular exercise, and a balanced diet. Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can also help preserve the outcomes of the surgery.


While a facelift can provide significant and long-lasting improvements, some individuals may choose to undergo additional non-surgical treatments, such as dermal fillers, Botox injections, or skin resurfacing procedures, to further enhance and maintain their results.


It’s important to have realistic expectations about the longevity of facelift results and to discuss your specific concerns and goals with a board-certified plastic surgeon. They can provide you with a more personalized assessment of how long you can expect the results to last based on your unique circumstances.


Will I have scars from my facelift?

Yes, it is common to have scars after a facelift. However, the goal of the surgery is to minimize the visibility of these scars by carefully placing the incisions in inconspicuous locations, such as within the hairline, around the ears, and in natural skin creases.


The appearance of scars can vary depending on factors such as individual healing ability, surgical technique, and post-operative care. In most cases, the scars from a facelift will gradually fade and become less noticeable over time, often blending in with the surrounding skin.


Following Dr. DeConti’s instructions for scar care is important to optimize the healing process and minimize the appearance of scars. These instructions may include keeping the incisions clean and moisturized, avoiding direct sun exposure, and using scar treatment products.


It’s worth noting that while efforts are made to make the scars as inconspicuous as possible, scars are a natural part of the healing process and cannot be completely eliminated. Dr. DeConti strives to create well-hidden and discreet incisions to minimize the visibility of the scars, allowing you to enjoy the rejuvenating effects of the facelift while keeping the scars as inconspicuous as possible.


How much is a facelift and how much does a facelift cost?

The cost of a facelift can vary widely depending on various factors such as the geographical location, the experience and reputation of the surgeon, the extent of the procedure, and the specific techniques used.


It’s important to note that the following figures are rough estimates and can vary significantly:


On average, the cost of facelift in the United States ranges from $10,000 to $20,000. However, in some high-cost areas or with highly experienced surgeons, the cost can exceed $30,000. This cost typically includes the surgeon’s fee, anesthesia fees, facility fees, pre-operative consultations, post-operative care, and follow-up visits.


It’s worth noting that additional costs may be incurred for pre-operative medical tests, prescription medications, compression garments, and other associated expenses. These costs are typically not included in the initial estimate.


It’s important to have a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your specific concerns, goals, and the recommended surgical approach. During the consultation, Dr. DeConti will provide you with a personalized cost estimate based on your individual needs and the complexity of the procedure.


It’s essential to prioritize the qualifications, experience, and reputation of the surgeon rather than solely considering the cost. Choosing a skilled and experienced surgeon such as Dr. DeConti,  is crucial to achieving safe and satisfactory results. If cost is a concern, you may inquire about financing options or discuss potential payment plans with your surgeon or their office.


Learn More:

Facelift Before and After Photos

American Society of Plastic Surgeons: Facelift

The Aesthetic Society: Facelifts


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