What Does a Facelift Do (& NOT Do)? – Updated 2023

Narasimhan Plastic Surgery

Many people see a facelift as the “gold standard” for facial rejuvenation, and in many ways, that is true. People who have opted for a face lift at my St. Petersburg practice often say they feel 10 or so years younger thanks to the procedure. However, there are a few aspects of aging that a facelift does not address, and they are important to consider as you plan your facial rejuvenation. Learn more below!

Is it worth getting a facelift?

  • “Turn Back Time.” A facelift, as I discuss with my patients during the consultation, is the gold standard to improve sagging jowls, deep smile lines, and neck skin/fat excess. This procedure, literally “turns back the clock” by anatomically placing deflated and descended soft tissues in the face (fat pads, skin, muscle) into a more rejuvenated, refreshed position. The result is a natural, younger face and neck. No other non-surgical or non-invasive device or treatment can achieve the degree of efficacy of a facelift, as you can see in our patients’ facelift before-and-after photos.
  • Anatomy. The typical facelift procedure addresses the neck muscle bands (often called a “turkey-gobbler neck” and jowls. For the jowls (fat along the jawline) we perform liposuction to contour the area and create a smooth jawline. The SMAS (muscle/connective tissue layer) is addressed to tighten and anchor the cheek and lower face.  The fat pad along the cheek is also raised to a youthful position along the cheekbone. These three elements—neck, jowl, cheek, are the essence of a facelift. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons offers additional information about the steps involved in facelift surgery.
Before & After Facelift Case 38 View #1 View in Tampa, Florida
Before & After Facelift
Before & After Facelift Case 307 Left Side View in Tampa, Florida
Before & After Facelift
Before & After Facelift Case 15 View #1 View in Tampa, Florida
Before & After Facelift
Before & After Male Facelift Case 248 View #1 View in Tampa, Florida
Before & After Facelift

Where does a facelift fall short?

A facelift will not address skin quality, eyelid drooping or bags, and other aging concerns in the upper face.

  • Adjunct Procedures. A facelift typically does not address a droopy eyebrow or forehead (unless combined with a browlift). The facelift also does not alone address eyelid drooping or lower eyelid bagginess, which is also common in facial aging.
  • Skincare. Another important concept which facelift alone does not address is the quality of your skin. That is why all of our facelift patients are given a starter set of medical-grade skin cleanser, retinol, and a facial treatment with our aesthetician to discuss long-term skin care.  This way we combine surgical and non-surgical maintenance to give you the BEST results. Good skincare will also improve the longevity of facelift results.

What plastic surgeries and nonsurgical procedures can be combined with a facelift?

  • Complementary Procedures. Eyelid surgery, a brow lift, and nonsurgical options such as BOTOX® may be worth adding to address aging in the upper face. In nearly all patients, we combine facelift surgery with these three procedures.
  • Non-surgical Treatments. BOTOX is a non-surgical adjunct that has revolutionized the treatment of wrinkles, particularly on the forehead area. (You can read more about how BOTOX complements facial plastic surgery in our related blog post.) Fillers are also effective for smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth, and they are done in the office.

Men and women interested in facelift surgery come from Clearwater, Tampa, and beyond to have Dr. Narasimhan perform their procedures. You can contact our office for more information about facelift surgery by calling us at (727) 289-7119. If you’re ready to discuss your facial rejuvenation options with Dr. Narasimhan, use our online form to request a consultation.

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