What is a Facelift?

A facelift focuses on correcting wrinkles and sagging skin on the face caused by aging. Many patients undergo a facelift to correct midface sagging, jowls, marionette lines, and a double chin. A facelift is the most comprehensive approach for combating signs of facial aging.

Who is a Good Candidate for a Facelift?

Individuals who are unhappy with the toll that time has taken on their face, whose sagging facial skin makes them feel self-conscious in social or work situations, or who feel that their face does not reflect their youthful attitude can often benefit from a facelift. It’s important that you are generally healthy overall and a nonsmoker before having a facelift. In many cases, it’s also important that you are at or near a healthy and stable weight. Finally, your skin should be relatively healthy and well-cared for before and after your facelift procedure.

During a consultation with Dr. Howland, patient’s will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns that they may have, as well as go over their aesthetic goals.

What to Expect

There are three main facelift incision patterns used today. These include:


Incisions will be made in the hairline near the temples and down around the front of the ears, ending in the creases behind the ears.


Short incisions will be made at the hairline near the temples, down and around the front of the ears. Incisions may also be made in the lower eyelids, or under the upper lip. A limited-incision facelift is also commonly called a mini facelift. This type of facelift is usually chosen for patients with less severe sagging or wrinkles.


Incisions will begin in front of the earlobes and continue behind the ears, ending in the lower scalp. A small incision will also be made up the chin.

No matter which facelift incision pattern is used, excess skin is excised and underlying tissues and muscles will be repositioned and tightened to create a smoother and more youthful facial appearance. Facelift scars can be virtually invisible, and are very narrow, flat, and placed inconspicuously.

Can I Combine Facelift with Other Procedures?

A facelift generally only addresses wrinkles, lines, and sagging skin in the lower part of the face. For this reason, many patients choose to combine the procedure with others to achieve more complete rejuvenation.

If you have signs of aging in the upper part of the face, such as forehead lines, you may choose to have injectables like Botox in these areas in addition to your facelift. Botox relaxes the muscles, causing reduced wrinkles in areas where lines are created by repeated facial expressions.

Many Salt Lake City facelift patients also choose to have a neck lift in combination with their procedure to rejuvenate the face and neck. Signs of aging in the neck are common, but a facelift alone won’t address loose skin or “turkey neck” in this area. The procedures can easily be performed in a single surgery to reduce loose skin and wrinkles through both areas.

Facelift Results

Following a facelift, compression garments or wraps will need to be worn as directed. Bruising and swelling are normal, and any discomfort can be managed with pain medication. Swelling and discomfort are likely to be most prominent during the first week after your facelift. It is recommended that patients recline rather than lie down to minimize swelling. Recovery time frame will be determined based on the extent of your facelift surgery. However, most patients are ready to return to work or other normal routines about two weeks after the surgery, and may resume light exercise like walking. Dr. Howland will advise when you can return to more rigorous exercise after monitoring your healing in postoperative appointments. While some residual swelling and tightness can persist for up to a year after the procedure, most patients feel generally recovered and back to normal about a month after their facelift.

How to Choose a Facial Plastic Surgeon

When choosing a plastic surgeon for your facelift, most patients review before-and-after photos and read reviews of the surgeon who interests them before scheduling a consultation. It’s also helpful to check your surgeon’s qualifications. Dr. Howland is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, which means that he meets rigorous training and ongoing education standards.

If you are interested in a facelift in the Salt Lake City of Draper, UT areas, contact our office today to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Howland.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a facelift make you look younger?

The primary purpose of a facelift is to make you appear younger. Most facelift patients report that they look 12 years younger on average.

How do I reduce swelling in my face?

Gently applying ice, keeping your head elevated, and avoiding bending to lift objects or bumping your face are a few ways to reduce swelling after your facelift.

How can I tighten loose skin on my face?

A facelift is the most effective way to tighten loose, sagging skin on the face.

How do I tighten my jawline?

A facelift can be used to tighten the jawline by reducing sagging skin and excess fat from the area.

How do I get rid of my double chins?

A facelift or liposuction can be used to reduce fat below the chin, essentially getting rid of a double chin.

How do you reduce swelling after a facelift?

After your facelift, swelling can be reduced by keeping your head elevated, applying ice, and following your plastic surgeons directions through the recovery period.

How do I prepare for a facelift?

Before your facelift, you should arrange for someone to drive you home and care for you in the early stages of recovery, pick up any prescriptions, and purchase necessary supplies including nutritious and easy-to-prepare foods and comfortable clothing.

How do you take care of your face after a facelift?

After your facelift, you should carefully cleanse and moisturize about 24 hours after your surgery, avoid sun exposure, follow directions to reduce swelling and bruising, and wait about a week before applying makeup.

How long after a facelift can I exercise?

Most patients can resume their normal exercise routines about six weeks after a facelift.

How long does it take for bruising on the face to go away?

For most facelift patients, bruising resolves about 30 days after their surgery. Some minor swelling, bruising, or tightness may persist but should not be noticeable.

How long do ears hurt after facelift?

Some patients may experience pain or numbness in the ears after their facelift, which can persist for 1-3 months.

How long is recovery from a facelift?

Six weeks after a facelift, most patients are sufficiently recovered to return to all activities including exercise. Some mild symptoms such as residual swelling and tightness may persist.

How long does facelift last?

On average, facelift results last at least 10 years. After this point, the skin may begin to droop again.

How many times can you get a facelift?

Most surgeons recommend that patients have no more than 3-4 facelifts over their lifetime.

How long does fat transfer face last?

The fat that remains about six months after a fat transfer to the face should remain permanently.

How much does a mid face lift cost?

On average, a mid facelift costs between $6,000 and $8,000. After a consultation, your plastic surgeon will provide a more specific cost estimate.

How much does laser face lift cost?

The average laser facelift costs about $1,900. The final cost of your laser facelift will vary.

Is a facelift permanent?

Facelift results are not permanent as the natural aging process will continue over time. On average, facelift results last about ten years.

How much is a face lift and neck lift?

The average cost of a facelift and neck lift is about $7,000, but this varies depending on the extent of your surgery, the geographic location where you have your procedure, and other factors.

How much is a facelift?

The final cost of your facelift will vary based on factors like the extent of your surgery and your surgeons expertise. On average, facelifts cost about $7,000.

What can I expect from a facelift?

After your facelift, you can expect symptoms including tenderness, bruising, and swelling, which typically lasts about two weeks. Your final results will reduce wrinkles, fine lines, sagging skin, and other aging signs.

What is a facelift called?

The medical name for a facelift is a rhytidectomy.

How painful is a facelift?

Discomfort after a facelift can be alleviated with prescribed pain medication.

What is a mid face lift?

A mid-facelift is sometimes referred to as a "cheek lift." This is a facelift procedure that is intended to reduce aging signs in the area around the cheeks such as nasolabial folds.

What is a neck lift called?

A neck lift is also called a platysmaplasty.

What is the average cost of a full facelift?

The average cost of a full facelift is about $7,400. This cost varies, and your plastic surgeon can provide a more specific estimate after your consultation.

What is a non surgical facelift?

A non-surgical facelift may refer to several anti-aging procedures including injectables like Botox or laser facials.

What is the difference between a deep plane and SMAS facelift?

A SMAS facelift lifts the skin as well as the superficial muscles and tissues separately, while a deep-plane facelift lifts both skin and underlying tissues together.

What is a thread lift?

A thread lift uses dissolvable surgical threads to lift the skin and stimulate new collagen production for a refreshed, youthful look.

When should you get a facelift?

The average facelift patient is between 45-60 years old.

What is best age for facelift?

The best age for a facelift depends on when you see aging signs. On average, patients choose facelifts in their 40s, 50s, or 60s.