The Facelift Procedure Described

Let’s face it – facial wrinkles are an unfortunate part of everyone’s life.

Facial wrinkles occur due to stress, smoking, sun exposure, genetics and are an inevitable sign of aging. From a drooping brow to the appearance of deep facial folds and jowl formation to a sagging neck, your facial appearance may change over the years. But that doesn’t mean you’re helpless to combat these signs of aging.


​​​​​​​As home to a top plastic surgeon, Dr. Gilbert Lee in San Diego offers both surgical and non-surgical solutions for an aging face and neck. We also provide Changes Rapid Lift, a revolutionary facial rejuvenation procedure for patients searching for a safe, effective alternative to traditional facelift surgery. Dr.Lee, a board-certified plastic surgeon, can help you look younger and more refreshed with a variety of treatment options. The goal of face and neck surgery is to achieve the most natural results by effectively restoring lost facial volume, minimizing deep facial folds and wrinkles and by refining the jawline. We offer both San Diego facelift and neck lift surgery options designed to help you improve your facial appearance.

Enhance Your Facial Appearance with a Facelift or Neck Lift

As we age, we start to lose volume in our faces from fat atrophy; skin loses elasticity as collagen production diminishes, and the result is sagging facial skin and hanging skin of the neck. Facelift surgery, aka rhytidectomy, is designed to minimize these signs of aging around the face and neck.

Neck lift surgery also referred to as a lower rhytidectomy, is designed to help improve the signs of aging along the jawline and neck. It frequently helps patients:

  • Reduce the appearance of excess fat and fatty deposits under the chin.

  • Eliminate loose neck skin.

  • Minimize banding in the neck that otherwise creates abnormal contours.

A neck lift also serves as a viable alternative for patients who do not want to receive a complete facelift.

Change Rapid Lift: A Viable Alternative to a Traditional Facelift

Changes Rapid Lift was developed by Dr. Lee as an alternative to a traditional facelift procedure. It is designed for individuals with mild to moderate aging in the face.

With Changes Rapid Lift, patients can tighten the neck and jaw and remove loose skin that occurs naturally over time. They can also eliminate jowls, restore fullness to the cheeks and address facial wrinkles caused by skin and muscle stretching and fat loss underneath the skin.

Changes Rapid Lift requires a limited number of incisions in comparison to a traditional facelift. It is performed under local anesthesia in our office, and as such, does not require expensive operating room and anesthesiologist fees.

During Changes Rapid Lift, Dr. Lee re-suspends and supports the facial and neck fat and muscles and tissues back to their original position. He treats loose skin and wrinkles in the lower half of the face and neck and tightens the jawline and neck profile. Finally, Dr. Lee removes excess skin to tighten and remove wrinkles and jowls, resulting in a rejuvenated facial appearance.

What to Expect From Facelift Surgery and Neck Lift Surgery.

As part of facelift or neck lift surgery, underlying muscles are tightened and placed back where they belong, and the skin is redraped on the face and neck.

A facelift in San Diego can take three to six hours depending on which corrections are necessary. Your surgeon will outline the exact placement of incisions before the procedure. Usually, incisions begin inside your sideburns, extend inside your ear (just inside the cartilage at the front of your ear) and continue behind the earlobe in the crease behind the ear. The scars are virtually impossible to detect as they are hidden within the anatomy of the ear.

Your surgeon will separate the skin from the underlying fat and muscle. Fat may be trimmed or suctioned from around the neck and chin to improve the contour. The underlying muscles of the face are then tightened, the platysmal bands were resewn (see corset platysmaplasty), and the skin is pulled back with the excess skin removed. Stitches secure the layers of tissue and close the incisions.

Facial fat loss, or fat atrophy, is a characteristic of aging that may be suggested as part of your facelift procedure. A youthful face has rounded contours. Fat grafting can be performed during your facelift surgery to restore fat to hollow temples, upper and lower lids and restore fullness to the cheeks.

A neck lift surgery generally lasts two to three hours, and anesthesia may be administered before the surgery. The procedure requires a plastic surgeon to place small incisions behind the ears and under the chin to help the surgeon remove excess fat.

After neck lift surgery is completed, a plastic surgeon will replace the skin at the site of the surgery and pull taut. At this time, the incisions will be sutured closed, and any excess skin will be removed.

For the best results after facelift or neck lift surgery and to maintain your facelift results, regular treatments with BOTOX ® or Dysport for wrinkle relaxation and fillers or fat injections that can deliver youthful fullness to the cheeks and lips or fill deep facial folds are recommended. Fat grafting is the most performed adjunct treatment to a face and neck lift.

Also, because facial aging normally involves the entire face, complementary procedures such as a forehead lift or browlift, eyelid surgery, nose reshaping, and cheek and/or chin implants may be performed in conjunction with facelift or neck lift surgery.

before and after facelift

​​​​​​​Facelift Recovery & Neck Lift Surgery Recovery

You should be up and about in a day or two after facelift surgery, but you should plan on taking it easy for the first week following surgery. Your plastic surgeon will provide specific guidelines for gradually resuming your normal activities, and you will need to avoid strenuous activity for at least two weeks (walking and mild stretching are fine).

In addition, you will want to avoid alcohol and smoking, steam baths and saunas for several weeks and limit your exposure to the sun for several months. Above all, get plenty of rest and allow your body to heal.

The recovery from neck lift surgery usually takes several weeks.

During neck lift surgery recovery, you may receive a bandage that is placed around your face and neck to reduce swelling and bruising. A thin tube also may be used to drain excess blood or fluid that could collect under the skin.

Your plastic surgeon will offer detailed instructions about how to care for the surgical site after a neck lift surgery, along with information about any medications that may be needed and how to reduce the risk of infection.

How Much Does a Facelift Cost?

Facelift surgery costs vary depending on the location of surgical practice, the extent of the procedure and other factors. At Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa in San Diego, we are committed to helping facelift patients get the most out of surgery. We provide facelift cost details and other information prior to treatment. Also, we describe how a facelift procedure is performed and help patients set realistic surgery expectations.

How Much Does a Neck Lift Cost?

Like a facelift, neck lift surgery costs vary across the United States. For people who are concerned about neck lift cost and other surgery factors, it often helps to consult with Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa. We teach patients about neck lift procedures, how they work and their associated costs. By doing so, we help patients determine if a neck lift San Diego procedure can help them achieve their desired facial rejuvenation results.

What Does a Facelift Look Like?

After a facelift procedure, a patient generally notices visible improvements to his or her facial appearance. Facelift surgery results are long-lasting, and they may help an individual feel more confident about his or her facial appearance, too. Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa is one of the leading facelift San Diego surgery providers. To see how we have helped facelift patients enhance their facial appearance, click here.

What Does a Neck Lift Look Like?

After a facelift procedure, a patient generally notices visible improvements to his or her facial appearance. Facelift surgery results are long-lasting, and they may help an individual feel more confident about his or her facial appearance, too. Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa​​​​​​​ is one of the leading facelift San Diego surgery providers. To see how we have helped facelift patients enhance their facial appearance, click here.

Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa: A Premier Provider of Facelift and Neck Lift Surgery

Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa​​​​​​​ can help you determine whether facelift or neck lift surgery is right for you. From your initial consultation to your recovery after a facelift or neck lift, we’ll be happy to help you achieve your surgery goals.

To learn more about our facelift and neck lift treatment options in San Diego, please contact us today at (858) 264-3800 or fill out the convenient contact form below.