Facelift

Facelift

As the years pass, we become vulnerable to the visible effects of aging. These effects are most apparent around the face, in the form of wrinkles, fine lines, saggy and loose skin, and displaced fat. If you yearn for the youthful facial appearance you enjoyed 10 or 15 years ago, discover the fountain of youth with a facelift.

To learn more about facelifts, contact our office today online or at 410-902-9800 to schedule a personal consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ronald Schuster. We proudly serve Baltimore, Owings Mills and Towson, Maryland and welcome patients from across the United States who visit us specifically for facelift surgery. Virtual consultations are available for out-of-town patients.

This page discusses the following facelift topics:

What Is a Facelift?

A facelift, formally known as rhytidectomy, is a facial plastic surgery procedure that is designed to improve the visible signs of aging in the face and neck, such as:

  • Sagging facial skin and fat
  • Deep facial folds around the mouth
  • Jowls
  • Banding in the neck
  • Double chin or “turkey neck”

Facelifts are the most comprehensive anti-aging solutions that Dr. Ronald Schuster offers. The procedure will tighten loose skin, “lift” the underlying tissue, smooth wrinkles and lines and restore volume to areas of the face that need it.  After your facelift, you will look like a more rested, youthful and pleasant version of yourself.

Am I a Good Candidate for Facelift Surgery?

You may be a suitable candidate for facelift if you:

  • Have visible signs of aging (e.g., jowls; deep creases or folds around your nose or mouth; or sagging skin on the face and upper neck)
  • Are in good health and do not have any serious medical conditions
  • Do not smoke
  • Have reasonable expectations of surgery

The best way to know if a facelift is right for you is to meet personally with Dr. Schuster in a private consultation. During your initial consult, Dr. Schuster will listen to your goals and assess your facial structure. He will determine if you are a good candidate for a facelift and explain all of your treatment options, including our non-surgical procedures.


Types of Facelifts

There are many different types of facelift procedures. They go by many different names including:

  • “Skin Only” Facelift: A “skin only” facelift tightens loose skin and removes excess skin without altering the deep tissues including muscle, fat and fascia. Unfortunately, without modifying the underlying deep tissues, the skin is likely to stretch out again relatively quickly after surgery. Younger individuals with a limited amount of loose skin may see temporary results, but performing a skin-only facelift on an individual with moderate to advanced signs of aging can produce a “surprised” or “windswept” expression.
  • “Traditional” Facelift: A traditional facelift is designed to comprehensively correct moderate to advanced signs of aging by altering the skin and the deeper tissues of the face. Through incisions created at the hairline and extending from the temples to the ears, the deep tissues of the face are lifted and fat is repositioned as needed to restore more youthful facial contours. The skin is re-draped over the face and excess skin is removed.
  • SMAS Facelift: SMAS is short for superficial musculoaponeurotic system, which is the sturdy layer of tissue between the skin and the facial muscles and nerves. Modifying the SMAS is crucial to lifting the midface, softening deep nasolabial folds, lifting the corners of the mouth and improving the definition of the neck.
  • Endoscopic Facelift: Endoscopic facelift involves the use of an endoscope, or an illuminated camera that is inserted under the skin to provide a look at the facial structures that the surgeon cannot directly see. Using an endoscope eliminates the need for long incisions and may shorten the overall length of the surgery.
  • Composite Facelift: Dr. Schuster performs a special facelift method called a “Composite Facelift.” Trained in this technique many years ago directly under the tutelage of its inventor, Dr. Sam Hamra, Dr. Schuster has since gone on to expand and refine the technique, and now includes a mid-facelift together with the Composite Facelift. The addition of a direct mid-face plication helps restore the upper cheek fullness and restores the youthful cheek contour.

What Makes the Composite Facelift a Better Option?

Dr. Schuster believes Composite Facelift is the best method, and more complete than traditional facelift procedures, to restore sagging cheeks and cheek folds to a natural, more youthful appearance. Most importantly, the Composite Facelift avoids the “over pulled,” or “wind tunnel” appearance.  It maintains the most balanced improvement, which includes the correction of “midface” sagging cheeks, leaving you looking the most natural.

Is a Composite Facelift Right for Me?

While Dr. Schuster specializes in using the Composite Facelift technique, not everyone needs it. For these patients, he is able to perform more traditional facelift procedures. During your consultation with Dr. Schuster, he can advise you of the type of facelift that would be most appropriate for helping you achieve a natural, balanced appearance.


“I spoke to several doctors before I settled on Dr. Schuster. When I talked to Dr. Schuster there was just innately a sense of trust and confidence. He really listened to me when I talked to him about the things I wanted done and didn’t want done, he heard me. I just felt like this was the right move.” – Facelift Patient Testimonial, Baltimore, MD

Your Facelift Surgery Consultation

During your initial facelift consultation, you will sit down with Dr. Schuster to discuss what bothers you about your facial appearance, and what you want to look like. You will be asked about your health history, any previous surgeries and medications you take. He will examine your face, noting the degree of sagging, loose skin and your other concerns. If Dr. Schuster believes facelift can give you the aesthetic results you desire, he will propose a treatment plan. He will also explain other treatment options, such as a neck lift or blepharoplasty, if appropriate.

Facelift Surgery Recuperation & Recovery

Normally the face is bruised and swollen after facelift. The skin may also feel tight or tender. It is recommended to keep the head elevated in the days following surgery to minimize swelling. These symptoms subside within two to three weeks.

While every individual recovery experience will be unique, the following is what can be expected as the average experience:

  • Face and Neck
    • Recommend two weeks off from school/work
    • Bruising and swelling can be covered by makeup in two weeks
    • Return to full activity in three to four weeks
  • Neck Only
    • Recommend one week off of school/work
    • Most bruising and swelling can be covered by makeup in 10 days
    • Return to full activity in three weeks

Mini infographic showing a facelift statistic with a woman's face in the backgroundA facelift can be performed as an outpatient procedure, although some facilities will allow you to stay overnight at a very discounted charge. Northwest Hospital offers a special overnight recovery stay which allows you to “sleep off” your first night in a private room and still have nurses available to you as needed. It is a great way to jumpstart your recovery. You will return to our Baltimore, Maryland area office every few days after your facelift procedure to have bandages and stitches removed and to monitor your progress.

Dr. Schuster will provide detailed instructions for home care after facelift. Generally, patients can wash their face about four days after surgery and apply makeup about 10 days after surgery. Most patients return to work and their normal activities about two weeks after facelift.

Mini Facelift Versus Full Facelift

Full facelift lifts sagging skin, restores youthful volume to the cheeks and sharpens the jawline; it is usually performed through incisions in the hairline, extending around the ears and into the lower scalp.

  • Advantages of Full Facelift
    • Comprehensively addresses signs of moderate to advanced aging
    • Modifies the deeper layer of tissue as well as the skin
    • Noticeable anti-aging effects
    • Long-lasting results
  • Disadvantages of Full Facelift
    • Requires longer incisions
    • Slightly longer operating time
    • Slightly longer recovery

Mini facelift is a less invasive procedure, performed through smaller incisions, intended for someone with less prominent signs of aging.

  • Advantages of Mini Facelift
    • Can address minimal skin laxity before it becomes too pronounced
    • Performed through shorter incisions
    • Shorter operating time
    • Less swelling and bruising after surgery
    • Accelerated recovery time
  • Disadvantages of Mini Facelift
    • Not ideal for most candidates in their 50s and 60s
    • Cannot address moderate to advanced signs of aging
    • Does not address the neck
    • Results are much subtler than those of full facelift
    • Results don’t last as long as those of full facelift

When Is the Right Time to Consider Facelift Surgery?

There is no universal time frame to have facelift surgery, because everyone ages differently. Generally, if you have signs of aging that are too severe to be corrected with non-surgical treatments like Botox or fillers, facelift may be appropriate.

Are There Age Restrictions for Facelift Surgery?

There are no age restrictions for facelift surgery. As long as the patient is in stable health and meets the other criteria for surgery, age is not a factor.

Will Facelift Surgery Eliminate All of My Facial Wrinkles?

Facelift surgery can soften wrinkles in the middle and lower portions of the face and the neck, but it does not address wrinkles around the eyes and forehead. Eyelid surgery or a brow lift may be appropriate in these cases.

Are Facelift Results Permanent?

Facelift targets the signs of aging at the time of surgery, but it does not prevent future aging.

Why Choose Dr. Ronald Schuster for Your Facelift?

Dr. Ronald Schuster is a fellowship-trained, board-certified plastic surgeon who has been providing natural-looking facelift results to men and women in the greater Baltimore area for many years. Dr. Schuster has a particular interest in facial surgery and stresses the need for a balanced appearance. A highly knowledgeable and skilled surgeon, Dr. Schuster is able to utilize a variety of surgical techniques, including the Composite Facelift technique, fat grafting, as well as various changes to the SMAS, to help his patients enjoy superior facelift results.  He is devoted to delivering personalized care that considers each patient’s unique anatomy, lifestyle and preferences. Although Dr. Schuster welcomes innovation and new techniques, he does not subscribe to glitzy fads or marketing gimmicks. He will be very honest with his assessment and ability to achieve the results his patients are looking for.

In addition to his private plastic surgery practice, Dr. Schuster is the Chief of Plastic Surgery at Northwest Hospital Center and an active member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

How Much Does a Facelift Cost?

The average cost of a facelift can range between $5,000 and $18,500; the exact cost of a facelift will depend on several factors, including:

  • The specific scope of treatment
  • Whether facelift is combined with other facial rejuvenation procedures
  • The expertise of the surgeon
  • The type of anesthesia
  • The surgical facility

If you decide to move forward with facelift surgery, Dr. Schuster’s staff can give you a customized quote for your planned treatment.

Call Now to Schedule Your Facelift Consultation

If you are considering a facelift in Baltimore, Owings Mills or Towson, Maryland, call 410-902-9800 to schedule a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ronald Schuster. If you are an out-of-town patient, virtual consultations are available.

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