When it comes to looking and feeling like the best version of yourself, facelift surgery is widely considered the gold standard of treatment. A facelift is performed to address some of the most telltale signs of aging, including jowls, loose skin, wrinkles, and creases. When performed with skill and expertise, this advanced procedure will lift and reposition facial tissues to achieve a truly transformative result. Dr. Scott Miller is known for his diligent technique and naturally beautiful facelift outcomes, which are tailor-made to restore your youthful facial contours without sacrificing the character of your face.

What is a Facelift?

A facelift is the most effective and long-lasting option to reverse signs of aging in the lower third of the face. As the body’s natural production of collagen slowly diminishes, the skin and tissues of the lower face often become thinner and more relaxed. This can lead to wrinkles, jowls, smile lines, and a general loss of facial fullness. The facelifts of previous decades, which utilized more traditional approaches, were usually known for producing outcomes that looked obvious, “frozen,” or overly-pulled. Thanks to advances in technique, modern facelift results are incredibly subtle, beautiful, and elegant. Rather than producing a “tight” look that is often an obvious indication of surgery, facelifts performed by our skilled board-certified plastic surgeon simply allow men and women to reclaim a younger version of themselves.

What Can a Facelift Improve?

A facelift is a great way to restore underlying support for the face. The facial skin, fat, and internal layer of musculature are addressed and repositioned where necessary, allowing patients to powerfully improve an aged look. After facelift surgery, patients are able to achieve:

Modern facelift procedures offer extremely natural-looking results and we invite patients to explore our before-and-after photos to see the types of results possible with rhytidectomy. Depending on your wishes for the outcome, Dr. Miller can combine techniques to develop the best plan for facial rejuvenation.

Is a Facelift Right for Me?

Facelift techniques vary from conservative lifting procedures to more extensive and sophisticated approaches that address the entire face. This versatility can allow any patient who desires facial rejuvenation to achieve their goals via tailored facelift options. If you feel your reflection doesn’t match your internal spirit due to the effects of aging, you may benefit from a facelift — particularly if you’re bothered by:

  • A loss of skin and muscle tone, resulting in sagging skin along the jawline or “jowls”
  • Nasolabial folds, which develop from the base of the nose to the corners of the mouth
  • Marionette lines, or creases that extend to the chin on both sides of the lips
  • Displaced facial fat or lost volume

A neck lift is frequently performed at the same time as facelift surgery since both regions tend to age together. This procedure will smooth the neck contour, reduce muscle banding, remove excess fat deposits, and treat a “turkey neck.” Dr. Miller will listen to your concerns and conduct a facial analysis to formulate the most optimal treatment plan for you and your aesthetic goals.

Good general health is essential for patients considering any cosmetic procedure. Dr. Miller will review your medical history and help ensure you have no medical conditions that may interfere with the healing process. We also encourage strong patient education so individuals planning to undergo facelift surgery have realistic expectations for the final results.

Before Image
After Image
Before Image
After Image

How is the Facelift Procedure Performed?

The nature of facelift surgery varies from patient to patient, but the procedure is usually an outpatient surgery performed using TIVA general anesthesia. Starting with an incision that begins at the temple and curves along the front of the ear and behind the earlobe, Dr. Miller lifts and repositions the descended muscle. The skin is then redraped while any excess tissue is removed. The neck is rejuvenated through this incision and a small incision under the chin, allowing Dr. Miller to tighten tissues, remove excess skin, and extract fat deposits if necessary. All incisions are then closed in layers along the different facial planes to minimize scarring as much as possible. The procedure takes approximately three to five hours. Incisions and techniques may differ according to your facial plastic surgery plan.

What Can I Expect From the Facelift Recovery Period?

Recovery instructions will be given based on your individual treatment plan, but the post-operative period typically calls for downtime, certain activity restrictions, and regular follow-up appointments with Dr. Miller and his nursing staff to monitor your healing. Dressings will be placed after your procedure to reduce swelling and protect your incisions. The head should also remain elevated to improve blood flow, which Dr. Miller and his team will explain further in person. Feelings of discomfort, swelling, numbness, bruising, or weakness are normal following surgery and should subside as your recovery progresses. Over-the-counter or prescribed pain medications, as well as ice packs, are generally enough to manage symptoms in the meantime. Most patients feel well enough to return to non-strenuous work within two weeks. Exercise, bending over past the knees, and strenuous activity should be avoided until Dr. Miller advises otherwise.

How Long Will My Facelift Results Last?

Although nothing will stop the natural aging process, results from a facelift can help reset the clock. By working within the deeper planes of the face to support the underlying musculature and not working with the skin in isolation, Dr. Miller is able to achieve long lasting, naturally beautiful outcomes. Many patients enjoy results for over a decade and will always look younger than had they never undergone the procedure. In this way, a facelift can be an extremely effective solution to gracefully slow facial aging.

For mild signs of aging, non-surgical rejuvenation treatments can be an excellent way to renew the tone and texture of your skin. Radiofrequency microneedling, BOTOX® Cosmetic, facial fillers, aesthetic lasers, and other minimally invasive options can be utilized right here at our La Jolla office, and will help address wrinkles, frown lines, loss of volume, and poor skin tone, among other common concerns.

Will I Have Noticeable Facelift Scars?

Every surgical procedure where an incision is made will result in a scar to some extent, but your facelift incisions are discreetly placed and meticulously closed to provide the least visible scar possible. This helps ensure your results look natural and harmonious. Patients are not typically concerned with scarring after their facelift thanks to Dr. Miller’s careful technique, but if necessary, there are further measures that can be taken to lighten visible scars, such as using scar gels and laser treatments.

What’s the Best Age for a Facelift?

There is no perfect age for a facelift. While the most common age range for patients pursuing a facelift is between 45 and 65, this time frame varies from patient to patient. Everyone ages at a different rate based on genetics, lifestyle habits, diet, skin care, and other personal factors unique to each individual. Therefore, candidates for facelift surgery are assessed based on the signs of aging they seek to treat — not their age. If you only show relatively minor facial aging, a mini facelift or midface lift may benefit you more than a full facelift procedure. Dr. Miller will be able to recommend an ideal plan when your concerns are evaluated during a consultation.

How Much Does a Facelift Cost?

Our office will be able to provide you with a personalized cost estimate when you visit our practice and Dr. Miller gains a better sense of your needs and goals. Factors that may influence facelift costs include:

It’s important to note that a facelift is a long-term investment into your appearance and confidence; therefore, the quality of your facelift surgeon should be prioritized over the potential costs of the procedure. That said, Dr. Miller offers financing options through CareCredit®, a leading healthcare lending institution often utilized for cosmetic and elective procedures. With CareCredit®, qualified patients can make the costs of surgery more economical by choosing from a selection of low- to no-interest payment plans. If you have any questions or concerns, our team would be more than happy to speak with you about our payment options or the cost of a facelift.

Is a Non-Surgical Facelift Possible?

While a facelift cannot be performed without surgery, there are several non-surgical treatments that can rejuvenate the face and reduce wrinkles, as well as improve skin tone and texture. For patients interested in replenishing lost volume, various dermal fillers — including JUVÉDERM®, the RHA® collection, and VOLUMA® — can be combined to provide a “liquid facelift.” While not capable of recreating the same results as a facelift, a liquid facelift can help soften your facial contours and smooth deep creases. The outcome will be temporary, but can provide noticeable improvement for approximately four to six months depending on the products chosen. If your concerns include a rough, dull, or uneven complexion, Dr. Miller also offers other non-invasive treatments like microneedling and aesthetic lasers. In addition, injectables like BOTOX Cosmetic® and DAXXIFY® are available to help with frown and forehead line reduction.

Keep in mind that these non-surgical alternatives to a facelift will not provide the same quality of results as a facelift performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. The enhancement achieved will also be temporary and signs of aging will eventually begin to reappear; however, touch-up treatments can be pursued as necessary to preserve your results.

What are the Limitations of a Facelift?

A facelift predominantly treats the lower face, jawline, and neck. Given that facelift surgery doesn’t necessarily enhance the entire face alone, complementary procedures to a facelift may include:

No matter what your aesthetic goals may be, Dr. Miller will listen to your concerns and tailor each procedure according to your hopes for the outcome. In many cases, treatments can be combined and performed simultaneously; however, more extensive surgical plans may be completed in stages depending on factors unique to each patient.

Dr. Scott Miller performs a wide range of facelift techniques to help San Diego patients find the best approach to age more gracefully. Contact Miller Cosmetic Surgery today to book an appointment with our board-certified and fellowship-trained plastic surgeon, or to speak with a friendly member of our team.

Real Patients, Stunning Results
I’ve been having a lovely time enjoying my new look. I get funny looks from people who haven’t seen me in a while…never gets old. Then they look puzzled (like they’re trying to figure out if I really look different, or did something, or what…) and say something like “you look sooo…you look really pretty…really rested…” Depending on who it is I’ll say “thanks!” in a real perky way (like I hear such things all the time) or “well, could be the facelift!”