As we age, our skin naturally gets thinner, which can result in drooping, wrinkles, and sagging. Sun damage, smoking, stress, facial fat loss, and genetics also play a big role in how delicate facial tissues respond to aging. Facelifts are very popular cosmetic procedures that help patients rejuvenate the appearance of their face and neck and reverse signs of aging.

Our highly experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons have performed thousands of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. We invite you to book a consultation to discuss your goals and treatment options.

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Facelifts treat:

  • Facial sagging and excess skin

  • Double chin

  • Jowls and drooping in the jawline

  • Deepened marionette lines

  • Platysmal banding

Poor facelift procedures look over-tightened and obviously overworked. Properly tensioning the skin and underlying fascia while adding youthful volume tends to yield the best results. Our goal is to achieve noticeable, yet natural-looking results. Here’s what you can expect before, during, and after your treatment.

Before Your Facelift

Before your facelift, we will discuss your surgical goals and medical history during a consultation with your surgeon. We’ll examine your anatomy, take photographs and measurements, and will make treatment recommendations based on your desired outcomes. We will also talk about the procedure itself, potential complications and risks, anesthesia, your anticipated recovery period, and aftercare instructions.

During Your Procedure

We perform facelifts as outpatient procedures in our accredited ambulatory surgery center in Flagstaff, Arizona. On the day of your procedure, you will meet with your surgeon and address any questions. We’ll go over the surgical plan one last time and take photographs and measurements in pre-op. Here’s what happens during a facelift in the operating room:


You will be administered IV sedation or general anesthesia by an anesthesiologist. Mini facelifts can be performed under local anesthesia.


Next, we will make a small incision hidden in the hairline starting at the temple, moving down along the front of the ear’s natural contour, and ending tucked behind the earlobe in the lower scalp. This is known as the traditional facelift incision pattern, whereas mini facelift incisions are shorter – just around the ear – and even more discreet. In patients who additionally want to address a double chin or sculpt their jawline, we may make another small incision just under the chin. Through this area, we can access and remove excess fat deposits in the middle of the neck and under the chin, and tighten the neck muscles.

Tissue Rejuvenation

We’ll remove excess skin, and remove or redistribute fat deposits in the jowls, chin, and neck areas. For full facelifts, we may tighten the platysma muscle to help define the jawline and profile neck contour even more. In patients who want to achieve more youthful volume in sunken or sagging areas of the face, we may also perform fat grafting. Finally, we’ll close the skin with sutures.

Medical Review: This procedural information has been medically reviewed by plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Brian A. Cripe, M.D.

Facelift Before and After Photos

For privacy, we reserve the majority of before and after photos for viewing during in-office consultations. The cases presented are representative and shared with permission.

Facelift Recovery and Aftercare

Here are some general facelift aftercare instructions that we advise patients to follow to achieve optimal results. If you notice increased redness, discharge, or pain near your incision, please give us a call right away.

  • Incision Aftercare: We may apply steri-strips along the incisions after the procedure, and advise patients to keep the area clean. If we use removable stitches, we’ll bring you back one-week post-op to remove those.

  • Medications: You’ll be prescribed pain medications to help you feel more comfortable during healing, and an antibiotic ointment to apply for the first week to the incision area.
  • Support Garment: You’ll be asked to wear a compression garment that supports the skin in the cheeks, chin, and neck with gentle pressure. You’ll wear this garment continuously for the first week, and then just at night for three weeks. These garments help reduce swelling and promote faster healing.

  • Scar Massage: After two weeks, you may be asked to gently massage your scar area with a lotion like Aquaphor or cocoa butter. You don’t need to use a fancy scar lotion: the real benefit comes from the act of massaging the wound versus any therapeutic effects of lotion chemicals.

  • Water Exposure: Facelift patients can shower 48 hours after surgery, but should avoid using very hot water. Please don’t submerge your neck and face in the water while swimming or bathing for at least four weeks to reduce the risk of infection.

  • Sun Protection: Practice good skincare and wear sunscreen to maximize the long-lasting results of your facelift and prevent sun-related skin damage.

  • Exercise: Feel free to return to non-strenuous activities, such as walking, as soon as you feel ready to. Avoid high-impact and vigorous exercise for two to four weeks, depending on how you’re healing and feeling.

  • Laser Treatments: We may perform additional laser treatments to the lower face and neck after the incisions have healed during follow-up appointments. Laser skin resurfacing treatments can help achieve further skin tightening and augment the effects of your facelift.

Facelift FAQs

Every plastic surgery practice offers different pricing, based on their location and fee structures. The national average procedural fee for a facelift is around $8,000, plus the cost of anesthesia, surgical facility costs, and medications. Make sure to talk to your plastic surgeon about all ancillary costs.
The mini facelift is a less invasive procedure than a full facelift, and recovery is usually a little quicker. During a mini lift, we’ll make slightly smaller incisions, through which we remove extra skin and tighten fascia. This creates a smooth, youthful, and lifted appearance in the lower third of the face and the neck. Full facelifts address signs of aging, sagging skin, and undesirable fat deposits on the lower two-thirds of the face. Another key difference between full and mini facelifts is sedation. Mini facelifts can be performed under local anesthesia, whereas full facelift procedures require IV sedation or general anesthesia.
The facelift can be a good option for patients who want to smooth, tighten, and lift their face and neck. If you are a non-smoker and in generally good health, chances are you are a good candidate for facelift surgery. BMI is also a consideration. Make sure that you consult with a qualified plastic surgeon to determine your surgical eligibility and talk about the best procedural approaches based on your unique anatomy.

At our practice, we offer interest-free financing options through Care Credit and PatientFi.

Aside from practicing good skincare and preventing sun damage, several non-surgical treatments can help tighten facial skin, restore lost volume, sculpt and jawline, and rejuvenate the skin on the face and neck, including Botox, Laser Skin Resurfacing, Dermal Fillers, Chemical Peels, Microneedling, Hydrafacials, and Dermaplaning. We offer all of these procedures at Plastic Surgeons of Northern Arizona. While these treatments aren’t permanent, they can help minimize and slow down signs of aging.

Some patients opt to combine their facelift procedure with a brow lift to reduce forehead wrinkles, facial fat grafting to restore volume, chin liposuction to define the jawline, and/or eyelid surgery to make the eyes look more awake, youthful, and refreshed. At Plastic Surgeons of Northern Arizona, we provide discounts for subsequent cosmetic procedures. Booking multiple facial cosmetic procedures at once is much more affordable than standalone surgeries, and reduces recovery time.

You May Also Be Interested In:

  • Botox

  • Brow Lift

  • Dermal Fillers

  • Eyelid Surgery

  • Laser Skin Resurfacing

  • Mini Facelift

Book Your Facelift Appointment

Our experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons would love to bring you in for a consultation to discuss your goals and treatment options. Fill out this form to receive a call-back shortly, or give us a call at 928-774-2300.