A female patient being marked by surgeon before her facial plastic surgery

Facelift Surgery: Facelift Procedure Guide

What is a Facelift?

A facelift, medically known as rhytidectomy, is a cosmetic surgical procedure designed to rejuvenate the face and neck by addressing signs of aging, such as wrinkles, sagging skin, and facial contours. During a facelift, excess skin is carefully removed, and underlying tissues are tightened to create a more youthful and refreshed appearance. This procedure can target various areas, including the cheeks, jawline, and neck, providing a comprehensive solution to combat the effects of aging.

Facelifts are often customized to meet individual needs, and advancements in surgical techniques have made them safer and more precise. It’s essential to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon to explore the options and determine the most suitable approach based on specific aesthetic goals.

What Aging Does to the Face

Facial aging is the result of two factors: gravitational drooping of the facial muscles and loss of volume and thickness of the soft tissues and skin of the face.

  • Creates folds, contours, and shadows in the face that make us look tired, stressed, and simply older.
  • The heart-shaped face of youth becomes more rectangular as the jowls widen and change the appearance of the jawline, which loses its definition.

What a Facelift Does to Reverse These Signs of Aging

  • Facelift surgery improves these signs of aging to restore a more refreshed and youthful facial appearance, often turning back the clock by 10 years or more.
  • Facelift techniques correct the sagging facial tissue, the jowls, the drooping skin under the chin (“turkey neck”), dropped cheeks, and deep creases from the outer nostrils to the corners of the mouth (nasolabial folds).
  • When performed correctly by a specialized facial plastic surgeon like Dr. Jacono, the procedure achieves a natural, beautifully revitalized version of yourself.

Dr. Jacono is considered by his patients to be one of the best facelift surgeons in New York City, while his peers consider him to be one of the best facelift surgeons in the world.

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When to Consider a Facelift:

You Are Ready for a Facelift if:

  • You look older than you feel.
  • You look older than your actual age.
  • Non-surgical treatments such as Botox, injectable fillers, facial lasers, and skin tightening devices do not give you the same rejuvenation they once did years ago.
  • You are looking for a low-maintenance, long-lasting (years!) treatment for your aging face.
  • You desire to enhance your appearance for yourself, not to please others.
  • You are in good physical and mental health.
  • You are ready to look a decade or younger.

What a Facelift Cannot Do:

Here are some things that a facelift cannot do:

  • Improve the texture and quality of the skin: While a facelift can help to tighten and smooth out the skin, it cannot improve the overall texture and quality of the skin. For example, it cannot eliminate age spots, fine lines, or wrinkles.
  • Address all signs of aging: A facelift primarily focuses on the lower face and neck, but it may not address other signs of aging, such as sagging eyelids or brow lines.
  • Stop the aging process: A facelift can help to turn back the clock, but it cannot stop the natural aging process. The effects of a facelift will gradually wear off over time, and additional procedures may be necessary to maintain the results.
  • Correct underlying facial asymmetry: A facelift can help to improve the overall appearance of the face, but it cannot correct underlying facial asymmetry or abnormalities.
  • Substitute for a healthy lifestyle: While a facelift can help to improve the appearance of the face, it cannot substitute for a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise, and sun protection are important for maintaining overall health and youthfulness.

Facelift (Also called a rhytidectomy) – Face Lift Surgery – Best Facelift Results

If your face has sagging and other significant signs of aging, it might be time for a facelift in New York City from Dr. Jacono. To see if you are a candidate, place your hands along the middle part of your jaw with your index fingers pointing upward and thumbs under the jaw, and pull gently upward, vertically against gravity. You may be a candidate for a facelift if you like the results.

Dr. Jacono wants potential patients to understand that a vertical facelift is the correct procedure and that pulling back toward your ears as most surgeons do will create pulled corners of the mouth or the “puppet mouth” that plagues many Hollywood celebrities.

The Benefits of a Facelift from Dr. Jacono

Dr. Jacono uses advanced facelift techniques to provide results that appear completely natural so that people will notice your rejuvenated appearance, not any evidence of surgery.

His patients tell him that their family members and friends tell them how great they look, but never figure out they had plastic surgery. They think they look healthy and vibrant because they lost weight, or changed their haircut or skincare regimen. They want to know their secrets, but the truth is their secret is a facelift.

With his custom-tailored approach, the days of looking “pulled” are over. He does not perform a facelift the same on any two patients, and he has performed thousands of facelifts.

Dr. Jacono offers different types of facelifts to suit the individual needs of his patients (more on these below). For complete facial rejuvenation, facelift surgery can be combined with other procedures.

His facelift patients often experience increased confidence and no longer shy away from making appearances because after the procedure they look more attractive and refreshed. As the old saying goes, “When you look good, you feel good.” Looking in the mirror every day and seeing a more youthful face is re-energizing.

Facelift Recovery Time

Facelift recovery time can vary depending on several factors such as the extent of the surgical procedure and general anesthesia, individual healing capacity, and adherence to post-operative instructions.

Generally, the initial recovery period after a facelift procedure lasts about 1-2 weeks. During this time, patients may experience swelling, bruising, and discomfort, which gradually improve over time. Patients are advised to rest and avoid strenuous activities during the initial healing period. The incision sites are hidden but should recover quickly.

After the first 2 weeks, patients may gradually resume normal daily activities, but it may take several more weeks for the swelling and bruising to fully subside. Most patients can expect to return to work and resume their normal social activities within 3-4 weeks.

It’s essential to follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions carefully to ensure a smooth recovery and achieve the best possible results.

What are the Risks of a Facelift?

Like any surgical procedure, a facelift carries some risks and potential complications. Some of the risks associated with a facelift include:

  • Infection: There is a risk of infection with any surgical procedure. Your surgeon will take steps to minimize this risk, such as administering antibiotics before and after surgery.
  • Bleeding: Some bleeding is normal after a facelift, but excessive bleeding can occur and may require additional surgery.
  • Nerve damage: The nerves in the face can be damaged during a facelift. Which may result in numbness, weakness, or paralysis of facial muscles.
  • Scarring: Although scarring is generally minimal with a facelift, it can occur in some cases. The extent of scarring can depend on a variety of factors. Including the patient’s skin type and the technique used during surgery.
  • Anesthesia complications: The use of anesthesia carries its risks, including allergic reactions, breathing difficulties, and heart problems.
  • Hair loss: In some cases, hair loss may occur around the incision site after a facelift.
  • Dissatisfaction with results: It’s important to have realistic expectations about the outcome of a facelift. While the procedure can produce dramatic improvements, it may not achieve the desired result in every case.

Your surgeon will discuss these risks. As well as any others that may be relevant to your individual case before your facelift procedure. It’s important to carefully consider these risks and weigh them against the potential benefits of the surgery.

What is the Cost of a Facelift?

best facelift surgeon world

“In his facelift surgery, Doctor Jacono minimizes any visible scars and creates a natural rejuvenated look. He has performed thousands of facelifts and has never performed the exact same surgery twice. He uses a customized, bespoke approach with each patient’s facelift.”

The cost of a facelift can vary. Factors include procedure extent, surgeon’s reputation, experience, and practice location, even with Dr. Jacono.

On average, the cost of a facelift procedure by a top plastic surgeon in New York City ranges dramatically. It’s important to note that this is just an estimate. The actual cost can be higher or lower depending on the individual case.

It’s important to discuss the cost of the procedure with your surgeon during the consultation process. They can provide a more accurate estimate based on your specific needs and goals. Additionally, many practices offer financing options to make the procedure and surgeon’s fee more affordable for patients.

Dr. Jacono Performs the Best Facelifts in NYC

When people want facelift surgery in NYC, there is only one surgeon to turn to Dr. Andrew Jacono. He built his practice doing facelift surgery in NY and has become a world-renowned, board-certified facial plastic surgeon.

As the New York City master of facelift procedures, his surgical techniques are second to none. Entering Dr. Jacono’s office, you can trust you’ll receive top-notch facial plastic surgery, among the best in the city.

Different Types of Facelift Procedures


The mini-facelift does not require as much surgery as a full facelift, which most people do not need. Among doctors, it is referred to as a “short flap” facelift. It rejuvenates the lower face of patients. Correcting mild to moderate sagging that causes early jowls and excess skin in the lower face and neck.

Mini Facelift Before and After. This woman in her fifties had a mini facelift with a short scar approach. Her hair is pulled back after surgery and there are no visible incisions. This is the ponytail approach. See more mini facelift photos before and after.

Before & After
best mini facelift surgeon nyc
Before & After
best facelift nyc

Mini Facelift Before and After. This woman is a busy executive and is tired of maintaining her appearance with injectables. A mini facelift with a short scar approach gave her a long-lasting rejuvenation.

Before & After
mini facelift photos
Before & After
mini facelift before and after

Ponytail Facelift

This procedure utilizes a mini “short scar facelift,” or s-type incision, creating a ponytail facelift that hides the incision behind the ears around the inside of the small rectangular “tragus” at the opening of the ears and ends behind the earlobes and back of the ear.

Ponytail Facelift Before and After. Because of her short haircut, this woman required a ponytail facelift approach to make incisions not visible.

Before & After
ponytail facelift result
Before & After
ponytail face lift before and after

Deep Plane Facelift

The deep plane facelift is the most rejuvenating procedure in facelift surgery. In addition to the jawline and neck, it also lifts the cheek areas using the same incision as for the short-flap facelift, plus a hidden extension into the hairline behind the ears.

Deep Plane Facelift Before and After. This woman wanted more significant rejuvenation. Dr. Jacono performed a sub-SMAS surgery with a deep plane approach to lift her cheeks as well as her neck. He performed a lip lift surgery at the same time.

Before & After
best deep plane facelift before and after
Before & After
deep plane facelift result

The muscle and fibrous tissue are separated from the underlying layers of the cheeks, face, and neck. The skin fat and underlying muscles are left connected and moved as a unit, not separated as in SMAS flap techniques. The deep tissues are then lifted using a vertical facelift vector to reverse gravity.

Doctor Jacono is a global authority in deep plane facelifting and is considered one of the best deep-plane facelift surgeons in the world. Many experienced surgeons recognize that the deep plane facelift delivers the most natural long-lasting facelift results.

  • Most rejuvenating of all facelift techniques.
  • Lifts the cheeks as well as the jawline and neck.
  • Natural-looking results.
  • Provides the longest-lasting effect of all facelift techniques.

New York Center for Facial Plastic Surgery

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New York Center for Facial Plastic Surgery

What is SMAS

The SMAS is the underlying muscular system in the lower face. It is tightened as needed for a smoother facial contour and an uplifted appearance.

The SMAS is not lifted for the SMAS flap and deep plane techniques but is instead tightened differently. In SMASplication, sutures are placed to elevate it, and is folded on itself. In SMASectomy, an excessive piece of it is removed and stitched tighter like hemming long pants.

For younger patients who do not have heavy jowls or significant facial aging, the mini-facelift is the recommended procedure.

  • The lower face and neck get more youthful contours.
  • The resulting scars are almost undetectable once healed.

SMAS Flap Facelift

For patients with heavier facial tissues and more advanced aging, a SMAS flap facelift is indicated. SMAS Facelift techniques do not simply suture the SMAS up, but actually, lift the SMAS and platysma muscle.

Sub-SMAS Facelift Before and After. This woman had more significant drooping of her jowls and neck requiring more than a mini-facelift. Sub-SMAS surgery is performed with the SMAS flap or deep plane approach.

Before & After
smas facelift nyc
Before & After
best smas facelift surgeon

Sub-SMAS Facelift Before and After. This woman had more significant aging with a heavy jawline and neck without definition. Dr. Jacono performed a sub-SMAS surgery with a deep-plane approach.

Before & After
SMAS facelift results
Before & After
SMAS facelift nyc

A muscle “flap” is created, lifting the muscle that makes up the structure of the face and smoothing it out, almost like lifting the covers up and making a bed. As we age, extra SMAS is created. This extra SMAS is removed and then it is secured higher in the face.

This is a true structural re-engineering that re-supports the beams of the face that weaken with age.

  • Better results for patients with more significant dropping and heavier necks and jowls.
  • Provides longer-lasting results than a mini facelift.

Best Non-Surgical Facelifts


There are many people who want some face-lifting but are not ready for surgery, either mentally, financially, or logistically. Those with early jowls who are not quite ready for a facelift might consider a non-surgical facelift treatment to lift and tone loose or sagging skin. The most state-of-the-art and effective treatments available today are Ultherapy and Thermitight.

Ultherapy addresses the deep skin layers as well as the foundational layer that lends support to the skin. This foundational layer in the face is called the SMAS, and in the neck, the platysma. Ultrasound allows the surgeon to bypass the upper layers of the skin and deliver the right amount of energy at the right depths to contract and then ultimately lift the SMAS and platysma.

Effective and safe ultrasound energy from Ultherapy is used to simulate the supportive layers of the skin and will provide noticeable and natural results.


The ThermiTight device uses a small electrode that is inserted under the skin. It then begins to heat the tissue to a clinician-selected therapeutic temperature. Dr. Jacono applies gentle movements to heat up the tissues to the desired level. Skin safety is monitored with Thermal Image Guidance®.

Because the thermal energy is delivered with the probe under the skin within the subcutaneous (under the skin) fat layer, it melts away excess fat in all areas of your lower face, jawline, and neck. It is not surgery, but some mild bruising does occur. The probe also glides over the surface of the muscles, thermally tightening them as well.

This cutting-edge technology is why it can be much more effective than the older generation of RF devices (whose probes simply sit on the surface of the skin), like Thermage.

These procedures are great for younger patients who want to “stay ahead of the game” as well as those looking to prolong the effects of previous cosmetic surgery.

  • The surface of the skin is not cut or disrupted.
  • Designed to target specifically the deep foundation tissue below the skin’s surface.
  • Non-invasive procedure with little to no downtime.

Which Type of Facelift Is Right for Me?

It can be difficult to decide which procedure is right for your appearance and your goals. For this reason, Dr. Jacono recommends a consultation. During this consultation, he will carefully examine your face and neck to evaluate your facial bone structure, features, skin texture, and elasticity. He will note your skin type and how all of your features contribute to your appearance.

In many cases, there are small procedures such as chin implants or an eye lift that can contribute to your facelift by emphasizing your natural features and balancing your face. Dr. Jacono will discuss whether any of these procedures could help you meet your appearance goals. The end result should be the total facial rejuvenation you desire.

How Much Does a Facelift Cost in New York?

The facelift cost in NYC can vary widely depending on the procedure and the specifics of your face. Dr. Jacono will always deliver the most expert care, so you know that the Facelift NYC cost is going to be reasonable for the care you receive. For more information about how much a facelift costs in NYC, visit the individual facelift pages to get some general estimates.

New York Center for Facial Plastic Surgery

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