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Temporary wrinkle treatments and skin-tightening products are avenues for more youthful skin and contours, but the results are simply that: temporary. The only remedy for deep, set-in wrinkles and sagging skin of the face and neck is facelift surgery. We at Del Mar Plastic Surgery know that the decision to undergo cosmetic surgery is not one to be taken lightly. All patients should know exactly what to expect before, during, and after the procedure. Here’s a list of what you can expect when getting a facelift.

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Before Surgery

Preparing for surgery is a fairly simple process. During the initial consultation, you will have spoken with Dr. Pollack and thoroughly reviewed your customized treatment plan based on your desires, his knowledge of your health history, and the best possible outcomes. You will visit Dr. Pollack and his staff for a preoperative appointment approximately one week prior to surgery to prepare you. You will be instructed to avoid NSAIDs (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen)  for up to one week since they can affect bleeding during surgery.

On surgery day, your face will be prepped and your hair pulled back. The anesthesiologist will administer general anesthesia, so you are completely asleep and pain-free during surgery.

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Extent of Surgery

Actual surgery steps will vary from patient to patient, but the overall procedure process is similar, depending on the main option you choose. A standard facelift involves two incisions as well as manipulation of the underlying facial muscles and skin. The main incision begins behind the hairline near the temple on either side of the face and extends down behind the ear. A short-scar facelift involves less time in surgery and a shorter, concealable incision behind each ear. Since a standard facelift involves more manipulation and tightening of the facial muscles and skin, the procedure may take up to five hours and result in a longer recovery time than the short-scar facelift. Sometimes eyelid or brow lift surgery is combined with a facelift for a completely harmonious look.

Recovery and Results

Initial recovery from a facelift generally lasts one to two weeks. Most patients feel comfortable returning to work after that time. There may be residual swelling for up to six weeks, after which your final results will become more apparent. Standard facelift patients can expect tightened jowls and a smoother neck along with smoothed facial wrinkles in the mid and lower face. Short-scar facelift patients can expect a slightly shorter recovery time and a tightened neck and lower face.  Both options provide a firmer facial contour that softens fine lines and wrinkles. Patients can expect to look up to 10 years younger after facelift surgery.


For more information about the facelift procedure, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Larry Pollack today. Call 858-450-9100 or fill out our online contact form.