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Facelift in San Diego

Do you find yourself holding your phone up high for a more flattering selfie angle—one that minimizes jowls and wrinkles on your lower face? A facelift might be an even better (and less temporary) solution. At La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre, facelift surgery is the gold standard for facial rejuvenation with our San Diego patients.

If you look older and more tired than you wish, consider a facelift with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons. They’ll help you turn back the clock with results that look natural and bring out the very best in your face.

Why Do People Choose a Facelift?

Here in Southern California, the youth orientation and Hollywood culture are all about looking as young as possible for as long as possible. While most of us don’t expect—and shouldn’t expect—to look like a celebrity, we certainly can make the best of what we have and who we are.

The cosmetic choices available to us today make it possible to look more naturally rejuvenated than ever. We can look and feel better about ourselves and shave a few years off our appearance at the same time. One thing that’s sure: Facial rejuvenation is a worthwhile investment that is helpful to people in the peak years of their careers, as well as in their social lives.

Considering Facelift Surgery in San Diego? Here’s How to Determine if You’re a Candidate

The best candidates for facelift surgery are non-smokers in overall good health. The best way to determine if you’re a good candidate is to speak with a board-certified plastic surgeon, but there are a few criteria to consider:

  • Do you have sagging skin around the jawline, mid-face, and neck?
  • Are deep facial folds making you look older?
  • Is your jawline losing its definition due to jowls?
  • Would you like to look an average of 10 years younger?

If the answer is yes, a facelift may be right for you. Patients considering facelift surgery should also ensure they’re at or close to their ideal weight before surgery. If you’re above your ideal weight, you may want to consider our medically assisted weight loss prescription programs ahead of surgery to ensure that facial fat loss doesn’t diminish your surgical result.

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Apr 30, 2024
Dr. Breister Ghosh was detailed and precise. Everything went as it should and I'm enjoying its benef…*
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The care and kindness of the staff you want me to cook you some more tacos no I probably shouldn't e…*
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Dr Riedler is a gifted surgeon who sincerely cares about her patients. I’m so grateful I found her…*
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What Is the Right Age to Get a Facelift?

There is no “right age” for a face and neck lift. Anyone over 35 can experience visible signs of aging on the face and neck, though it’s more common starting in your 40s and 50s. For women, the aging process often speeds up after menopause.

If you can pinch a good bit of skin in the areas of your face and neck that bother you, it may be time to consider surgical rejuvenation. A facelift typically looks more subtle and natural the earlier you choose to have the procedure. It’s wise to stay on top of facial aging with smaller procedures at intervals. Still, a well-done rejuvenation can look natural at any age, provided your surgeon has an artistic touch and doesn’t overdo it.

What Is a Facelift?

Usually, a facelift includes tightening the underlying facial muscles as well as removing excess skin. As it is commonly performed along with a neck lift, muscles are tightened and excess skin and fat are removed from the neck as well.

This procedure addresses a variety of concerns, including:

  • Creases between the base of the nose and corners of the mouth
  • Jowls
  • Facial and neck wrinkles
  • Loss of a youthful chin and neck contours
  • A tired facial appearance
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Why Should I Combine My Facelift With a Neck Lift?

A facelift all by itself is a rare operation. Once you begin to notice facial skin laxity, you’re usually experiencing multiple issues. The most common accompanying procedure is a neck lift. Skin sagging in the face is often in tandem with skin sagging in the neck, and correcting only the facial skin may not produce the best results.

Which Facelift Is Right for You?

Our plastic surgeons tailor their surgical approach after assessing the condition of a patient’s skin and the degree of sagging and discussing their cosmetic goals. A facelift technique that’s appropriate for someone in their 40s concerned about early signs of aging isn’t necessarily a good fit for someone older with significant jowls and sagging cheeks.  

In general, your surgeon may use one of 3 facelift techniques—each customized to create the natural-looking results that patients want. These techniques include: 

Full Facelift 

During this procedure, the surgeon makes incisions within the hairline (or along the hair margin) above the ear, extending down around the earlobe and ending in or below the hairline behind the ear. This technique is often called a SMAS facelift because it involves elevating a fibrous layer of connective tissue and muscle that provides structure to the face called the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS).  

After lifting this layer to a more youthful position, the surgeon carefully re-drapes the skin and removes any excess before closing the incision. By re-positioning the SMAS instead of simply pulling the skin taut, the results look natural and avoid the “windswept” appearance.

Deep Plane Facelift

While a SMAS facelift addresses soft tissue and muscle closer to the ear, a deep plane facelift lifts the deeper muscles and connective tissues in the area nearer the jowls and folds around the mouth. The surgeon uses similar incisions to a SMAS facelift, but the results may last several years longer than with a full facelift.

Mini Facelift

This technique, sometimes called a “short scar” facelift, is a less invasive option for women and men who see their jawlines softening and “smile lines” developing around the mouth. Because it’s less invasive, the results aren’t as dramatic as what you get with other facelift procedures, and it’s not the right approach if you also need a full neck lift.  

At LJC, your facelift will be performed while you are under general anesthesia, which a board-certified anesthesiologist administers. All procedures are performed in our private, on-site AAAASF-accredited surgical facility.

Combining Other Procedures With a Facelift

If you’ve ever remodeled a room in your home and then realized adjacent rooms appear dated, that’s what can occur if you get a facelift without addressing other facial features. Facial aging rarely occurs in just one area, and most facelift patients combine the surgery with complementary procedures for complete facial rejuvenation. A facelift improves the appearance of the lower portion of the face, including the nasolabial folds, cheeks, jowls, and the upper part of the neck. 

Here are some of the most common procedures that our surgeons combine with a facelift:

Eyelid surgery 

Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is the most common procedure women and men want to combine with a facelift. Sagging eyelids and bulging under the eyes can make you appear tired and older—even after a facelift.

Under-Eye Laser Skin Rejuvenation

We can tighten loose skin under the lower eyelids without surgery using a laser skin treatment. 

Brow Lift

Some people mistakenly blame their eyelids for how their eye area looks when it’s really caused by a sagging brow. We can correct the tired or angry look and “crow’s feet” at the corners of the eyes with a brow lift during facelift surgery.

Fat Transfer

Restoring facial volume using a patient’s excess fat can enhance your facelift results. Age-related loss of facial fat primarily affects the cheeks, nasolabial folds, the jawline, and the lips.

Neck Liposuction 

Our surgeons include neck liposuction during almost all facelifts and tighten neck muscles to create a smooth neck and restore definition to the chin and jawline.  

Chin Augmentation 

If you have a slightly recessed chin, adding chin augmentation to the facelift is a relatively straightforward procedure that involves inserting a small implant. The surgeon uses the same incision made under the chin to access neck muscles, slipping the implant under the chin at the same time. The result is a crisper, more youthful jawline.  

Perioral Dermabrasion

Using dermabrasion to eliminate lip lines and other wrinkles around the mouth during a facelift is exceptionally effective. Dermabrasion is a nonsurgical treatment that involves using a hand-held tool with a rotating tip at the end to stimulate the production of new collagen.

“Gull Wing” Lip Lift

Aging often results in the upper lip becoming elongated, which can hide the upper teeth and make a smile appear sad. After making a tiny, nearly invisible incision under the nostrils, the surgeon removes a small strip of skin to shorten the upper lip. The results look much more natural than those produced by lip injections.  


Our practice is one of only 50 in the U.S. to offer this breakthrough technology. Ellacor is an advanced microneedling treatment with a unique technology called Micro-Coring™ that removes microscopic amounts of skin to smooth out wrinkles. It’s beneficial in areas of the lower face and around the mouth that are difficult for a facelift to address. The treatment can be combined with a facelift or performed as a standalone procedure using a local anesthetic.  

Are There Nonsurgical Facelift Alternatives?

If you aren’t quite at the “pinchable” stage, but signs of skin laxity and aging are definitely there (and that bothers you), you don’t have to sit around and wait for things to progress. You have plenty of minimally invasive options that can refresh your look right now:

These are just a few of the many options worth looking into. We’ll help you understand your best nonsurgical treatment plan during your consultation.

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What to Expect at Your Facelift Consultation

Interested in finding out if you are a candidate for a facelift?  Make an appointment with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons! During your visit, you will:

  • Meet personally for a free consultation with an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon.
  • Have your face examined and discuss your desires and expectations.
  • See before-and-after pictures of real patients treated by the surgeon.
  • Receive information and materials that will help you in the decision-making process.
  • Get a specific, written quote detailing all the costs.

After scheduling your surgery, you’ll attend an individual “pre-op” appointment to discuss the surgical risks and the steps of the entire operative process so you know exactly what to expect.

How Is a Facelift Performed?

There are different approaches and procedures a surgeon can choose when doing a facelift. The ultimate recommendation by a skilled and experienced board-certified plastic surgeon will be different for different people.

Generally, incisions are made within the hairline (or along the hair margin) above the ear, extending down around the lobe and ending in or below the hairline behind the ear. The subcutaneous layers and muscles are tightened, the facial skin is re-draped and lifted, and the excess skin is removed.

At LJC, your facelift will be performed while you are under general anesthesia, which is administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist. All procedures are performed in our private, on-site AAAASF-accredited surgical facility.

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Our #1 Priority

Since 1988, more than 36,000 patients have had safe, successful procedures at La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre

What Are the Risks of a Facelift?

As with any surgery, there are possible risks and even complications. Some of the risks specific to facial surgery are dependent on the procedures you are having done, but in general, for facelifts, the specific risks are infection, bleeding, poor healing, injury to facial nerves (usually temporary but can be permanent), and excessive scarring. Your surgeon and anesthesiologist will review your full health history carefully to make sure you are as safe as possible throughout every step of your surgery.

How Long Is Facelift Recovery?

You will likely look and feel back to normal within about 3 weeks. You may be wrapped in a “head-dress” (gauze and bandages) after the surgery and may have drains inserted to keep swelling down. These are usually removed within a day or 2 after surgery.

Within a few weeks, most facelift patients are back to their normal activities. Any bruising that occurs will be the slowest thing to resolve, but makeup (even for men) can help camouflage that side effect.

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Will I Have Scars After a Facelift?

All surgical procedures result in some level of scarring, but your facelift scars will very likely be minimally visible. That’s because our surgeons take special care to place incisions as inconspicuously as possible, where they are hidden by your hair and natural skin folds. For a facelift, key incisions are usually made in front of or behind the ear and in the natural hairline.

How Much Does a Facelift and Neck Lift Cost? 

Ready to minimize wrinkles and creases while maximizing savings? We’ve got you covered! Facelift and neck lift surgery have never been more affordable, thanks to our convenient payment plans. Put down $5,000 and pay only $292 monthly over 60 months with your average credit rating. Save even more per month if you have above-average credit or if you can make a larger initial payment. It’s really that simple! 

The pricing for your procedure may vary depending on your specific needs and goals. Get all the cost info you need, including fee ranges, by visiting our pricing page

Get started right away by applying for plastic surgery financing online, or we’ll guide you through your options during your consultation. Our team can’t wait to help you look and feel more vibrant! 

Your Dream Starts Today

Ready to look as young and vibrant on the outside as you feel on the inside? Let’s make your dream a reality together. To get started, request your free consultation online or give us a call at (858) 452-1981.

Last reviewed by a La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre Editor on April 15th, 2024. Meet Our Medical Editors

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