Turning Back the Clock

Also known as a rhytidectomy, a full facelift is a surgery that addresses the appearance of the lower face and mid-face. It works by lifting, repositioning, and tightening the underlying layers of facial tissue.

A deep plane facelift can turn back the clock on a patient’s appearance in several different ways. Since aging can cause the face to sag, a facelift can tighten the underlying facial muscles to create a more refreshed look. A full facelift can also trim and tighten sagging skin and highlight natural facial contours and eliminate jowls to restore a younger, natural look.

Smiling woman in blue shirt looking over left shoulder.

Is a Facelift Right for Me?

While the procedure is a relatively commonplace one these days, it’s natural to wonder if it’s the right one for you. It’s worth noting that facelifts are specifically designed to treat signs of aging in the lower two-thirds of the face. That means primarily the lower face and neck area, not the upper third of the face. Other plastic surgery procedures, such as Blepharoplasty or a brow lift, are more appropriate for upper facial rejuvenation. With that in mind, patients who elect to have the procedure typically include: 

  • Those who are in good physical health and searching for a long-lasting option for looking more rejuvenated
  • Patients whose face and neck skin have started to sag
  • Those looking to restore confidence in their personal or professional life
  • Patients looking to address emerging jowls or who are self-conscious about the appearance of their neck area

Types of Facelifts

There are a variety of techniques that are used to perform facelift procedures and a patient’s skin laxity, facial anatomy, and overall goals are used to help determine the ideal approach. The types of facelifts available at Dr. Thompson’s practice are listed below:

Traditional Facelift (SMAS)

The SMAS facelift, known as the gold standard of facelifts, delivers results that are both dramatic and long-lasting. The SMAS stands for the superficial musculoaponeurotic system. This is a distinct, fibrous layer that surrounds various muscles in the face and neck. During a SMAS lift, Dr. Thompson manipulates a group of muscles beneath the skin which controls facial expression (known as SMAS muscles) through an incision along the hairline and ear. He separates, lifts, and suspends with sutures to lift and tighten the facial muscles and overlying skin.

Deep Plane Lift

Patients may obtain the best results from a Deep Plane lift. In a deep plane lift, a deeper and more extensive dissection is performed. A Deep Plane facelift is a complex procedure that must be performed with extra caution, but in the right candidates, the result can be dramatic and well worth the more extensive surgery.

Mini Facelift

The Mini facelift procedure was designed for patients who would like to reap the benefits of a facelift yet wish to reduce the invasive nature and deep plane facelift cost of the procedure. This is a procedure that can be performed in the clinic with local anesthetic and light sedation.

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Facelift Before & After Photos

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Facelift FAQ

What are the non-surgical alternatives to a facelift?

What aesthetic concerns can a facelift treat?

What is the recommended age to undergo a facelift?

Will I appear "fake" or "overdone" after a facelift?

How much pain can I expect after facelift surgery?

Does a facelift leave visible scars?

How soon can I return to work after facelift surgery?

What are the non-surgical alternatives to a facelift?

BOTOX®, injectable fillers, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion are some non-surgical procedures that can help with wrinkles, skin tone, fine lines, and facial volume. While these procedures are effective, they only assist with the surface of the skin and will not address significantly loose skin or drooping jowls.

What aesthetic concerns can a facelift treat?

Facelifts are specifically designed to treat signs of aging in the lower two-thirds of the face. Moderate to significant lines and wrinkles, volume loss in the cheeks and midface, as well as sagging skin, and jowls are the most common concerns addressed through facelifts. Patients who are also bothered by signs of aging in the eye or forehead area should consider pairing a facelift with blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) or a brow lift.

What is the recommended age to undergo a facelift?

The common age that patients choose to have a facelift is between 40-70. It is safe to say most patients will look 5-10 years younger following a facelift procedure. Younger patients (between 40-50 years old) usually have more robust skin elasticity than older patients, so their results may last longer. However, our older patients may experience results that appear more impactful. A patient should think of a deep plane facelift procedure as a process to turn back the aging clock. You will appear a few years younger and slow down aging in the process as well.

Will I appear "fake" or "overdone" after a facelift?

In the days following a facelift procedure, patients will feel tight and pulled. These will be short-term effects that will subside. It’s critical to find a reputable plastic surgeon skilled in performing this procedure to avoid fake or overdone results. Dr. Thompson is well-versed in facelift surgery and will put all effort into working within the confines of the patient’s unique bone, skin, and muscle structures to create a younger, more natural look.

How much pain can I expect after facelift surgery?

Fortunately, pain is usually minor and well-tolerated after a facelift. Most patients report a sensation of tightness that is the result of swelling. Prescription pain relievers can generally relieve any pain or discomfort felt after surgery. Measures such as an ice mask around the eyes and keeping the head elevated may help as well.

Does a facelift leave visible scars?

Facelift surgery requires incisions. However, in virtually all cases, these scars aren’t immediately visible and are hidden along the hairline and in natural skin creases around the ears. In most cases, post-surgical scars are hardly visible to the naked eye once the incisions have healed.

How soon can I return to work after facelift surgery?

Most patients are comfortable going out in public after seven to ten days and resuming work at that time. If they are facing any bruising, they can use makeup to conceal it by this time. Patients who are not concerned by the bandages may be able to return to work sooner.

Your Initial Consultation 

We encourage patients who would like to find out if they are good candidates for a facelift procedure to schedule a consultation with Dr. Thompson in Denver, CO. Above all, Dr. Thompson believes in making connections with patients and making sure he has a clear sense of their goals. With this in mind, he will perform an evaluation, discuss your aesthetic concerns, and explain which facelift technique may be a good way to address their specific needs.  He may share before and after pictures of real patients and answer any questions you may have.

The Day of Your Procedure

Dr. Thompson performs all traditional facelifts (SMAS and Deep Plane) under general anesthesia at an accredited surgical facility. The duration of the surgery may vary, but it usually takes between 2-4 hours. This surgery is considered an outpatient procedure, and a friend or family member will need to drive the patient home after the surgery. We’ll place a dressing immediately after the surgery and remove it 24 hours after the procedure.

Recovery and Results from a Facelift in Denver

Once surgery has come to an end, patients may experience some bruising and swelling, as well as feelings of tightness in the face and neck. However, a patient’s age and overall health, as well as the type of facelift that Dr. Thompson performed, will dictate their recovery time.

The doctor will provide post-surgical instructions to make the recovery easier. These instructions may include wearing certain wraps or compression garments, using a cold compress to counteract swelling, sleeping with the head elevated, drinking plenty of water, and eating light and healthy foods that are easy to chew.

Patients should refrain from strenuous activity for 10 to 14 days after surgery. The doctor will also discourage patients from going out in the sun after facelift surgery. Excessive sun exposure on healing deep plane facelift scars may cause hyperpigmentation or the darkening of healing areas. Excessive sunlight may also increase swelling and leave the skin with a leathery look and deeper lines.

It’s normal for all patients to feel anxious about their results afterward. Patients will need to keep in mind that it can take several full months for the swelling to subside and the full results to appear. The results from a facelift can last between seven and ten years. Patients may undergo a touch-up procedure if they begin to experience sagging again.

It’s encouraged that patients develop a self-care routine that helps yield the best results. This is why Dr. Thompson emphasizes the importance of strategies using sunscreen, skincare products, and possibly periodic chemical peels or laser and light therapies. Patients who undergo facelift surgery should have realistic expectations. They should understand that the goal of the procedure will be to improve rather than completely change their faces. It helps to lift the skin to make the face and neck appear firmer and tighter. This leaves patients feeling younger, well-rested, and refreshed. 

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Why Choose Us?

Dr. Will Thompson is a Fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon and board-certified in head and neck surgery. But moreover, what makes him stand out is his commitment to making sure patients feel they are seen, understood, and can meet their specific goals. No matter what the procedure, Dr. Thompson brings a sense of compassion and nuance to the proceedings. 

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Schedule a Consultation Today

If you have an interest in learning more about facelift surgery in Denver, call our office today to schedule an initial consultation. Dr. Thompson will be happy to meet with you and determine which type of facelift can deliver the kind of results you’re hoping to achieve. He can discuss options like Brow Lift forehead reduction and Neck Lift Denver. Call us at (303) 667-1474 or fill out our online form today. We look forward to hearing from you!

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