Facelift FAQ’s

In Birmingham, AL

By Blake Raggio MD

red headed woman leaning on chair | Raggio Facial Plastic Surgery

Published on August 2023

Facelift FAQ’s

In previous articles we discussed the “Liquid Facelift” using dermal fillers, a non-surgical cosmetic procedure which has recently gained attention as a viable alternative to a traditional surgical Facelift. That said, as effective as a “Tiquid facelift” can be at rejuvenating the face, the surgical Facelift remains the gold standard for delivering predictable, natural, and durable (long-lasting) facial rejuvenation results. Before you decide if a Facelift is right for you, however, several questions need to be asked to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. Without further ado, let’s discuss Facelift.

What is a “Facelift”?
In short, the term “Facelift,” traditionally known as a Rhytidectomy, describes the surgical procedure wherein the soft tissues of the face, cheek, and/or neck are repositioned to restore a more youthful appearance. Once these underlying tissues are tightened/ resuspended (aka, “lifted”) and the excess face/neck skin excised, the result is a more rejuvenated appearance to the face.

The procedure is typically performed in an operating room setting, takes 4-6 hours, and “social downtime” lasts anywhere from 2-4 weeks depending on several factors including your underlying health and concomitant procedures. Costs vary considerably ($6000 and up) and will be based upon your surgeon’s experience and preferred technique, the operative setting and required anesthesia, the need for other combined procedures, amongst other variables.

What are the different types of “Facelifts”?
The facelift has undergone many iterations since its initial description wherein a large skin excision was performed without any repositioning of the underlying structures, creating the unsightly “pulled” or “wind-swept.” Thankfully, we now better understand the anatomy of aging, including the importance of suspensory ligaments and facial fat distribution.

To this effect several types of Facelifts exist today, but most fall under the category of “mini- lifts” versus “SMAS- lifts.” For simplicity, you should understand that a “mini-lift” tends to rely on suture suspension of deeper tissues, whereas the “SMAS-lift typically involve some type of dissection and/ or release of the deeper structures which in theory allows for a more comprehensive repositioning of the underlying tissues. Whether one option is superior remains controversial; however, most Facelift surgeons would agree that the more durable (longer- lasting), powerful, and natural results would be associated with the “SMAS-lift.” The “mini-lift” has its advantages, however, as the procedure tends to be more affordable, can be performed under local anesthesia, has less associated downtime given the minimal dissection. Ultimately, every patient is different, and every surgeon is different; so, find someone whom you are confident will deliver results consistent with your expectations.

What is the “Lift and Fill” Facelift?
The term, “lift and fill,” refers to a Facelift combined with a facial volumizing procedure (i.e., facial fat grafting). Since we now appreciate the importance of volume (or lack thereof) associated with the aging process, many surgeons, me included, often recommend facial volumization with fat grafting to “fill” the hollowed areas and augment the effects of the facelift. You should also know that other procedures routinely combined with the facelift include the following: browlift, blepharoplasty (eyelid lift), surgical lip lift, chin augmentation, and a chemical peel. The point is that you should work closely with your surgeon to create a customized facial rejuvenation plan that fits your needs.

Who is a good candidate for a surgical Facelift?
The average age for a patient undergoing Facelift surgery hovers around 50 years old. That said, anybody of any age who suffers from increased skin laxity, facial volume loss, poorly defined facial contours, and deepened hollows/folds (e.g., jowls, nasolabial folds, marionette lines, platysmal bands), would benefit from a facelift and/or Necklift. Ultimately, a detailed assessment of your underlying anatomy is required to determine if a facelift surgery matches up with your aesthetic goals and expectations.

How can I learn more about Facelift?
If you are interested in learning more about a Facelift, I suggest consulting with a surgeon experienced in facial rejuvenation surgery. This will ensure that you receive a comprehensive assessment and treatment plan. As a fellowship-trained and double board-certified Facial Plastic Surgeon and Head & Neck Surgeon, I encourage patients to understand the nuances of their proposed treatments. before deciding on their plan of action, as often-times, multiple treatment options exist.

Lastly, choose a surgeon whom you trust.
There are few things more important than
your relationship with your doctor.
In Good Health,

Blake Raggio, M.D
Double Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon

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Patient reviews

  • Torrey

    5 Star Review

    I am a week post-op from my cosmetic rhinoplasty with Dr. Blake Raggio, a Facial Plastic Surgeon here in Birmingham, Alabama. I just had my cast removed today and I could not be happier with my results already!

  • Jessica

    5 Star Review

    Thank you, Dr. Blake Raggio, for the excellent work on my nose. The Rhinoplasty to correct the deviated septum and nostril closure went so smoothly. My breathing has improved and the before and after pictures were amazing. Your knowledge and skills improved my health and facial profile.

  • Pamela

    5 Star Review

    Dr. Blake Raggio is an amazing Facial Plastic Surgeon. I am one week out from having my
    Blepharoplasty and Browlift and could not be more pleased. Not only is he a talented Facial Plastic Surgeon he also has a wonderful bedside manner.

  • Elizabeth

    5 Star Review

    Dr. Raggio and staff get an A+ for their superb care! From the time you walk in the door to the time you leave, you will be treated like family! Best of all you’ll leave looking younger and feeling good! You can’t beat the care and compassion from Dr Raggio and his staff!

  • Chelsea

    5 Star Review

    Dr. Raggio is the absolute best! He listens and is very precise with his injections. I am extremely happy with the results I have gotten with him. He does not push any services on you, either. I have uploaded two pictures to show the difference. I get Botox and lip filler.

  • Sheila

    5 Star Review

    I went to Dr Reggio for my eyelids. They were folding over. I was scared to have the surgery but the right eye was bothering me. So I decided to have the surgery and this Doctor is such a delight and kind-hearted. I am very, very happy with the way my surgery turned out. I would highly recommend Dr. Raggio to anyone!

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