Cosmetic And Reconstructive Plastic Surgery
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Facelift Surgery

What is a Facelift?

A Facelift is an operation designed to restore the youthful contours and skin tone of the lower face and neck, lost through ageing and environmental exposures. Face lifting can be combined with a brow lift to improve the upper face, blepharoplasty to improve the orbital area, and often is combined with additional procedures like fat grafting to further rejuvenate facial contours. It does not change the quality of skin, but can be combined with skin treatments like chemical peel to improve the skin.

Who is a good candidate for a Facelift?

Anyone whois in good general health,is at a stable weight, and is concerned with facial ageing can be considered for face lifting. Some obtain surgery in their 40s to avoid early signs of ageing, and some wait until their 70s when they realize that they still feel youthful but are being treated like an old person. Some of our patients have suffered premature ageing as a result of medical illness, medications or smoking. If we have your complete medical history we can design a treatment approach that minimizes the risks of your procedure.

At your Consultation

Facelift surgery is particularly vulnerable to the effects of smoking, so it is very important that your smoking history be discussed at consultation. We will ask to see examples of any previous scars (from surgery, accidents, even chicken pox), as these can give a clue to your potential for unusual scarring. Any history of skin cancer will also be a consideration.
It is very helpful to have with you your complete medical history and list of current medications, and any current (past three months) blood test results. You can call our office before your consultation and we would be happy to assist you in preparing for your visit. Bring your calendar as well so we can help you choose a date should we agree to proceed.

Alternatives to Facelift Surgery

Injectable hyaluronic acid fillers (e.g. Juvederm, Restylane) can mask some of the early signs of ageing, but if used to plump out the skin result in so-called ‘Pillow face’ deformity. Tissue-tightening procedures (RF and Ultherapy) rely on the heating of facial subcutaneous tissue and risk loss of fat and thus an older appearance! Treatments that target the skin (peels, laser, radio-frequency heating) can improve skin quality especially from sun damage, but unlike a facelift do not address the loss of volume and tone in the underlying tissues. Your facelift consultation must include a consideration of all the possible tools that could help achieve your best result possible.

Costs of Facelift Surgery

Fees for facelift surgery at our Toronto Cosmetic Plastic Surgery office (including facility and anesthetist) range from $10,000 to $15,000, depending on the extent of surgery that is necessary. In the unlikely event of requiring a ‘touch-up’ procedure for optimal results, no surgeon fee is charged.

Preparation for Facelift Surgery

We need you to be healthy and at a stable weight before face lifting surgery. We provide written instructions on all aspects of preparation, and will review these with you in the weeks before surgery. Your procedure will be performed as day surgery. A driver will be necessary to bring you home after surgery. We will generally need to see you the day after surgery to remove initial dressings and evaluate early healing.


Your operation can be performed under general anesthetic (asleep) or with intravenous sedation. Surgery will be performed either at our accredited office-based surgical facility, or at the hospital if medical concerns are conspicuous.
We customize each procedure to your priorities. A facelift incision (see below) often begins in the hairline at the temples, continues around the ear and ends in the lower scalp. Fat may be sculpted from the lower face, jowls and neck, and underlying tissue is repositioned, commonly with the deeper layers of the face (the ‘SMAS’) lifted. Skin is re-draped over the uplifted contours and excess skin is trimmed away. Fat-grafting is performed to add volume to the upper face and cheeks. A second incision under the chin may be necessary to further improve an aging neck. Sutures close the incisions.
Our goal is to achieve a natural ‘non-operated’ appearance, 5-10 years of rejuvenation, and a rapid recovery to normal activities. We do not perform thread lifts, but will recommend a short-scar facelift technique for patients who do not have a significant problem with loose neck skin.

Facelift Surgery 1

Rhytidectomy patient shown before surgery with deep cheek folds, jowls, ptotic soft tissues, and loose skin on the front and side of neck.

Facelift Surgery 2

Incisions are variable, made on either side of the face from inside the hairline at the temples (see photo) or more commonly a trichophytic incision in front of the hairline, in front of or partially within the ear, around the earlobe, in the crease behind the ear and into the lower scalp.

Facelift Surgery 3

Loose skin is pulled up and backward, and the excess is removed. In many patients, the underlying tissues (SMAS) are used to reposition soft tissues from the lower face jowls back up to the mid-face cheeks, restoring more youthful facial contours.

Facelift Surgery 4

The postoperative patient following a facelift with smoother, firmer skin on the face and neck, and fullness restored to upper cheeks.

Safety and Risks

In the short term, risks are those typical of surgery and anesthesia. Bleeding under the skin is a concern but this risk can be minimized with simple precautions.

Recovery process

We do not use drains, you can shower the day after surgery, and we begin suture removal 5 days after surgery. Final suture removal is 12 days post-op. To minimize the risk of bleeding, we ask that you avoid activities that ‘make your face red’ (e.g. vigorous exercise, bending over to tie shoelaces) for 10 days after surgery.Most patients have returned to work undetected by two weeks.


You can expect to be impressed by an improved appearance by 10 days after surgery. Surgery turns back the clock but does not stop the ageing process, however the operation is designed to allow a repeat procedure (typically 10 years later).

Bottom Line

We believe that our practice offers the best facelift surgery results in Toronto. Come in for a consultation, and you will leave wiser, and perhaps scheduled for a beautiful transformation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does facelift last?

A facelift can turn back the clock, however it does not stop the clock. You will continue to age, but will always appear younger than you would have had you not had a facelift. For this reason, a facelift might be repeated every 10 years, give or take.

What is a partial facelift?

"Facelift" is a generic word that generally implies an operation in which extra skin is removed and the remaining skin is lifted. Every surgeon does the operation a bit differently, and the operation should be tailored to the needs of the patient. Words like 'partial', 'mini', or 'lunch-time' are often a clue that the operation is shortened and focused on quick-recovery rather than profound and durable results. It's less invasive but wouldn't necessarily cover the extent a full face lift would.

Can a facelift help with acne scars?

Acne scars can appear deeper when facial skin ages, and a facelift can restore normal tone that better hides contour irregularities from acne.

When will the swelling after a facelift go down?

Swelling can be seen for about 10 days after a facelift. It remains for weeks after surgery but this may actually be agreeable in its effect as it fills out the face hiding loose skin or volume defecits.

What is the best age for a facelift?

The optimal age range is around 45-55, as you want to perserve what you have already without having an immediate and drastic change that everyone will notice.

Do you need fillers after a facelift?

Fillers are not necessary after a facelift, but can be used in the many areas that are not corrected by facelift surgery. They are generally more effective after a facelift because the skin tone has been improved by the surgery. This means the filler can be used specifically to correct volume defecits rather than lift sagging tissues.

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