Facelift Consultation
A patient who has decided once and for all to have a facelift or rhytidectomy will have a consultation with their plastic surgeon well before the operation. It’s important that the patient bring a list of questions with them and even write them down beforehand so they don’t forget. They should not be too intimidated to ask questions of the surgeon. Asking questions and having them answered in a way that is clear and understandable is the difference between a brilliant facelift and one that the patient may not be too pleased with. Here are some questions to ask:

Is the surgeon board-certified? 

What are their years of experience or training? - While all doctors must have a medical license awarded from a state to practice, a board-certified doctor or surgeon is held to a higher standard. They are experts in their particular specialty, have training that goes beyond a doctor who only has a medical license, and constantly seeks to improve their knowledge and skills.

A plastic surgeon can spend as long as 14 years of training in their specialty before they can start an independent practice. The longer they’ve been practicing, the better the skill & results will be.

Do they specialize in plastic/cosmetic surgery? 

- It is of course important that the surgeon specializes in plastic surgery if they are going to perform a facelift. Even a mini facelift can be a complicated procedure that requires a certain level of artistry as well as skill.

  • Does the surgeon have hospital privileges to perform a facelift? - Hospital-admitting privileges mean that the surgeon has the right to admit a patient to a certain hospital and to use the facility. Many hospitals only extend admitting privileges to board-certified doctors. The doctor doesn’t have to be employed by the hospital or hospitals to have admitting privileges there.
  • Is the clinic accredited? - A facility that is accredited by an agency recognized by the state or the nation has achieved or surpassed the minimum standard of quality of care. This makes it much more likely that the patient will have a good experience and outcome when they are treated at the facility. It is a clinic’s version of being a board-certified doctor.
  • Is the patient a good candidate for a facelift? - A candidate for a facelift is a person who doesn’t smoke and is in overall good mental and physical health. The best candidates have some excess skin, loose facial muscle, and more fat than they’d like in the lower part of their faces. At the same time, their skin still retains some of its suppleness. Patients who have a facelift are often in late middle age or young old age.
The candidate needs to have realistic expectations when it comes to what the surgery can accomplish. They should not expect to look like their favorite movie star nor should they expect to look like what they looked like in their 20s. One famous standard for a successful facelift is that the patient should look like they had been on a long and restful vacation.

  • Does the doctor have before-and-after photos the patient can look at? - A surgeon who has experience with performing facelifts should have an extensive before-and-after picture gallery of past patients. The patient can look through these and determine something of the surgeon’s skill level. This may be the most important step in verifying the qualifications of a surgeon, aside from board-certification, as you can see for yourself the type of natural facelift results you can expect.
  • What must the patient do to get the best results? - The surgeon lets the patient know what is required of them before, during, and after the surgery. For example, before the surgery, they must stop smoking if they do, avoid alcoholic beverages, and stop taking medicines that can interfere with their healing such as blood thinners. They’ll need to fast the night before the surgery and arrange for someone to take them home and stay with them for a while afterward.
  • Where and how will the surgery be performed? - The surgery is performed at our client’s facility. The patient can discuss the type of anesthesia they will have with the surgeon. This can be local anesthesia or intravenous sedation. How the surgery is performed depends on what type of facelift the patient wants.
Depending on what the patient wants to be done, the surgeon can recommend a variety of facelifts, including a SMAS facelift. This is a more complex operation that lifts and repositions layers of muscles as well as skin and fascia. The surgeon can perform rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, and eyelid and neck lift at the same time.


How long is the recovery period and what precautions should one take?
The recovery period for a traditional facelift is about two weeks, though the patient may not see their final look for several months. It should take about two weeks for bruising and swelling to subside and for the patient to resume some of their normal tasks, though they should put off going to the gym for another couple of weeks.

The patient will need to take care of their surgical wounds and take pain medication if necessary. They should have bought any medication before their surgery so it would be available when they got home and prepared their home for their recovery. This may include cooking meals beforehand, putting them in the fridge or freezer then heating them.