Facelift reverses the most common signs of aging—all at once.
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Facelift, or Rhytidectomy, improves the visible signs of aging in the face and neck, such as:

  • Sagging in the midface.
  • Deep creases below the lower eyelids.
  • Deep creases along the nose extending to the corner of the mouth.
  • Fat that has fallen or is displaced.
  • Jowls created by the loss of muscle tone in the lower face.
  • Loose skin and excess fatty deposits under the chin and jaw, which can make even a person of normal weight appear to have a double chin.


Full and mini facelifts will help improve these signs of aging. Procedures typically considered in conjunction with a facelift are a brow lift, to correct a sagging or deeply furrowed brow, and eyelid surgery to rejuvenate aging eyes.

Meet Your Physicians

Duane O. Hartshorn, MD

Matthew R. Swelstad, MD

Jeffrey M. Pitcher, MD

Facelift FAQ's

A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure targeting visible signs of aging in the face and neck, including sagging skin, deepening fold lines, fat redistribution, jowl formation, and loose skin. Factors like skin thinning, loss of facial fat, gravity, sun damage, smoking, genetics, and stress contribute to the loss of youthful contours, all of which can be effectively addressed through a facelift.

What it won’t do: 

  • Alter your inherent appearance and does not impede the natural aging process.

Is it right for me? 

Face lifting is a highly individualized procedure, and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image. 

Face lifting may be a good option for:

  • Individuals in good health without medical conditions that hinder healing.
  • Non-smokers.
  • Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic expectations.

Your consultation is your time to ask the doctor about the procedure you’re considering, how he thinks it will work for you and any concerns you may have.

Questions to Consider:

  • What is the simplest and safest surgery to help me achieve my goals?
  • Are other options available?
  • What results can I expect, and how long do the typical results last?
  • Where will scars be located, and how noticeable will they be?
  • Will scars fade over time, and how long will this take?

Your surgeon will:

  • Assess your overall health and any pre-existing conditions or risk factors.
  • Capture photographs for reference.
  • Engage in discussions about available options and potential outcomes of the face lift surgery, including risks and complications.


After your consultation with the physician, you will meet with the practice manager to discuss procedure costs.

Comprehensive comprehension of every facet of your arm lift procedure is crucial. It’s normal to experience a range of emotions, from excitement about the anticipated transformation to a bit of preoperative stress. Don’t hesitate to openly discuss these feelings with your plastic surgeon.

There are several things to do prior to your procedure that will make your recovery as smooth as possible and ease your pre-procedure anxiety.

Your Pre-Op Checklist:

  • Make sure you have arranged for someone to drive you to surgery and stay with you for a night. 
  • Consult with your surgeon and adhere to their instructions.
  • Take prescribed medications or modify current medication as directed.
  • Complete necessary lab tests within 30 days of your procedure.
  • Cease smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug use.
  • Refrain from taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, or herbal supplements to mitigate potential bleeding.

 Day of Surgery:

  • Be on time for your scheduled surgery appointment.
  • Bring a companion aged 18 or older.
  • Refrain from eating or drinking after midnight prior to your surgery.
  • Opt for loose, comfortable clothing that is easy to put on and remove on the day of your surgery.

Above all, adhering to your surgeon’s pre-surgery recommendations is key to a successful and swift recovery.


Medications for comfort during arm lift surgery are administered, with options including intravenous sedation or general anesthesia, tailored to your specific needs by your doctor.

The Incision: 

The length and pattern of incisions in face lift surgery are determined by theamount of change you would like to see. Options may include: 

  • Traditional Facelift: Incision begins at the temples, goes around the ear, and ends in the lower scalp. Involves sculpting or redistributing fat, repositioning underlying tissue, and lifting deeper face layers and muscles. Excess skin is trimmed after redraping.
  • Limited Incision Facelift: Offers a less extensive approach with smaller incisions, targeting specific areas for improvement.
  • Neck Lift: Focuses on enhancing the aging neck; additional incisions under the chin may be made for optimal results. Sutures or skin adhesives close the incisions.

Closing Incisions:

Incisions will be closed using either dissolvable sutures or those that may need removal after a few days. Some surgeons opt for skin glues to seal the incisions. Once fully healed, facelift incision lines are discreetly hidden within the hairline and follow the natural contours of the face and ears.

Recovery durations after Face Lifts vary for each patient (days to months).

Following your face lift procedure, dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions. To minimize swelling during the healing process, an elastic bandage or compression garment may be wrapped around your arms.

In some cases a temporary, thin tube may be placed to drain excess blood or fluid.

You will receive detailed instructions covering:

  • Proper care post-surgery
  • Medications for healing and infection prevention
  • Specific signs to monitor at the surgical site and for overall health
  • Follow-up schedule with your plastic surgeon

Ensure you address specific queries about your individual recovery:

  • Post-surgery destination.
  • Prescribed medications.
  • Duration of dressings/bandages and removal timeline.
  • Are the stitches scheduled for removal, and if so, when is the expected timeframe? 
  • When can I safely resume normal activities and exercise? 
  • What is the recommended timing for my follow-up care appointment?

Your plastic surgeon and/or their team will provide detailed explanations of surgery-associated risks. Consent forms will be signed to ensure your full comprehension of the procedure and potential complications.

Some Risks Involved:

  • Anesthesia risks
  • Bleeding
  • Damage to deeper structures such as nerves, blood vessels and muscles
  • Facial nerve injury with weakness
  • Fluid accumulation


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