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Facelift surgery, also termed as rhytidectomy is a surgical procedure to rectify aging-associated sagging of the neck, mid-face and the jowls.

  • Who needs the Facelift surgery
  • How it is performed by a surgeon?
  • What are the possible side effects/complications?
  • How long it may take to recover?
  • How I can take care of myself after surgery?
  • How much will this procedure costs for me?
  • Medical terms that are worth knowing

Who needs the Facelift Surgery?

Most often, facelift surgery is indicated for individuals who are concerned by their aging signs in their face. Rhytidectomy improves visible, aging-associated signs in the face and neck such as:

  • Loosening of the skin with excessive fatty deposition under the jaw and the chin that resembles ‘double chin’, which is not uncommon even in normal weight individuals.
  • Formation of deep creases in the under-eye areas.
  • Displacement of the facial fat
  • Development of deep creases that runs from the nose to the corner of the mouth
  • Development of jowls due to loss of the muscle tone in the lower face

Rhytidectomy, or facelift is typically performed with other complimentary rejuvenation procedures including eyelid surgery to rejuvenate the aging eyes and/or brow lift surgery to rectify a low-positioned or sagging eyebrows.

Important to note:

  • Facelift surgery is a restorative procedure that does not change fundamental facial appearance and it cannot stop the aging process of your face.
  • Facelift procedure is a surgical procedure
  • Non-surgical procedures cannot guarantee the same results achieved by facelift surgery. However, employing these techniques can complement the results of facelift surgery.

Is it suitable for me/Am I fit for this procedure?

Before opting for face lift, you should understand that this procedure is a personalized procedure. You should not do it, if you try to mimic someone else or trying it for someone else’s wish. The purpose of this procedure is actually to improve/restore your youthful appearance and you can ask Dr Sadove if this is something which is really a good option for you.

MACS lift. Lets be clear about MACS lift. This is nothing more than an acronym for a certain way of suturing the fascia of the face. The skin incisions are the same. Dr Sadove knows the plastic surgeon who described the procedure very well on a personal bases. In fact, Dr Sadove personally had a MACS lift by this plastic surgeon. Dr Sadove chooses not to use the acronym for the manner in which he sutures the deep tissues as he has his own preferences and improvements upon this now decades old technique. The procedure is not for the neck.

This surgery is ideal for you if:

  • You have no serious medical problems
  • If you’re not a smoker
  • You have are well balanced with realistic expectations but want to improve your appearance.

What are the procedures involved in facelift surgery?

* Administration of anesthesia

Anesthetic drugs and/or gases including general anesthesia and intravenous sedation must be administered by a Board Certified Anesthesiologist during the face lift procedure. You can discuss this with Dr. Sadove and decide which medication(s) is/are best for you.

In addition to facelift, you can opt for additional procedures that can significantly improve the outcome of a facelift surgery. Some of the procedures are:

  • Chin or cheek implants
  • Wrinkle reduction – Administration of certain injections and dermal fillers
  • Resurfacing techniques – To enhance the skin texture and appearance.
  • Soft tissue augmentation – To improve the facial structure

* The incision

Depending on your requirements, you can opt for any of the suitable facelift procedures of your choice that includes traditional face and neck lift, a limited incision/mini/cheek facelift, or a neck lift alone . Dr. Sadove will discuss and help you to choose the most suitable procedure. See other pages on this site for more details of these other procedures.

To perform a traditional face and neck lift, Dr Sadove will place an incision in front of the hairline at the temples that runs in front of the ear and ends behind the ear lobe. After performing the incision, Dr Sadove will reposition the fat present in the face, and jowls, followed by removal of fat in the neck. A small incision is placed in the fold hidden under the chin. He is extremely experienced with a neck tightening procedure called corset playsmaplasty for lifting of the deep layers of the neck muscles. Then the skin is re-draped onto the uplifted structures and excessive skin will be excised from around the ear.

Many patients request correction of their neck at the same time as the jowl/face. Neck lift is typically employed by Dr Sadove to correct loose neck skin, and the accumulation of excessive fat  that may even be present deeper in the neck. Some patients may defer the surgical neck lift treatment and have only liposuction of the neck, or no treatment at all.


One of the many reasons you will want Dr Sadove to perform your facial rejuvenation is his experience with creating fine scars and a natural appearance. This patient demonstrates the natural appearance from Dr Sadove’s hand after a face and neck lift.

Facelift Scar by Dr Sadove

Facelift Scar by Dr Sadove

There are many fine points which separate the occasional operator from an experienced professional. Several of these are seen in the images to follow.

The hair of the sideburn must be preserved. It is not acceptable to have hairless bald skin in this area. This is accomplished by proper incision placement.


In nature there are rarely long straight lines. They catch the eye and call attention to themselves. This is the basis of camouflage. Similarly, the scar in front of the ear must be sculpted in order to be hard to see. This is accomplished by multiple curved incisions which follow the natural curves or wrinkles of the area.

The Tragus is the fine unique bump of cartilage in front of the ear canal. It is beautiful structure which must be preserved. The skin on it is very different than that of face skin. It should not be removed and replaced with face skin. The claim that its sacrifice will “hide” the scar is not correct.


Preservation of the tragus allows that ear canal to be closed when viewed. Placement of a scar behind the tragus with its resulting destruction leads to an “open” ear canal upon looking at the ear. This is an unattractive consequence of a scar “inside” of the ear.


The Tragus should not be destroyed.

The earlobe attachment to the face should be curved. When attached to the face at an angle it is called a “pixy” earlobe. This can be avoided by avoiding any tension on the skin closure in this area.


* Suturing the incisions after surgery

Upon closing the incisions, the wound heals naturally. You need not to worry about the incision lines. The incisions are discreetly placed as seen above. Dr Sadove begins some of the suture removal on the 5th day.

Final step – You will see the final, aesthetic results are usually very long-lasting.

Much of the improvement can be seen immediately. You will be comfortable to return to work in a week to ten days depending upon what is required at surgery. Swelling and bruising is usually minimal. It continues to subside; and you can see visible improvements in your appearance. A face lift can restore a more youthful appearance as well as your self-confidence.

What are the possible side effects/complications of facelift Surgery?

Your decision to opt for a face lift surgery is extremely personal and the benefits for most people outweigh the potential risks. It is important to make sure the possible side effects are acceptable for you.

Don’t worry!

Dr. Sadove will explain all the possible risks and complications associated with face lift surgery. Upon explaining in detail, you will be asked to formally sign an informed consent form to ensure that you fully understand about the procedure and any risks/complications that may arise during and/or after the procedure.

Some of the very rare possible adverse events/risks/complication of face lift surgery includes:

  • Skin loss
  • Bleeding beneath the skin
  • Swelling with pain and sensitivity
  • Risk of developing infections
  • Developing anesthesia-related complications
  • Facial asymmetry
  • Scarring
  • Skin discoloration
  • Impaired wound healing process
  • Hair loss at the site of incisions which are usually correctable
  • Facial nerve injury with weakness, numbness or altered skin sensation
  • Development of irregular skin contours
  • Fat tissues/cells death (fat necrosis) deep in the skin
  • Possibility of developing heart and lung-related problems and deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the deep blood vessels)
  • Possibilities of unacceptable deformities at the ends of the incision, asymmetry and development of surgical scar cannot be ruled out. In such cases, additional or revisional surgery may be required.

You may feel anxious or pre-operative stress or get excited for your anticipated new look. It is natural for everyone. Dr Sadove wants to discuss all of these feelings with you. Should you have any questions about the procedure or the post-operative care/recovery, make sure to ask Dr. Sadove.

How long it may take to recover?

Once your procedure is completed, Dr Sadove will loosely wrap your head and forehead to minimize bruising and swelling. At that time, a thin draining tube may be present to drain excess fluid or blood that collect under the skin. The length of time for a bandage and whether or not you require a drain are determined by which procedure is performed: some may be no drain and one day of a bandage.

The success rate of the medical procedures need not be the same in every patient. Although, good treatment outcomes are expected, no one can guarantee the complete success of the procedure. In certain cases, it may not be possible to achieve desired results with a single surgical procedure. In such situation, the patient may need another surgery.

How I can take care of myself after surgery?

To achieve desired success after your surgery, it is important to follow Dr. Sadove’s advice. You must take utmost care of surgical incisions during the healing period. It should not be subjected to excessive motion, force, abrasions and swelling to avoid post-surgical complications.

Post-operative instructions that you must follow

Dr. Sadove will instruct you the ways to take care of the surgical site, medications that you need to take orally or apply onto the wound to aid healing process, reducing the risk of infections, maintaining general health and well being after the surgery and when to follow-up.

It may take several weeks for complete wound healing after the swelling subsides and incision lines tend to fade. These events happen over months, followed by complete recovery.

How much this procedure cost for me?

Cost considerations usually matters when it comes to elective surgeries including face lift surgery. The total cost may vary and depends on surgeon’s experience and location. Dr Sadove’s experience is significant. You need not to worry about the surgery cost. Dr. Sadove offers affordable patient financing plans. Hospital admission is not expected. Out of town patients stay at a pre-arranged motel one block from our office and very close to the surgical facility. Patients who undergo a face and neck lift have a medical assistant stay with them the first night after surgery in the motel. The surgery cost usually includes:

  • Plastic Surgeon’s fee
  • Surgical facility costs
  • Anesthesia fees

Your satisfaction matters for us more than a fee.

By choosing Dr. Sadove for face lift surgery, you are demonstrating that you understand Dr. Sadove’s experience in the field and your comfort with him is just as important as the cost of the face lift surgery.

Remember, most of the health insurance companies do not cover cosmetic surgeries cost and/or its complications.

Medical terms that are worth to know

  • General anesthesia: Sedation-inducing drugs and/or gases that are used by an anesthetist during a surgical procedure to mask the pain symptoms, and to alter patient’s consciousness.
  • Hematoma: Accumulation of blood outside the blood vessels, particularly, beneath the skin.
  • Intravenous sedation: Conscious-altering drugs that are infused into the body by intravenous injection to numb the pain during a surgical procedure.
  • Tear trough: Deep creases running from the nose to lower eyelids (under-eye area)
  • Nasolabial fold: Furrows running between the cheek and the nose.
  • Jowls: Sagging jaw line into the neck that develops as a result of decreased muscle tone in the lower face.
  • Local anesthesia: An anesthetic drug that can be applied directly onto the site of incision to mask the pain symptoms.
  • Rhytidectomy: A surgical procedure to reduce the sagging of the neck, mid-face and jowls.