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Facelift FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions about facelift surgery. Dr. Azizzadeh believes that education is crucial to achieving the best results possible from your facelift procedure, and so has provided these answers to common questions.

Facelift Before & Afters

Will a facelift make me look stretched?

No, but the ultimate result depends heavily on the skill and experience of your plastic surgeon.

In the early days of facial plastic surgery, the standard technique used was to pull the skin back, trim off the excess and then close the incisions. Modern plastic surgery techniques have advanced tremendously. Today we are using sophisticated methods of lifting and tightening underlying muscle, and restoring lost volume for a more natural looking outcome.

For the right candidate, facelift surgery is now also very commonly combined with a neck lift. One of the most common reasons for a neck lift is to tighten the loose fold of skin under the chin. This skin is called the “turkey wattle". Addressing this restores the underlying muscle structures.

People considering a facelift should be very particular about whom they choose to perform the procedure. An unsatisfactory facelift is hard to hide. Dr. Azizzadeh is an internationally recognized specialist in facial and reconstructive surgery. His goal is to provide each patient with customized results.

How much time off should I arrange?

For patients who work in sedentary jobs, two weeks should be enough time to look presentable at work.

Some patients have some visible swelling and residual bruising at the end of two weeks. This is usually not noticeable by others but if you feel sensitive, a three-week window would be better.

If your job is very strenuous, you may need more time to ensure healing is well underway.

How long will it take to fully recover from a facelift?

Every patient heals at a different rate and younger patients generally heal faster than older patients. Patients go through stages of healing.

The first stage lasts about 10 days. During this time swelling will increase up to the fourth day and then begin to disappear.

From 10 days to 14 days, most patients find that the swelling and bruising have decreased to the point that social and work activities can be resumed.

From 3 weeks to 6 months, healing continues until the final results are fully achieved. In most patients, 90% of the final result will be visible after 3 months.

How long does the surgery last?

The total time a facelift takes varies from patient to patient, dependent upon they exact procedures needed to give the patient their desired results. On average, facelift surgery takes 3 to 4 hours.

For a simple cheek/temple lift, also called a mid face lift, the time would be approximately 2 hours.

For a facelift, neck lift and an eye lift, surgery could take 5 or 6 hours.

What kind of anesthesia is used?

This could vary depending on the extent of the work being done. The options are local anesthesia with IV sedation or general anesthesia.

Dr. Azizzadeh will discuss your anesthesia options with you during your pre-operative consultation.

As a note, he performs his procedures in a fully accredited surgical facility that has passed rigorous inspections, which meet or exceed those of a hospital. His surgical team includes a board certified anesthesiologist, whom he performs multiple procedures with a week.

What is the difference between a facelift, a mid facelift and a neck lift?

A “classic facelift” treats sagging and loose skin in the lower third of the face and the neck.

A mid facelift treats the middle third of the face, the cheek-temple area.

A neck lift addresses sagging in the jaw line and the neck separately from the upper face.

Dr. Azizzadeh can more completely explain the different types of lifts during your consultation and determine which lift or lifts are best for your specific anti-aging needs.

Before & Afters

Dr. Azizzadeh’s expertise in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery has made him one of the most sought after physicians in the world. Click the button below to view his results.

View All Before & Afters

Can I have a facelift and an eye lift at the same time?

Yes. It is often the case that patients need rejuvenation in both areas. Having both procedures during one surgery reduces recovery time and eliminates the risk of additional surgery.

How long does a facelift last?

There are some lifestyle issues that can accelerate aging such as smoking, unprotected exposure to sun and drug or alcohol abuse.

Patients in good health can expect a facelift to last a long time. However, keep in mind that your body does continue to age. So just as you aged before your facelift, you will continue to age after your facelift.

There are many non-surgical procedures that can be used to “touch-up” your facelift in the years following your surgery.

Visit our non-surgical page to view your options »


I have dark circles and bags under my eyes. Will a facelift get rid of them?

A facelift does not directly address the eye area but there is usually some residual improvement from the facelift.

To rejuvenate the eyes, blepharoplasty (an eyelid lift) is needed. An eyelid lift addresses sagging, excess fat deposits and loose skin in both the upper and lower eyelids. It is very common for patients to have a facelift and an eye lift at the same time.

For dark circles, Dr. Azizzadeh can also perform non-surgical fillers, such as Restylane®.

Where are the incisions placed? Will there be noticeable scars?

Anyone considering a facelift should be concerned about incision placement. It is hard to hide scars, especially for women who wear their hair shorter and male patients.

Dr. Azizzadeh is one of the most qualified facial plastic surgeons in the country. He meticulously makes incisions where they will be well hidden and uses special techniques to close the incisions so that his patients heal with virtually unnoticeable scars when fully healed.

The incisions are placed in natural creases beginning just in front of the ear continuing around the back of the ear. Placement of facelift incisions is as much of an art as it is science. Dr. Azizzadeh can answer your questions about incision placement during your consultations.

How painful is a facelift?

A facelift creates a sensation of fullness and pulling for the first 7 to 10 days, which is very well managed by pain medication.

As the swelling diminishes, so does the discomfort. Using cold packs on the face will greatly help with swelling. Usually after the first few days, patients can easily switch to non-narcotic pain medication.

What will I experience right after surgery?

When you wake up, you will have bandages around your head and two small tubes for drainage placed by your ears. There will be a bandage around your chin to minimize swelling. The drains are necessary to ensure there is no fluid building up under your skin. You will feel tired due to the anesthetic but otherwise should not be in much pain.

Facelift surgery is done on an outpatient basis and once you are fully awake and are feeling up to it, you can be driven home to rest.

You will need to have someone with you for the first 24 hours to ensure you have someone to help you should you need assistance, which medically speaking is rare.

You will be given full written instructions on caring for your incisions, how to empty the drains, how to sleep, when you can bathe and suggestions on eating during your pre-op appointment.

How can I get my personal questions answered?

The first step in considering a facelift, or any cosmetic procedure, is to make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh. During the consultation he will listen carefully to your goals for the surgery, examine your face and talk and provide you with his recommendations on how to achieve your goals.

He believes the process of deciding to have elective cosmetic surgery takes time and prefers his patients to be educated on the entire process, from pre-surgical consultation to full recovery.

As he is very highly sought-after by patients from around the world, it is recommended you schedule a consultation as soon as possible, particularly if you have a time goal in mind such as being ready for a wedding.

Schedule Your Consultation Today Call (310) 657-2203

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