Patients requesting a facelift procedure in Boston is continually increasing and according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, a facelift was the 3rd most popular procedure in 2020 as 234,375 people underwent the procedure in America. Furthermore, RealSelf states that 95% of patients who have had a facelift, said the operation was worth it for them.

But many patients still wonder how they can be sure the results from facial surgery will look natural, if the procedure is safe, what technique will be most suitable for them and what recovery will be like.

What is a Facelift? 

We all mature at different rates but one of the first places we notice the signs of aging is on our face. Often, as we enter our forties, creases around our mouth deepen, the skin on our cheeks loosens and sagging jowls appear beneath our jawline. 

The good news is a facelift – or rhytidectomy – as reported by RealSelf, effectively addresses all of these issues by tightening underlying muscles, lifting tissues, sculpting fat, and removing excess skin. 

New surgical techniques in Boston mean the “wind-tunnel” facelift of the past has had a facelift of its own. Now, patients can choose from various types of facelifts and select a facelift procedure in Boston that is designed to achieve a youthful and more natural-looking appearance.

And despite, or perhaps because of the surge of newer non-surgical techniques like Botox and Filler, many patients are weighing up all of their options, and the facelift is experiencing a boost in popularity. 

What are the pros and cons of a Facelift? 

The facelift was in the top 5 surgical procedures performed in America in 2020, so there’s no doubt about how favorably it’s perceived. Specific benefits of the surgery include:

  • Facelifts can be very effective at improving signs of aging for both men and women.
  • It produces natural results and can make recipients look and feel younger.
  • The procedure generally only takes 2-5 hours depending on the operation chosen.
  • Patients can often see results quickly and are ready to go out within two weeks.
  • A full facelift’s results are usually long-lasting – often around 10 years.
  • Patients can expect comparatively low scarring.

But of course, there are other factors to consider:

  • In some cases, the full results can take a full year to see.
  • Some scars may fade but never permanently disappear. 
  • Surgery can be expensive and it isn’t covered by insurance.
  • And there are, of course, risks to facelift surgery. 

Who makes a good Facelift candidate?

In general, good candidates for a facelift are healthy with no underlying health conditions, non-smokers with a positive outlook and realistic expectations. They will have visible signs of aging, including sagging cheeks and jowls as well as marionette lines and banding across the neck. 

Often patients are 50 and over but, the age of women seeking surgical cosmetic procedures is lowering and some patients chose to have a facelift while still in their forties.

How do I know which Facelift my surgeon will recommend for me? 

The first step in choosing the right type of facelift procedure in Boston is to choose the right surgeon in the first place. Make sure the cosmetic surgeons you consult with are board-certified and have substantial experience in facelift procedures. 

Doctors report that they consider a patient’s weight, their skin thickness and quality and, of course, their desired outcome from the surgery before confirming their recommendations. 

Their choices will also be influenced by their subspecialties and skillset – so thorough research and comparison of the doctors’ credentials by the patient is key. 

How many types of Facelift procedures in Boston are there?

Generally, the fear of looking unnatural is the main concern for patients considering a facelift. This is probably down to the “skin-only” facelift of the past where the surgeon pulled up and removed excess skin often resulting in the “wind-tunnel look.”  And while that method may still suit some patients today, there are many other procedures to choose from. 

Full Facelifts

A full facelift gives patients a more youthful appearance by reshaping the lower half of the face and smoothing out deep creases around the mouth and nose. It also removes hanging skin around the jawline and fat under the chin and in the neck. There are two types of full facelift:


During the SMAS lift, (superficial musculoaponeurotic system), incisions are made in front of or behind the ears so the surgeon can reposition the sheet of firm tissue or fascia that covers the muscle layer of the face, as well as the fat pads, separately from the skin. The skin is then draped over. The benefits of this surgery can last up to 15 years which is significantly more than traditional facelift procedures.

Deep Plane Facelift

With the second type, the deep plane facelift, the surgeon creates a flap that includes skin fat and SMAS, and these are lifted and tightened together as one, lifting the mid-face below the SMAS. Some doctors believe this gives a more natural result, as the skin stays attached to the muscle layers.

Partial Facelifts

Similarly, partial facelifts can produce impressive results in addressing light to moderate aging by correcting sagging around the neck and jawline to produce a natural and younger look.

Mini Facelift

The mini facelift or short scar facelift – also known as the minimal access cranial suspension facelift (MACS) – looks to improve the lower face and jowls by using a shorter incision than that used in a full facelift. 

Lower Facelift

A lower facelift focuses on everything below the corners of the mouth. It addresses the ‘laugh lines’, jawline and often improves the area under the chin and neck as well.

Thread Lift

A thread lift inserts temporary sutures underneath the skin to produce a lift and attract collagen to the treated areas. This may go some way in helping the laxity of the skin.

Can I improve my face and neck without going under the knife?

If an operation seems too big a step, and the signs of aging are not that severe, a patient may decide to head to the clinic rather than going down the surgical route. Less invasive procedures are quicker to administer and to recover from than surgical options and the effects are often popular with patients.


Injectable toxins and fillers can be combined so that a patient receives the so-called “Liquid Facelift”. This plumps up the skin, improves the appearance of wrinkles and sagging, and can be administered in a lunch hour. However, the impact of injectables may not create a dramatic enough result for some patients, and the effects can wear off within months.

Facial balancing uses fillers in varying proportions to balance the appearance of a patient’s facial features. Since dermal fillers are frequently used, this procedure helps address concerns of aging and wrinkles, especially where signs of aging are asymmetrical.

Minimally Invasive Facelift

Radiofrequency treatments, like Thermi, Exilis. Profound RF, Facetite, and Thermage work by heating the skin’s deeper layers to induce new collagen and can even lift deeper tissues. Similarly, laser and ultrasound treatments like Ultherapy and HiFi, send heat into the skin, causing the body to produce more collagen even with only one treatment.

However, it’s worth noting that many require repeat visits to the clinic for “top-ups” and the costs will add up. If sagging is very severe, a patient needs to question whether they will bring them the best return on their investment in the long run.  

What surgeries can you combine with a Facelift procedure in Boston?

Since facelifts only focus on the bottom two-thirds of the face and the neck, this leaves those looking to improve the appearance of their eyes, forehead, or other areas with choices to make. It is, of course, possible to combine surgeries with a facelift and this can achieve an impressive result while saving a patient both recovery time and money.


This procedure is routinely performed alongside a facelift as it repairs droopy eyelids and often involves removing excess skin, muscle, and fat from around the eyes.

Brow Lift or Forehead Rhytidectomy

A brow lift gives the eyes a more open appearance and improves wrinkles across the forehead. Performing one at the same time as a facelift also often gives a more balanced and natural result.

Ear Reshaping (Otoplasty)

Otoplasty can improve the shape, position, or proportion of the ear – bringing balance to the ears and face. Since facelift incisions are generally made around the ears, surgeons can easily access the ears for cosmetic reshaping at the same time.

Facial Symmetry Surgery

Some patients have concerns regarding asymmetries between the two sides of their face. There may be asymmetries between facial features (e.g. eye or cheek height) which can be addressed alongside a facelift procedure. Alternatively, asymmetrical facial aging may have caused one side of the face to age more quickly than the other. A facelift procedure can correct asymmetrical facial aging by lifting one side of the face to a larger extent so the sides are symmetrical.

Neck lift

A Neck lift or lower rhytidectomy isn’t designed to make an impact on the face, but improves jowls, reduces fatty deposits under the chin, and addresses loose neck skin and muscle banding in the neck.

What can I expect to pay for a Facelift Procedure in Boston?

Deciding to undergo a facelift procedure is obviously an important personal decision. Many patients have been considering undergoing the surgery for multiple years and carry out extensive research to address their concerns and be sure that the surgery is right for them.

Additionally, many patients have concerns over the financial implications of getting a facelift procedure in Boston. If you are interested in the pricing, planning, or financing options for facelift procedures view our blog on ‘How much does a Boston Facelift cost?’

How long does recovery take?

Patients can usually go home the same day as their operation having had a general or local anesthetic. They are likely to feel groggy the rest day and will need support from family and friends. As the American Society of Plastic Surgery’s recovery diary describes, “day one is usually when you most need pain medication to stay on top of discomfort”. On average, a facelift means 10-14 days of downtime. Bruising and swelling during this time are normal – a compression garment might be worn around the lower face for around a week. Doctors also advise keeping the head elevated for a few days to reduce swelling and to minimize strenuous activities like working out for a few weeks until they give their patient the green light.

What are the specific risks that need to be considered? 

Healthline says, as with any surgery, there are possible complications to be aware of. These include risks arising from anesthesia, infection, numbness, scarring, blood clots, cardiac complications, and poor results. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons states while the risks are rare, all questions should be addressed directly to the surgeon and risks should be fully discussed prior to consent. 


Understanding the different types of facelifts, the recovery time, risks, and alternative options in Boston is a great start to researching the procedure.

The next step for any patient considering a facelift procedure in Boston should be to meet a selection of Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons who have significant expertise in facelift procedures and have an outstanding educational background.

Most importantly, Dr. Markarian believes that patients, who want to undergo facelift surgery, should choose the surgeon that they have the best connection with.


Please note: All materials on the Site, such as text, treatments, outcomes, photographs and images and any other material provided on the Site are for information purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding treatments. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Site.
Though the content of this blog has been carefully prepared, the author of this content is not a medical doctor and the content has not been reviewed by a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon. 
Unless specifically stated, patients referred to in this blog have not received a Facelift by Dr. Mark Markarian. This blog does not endorse the work of any doctors or surgeons mentioned. Stories relating to patients’ personal experiences of the Facelift procedure should be treated as anecdotal only.
Any application of the material provided is at the reader’s discretion and his, her, or their responsibility