Many individuals will make the decision to have a facelift (also known as rhytidectomy) to slow down the visible effects of aging. Dr. Stephen Schendel offers facelift surgery for Palo Alto patients seeking a revitalized appearance. During this surgery, excess sagging skin that causes deep wrinkles and sagging jowls is removed. Over the years, the surgery has been modified so that the approach taken can be tailored per each individual. For example, in younger individuals, a mini-lift may be performed through smaller incisions with a shorter recovery period. It is important to find a skilled, experienced facial plastic surgeon so a natural result can be achieved.
"Dr. Schendel is helping me feel like myself again after a tumor changed my life. - I am 28F and was diagnosed with a rare pituitary tumor resulting in a condition called acromegaly in 2015. Because of this condition my brow grew, the soft tissue in my face increased and the right side of my jaw grew asymmetrically which resulted in a quickly developed underbite. After surgically controlling the tumor by an SF neurosurgeon to ensure no more growth would occur, my husband and..."- B. / RealSelf / Apr 28, 2017
"Best decision I ever made! - Best decision I ever made was to have a mid-face lift with Dr. Schendel. He listened to my concerns and came up with a strategy that I would be pleased with. Dr. Schendel has a great bedside manner and put my fears to rest pre-surgery. He and his staff were very attentive post surgery as well. I look renewed and refreshed not "done". I no longer cringe when I look in the mirror. Thank you for giving me a decade+ back."- C. / RealSelf / Mar 24, 2017
"Dr. Schendal is a consummate professional with a warm caring disposition. He is held in very high regard by everyone I spoke to at Stanford Hospital. I had absolute confidence in him and my surgery held no surprises due to the care he took in explaining everything and setting realistic expectations. His post op care was just as good."- L.G. / Healthgrades / Oct 23, 2016
"Dr. Schendel is a great doctor. My family and I have been fortunate enough to be under Dr. Schendel's care for many years. He has been helping me look and feel beautiful since my 50th bday... many years ago. He and his staff are wonderful in every way. His office manager, Carol Oderio, and everyone in his office treat you with the greatest care and make sure everything is perfect:) Dr. Schendel is able to enhance your beauty in an amazing way, all while looking very natural."- J.H. / Yelp / Mar 14, 2016
"I've been getting Botox from Dr. Schendel for several years - and I still look forward to my appointments because he always manages to make me smile and laugh. The office is clean, easily located by the freeway, and the staff is courteous and always prompt."- C.R. / Yelp / Nov 01, 2015
There are various techniques used today to perform a facelift. Facial anatomy, skin laxity and the overall aesthetic goal of the patient will determine the best approach. Each procedure will be unique to the patient and will vary based on the type and location of the incision, the number of tissue layers affected, the plane of elevation and the level of invasiveness.
Skin Only Facelift
The skin only facelift has been in practice since the early 1900s. Known as a cutaneous facelift, this technique is less invasive because it addresses the skin only. The result of this surgery is a bit subtler than some of the newer muscle tightening procedures. However, it also offers a lower risk and recovery period for the patient.
Traditional Facelift (SMAS)
This SMAS facelift is considered the gold standard. This surgery, while more complicated, produces results that are more dramatic and longer lasting. The technique involves manipulating a group of muscles beneath the skin known as the superficial musculo-aponeurotic system (SMAS). This section of muscle controls facial expression. An incision is made along the hairline from the temple to just behind the earlobe. The skin is then separated and lifted. The underlying muscles and tissue are tightened and secured so they maintain their new position.
Deep Plane Lift
The deep plane lift goes a step further than the traditional approach. It is better suited for those with severe sagging and drooping — usually reserved for older patients. In addition to the SMAS layer being adjusted, a deeper section, known as the deep plane, is also treated. While this procedure offers certain advantages over a traditional facelift, surgeons must be skilled and act with caution so facial nerves are not damaged during the surgical process.
A mini facelift is geared towards patients who want some of the benefits of a facelift, while at the same time minimizing the cost and invasive nature of the surgery. Some procedures that are considered “mini” include the “Quicklift” or “Lifestyle Lift”. Patients who wish to maximize the outcome of their surgery, resulting in the most dramatic results, will most likely need to turn to having a full facelift in order to meet these aesthetic goals.
All facelift procedures are performed under general anesthesia at an accredited surgical facility. The length of the surgery will vary, but it generally takes between 3-4 hours. This surgery is considered an outpatient procedure. However, some patients may be required to stay overnight in the hospital. After surgery, patients will be bruised and swollen and the face and neck will feel tight. This will gradually improve within a few days. It is common for patients to feel anxious about how their face will appear. Patients need to understand it can take several full months for the final results to appear.
Each facelift surgery is unique and will be tailored to each patient. Most patients can expect to pay between $6,000-$8,000 for a less invasive/skin only facelift, while more invasive procedures, such as the SMAS facelift and the deep plane facelift, can run between $8,500-$14,000. RealSelf.com lists the average facelift cost at $11,050.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $8,500 - $14,000
- Recovery Time
- 10-14 Days
- Average Procedure Time
- 3-4 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 3-7 Days
- Procedure Recovery Location
- In & Outpatient
BOTOX®, injectable fillers, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels are examples of some non-surgical procedures that can assist in smoothing out wrinkles, improving fine lines and adding facial volume. These procedures also help to even out skin tone. However, these are treatments that will only affect the skin’s surface. Patients with loose skin, drooping jowls or a sagging neck will need to consider surgery if they want these features improved.
Will I Look Fake?
In the days immediately following facelift surgery, patients will feel tight and pulled. These are some short-term effects, but they will subside. It’s important to find a reputable surgeon skilled in facial surgery. Surgeons who know what they are doing will make every effort to work within the confines of the patient’s bone, skin and muscle structures so a younger, more natural look can result.
Facelift surgery does require a long incision. However, in almost all cases, these scars are well hidden as they fall just along the hairline and around the ears in the natural folds of the scalp. In most cases, the scars should be barely visible to the naked eye.
The common age range for patients who undergo a facelift is between 50-70. It is safe to say most patients will look 5-10 years younger following a facelift procedure. Younger patients (40-50 years old) generally have stronger skin elasticity so their results may last longer than those of someone older. However, older patients may have results that appear more dramatic and, for them, this can be very worthwhile. Patients should think of a facelift as a process to turn back the aging clock. You will still age, but you will appear a few years younger.