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Face Lift St. Louis

Turn Back The Clock

Our understanding of facial aging has evolved significantly in the past few years. No longer is the sagging, deflated appearance thought to be just a skin problem. Our surgeons take time to precisely evaluate all aspects contributing to aging including bone structure, ligamentous laxity, skin excess, fat atrophy and descent during your consultation. They will evaluate the entire face and neck region to devise an optimal plan of rejuvenation. Patients with early aging may achieve their goals with more conservative treatments such as Botox, fillers, or fat grafting. As the aging becomes more apparent, these methods are no longer able to produce optimal results alone. In these patients a well-executed facelift will significantly enhance facial appearance, helping someone look 7-10 years younger. Our surgeons incorporate a variety of techniques to tailor results for each individual’s anatomy and goals.


  • Length: 4-5 hours
  • Anesthesia: General
  • Stay: Outpatient, same day surgery
  • Recovery: 1-3 weeks to return to work; 3-6 months for final swelling to resolve; 12 months for final scar maturation
  • Side Effects: Swelling, bruising, temporary numbness & tingling


  • Tighten wrinkled, excess facial skin
  • Volumize deflated cheeks
  • Soften nasolabial folds
  • Shrink and lift the jowling along the jawline
  • Help patients appear younger

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Before & After

Patient #876

Before Face & Neck Lift
After Face & Neck Lift

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Facelift surgery is a major operation requiring optimization of health, blood pressure, and skin quality before hand. Your surgeon may request adjustments to any blood pressure medications with the assistance of your primary care provider.

Some patients may benefit from a skin treatment regimen 1-3 months prior to their procedure.

Smoking and all nicotine cessation is an absolute must for at least 4-6 weeks prior to this particular procedure as significant wound healing complications can occur otherwise. This includes e-cigarettes, patches, and gum.

Any medications and supplements which cause an increased risk of bleeding should also be stopped 2 weeks prior to any major surgery. Please see our list of medications and supplements to avoid. As always, make sure to check with your doctor before stopping any medications.


Your surgeon will design incisions that will hide within the sideburn hair, along natural ear creases, under the earlobe, along the neck hairline, and sometimes under the chin. After the patient is asleep, they will infiltrate some numbing medication into the facial tissues that will also help minimize bruising and bleeding. Once the excess skin is elevated, the underlying facial muscles and ligaments will be tightened for a refreshed, natural appearance. Patients wanting more fullness can have fat harvested from the abdomen, gently processed, and grafted to the areas needing volume or softening. If a concurrent neck lift is desired, these tissues will also be tightened and excess fat under the chin removed as needed. Our surgeons use both internal dissolving sutures that last several weeks to help keep your scars as fine and faint as possible, as well as some external sutures for fine approximation that will need to be removed in 1 week. A drain may be placed that will be removed in 1-4 days. A gentle compressive wrap will be placed to help minimize bruising and swelling.


Most patients recover at home after their surgery, but all have the option to stay overnight and receive care from St. Luke’s outstanding surgical nurses for an additional fee. Regardless, our surgeons will evaluate their facelift patients the day after surgery to remove and replace dressings as well as ensure you understand your care plan. Patients typically plan 1-3 weeks off of work to allow time for the bruising and swelling to improve. Drains will be removed in 1-4 days, and external sutures are removed in 1 week. Significant improvement in appearance is seen in the first 6 weeks, but final swelling can take 3-6 months to fully resolve. Scars will mature and fade over the ensuing year.

Patients are instructed to do frequent, gentle walks starting the day after surgery. Avoid straining or any strenuous activity for 1-2 weeks, as this can increase risks of bruising and bleeding. Patients can increase activity after 2 weeks to moderate exercises and cardio training, then resume all activities including weight training after 4 weeks.

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Do you Have a Question?

A: Each patient recovers differently. Generally expect to take 1-3 weeks off of work, with more extensive procedures requiring more down time. Patients can conceal some bruising with makeup after sutures are removed in 1 week, but it may take a little longer for the swelling to subside.
A: A well-executed facelift will help most patients appear 5-10 years younger. The process of aging unfortunately continues after surgery, but the enhancement typically helps keep patients looking younger than their actual age after that time.
A: In the early stages of aging (35-50 years old), some patients benefit tremendously starting with more conservative options such as Botox or fillers. These nonsurgical treatments may also help delay the time at which a facelift becomes appropriate. Once the aging effects, sagging, deflation, and wrinkles are more defined there may be no substitute for facelift surgery. Our surgeons specialize in both surgical and non-surgical options, and will help design a personalized approach just for you.

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