Facelift: Cost Worldwide, Types of Facelift, Recovery

Facelifts have been one of the most commonly sought cosmetic procedures for decades. In fact, it's not uncommon for both men and women to receive this particular surgery to reduce the visible signs of aging.

Because facelifts are so popular, cosmetic surgeons and med spas now offer many different types. To help you make a more informed decision about whether a facelift is right for you, this article will break down all of the most commonly asked questions about the procedure.

What is a Facelift?

A facelift, which is sometimes referred to as a rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that is intended to reverse visible signs of aging in your face and sometimes your neck. This includes removal of excess fat and tightening the underlying tissues and muscles to remove wrinkles or sagging skin. The end result is a smoother, younger-looking appearance.

Facelifts can also restore facial volume to rejuvenate your look and give you a more vibrant glow. As we age, our bodies stop producing the same levels of substances called collagen and elastin. These substances are responsible for giving young skin a plump, bouncy and glowing appearance. As they begin to disappear, you will start to notice more wrinkles and sunken facial features. This is usually the time that people start looking into facelifts.

How Do Facelifts Work?

The procedure detailed below is a general overview of what you can expect during an average facelift. Because there are so many variations, this may not be the exact process your surgeon follows. It's also important to note that many surgeons have their own style and technique, so be sure to ask for before-and-after photos of patients to get an idea of what your end result will look like.

Step One

The first step for any facelift will be anesthesia. There are three possible types of sedation:

General anesthesia - This option puts you into a deep sleep, and you won't remember anything.

IV sedation - You will be put into "twilight sleep," which means you're fully sedated and pain-free, but you're not unconscious. You will feel drowsy and may not remember the procedure.

Local anesthesia - This method involves a series of small injections into the facelift sites to numb you. You will also be given oral medication to make you relaxed and comfortable, but you will be awake and aware throughout the surgery.

Step Two

Once you're comfortably sedated, the surgeon will make the necessary incisions. The number and size of incisions will vary with each technique, but all incisions are made to minimize discomfort and potential scarring.

Step Three

Following the incisions, your surgeon will begin the process of gently lifting, sculpting and tightening the underlying tissue and muscle layers. Your skin will then be replaced over the lifted tissue in a natural, youthful-looking manner to produce the best possible results.

Step Four

After your skin has been carefully redraped over the tissue and any excess has been removed, the surgeon will carefully close your incisions. The stitches will be placed so they remain hidden in the natural contours of your face, and a supportive dressing will be applied.

What Types of Facelifts Can I Get?

Deep Plane

The deep plane lift is the most popular and considered by professionals to be the "gold standard" of facelifts. This is very close to the procedure described above, and it improves the appearance of your eyes, neck, brow, nose and lips. It can correct severe sagging and wrinkles, and it will dramatically improve the appearance of the bottom third of your face.

These results can last from 10 to 15 years.

Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System (SMAS) Lift

This procedure is almost always simply referred to as an SMAS lift. The SMAS is a single, firm layer of tissue that runs from your collarbone to your forehead, and it is responsible for supporting and controlling various facial muscles.

During this type of lift, the surgeon does not cut as deeply as he or she would during a deep plane lift. Instead, only the SMAS layer is tightened and any excess skin is removed. This lift is best for people who only have mild sagging or facial laxity.

Short Scar Lift

"Short scar" is actually a term used to describe a few different facelifts that all involve much smaller incisions. The procedure is largely the same as an SMAS lift, but it is really only ideal for younger candidates in their 40s or 50s who are experiencing mildly sagging skin.

How Much Does a Facelift Cost?

Below is a list of the most popular countries to receive facelifts and the average cost.

Country EUR USD GBP
Turkey 1 700 2 000 1 500
India 2 000 2 350 1 770
Poland 2 120 2 500 1 880
Hungary 3 000 3 500 2 660
Czech Republic 3 500 4 120 3 100
Mexico 4 000 4 700 3 550
Malaysia 4 000 4 700 3 550
Thailand 5 000 5 890 4 450
Germany 5 000 5 890 4 450
UK 6 500 7 650 5 770
Australia 8 000 9 400 7 090
USA 10 000 11 780 8 870

Why do prices differ from country to country?

From as low as 1,700€ in Turkey to 10,000€ in the US, you might wonder why prices for a facelift are so different from country to country.

First of all, low prices do not necessarily mean lower quality. Lower living and labour costs in countries like Turkey, India, and Poland are usually what makes prices lower than in other countries. As a matter of fact, there are many internationally accredited and world renowned doctors in these countries. Always make sure you select a clinic or a doctor who received international accreditations or that reached the highest standards in healthcare.

In general, prices for a facelift depend on on the following:

  • There are different facelift procedures, and depending on which one you choose, prices may differ.
  • Experience and reputation of the surgeon: depending on how many years of experience a surgeon has under his/her belt, and how difficult the procedure is, the cost of the procedure may vary.
  • Facility: the type of facility and the medical equipment used may factor in the price of the procedure.

Do Facelifts Leave Visible Scarring?

Due to the nature of a facelift, some level of scarring is unavoidable. Any time your skin is cut, a scar forms as part of the healing process. However, skilled surgeons are able to perform a facelift that leaves an almost invisible scar, so you shouldn't have noticeable or unattractive scarring around your face.

What are the Potential Risks or Complications of a Facelift?

As with any surgical process, there are potential side effects or complications. While they are not common, it is best to be informed.

Risks and complications may include:

  • Bleeding and bruising
  • Infection
  • Thickened scar tissue
  • Loss of hair around incisions
  • Temporary loss of muscle function
  • Asymmetry

What is the Recovery Time Following a Facelift?

Recovery time is generally around one week, but your surgeon will recommend complete rest for at least one or two days following the surgery. While there may be some residual bruising or swelling that takes more time to heal, your dressing should be removed during your first follow-up visit.

Where Should I Go For a Facelift?

Choosing the right surgeon for your facelift is a lot like finding the right hairstylist. Every surgeon has a different technique and style, so you should carefully examine before and after photos of patients and meet each potential surgeon to find the right person to restore your youthful vibrant appearance.

Questions you should ask yourself include: where do you feel comfortable traveling? Have you done extensive research on the surgeon and the facility?

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About the author

Ambra Andrei, Content Manager

Ambra has the gift of putting complex matters into simple words. With her year-long background in the travel industry, she is our expert when it comes to travelling abroad for treatments.

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