(603) 775-7444
137 Portsmouth Avenue Stratham, NH 03885
(603) 775-7444

Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Skin & Laser Center


A number of factors influence the visible signs of aging of the skin, including genetics, environment, and lifestyle. The associated changes are either qualitative or quantitative or both.

Qualitative changes involve the quality and texture of the skin itself and include lines, wrinkles, blemishes, scars, and spots. Mild changes can be improved with quality skin care and regular mild chemical peels. More severely damaged skin may require resurfacing procedures such as laser skin resurfacing or more aggressive chemical peels performed by the surgeon.

Quantitative changes include excess or redundant skin such as sagging jowls and neck. Surgical tightening procedures such as facelift and neck lift surgery by our experienced plastic surgeon, Dr. Richard Zeff, are often the best treatments for quantitative changes.

What Is a Facelift?

Facelift surgery is a procedure designed to address quantitative changes in the face related to the natural process of aging, including sagging, excess skin and loose tissue. Facelift surgery, called a rhytidectomy in medical parlance, tightens the folds and deep creases that are caused by skin laxity. During the surgery, skin and tissue are tightened in order to rejuvenate the patient’s appearance without creating an “overcorrected” look.

FAQ : Facelift

Q: What does a facelift do?
A: A facelift lifts and tightens the sagging areas of the cheeks and neck due to loose or extra skin. It does not, however, remove all of the very fine lines or wrinkles that are the result of weathering and years of sun exposure. These can be improved by chemical peel or laser skin resurfacing.

Q: Where are incisions placed?
A: Facelift incisions are placed in the temples in front of and behind the ears. In some cases, a small incision is made under the chin. The hair does not need to be cut and many hairstyles effectively conceal facelift scars.

Q: What results can I expect?
A: Dr. Zeff works with each patient to develop a personalized treatment plan that is suited to individual needs and goals. Although each patient’s results are different, our fundamental commitment to safety and satisfaction helps create exceptional outcomes. For facelift patients, this means achieving a natural-looking rejuvenation for a more rested and youthful overall appearance.

The Facelift Procedure

A full facelift is performed under anesthesia, the type of which will be discussed during the initial consultation, as an outpatient procedure. Incisions are made in the temples and around the ears, occasionally with a small incision under the chin. Through these incisions, the skin is tightened up and back, often in two planes: a muscle layer and a skin layer. Excess skin will be trimmed, as needed, to achieve the desired outcome. The result is designed to be natural-looking rejuvenation without looking too tight or overcorrected. Some patients choose to combine facelift surgery with other procedures, such as eyelid surgery or forehead lift, for more comprehensive effects. Dr. Zeff will discuss these options with you at the consultation.

What Is a Mini Facelift?

In some cases, a mini facelift may be more suitable to the needs and goals of the patient. A mini facelift focuses on rejuvenating the lower face and jaw, but is less effective when the neck tissues are very loose or excessive, requiring a full facelift. A mini facelift is a more conservative treatment than a full facelift and typically results in smaller or less noticeable scars. That said, our experienced plastic surgeon endeavors to reduce the visibility of scars in all procedures.

What Is Facelift Recovery Like?

We encourage patients to take their time healing and enjoy the opportunity to relax as much as possible. Facelift surgery is typically an outpatient procedure, so you should be able to return home the same day. We will provide medication to manage any pain, and we can offer tips to make your recovery easier and more pleasant. Numbness of the skin after facelift surgery is common and temporary, and nerve or muscle damage is extremely rare. Although usually minimal, any black and blue from bruising generally settles in the lower part of the face and neck. Some post-operative swelling is normal. Patients can generally go out in public after one week and look quite presentable in two to three.

How Much Does a Facelift Cost?

We custom-design each surgical plan to optimize the outcome for the individual patient. As a result, the price of facelift surgery can range from person to person. We understand that cost is an important part of your decision-making process, which is why we provide a detailed estimate during your initial consultation, including the anticipated fees for anesthesiology and the hospital or medical facility. As a comparison, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that in 2016 the average cost of facelift surgery was $7,048. This number reflects the cost of the surgeon’s fee alone and does not include the other expenses or which the patient will be responsible. For this reason, Dr. Zeff will provide the total cost of your surgery, so there will be no surprises. Additionally, we work with several reputable lending agencies in the event you would like to consider plastic surgery financing.

What Will My Facelift Scars Look Like?

Part of achieving exceptional results is minimizing signs of surgery, including scars. Our experienced surgeon takes great care to place the incisions discreetly and facilitate the best possible healing experience. Most patients find that, once fully healed, the marks are virtually unnoticeable. Everyone recovers differently, and we will monitor your progress to ensure the optimal outcome. Additionally, we offer resurfacing procedures such as chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing. We will explain all of your options during your initial consultation.

How Can Facial Fat Injections Improve My Results?

An important part of a facelift procedure may include taking a small amount of fat from one part of your body and injecting it into areas of your face that have lost volume in order to restore a more youthful appearance. This is called fat transfer, and liposuction is used to harvest your own fatty tissue to repurpose as a volumizing filler. Dr. Zeff will go over this option with you at the consultation.

During your facelift consultation our plastic surgeon can answer any other question you may have about the procedure or recovery time. Please contact our practice to schedule an initial consultation for facelift surgery.

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