February 6, 2023

How Safe Are Facelifts?

Facelifts are surgical procedures that give your face a smoother, tighter, and firmer appearance. If you are considering surgery, you might be wondering: How safe are facelifts? Facelifts are safe for most people—as are most cosmetic surgeries—and there are precautions in place to ensure your safety during and after the procedure.

What Is a Facelift?

A rhytidectomy—more commonly known as a facelift or facial rejuvenation—is a surgical procedure in which a plastic surgeon removes or, in many cases, adds fat, tightens the underlying supporting structures, and trims and re-drapes excess skin to make the face appear firmer. This treats conditions such as sagging in the cheeks, a double chin, excess skin at the jawline, and deepening of the folds from the side of the nose to the corner of the mouth. Facelifts cannot treat superficial wrinkles, creases to the upper lip, or sun damage. Facelifts include a neck lift, which removes sagging skin and excess fat from the neck area.

Facelifts are an outpatient procedure, meaning you will go home shortly after your surgery. Most people recover from the procedure within two weeks. The results of facelift surgery are long-lasting, with most people seeing benefits for at least 10 years.

Precautions To Protect Your Safety During a Facelift

While cosmetic surgeries are generally safe, Dr. Steele takes precautions to ensure you are a good candidate for the procedure and that the procedure proceeds flawlessly. The most suitable candidates are healthy non-smokers who do not take medications and have a positive outlook and realistic expectations about the procedure.

Medical History and Exam

Before your facelift, Dr. Steele takes a comprehensive medical history to learn about your medical conditions and any treatments you are receiving. He explains the procedure, answers your questions, and talks to you about the changes you hope to see after your surgery. He performs a facial exam that involves taking photos of your face from different angles and studying your bone structure, face shape, and skin quality, in order to provide you with a treatment plan that accomplishes your goals. Dr. Steele also gives you a list of instructions, including when to stop any medications you are taking.

The Procedure

Facelifts are performed under general anesthesia (you are asleep). The procedure generally lasts around 6 hours. After your surgery, our medical staff monitors you for a while. You will be required to have a driver and someone to spend the night with you to monitor you during your recovery.


Following surgery, Dr. Steele provides you with aftercare instructions, including directions on how to care for your healing face and when you can begin using shampoo and soaps. He suggests you avoid exercise, sports, and wearing makeup for a while. Dr. Steele continues to monitor your progress with regular follow-up visits and lets you know when you can resume activities in the sun and coloring or bleaching your hair.

Thinking of a Facelift? Call Us

If you are thinking about a cosmetic procedure but are still unsure about how safe facelifts are, call our office today to set up a consultation with Dr. Steele. He can discuss your goals and your options for obtaining a more youthful, rejuvenated appearance.