As one of the most rewarding procedures in facial plastic surgery, facelift is also considered Dr. Jess Prischmann’s area of expertise. This operation lifts the lower area of the face and creates a more defined jawline. For her Minneapolis-area patients who start to see changes in face shape, facelift can help restore a youthful balance.
Benefits of a Facelift
- Redefines a jawline that has lost definition with aging
- Removes extra skin of the lower face
- Smooths out “accordion pleat” wrinkles of the cheeks
- Restores a more youthful face shape
- Improves self confidence
- Improves multiple signs of facial aging
- Reduces the appearance of jowls
- Enhances facial contours
- Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
- Long-lasting results compared to non-surgical interventions1
Facelift vs Mini Facelift
Although it can sound appealing to do a less invasive procedure, the truth is that most patients want the best, longest-lasting procedure for them. There is no exact definition of a “mini” facelift. Dr. Prischmann feels that you should not do a mini-facelift with the hopes of doing a full facelift a few years later. The best procedure is the one that will address all of your needs. Dr. Jess Prischmann will meet with you for an initial consultation to evaluate your needs, talk with you about your goals, and determine if facelift surgery is right for you.
Who is a Candidate for Facelift?
Loose or sagging skin of the lower face and neck
“Jowls” of the lower face
Ill-defined jawline or neckline
(no active smoking for 4 weeks prior to surgery or after surgery)
The best candidates are healthy and had a naturally “defined” or “high” jawline/neckline in their teens and twenties.
Preparing for Your Facelift
The first step in determining if you are a candidate for surgery is a consultation. This can either be virtual or in-person. Virtual consultations are an informal way to meet you, listen to your concerns, and ask some basic screening questions about surgical candidacy. If you are determined to be a good candidate for surgery, we will meet for a formal, in-person consultation at our office in Golden Valley. For our patients on a tight timeline for surgery, please let us know and we will try our best to accommodate your needs.
During the office consultation, we will take a deeper dive into whether facelift surgery is the best option for you. Dr. Prischmann will examine you closely and always give you her honest opinion. Her goal is always to be “of service,” not to sell surgery or sign up patients for a procedure. She always discusses realistic expectations on what surgery will and will not achieve.
For the consultation, it is immensely helpful to know the following:
- If you have had any injectables in your face
- If you have had any threads placed in your face
- If you have had any laser treatments in the last 5 years
- If you have ever had any surgery to your head or neck.
- If you have had any problems with skin healing, bleeding, infections or anesthesia complications.
If you are determined to be a good candidate for facelift surgery, we will provide a formal estimate of cost, along with written pre-and-post procedure instructions.
It is important to note that there is never any pressure to move forward or make a decision about surgery. We want what is best for you. If you would like to schedule surgery, our surgery scheduler will guide you through the next steps of the process.
Dr. Prischmann performs a modified deep plane facelift procedure. The term “deep plane” refers to an operation in which a deeper fibromuscular layer is lifted and repositioned vertically. This is a very important step in most facelifts because it helps to reshape the deeper layers of the face. Among surgeons who perform deep plane facelifting, there are differences in how this layer is lifted. Dr. Prischmann lifts this layer but does not cut any facial ligaments. This is to avoid injury to nerves that reside in close proximity to facial ligaments.
The incisions for facelift are very carefully made in front of and behind the ears. Care is taken to camouflage the incisions so that they fall in natural creases. After the incision is made, the skin around the ears and lower face is lifted. Under the skin, there is a connective tissue/muscle layer commonly referred to as the “SMAS,” or superficial musculoaponeurotic system. Dr. Prischmann makes an incision in this layer and then very carefully elevates it. Once she has a good elevation, it is vertically repositioned and anchored into place using a series of dissolvable sutures. Because the lift is on this deeper layer, it allows her to get maximal results without creating a “stretched” or “windblown” look. Once the SMAS layer is vertically repositioned and tightened, extra skin is removed and the incisions are closed meticulously. Dr. Prischmann uses drains under the skin that are removed the following day after surgery.
Generally speaking, the downtime associated with a facelift is about two weeks. During that time, you will feel some tightness and your activities will be restricted. Bruising and swelling will be greatest in the first week, but should subside within 10 to 14 days.
In Dr. Prischmann’s experience, facelift is most uncomfortable the first night after surgery, mostly due to the drains. The following day, drains are removed and the discomfort improves considerably. Overall, it is not a painful operation. In fact, the most common complaint we hear is that patients have a hard time sleeping on their back for the first 3 weeks after surgery.
Most patients have a caregiver to help them with cleaning the incisions after surgery. This is because it can be difficult to see the incisions behind the ears.
While it can take up to six weeks for full healing of the incisions, many women feel confident three weeks after the procedure. If you have a major event coming up, please inform Dr. Prischmann so we can counsel you on timing with regards to healing and downtime.
Here is a timeline of results following facelift surgery:
- Week 1: The face can be swollen, bruised, and feel tight. The operated area feels numb. Sometimes, the appearance can look distorted
- Week 2: Swelling and bruising resolve. Distortion subsides. Still feels tight. We ask that patients not open their mouths widely or chew tough foods to avoid pulling against the lift. Patients can return to work at the end of this week.
- Week 3: Generally feeling great. Wound care typically stops around this time.
- Week 4: Patients can start more vigorous exercising
- Week 6-8: The tightness resolves and the face “settles” into its resting position. Numbness begins to resolve
Recently, I underwent a surgical procedure to lift my lower face and neck as well as a total facial laser resurfacing procedure as a patient of Dr. Jess Prischmann. I found Dr. Prischmann to be a highly competent, compassionate, skilled surgeon. Through her guidance and education, I went into my surgery feeling very secure and informed. After my surgery, her care and follow-up were exceptional. I absolutely love the results she was able to help me achieve and highly recommend her as a very gifted surgeon.
Frequently Asked Questions About Facelift
If I have a facelift, will I have the appearance of looking “pulled”?
No. You should not look pulled. Dr. Prischmann spends a lot of time preparing for each patient’s facelift and works hard to ensure a natural result.
Are drains necessary after a facelift? Why/why not?
Not every facelift surgeon uses drains, but Dr. Prischmann does. She places very small drains for less than 24 hours. This helps prevent bloody accumulation in the face and neck. She does not use alternatives to drains, such as tissue glue. Additionally, she does not use a drug to control bleeding that has become popular in facelift surgery called Tranexamic Acid (TXA). In fact, she prefers to put fewer drugs in her patient’s bodies.
Some experts believe that drains can help prevent one of the complications following a facelift: hematoma. A hematoma is a collection of blood that typically occurs on the night of surgery. Hematomas after facelift are not generally life-threatening, but they do require reopening part of the incision to evacuate the blood clot.
Will there be a lot of bruising after surgery?
The amount of bruising varies from patient to patient. Because this procedure is performed around the ears and neck, bruising occurs in locations that can be easily camouflaged. Between day 10 and day 14, our advanced practice esthetician will perform a lymphatic massage and use medical-grade makeup to conceal your bruising. We love seeing our patients feel more confident about going out in public after this appointment.
Additionally, we advise our facelift patients to take Arnica Montana (a homeopathic supplement) prior to surgery and during the first week of recovery. We feel that this also decreases the duration and intensity of bruising following surgery.
Is facelift surgery safe?
The safety of any surgery depends on several factors, including:
- Patient factors– does the patient have any reason why surgery and/or anesthesia would not be safe? Generally, we can figure this out during the consultation and pre-op physical
- Surgeon factors– Does the surgeon feel comfortable doing this operation? Dr. Prischmann specializes in facelift surgery and is extremely methodical and meticulous. She feels that if she takes good care of the patient during surgery, the tissue will heal optimally after surgery.
- Surgery factors– All surgeries carry some risk. Generally speaking, facelift surgery has the risk of hematoma, infection, scarring, nerve injury, delayed healing, anesthesia or drug reactions.
Dr. Prischmann’s personal philosophy is that she will do everything in her power to limit the risk of surgery. She is not a volume surgeon and plans out each individual surgery. She feels strongly that being over-prepared is the best way to avoid risk.
What can patients do to reduce the risk of a hematoma after facelift?
As a patient, there are several things that YOU can do to reduce your risk of hematomas. They include:
- Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen two weeks prior to surgery.
- Avoid all fish oil supplements two weeks prior to surgery.
- Avoid garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, and Vitamin E supplements.
- Check your blood pressure three times daily for one week (at various times of the day). If your pressure is high, please let Dr. Prischmann know, and we will decide what steps to take. Remember, high blood pressure typically has no symptoms.
- Consider taking a homeopathic supplement called Arnica Montana beginning 24 hours prior to surgery. There are some studies that suggest taking this supplement could decrease your bleeding risk.
- Dr. Prischmann and her team thoroughly prepare patients before surgery and provide Arnica to our patients during this process.
- Keep pain and nausea under control. Sharp increases in pain and nausea can increase blood pressure and your risk of bleeding.
- Consider continuing Arnica Montana. Dr. Prischmann has a protocol that we suggest for patients.
- Consider taking Vitamin C supplementation. Vitamin C is essential during the healing process.
- While it is important to keep blood circulating throughout your body to prevent blood clots, you should avoid strenuous activities for two weeks following a facelift.
- PLEASE NOTE: IT IS IMPORTANT TO TALK TO YOUR PERSONAL PHYSICIAN BEFORE STARTING OR STOPPING ANY MEDICATIONS OR SUPPLEMENTS.
When will my face “soften”? What should I do to help promote healing?
It is extremely common for patients to feel numbness and swelling after a facelift. Sometimes, patients will use the term “wooden” to describe the feeling. It is important to understand that this is just a normal healing phase after surgery and it will pass. Swelling decreases from days to weeks after surgery. Numbness typically subsides several weeks after surgery.
How much does a facelift cost?
The cost of facelift surgery ranges from $12,000 to $14,000. This includes surgery center and anesthesia fees. You will be fully educated about the cost of your facelift during your consultation with Dr. Prischmann.
For more information on our deep plane facelift procedures, please contact our Minneapolis facial plastic surgeon today. Dr. Prischmann can meet with you in a confidential consultation to discuss all aspects of treatment.
1 Mayo Clinic. Facelift. Available: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/face-lift/about/pac-20394059. Accessed September 18, 2023.