Facelift New York City

What is it a Facelift?

A facelift is a surgical procedure that addresses defects and imperfections in your face that are associated with aging. The end result makes you look younger and healthier.


As you age, your skin loses elasticity. During a facelift, loose or sagging skin is tightened, thus eliminating deep creases and wrinkles. The procedure also enhances definition to the jawline and neck area by removing excess skin jowls, loose neck skin, and excess fatty tissue. Additionally, we may modify muscle and tissue as required to achieve pleasing results.

Your face is essentially reshaped and contoured, highlighting your natural beauty.

A pre-op plan will be carefully created for you, and may include changes in diet and other habits that impact your health. You will be asked to fast the night prior to surgery, and may be asked not to take certain medications, refrain from common activities, or stop certain habits.

The duration of results from your facelift can vary depending on many factors, including genetics and natural aging. We will create a post-op plan specifically for you so you can enjoy the results of your surgery for many years to come. This plan may require a change of lifestyle—reducing sun exposure and eliminating smoking, for instance.

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If you have hanging skin and jowls and deep facial folds, then a facelift can dramatically improve your facial appearance, turning back the clock with results that can last a decade or more.

Facelift Procedure Details

In most cases, a facelift procedure is performed in a hospital or surgery center and you may expect to stay over at the facility for one night, or return to your home the same day, with home nursing care. The procedure is most often performed with the patient under general anesthesia, and the operation will take three to four hours. In some cases, however, local anesthesia with intravenous sedation is used, depending on the procedure we plan for you.


During the procedure, incisions are made in areas of natural creasing and behind your hairline to minimize visible scarring, or completely hide it. Beginning above one of your ears, we make an incision that extends down the front of your ear and then curves beneath your earlobe to extend behind your ear and into your scalp hairline. The same incision is made on both sides of the face. Another incision may be made under your chin if a significant amount of fat needs to be removed from the neck, or if the tissues have become so lax that they can not be properly repositioned solely through use of the standard incision.


After the procedure, you will usually experience bruising for two weeks, and swelling that can last from four to six weeks. The affected skin may be tender and numb, and can feel dry and tight. Prescription medications are used to control pain, which can be mild to moderate. You can expect to return to work in about three weeks, and can resume full physical activities in three to four weeks.

Please call the office to set up a consultation or if you have any questions about this procedure that you would like answered. 212-644-4416

Choosing a Facelift.

As we age, our skin loses elasticity. This causes the skin on your face and neck to begin to loosen. Fine lines start to appear at the corner of your eyes and mouth. Eventually these fine lines deepen into creases. At the same time, the skin on your jaw can become looser, giving the appearance of jowls or a double chin.

Aging occurs because skin is composed of collagen and elastin, which are proteins that help skin to return to its previous position when force is applied. As a person ages, the collagen and elastin lose their ability to pull the skin back into position. The amount of visible aging varies among individuals based on gravity, heredity, stress, personal habits (such as smoking) and sun exposure.

A facelift (also known as a “rhytidectomy”) is a surgical procedure that “turns back the clock.” Loose or sagging facial skin will be tightened, thus eliminating deep creases and wrinkles. By restoring the youthful contours of your face, you will look younger and healthier – and feel more confident in your professional and personal life.

Am I a good candidate for a facelift?

You are a good candidate for a facelift if you are in good health, have reasonable expectations for the surgery, live in New York City (or are willing to travel), and are motivated to follow your pre-operative and post-operative instructions. While there is no minimum or maximum age for a facelift, most of our patients start considering facelifts when they are in the 40’s and 50’s. Patients generally look five to ten years younger following their facelift.

The Consultation: Creating Your Plastic Surgery Plan

Your facelift journey begins with a consultation with Dr. David Cangello in our New York City office. Dr. Cangello will discuss your medical history and the results that you want from your facelift. For your surgery to proceed safely, you need to be honest about your medications, personal habits, previous surgical procedures and any allergies. You also need to have realistic expectations for the surgery.

After Dr. Cangello examines you, he will recommend a surgical plan that will help you achieve a younger, natural, healthy appearance. At this time he will also answer your questions and explain how to prepare for your facelift.

Preparing For Your Facelift

Dr. Cangello is committed to achieving the best results possible. During your initial consultation, he will create a pre-operative plan for you to follow. This plan is designed for your unique needs, to make sure that you have the best outcome possible. Your pre-op plan may include changes in diet and other habits that impact your health. For example, you will be asked to reduce your exposure to the sun and to stop smoking.

Dr. Cangello will also give you instructions for the days before your surgery. These include stopping certain medications and supplements. You will also be told not to eat on the day of your surgery.

Where will the surgery be performed?

Your facelift procedure will be performed at either a hospital or surgery center in NYC. You can expect to stay at the facility for one night. It is possible to return to your home (if you live in New York City) the same day of surgery, if you have home nursing care.

Types of Anesthesia

Facelifts take two to four hours and are usually performed using general anesthesia. In some cases, Dr. Cangello will use local anesthesia with intravenous sedation. In either case, you will not feel any pain or remember the surgery.

Facelift Surgery Techniques

The exact technique and incision sites are based on many factors. These include your anatomy and personal goals, the extent of the facelift, and whether you are having any additional procedures done at the same time. Dr. Cangello will discuss this plan with you prior to surgery.

The surgery begins with incisions. As much as possible, these incisions are made in the areas of natural creasing and behind your hairline. Next, Dr. Cangello will carefully remove excess skin and fat. He will then tighten the underlying facial muscle, and gently lift and reposition the skin. The repositioned skin is then sutured in place.

The Recovery Process

You can expect to stay at the New York City facility for one night. Although most patients experience minimal pain following surgery, Dr. Cangello will prescribe pain medication in order to keep you comfortable.

You will go home with sutures or staples that will need to be removed in five to ten days. You may also have drainage tubes and/or bandages that will need to be removed following surgery. Dr. Cangello may advise you to use cold compresses and to keep your head elevated when you are lying down.

After the procedure, you will usually experience bruising for two weeks, and swelling can last four to six weeks. The affected skin may be tender and numb, or feel tight. It may also be difficult to turn your head. You can expect to return to work in about three weeks, and can resume full physical activities in three to four weeks.

Facelift Surgery With Minimal Scarring

There should be minimal visible scarring following your facelift. As much as possible, incisions are made in the areas of natural creasing and behind your hairline, so scars can be completely hidden. If there is an incision around the top of your ear, it can be covered by wearing your hair over your ears. Some clients also choose to wear hats or headscarves to disguise incisions while they are healing.

How long do facelifts last?

Most patients experience benefits for two to ten years following their facelift. Unfortunately, the aging process does not stop after you have surgery! Your results are based on the specifics of your surgery, as well as your genetics and individual health situation. Avoiding sun exposure, not smoking, and following a healthy diet all help to extend the results of your facelift.

Please call our New York City office at 212-644-4416 to set up a consultation or if you have any questions about this procedure.


  • What do I need to avoid before surgery?

    The main thing you should avoid before surgery is any substance that can thin the blood as blood thinning substances can increase your risk of bleeding from surgery. Some of the most common things that can thin your blood are medications such as Aspirin, or anything containing Ibuprofen. Medications that contain Ibuprofen, include but are not limited to: Advil, Motrin, Alleve, etc. It is best to avoid fish oil as well. If you are taking any medicines, including homeopathic medicines it is best to check with Dr. Cangello’s office to see if you should discontinue their use before surgery.
  • How soon after my facelift will I be able to exercise?

    You should not exercise until four to six weeks after your surgery. At four weeks you can start light exercise and at six weeks you can resume full activity.
  • What is the youngest age that you will perform a facelift?

    There is not an age cut off per se for facelift surgery. Usually women younger than their mid 40’s have not demonstrated signs of facial aging that would require a face/neck lift. However, regardless of age, if your face and neck exhibit characteristics that can be improved by undergoing a face or neck lift, then you are a candidate. Also, patients who have had massive weight loss who may be as young as their 30’s may have significant sagging skin in the face and/or neck. These people are candidates for the procedure(s) as well.
  • Do hairlines shift after a facelift?

    Hairlines should shift minimally if at all. With proper planning of the incisions, any shift that does occur should be negligible and not noticeable. The exception to this is when men have face lifts. Depending on where the incision is placed, hair baring skin (from the beard) can be shifted up on to the tragus of the ear. Dr. Cangello always discusses with male patients placement of the incisions and the ramifications of how the hair may be changed, and how to manage it if it is.
  • Can I drink caffeine the day after my procedure?

    It is best to avoid caffeine containing products, or anything that can increase blood pressure for at least a few days after your procedure. It is very important that blood pressure be well controlled in the postoperative period to avoid bleeding related complications.
  • Is it possible to liposuction the face?

    It is possible to liposuction the face. However liposuction of the face can be very tricky and used judiciously. Dr. Cangello commonly performs liposuction of the neck to help define the neck and jawline. However, minimal if any suction is performed in the face. More commonly, we try to replace fat volume into the face.
  • I only want my neck improved. Is that possible without a facelift?

    It is absolutely possible to improve only the neck without having a face lift. That procedure is called a neck lift. It is used to tighten loose sagging skin in the neck, to treat the vertically oriented bands that occur in the neck, and to de-fat the neck. Dr. Cangello performs this procedure through an incision that is behind the ear. There is no incision in front of the ear as occurs with a facelift. So it is essentially, not visible.
  • Can I have other procedures done at the same time?

    Other procedures are commonly performed at the same time as face lift. These procedures usually include: neck lift, fat grafting or transfer to the face, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) and brow lift.
  • Do patients ever need a second facelift?

    I usually tell my patients that they can expect the results of their face lift to last about 10 years. If they are lucky, it will last longer, and sometimes it does.
  • Can I see some before and after photos of your results?

    We post before and after photos on our website. However, we do not post a large amount due to the fact that our patients expect us to respect their privacy and we take that very seriously. At consultation, if you would like to see more photographs than you can see on our website, we are happy to show them to you. You can check out some of our results here
  • Why does choosing a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon matter?

    A surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic surgery has to undergo rigorous training in the field of both cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. In addition they have to pass very difficult oral and written examinations to verify their proficiency in the field. Unlike surgeons who undergo cosmetic training alone, plastic surgeons also have extensive experience with reconstruction of the entire body. So they are the most qualified to deal with any untoward event that may occur as a result of having face or neck lift surgery. They are also the most qualified to have in depth understanding of the anatomy involved when performing the procedure.

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