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Our San Diego facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that improves visible signs of aging on the face and neck.


Turn back the clock.

With age, your facial skin and cheek volume change significantly. The development of folds, skin creases and wrinkles is inevitable. This can be due to gravity, sun exposure or weight loss.

A La Jolla facelift is designed turn back the clock and restore your youthful facial appearance. It can be performed on its own, or in conjunction with eyelid surgery, fat transfers and/or a forehead/brow lift.

The benefits of a facelift

Although the loss of youthful facial contours is a natural part of aging, it can be accelerated by heredity, environmental conditions and stress. Fortunately, a facelift with our San Diego plastic surgeons can address a wide range of issues related to facial aging, including:

  • Sagging in the middle of your face
  • Deep creases below the lower eyelids
  • Creases along the nose extending to the corner of the mouth
  • Fat that has fallen or disappeared
  • Loss of skin tone in the lower face that creates jowls

The procedure What to expect during your facelift

Your facelift will be done under general anesthesia to ensure your comfort and safety. Once you are asleep, our La Jolla plastic surgeons will create the incisions necessary for the procedure. In most cases, these cuts will be hidden within the hairline and behind the ears.

Through those openings, we can address deep creases, elevate sagging skin, reposition unwanted fat and smooth lines and wrinkles. The procedure will be completely customized to your needs and signs of aging.

For example, we can create a dramatic transformation for patients in their 50’s and 60’s, and a subtler enhancement for patients in their 30’s and 40’s.

Once we have restored your youthful facial contours, we will close the incisions and apply bandages to the area. We may also place drainage tubes to prevent the accumulation of fluid beneath the skin.

Risks and complications

When you work with an experienced La Jolla cosmetic surgeon, complications are very rare. However, even the best cosmetic surgery procedure is not without risk. Your surgeon will discuss these with you at your consultation.

Facelift Candidates

A facelift, when performed correctly, will leave you looking like your younger self. It is an appropriate procedure for people in their 40s and older who are see the signs of aging skin:

  • Wrinkles
  • Creases
  • Lines
  • Loss of jawline definition
  • Jowls
  • Sagging facial tissue
  • Deep laugh lines
  • Fatty deposits beneath chin
  • Wrinkled neck, vertical bands on neck

To be a candidate for plastic surgery requires that you are generally in good health, do not smoke, and do not have any illnesses or conditions that could put you at risk when undergoing surgery.

Preparing for Facelift Surgery

Prior to planning your surgical date, you will undergo various tests. If you take any medications, particularly blood thinners, these will be reviewed, and we will coordinate with your other doctors to determine whether it is safe to stop taking these. The supplements you take will also be evaluated, as many supplements thin blood, and these must be stopped a few weeks prior to your surgical appointment. If you smoke, you will have to quit, as smoking can hinder healing. You will have certain responsibilities prior to undergoing surgery:

  • Wash your face and hair the evening prior to surgery, and in the morning.
  • No food can be consumed after midnight the day before your procedure.
  • Arrange your bed and home so that everything you need is at close at hand.
  • Make arrangements for a friend or family member to drive you home after surgery and stay with you for a day or two to assist you.
  • Fill any prescription from Dr. Kouli prior to your surgical appointment.

Is it Painful?

During the surgery, you will be under anesthesia, and will not experience any pain. As the procedure involves incisions, once the anesthesia wears off, you could experience pain or discomfort. To make the healing process comfortable, you will be prescribed pain medication to take during the early stages of recovery. You should not suffer any pain that isn’t manageable with medication, and the results of a facelift are well worth it. You will look younger, more vital, and restored once your face has healed.

How Long Does it Take?

The procedure can vary in length, depending upon the condition of your face and neck. Generally, it will take between two to four hours to complete. A mini-facelift takes less time but is more appropriate for younger patients who require a less complete rejuvenation.

Treatments That Can Be Paired With a Facelift

A facelift may be paired with other surgical procedures to produce a more thorough facial rejuvenation. Many patients choose to undergo additional procedures, including:

Non-Surgical Facelift

Amazing results can be achieved with the use of dermal fillers and BOTOX, particularly for patients who are seeing the early signs of aging skin. A non-surgical facelift is a customized procedure and involves the use of various types of dermal fillers to smooth lines and wrinkles, lift cheeks by restoring lost volume, and smoothing unsightly lip lines, frown lines, and laugh lines. The results of a carefully and correctly performed non-surgical facelift, or “lunchtime lift” will typically last for between three and six months – but can produce a remarkable improvement in facial appearance.

Mini-Facelift

Plastic surgery techniques have greatly advanced over the decades, and a mini facelift has become the most commonly-performed facelift surgery. This procedure addresses the lower third of the face to treat sagging skin, wrinkles and lines and restore a youthful definition to the jawline. The surgery involves shorter incisions, placed around the ears, rather than within the hairline as is used in a traditional facelift.

How Long is Recovery?

You should plan to take at least two weeks off work after a facelift. As this is a surgical procedure, it is normal to experience swelling and bruising in the early stages of recovery – you won’t look like yourself until these symptoms recede. Your refreshed look will begin to appear within two to three weeks, but the full results will take more time. If you are planning a facelift prior to an important event, and want to look your best, you should consider having the facelift about three months before the event to be safe.

Will I need to be hospitalized for a facelift?

Our Del Mar facelift can be performed on an outpatient basis, with no need for an overnight stay in a hospital. Our clinics are accredited and provide the latest technology for patient safety and health. You will undergo your facelift surgery, after which you will slowly awaken from the anesthesia. You will be released after you are safe to return home, under the care of a friend or family member. You will be tired and will want to rest and should return directly home – rest is what you need for healing. We will be closely checking on your progress, and you will have several follow-up appointments at our clinic. As your newly restored face heals, the beauty of what the facelift achieved will slowly appear, day by day.

Why choose Esthetica?

Dr. Kouli is a leading facial plastic surgeon, with exclusive, private clinics in Del Mar and San Diego to serve you. He brings exceptional talent and artistry to facial plastic surgery along with a warm, caring personality.

Undergoing a facelift is a big decision – choosing the right surgeon is not just important, it is vital. You want to look younger, refreshed, and revitalized, but like yourself – not a pulled, strange appearance. Dr. Kouli has the skills and artistic approach to facelift surgery that produces very natural-looking results.

The results

Swelling and bruising can persist for several weeks after even the best facelift. As these effects diminish, the results of your procedure will become apparent. Most of our Del Mar clients feel comfortable going out in public after two weeks.

Our patients routinely report feeling years younger after their facelift. Although no surgery can stop the aging process from continuing to progress, you will always look younger than you would have without the procedure.

Facelift San Diego

A well-done facelift can rejuvenate your appearance and make you look as young and vibrant as you feel. To begin planning for your transformation, please contact our office today and schedule a consultation for arguably the best facelift San Diego has to offer.


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