Gainesville Facelift

Facial Rejuvenation

While non-surgical procedures such as injectables and lasers can certainly revitalize the face, no procedure will turn back the clock like a facelift. It allows the surgeon to take a fully comprehensive approach to your facial aging. A facelift is hands down the “gold standard” for facial rejuvenation.

Benefits of a Facelift

Risks and Considerations of Facelifts

Facelift technique

Dr. Helen Allison performs both traditional and short-scar facelifts using the SMAS (submuscular aponeurotic system) technique. In the past, the downside of facelift surgery was that it could make a patient looked pulled or “done.” The SMAS – a thin layer of connective tissue or fascia located beneath the skin and fat but above the muscle – interconnects the face, mid-face, and neck muscles.

By working at this deep level, there is no pulling on the skin. Instead, the skin is re-draped over your newly tightened muscles. When this technique is used by a very experienced surgeon such as Dr. Allison, it can deliver a truly natural-looking result for both men and women.

Recovery from a facelift

A facelift is performed under general anesthesia at an accredited surgery center.

Some patients may desire to stay overnight under a nurse’s supervision, while others may choose to go home with a caregiver such as a family member. You will need some help for the first few days. Dr. Helen Allison advises his patients to be extremely careful about lifting or exercise that will significantly elevate the heart rate or blood pressure during their first few weeks post-op.

You will be examined the morning following surgery, and we will assess your skin and soft tissues and remove any drains. You will come back in seven to ten days to have stitches removed.

A smoother, younger facial appearance that lasts for years.

It is normal to experience some bruising and swelling in the first stages of recovery after plastic surgery, such as facelift procedures and neck lift. The swelling tends to reach its peak about three or four days following facial rejuvenation surgery, so be patient and kind to yourself as your body heals. Depending on how many facial rejuvenation techniques you had done, you may be swollen anywhere from one to four weeks. While your final results from traditional facelift surgery, especially facelift in Gainesville, may take up to six months, you should notice excellent improvements in about two weeks.

Where will the incisions be?

Typically, the incisions will be placed in the hairline and around the ear. However, with a short scar facelift, there are no incisions behind the ear, which can be a consideration for those concerned about facelift cost or facelift recovery time. The advantage of this is that it, as the name implies, produces a shorter scar, contributing to a more youthful appearance. While this sounds ideal, it does not necessarily mean a less visible scar on the facial skin. The disadvantage is that it only works for certain patients who cannot address the neck through surgical facelift procedures. Dr. Helen Allison, an experienced facelift surgeon specializing in cosmetic surgery procedures, including eyelid surgery, understands that no patient wants a visible scar. This is where her years of training and expertise in facial plastic surgery really come into play. She is meticulous in the making and closing of her incisions, ensuring well-hidden facelift scars for her patients.

Reviving Youthful Confidence

There’s a natural desire in many of us to maintain the youthful vibrancy of our skin and to feel confident every time we look in the mirror. As age gracefully touches us, the skin, especially on the face, shows signs of the passing years, such as skin folds and saggy skin. Enter the facelift, a popular cosmetic procedure that has helped many patients, with most opting for mini facelifts, regain their radiant appearance.

During the initial consultation with a facial plastic surgeon, medical history and the condition of underlying facial muscles are assessed to determine the best approach, whether it’s a standard facelift or other facial rejuvenation procedures like laser skin resurfacing. The outcome of a facelift varies for each individual, but it often results in a more youthful appearance and the confidence that comes with it.

What is a Facelift?

A facelift, medically known as a rhytidectomy, is more than just a simple “lift.” It’s a comprehensive approach to reversing the most evident signs of aging on the face and neck. Here’s how it works:

  • Tightening the Underlying Muscles
  • Eliminating Excess Skin
  • Repositioning and Contouring

Technological Advancements

The field of cosmetic surgery is ever-evolving. Today’s facelifts often incorporate advanced techniques and technologies. Some surgeons use endoscopic cameras for better visualization, while others may employ laser technology or ultrasound to achieve optimal results.

Signs You Might Be Ready for a Facelift

Here are signs that might indicate you’re a good candidate for a facelift:

Sagging Skin

Sagging skin and facial wrinkles are among the key indicators. Our skin, the body’s largest organ, changes over time, and its elasticity reduces significantly with age. This lax skin, often resulting from sun exposure, genetics, and gravity, can manifest as sagging skin, predominantly evident around the jawline and neck. The droopiness, often called ‘turkey neck’ or ‘jowls,’ can be more pronounced for some than others. If you find yourself perturbed by these changes, feeling that they don’t reflect how young you feel inside, a facelift could be the solution you’re seeking.

Deep Wrinkles

Age is often seen as a badge of life’s experiences, and while fine lines can add character, deep wrinkles can sometimes portray exhaustion or sadness. Most noticeable around the nose and mouth and extending to the outwards of the face, these wrinkles, often called ‘nasolabial folds’ or ‘marionette lines,’ can make one appear older than they feel. If you’ve tried serums, creams, and other cosmetic procedures with little to no avail, a facelift, a surgical procedure, might be the game-changer, addressing these wrinkles at their root.

Loss of Contour

Remember the plump cheeks and defined jawline from your younger years? Our face tends to lose fat with age, especially in the cheeks, leading to a hollow or sunken appearance. This loss of volume and contour can alter the overall shape and look of the face, making one appear more aged or tired. The beauty of a facelift, including facelift Gainesville, is its ability to restore these lost contours, giving the face a rejuvenated appearance reminiscent of one’s youthful years. During a facelift consultation, you can discuss your aesthetic goals, surgeon fees, and the minimal downtime associated with this surgical procedure, which aims to remove excess skin and revitalize your natural creases for a more youthful look.

Different Types of Facelifts: Which One Is Right for You?

Traditional Facelift

Often referred to as the “full facelift,” this procedure is the most comprehensive. The surgeon works to rejuvenate the face holistically, focusing not just on the skin but also on the underlying muscles.

  • Areas Addressed: Entire face, jowls, and the neck region.
  • Ideal Candidates: Those experiencing moderate to advanced signs of aging, with significant sagging, deep wrinkles, and noticeable jowls.
  • Procedure Highlights: This facelift involves incisions made from the hairline at the temples, extending around the ear and ending at the lower scalp. It provides the most dramatic and lasting transformation.


The middle region of the face often shows aging signs sooner than other areas. A mid-facelift specifically targets this zone to restore its youthful vitality.

  • Areas Addressed: The area under the eyes, the cheeks, and the nasolabial folds.
  • Ideal Candidates: Individuals who notice sagging in the cheeks, hollowness beneath the eyes, or deepening lines around the nose and mouth.
  • Procedure Highlights: Incisions are typically made along the hairline and within the mouth, ensuring that resultant scars are discreet. The goal is to elevate the tissues, restoring fullness and reducing sagging.


As the name suggests, this is a scaled-down version of the traditional facelift, ideal for those who require minor corrections.

  • Areas Addressed: Primarily the lower face, jowls, and neck.
  • Ideal Candidates: Younger patients or those with mild to moderate signs of aging who are not yet ready for a full facelift are most likely candidates for this procedure.

Procedure Highlights: The surgeon works to tighten underlying tissues using smaller incisions, typically around the ear. The mini-facelift offers a quicker recovery period and is less invasive, making it a popular choice for many.

The Facelift Procedure

Consultation and Personalized Assessment

Before the actual procedure, a thorough consultation with your surgeon is crucial. It is where individual needs, goals, and concerns are discussed. Your surgeon will assess your facial structure, skin elasticity, and overall health to determine the best approach for you.

Preparation for the Procedure

Before the surgery, patients are often advised to:

  • Avoid certain medications that can increase bleeding
  • Refrain from smoking, which can hinder the healing process
  • Stay hydrated and maintain a balanced diet
  • Please arrange for someone to drive them home post-surgery and assist during the initial recovery phase


Most facelifts are performed under general anesthesia, ensuring you’re entirely unconscious and pain-free during the procedure. In some cases, local anesthesia with sedation might be used. Your anesthetist will monitor your vitals continuously to ensure safety.

Making the Incisions

The surgeon will make incisions, typically starting at the temples, running down in front of the ear, circling behind the earlobe, and then into the hairline. The exact nature and length of the incision depend on the type of facelift and the targeted areas.

Reshaping and Tightening

Once the incisions are made:

  • The skin is gently lifted, revealing the underlying tissue and muscles.
  • These tissues are then tightened and repositioned for a natural, youthful contour.
  • Excess skin is trimmed away.
  • Sometimes, liposuction might be used to remove fat deposits under the chin.

Closing the Incisions

The tightened skin is then carefully draped over the reshaped facial contours. The surgeon uses sutures to close the incisions. Some surgeons might use skin glue or clips. Small drainage tubes might be placed to prevent fluid buildup, depending on the procedure’s extent.

Recovery and Post-Op Care

Understanding Initial Reactions

  • Bruising and Swelling
  • Mild Pain and Discomfort

Post-Op Care Essentials

1. Taking Prescribed Medications

Your surgeon will likely prescribe medications to alleviate pain and prevent infections. It’s paramount to take them as directed and not to self-medicate or mix them with other drugs unless advised by a healthcare professional.

2. Avoiding Strenuous Activities

The initial weeks following your facelift are a time for rest. Engaging in vigorous activities can exacerbate swelling or even cause complications. Light walks can help improve circulation, but consult your surgeon before resuming your regular exercise routine.

3. Keeping the Head Elevated

Propping yourself up, especially during the first week, can significantly reduce swelling. Use extra pillows or a recliner to ensure your head remains raised, even during sleep.

4. Adhering to a Skincare Routine

A gentle skincare routine tailored to post-operative care can enhance healing. Avoid products with harsh chemicals and focus on gentle cleansers, moisturizers, and sunscreens. Your surgeon may also recommend specific products to minimize scarring.

5. Monitoring for Signs of Complications

While rare, complications can arise. Watch for excessive redness, unexpected discharge, or increased pain. If something doesn’t seem right, contact your surgeon immediately.

6. Attending Follow-up Appointments

These appointments allow your surgeon to monitor your healing progress, address any concerns, and guide you on the subsequent stages of recovery.

Selecting the Right Surgeon

The best defense against these risks is a seasoned surgeon. Here’s why:

  • Experienced surgeons possess a refined technique, reducing the likelihood of complications.
  • They can offer a portfolio of past procedures, allowing you to gauge their expertise.
  • Consultations with such professionals ensure that you receive tailored advice, maximizing your chances of a satisfactory outcome.