What is a facelift?

Dr. Thompson sees a considerable amount of patients regarding facial rejuvenation of the face and neck and the amount of facelift surgeries he performs each year is far above the national average. When patients visit him for their intial consultation, they often report deep frustration in the looseness of their jowls, lower face and neck. Aging is inevitable, and overtime the jawline softens into the jowls, the folds around the mouth deepen, and the neck loosens and begins to sag. Heredity, personal habits, the pull of gravity, and sun exposure contribute to the aging of the face. Unfortunately, effects of these catalysts set in far before the inside feelings and symptoms of aging occur, which is why patients often report a deep desire to just look as young as they feel inside. Diet, exercise and healthy living keep us feeling good but it often requires surgery to restore outside features to reflect how one feels on the inside. Many patients initially request just a “neck lift”. It’s important to know that if a surgeon were to remove just the excess neck skin, the lax skin of the face would bunch up in front of the ears and would looking highly unnatural. If a plastic surgeon tells you he can do a neck lift alone, we strongly encourage obtaining a second opinion. Furthermore, doing the neck and face together provides an opportunity to perform neck liposuction and place the obtained fat elsewhere in the face. That fat can then be used to restore volume in other areas of the face.

The Thompson Facial Plastics Difference

Dr. Thompson’s facelift technique differs from a typical facelift technique in that it is more comprehensive. A traditional facelift works well for lifting loose jowls but is inadequate for treating significant neck laxity and completely overlooks the mid-face. Dr. Thompson’s preferred facelift is extensive in lifting and tightening the neck, jowls, and mid-face area for long-lasting results. Dr. Thompson specializes in facelift surgery and performs 8 times the amount of facelifts per year than the average plastic surgeon in the United States.  With extensive training as a facial plastic surgeon and 10 plus years of experience performing numerous facelift surgeries, you can trust you’ll receive the best results possible following your facelift surgery in Utah. Additionally, Dr. Thompson’s background in the fine arts enhances his ability to balance the technical and creative aspects of his specialty and assists him in his goal of achieving natural surgical results that enhance each individual’s unique and attractive features. Patients also appreciate his genuine concern for their well-being and satisfaction. He is committed to ethical, caring, and honest treatment of his patients and works very hard to earn and maintain their trust. Although patient care is his primary focus, Dr. Thompson’s academic, research, and teaching abilities have been recognized throughout his career with numerous awards as well as several scholarly publications. He recently won Vitals Patient’s Choice Award in 2013 for the numerous positive online reviews from his patients and was also recognized as one of America’s Most Compassionate Doctors. Only physicians with near perfect overall and bedside manner scores from online reviews are selected for the Compassionate Doctor recognition. Of the nation’s 870,000 active physicians, only 3% were awarded this honor for 2013.

Utah's Facelift Specialist Discusses His Cutting Edge Facelift Procedure

Fat Injections to Restore Volume

Dr. Thompson often incorporates fat injections as well to restore volume loss that naturally occurs over time. Fat grafting, also known as fat transfer or fat injections, is taking a patient’s own fat from another area of the body, typically the abdomen, thighs or back, and is put in the mid-face to restore volume. The fat can also be used to fill in deep nasolabial folds, tear trouphs and marionette lines, hollow temples and skin depressions in the face. Facelift surgery lifts the lower part of the face to restore the neck and jawline while fat transfer restores volume that has been depleted overtime. Together, comprehensive facial rejuvenation is achieved for an overall natural, youthful result. Learn more about fat grafting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is an ideal candidate for a facelift?

An ideal candidate for a facelift, rhytidectomy, is typically in their 40’s or older, has significant jowling and neck laxity with a desire for a more comprehensive, longer laster approach to the alternatives. It’s important that the patient is in good to excellent health and does not smoke. Individuals with good skin elasticity and strong bone structure will have the best possibility for an excellent surgical outcome.

What should I expect from a complimentary consultation?

Dr. Scott Thompson, a double board certified facial plastic surgeon in Utah, has extensive experience performing facelift surgery. During your consultation, he will discuss your concerns as well as your goals and motivations for surgery. An exam and review of your current and previous health history will also take place. He will then examine the structures of your face and neck, assess the quality of your skin tone and bone structure, and will make recommendations he feels will help you achieve your aesthetic goals. Dr. Thompson will discuss the procedure(s) he recommends and give information on where incisions will be placed, possible risks and complications, and make any non-surgical recommendations to enhance the overall surgical outcome. These options may include dermal fillers, Botox®, laser treatments, and/or professional skincare, some of which may be included in your surgical package. Dr. Thompson will advise you to avoid taking aspirin, ibuprofen products, Vitamin E and certain herbal medications before surgery, as these medications can cause increased bleeding and/or bruising. He will also insist that you discontinue smoking for at least one month prior to surgery to ensure proper healing, if applicable. More information is given at your pre-operative appointment 2 weeks prior to surgery. Jessica, Dr. Thompson’s Patient Care Coordinator, will then provide you with all the financial details on any procedure discussed at your consultation and give financing options if applicable. She can also help facilitate the next step in the process and/or provide additional resources, such as before and after photos, articles, educational videos, etc.

How is facelift surgery performed?

During a facelift surgery, Dr. Thompson begins the incision in the area of the temple, just above and in front of the ear. The incision continues under the earlobe and follows the back of the ear and blends into the hairline. The skin is gently lifted and repositioned and the underlying muscle and connective tissue is tightened. Fat is often removed as well as excess skin. For men, the incision line often blends into the natural line of the beard. In all cases, Dr. Thompson places incisions where they’ll fall in line with natural skin creases. Fine sutures hold incisions in place. Surgery last anywhere from 3-5 hours depending on the case and is done in a surgical facility under general anesthetia. Dressings and a head wrap are applied to protect the entire area where the incisions have been made and hold things in place.

Where does Dr. Thompson perform facelift surgery?

Because of the high quality care and advanced resourced Lakeview Hospital in Bountiful, Utah provides, Dr. Thompson has performed hundreds of facelift surgeries in their surgical facility with great success. Patients appreciate the high level of care they receive from such an experienced team of healthcare professionals. The surgical center at Lakeview Hospital is JCAHO certified, which means it has passed the highest level of federal inspection for safety. Dr. Thompson believes a fully accredited surgical center is in the best interest of his patients, as well as a board-certified anesthesiologist who has completed medical school, residency, and board certification with years of experience. Dr. Thompson has worked closely with the anesthesia group at Lakeview Hospital and has been trusting his patients in their care for nearly ten years. Hospitals only allow plastic surgeons certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery to perform cosmetic procedures in their operating rooms. The credentialing process the surgical center undergoes is extensive. Subsequently, the process to credential practicing surgeons is also very thorough and often takes months to complete. The surgeon has to provide proof of competency, training, and an accredited residency as well as proper board certification. You can rest assured you’ll receive exceptional care from the combined efforts of the staff at Thompson Facial Plastics and the surgical team at Lakeview Hospital. With years of experience and successful outcomes, facelift patients trust that their safety and satisfaction are of utmost importance to all professionals involved. “In June, 2014, I had facial surgery at Lakeview Hospital. Though the procedure itself may not sound fun, the staff at the hospital were absolutely wonderful. From the intake (which was very fast), through the surgery and recovery and right through release, everyone (and I do mean everyone) gave excellent professional care. My wife was treated just as well. With timely updates during surgery and great hospitality, she was blown away. My surgeon, Dr. Scott Thompson and the attending anesthesiologist were also outstanding. The entire experience was exceptional, exceptional, exceptional. Having been in the health care field for 28 years before retiring, I would say that Lakeview Hospital and wonderful staff deserve a 3 thumbs up (yes, a 3).” For more information about Lakeview Hospital, click on the map below. Information about accommodations and transportation near Lakeview Hospital can be found on our Out Of Town Patients page.

Lakeview Hospital | Utah Facial Plastics

What should I expect with recovery from facelift surgery?

Most patients report minimal pain but often experience a general feeling of tightness for the first 2-5 days. Medications to ease the pain, prevent infection and aid in the healing process are prescribed prior to surgery. Bruising and swelling are to be expected and peaks at approximately 48 hours. It’s recommended to use ice packs during this time to reduce the effects. Dr. Thompson encourages patients to spend the first night in the facility and can visit the next morning to remove dressings, clean incisions, and remove draining tube if applicable. Directions for care of incisions are given with encouragement to keep the head elevated and avoid as much activity as possible. All sutures are removed within five to 10 days following surgery. Most patients are feeling quite well after 1 week but may have signs of bruising and swelling for an additional week or two. Facelift surgery does not provide immediate gratification and you will definitely look worse before you look better. For many, withdrawing socially during recovery, compounded with limited physical exercise, can lead to short-term depression and/or anxiety. Dr. Thompson feels it’s important to prepare his patients before surgery to help negate or limit these negative feelings that can occur postoperatively. All information will be addressed and discussed at your pre-operative appointment, including the 4 emotional stages of facial surgery as shown in the graphic below. Dr. Thompson sees facelift patients frequently during the first few weeks following surgery to make sure they are healing well and to help them through. Our nurses are also just a phone call or email away. We recognize that it takes a support team to guide you through and it’s very rewarding to see the happiness a patient experiences from facelift surgery once everything has healed. Some things Dr. Thompson recommends to help during this time are to avoid mirrors, get outdoors for some fresh air if possible, avoid negative friends and/or family, avoid internet searches on “botched plastic surgery”, and try to do things that you enjoy as long as you don’t overdo it physically.

Facial Plastic Surgery Emotions | Utah Facial Plastics

What are typical facelift results?

Expect to be extremely happy with your facelift results and the youthful appearance you will regain. Patients report getting a lot of positive feedback from others who tell them they look great but are not sure what is different. They may think you changed your hairstyle or took a rejuvenating vacation. These comments are the sign of a great procedure that is not completely obvious to those around you.

How much does a facelift cost?

When choosing a surgeon for facelift surgery, it’s important to remember that the surgeon’s experience and your comfort level with him or her should be the priority. Choosing a surgeon based on the lowest cost can come with a high price should you be unhappy with your result or end up in need of a revision facelift down the road.  As a double board certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Thompson provides the experience, training, and artistry to provide you with the best results possible. There are three components to the total cost for facelift surgery; the surgical fee, fee for the facility, and fee for anesthesia. According to 2013 statistics from The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average surgical fee in the nation is $6,556. Dr. Thompson’s surgical facelift fee is typically around $5,600 but will vary depending on what is involved with your procedure. Dr. Thompson may recommend a mini lift (MACS Facelift), full facelift, or a combination of procedures best suited to help you achieve your aesthetic goals. Therefore, the cost will be less for Dr. Thompson’s MACS facelift and higher if any revision or added procedures are involved. Lakeview Hospital provides reasonable prices and you can expect the facility fee to range between $1,100 and $1,800 depending on how long the procedure will take. For anesthesia, cost ranges from $1,000 to $1,700. If a facelift is performed without additional procedures, you can expect the price to be on the lower end of the scale. Both payments are due separately the morning of surgery. We recommend a complimentary consultation with Dr. Thompson where you will receive a detailed quote on all fees involved as well as further information on financing opportunities. Keep in mind that the actual price for anesthesia and facility may be slightly higher or lower depending on the final length of surgery but the surgical fee will be fixed and is due one week prior to your surgical date.

What does the facelift package include?

The total cost for facelift surgery includes all pre and post-operative appointments and additional products designed to enhance your results and aid in the healing process. Arnica is given at the pre-operative appointment and is a homeopathic medication used to decrease bruising and swelling. Also included is SkinMedica’s TNS Essential Serum (retail $270) and a SkinMedica Lytera Brightening System ($250.00) to prepare your skin for surgery and provide facial rejuvenation. GloMinerals Corrective Kit ($21) is included to use as a safe way to camouflage bruising and incisions once all sutures have been removed.  Lastly, SkinMedica’s Scar Recovery Gel ($42) is added to minimize scarring and speed up the healing process. Dr. Thompson feels a that the overall result is greatly enhanced with the use of this regimen as it includes only the best products available for healing and facial rejuvenation on the market today.

Can other procedures be done at the same time?

Additional surgeries are sometimes recommended to obtain the best results possible and the combination can vary depending on the patient’s needs and concerns. Facelift surgeries are typically done with fat injections, as mentioned above, to restore volume loss in the face and make use of the fat taken during the procedure. Sometimes Dr. Thompson recommends a chin implant to strengthen the jaw and neckline or an eyelid and/or browlift to rejuvenate the upper part of the face as well. It’s important to discuss all your concerns with Dr. Thompson at your initial consultation so together you can come up with the best plan possible to achieve your goals.

Is there a less invasive facelift option?

Yes, Dr. Thompson performs his in-office MACS Facelift procedure often. The benefits include shortened recovery time, smaller incisions, no general anesthesia and lower cost. You can learn more on our MACS Facelift page. Dr. Thompson has researched many minimally invasive facelift options, such as the Lifestyle Lift, and prefers the MACS facelift technique. This technique has been developed and refined over several decades and is performed not just by Dr. Thompson and a few other surgeons, but by hundreds of skilled and competent plastic surgeons. This means that the MACS facelift is accepted and endorsed by a huge body of plastic surgeons as an effective and safe procedure. The result of this collective experience is that the MACS facelift has been modified and improved as necessary and has proven itself as a reliable, consistent procedure with long-lasting results. Techniques that are developed and performed by only one or two surgeons by definition cannot benefit from the experience, improvements, and refinements of multiple skilled plastic surgeons.

How long does a facelift last?

A facelift can take 10-15 years off of a person’s appearance and feels like a fresh start in many ways. Once surgery has been performed and the SMAS layer, deep muscle, has been lifted and properly secured, it’s not necessarily going to drop back down on any certain day or number of years later. The aging process does continue after facelift surgery no matter what is done. This process is determined by many factors, including one’s genetics, hormones, activity level, nutrition, skincare regimens, stress levels, etc. Those deep tissues will become weaker over time and results are not completely permanent.

That being said, with a facelift or MACS facelift performed by Dr. Thompson, the improvement does last forever even though the aging process still continues. So years after a facelift, it may not look exactly the same as it did 2 months after surgery, but will still look much better than you would had you not undergone facelift surgery.

Also, the quality of one’s skin before surgery will have an effect on the lasting results. A heavy smoker or sun worshipper may experience signs of neck laxity sooner than someone with healthy skin would following facelift surgery. As mentioned above, sticking with a good skincare regimen with daily sunscreen use will not only enhance your overall results but maintain them as well. We see many patients following facelift surgery for skincare purchases and sometimes minor small touch-ups years later. Good habits and minimal maintenance can really keep your face looking fresh and youthful.

Overall, a facelift procedure that lifts the deeper tissues and not just the skin will provide the longest lasting results possible when performed by an experienced surgeon. Experience and training are not only important for long-lasting results but to prevent unwanted results. We have all seen people who clearly look like they had work done, obvious scars and/or ears that are no longer in their natural position.

Facelift Testimonial

“I decided to have a face lift primarily due to premature aging; the age I felt inside didn’t match the age that I saw when I looked in the mirror. I looked matronly, and decided my face needed a “reboot”. Dr. Thompson performed a reconstructive surgery on my face in 2007 after I had skin cancer removed. He did an amazing job restoring my face; therefore he was the ONLY doctor I would trust with my face. He specializes in faces, which I feel is very important in selecting a surgeon for a face lift, which is such an intricate and noticeable surgery. In addition to the face lift, I had a neck lift, my eyelids done, liposuction under the chin, and a chin implant to prevent further aging lines from occurring in the future. I also had fillers in my lips and marionette lines. I’m SO pleased with the outcome because it took years off of my face without changing my overall look, and there are no visible scars anywhere. I didn’t want to look any differently, but rather refreshed and younger. My neck and jawline was restored, my eyes look “open”, and I look like a young woman again! I HIGHLY recommend Dr. Scott Thompson for any procedures of the face and neck. He’s exceptionally skilled, ethical, professional, and personable in all interactions. He listens and is honest about outcomes and results.” MC

Facelift Surgery Before & Afters with Testimonial

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Interested in getting a facelift in Salt Lake City, Draper, Layton, Utah and the surrounding areas? Contact Utah Facial Plastics for more information or to schedule an appointment call (801) 776-2220 or fill out our contact form here.

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