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*Individual Results May Vary.



The short answer is: it depends. We all age in 3 ways…

  1. Our skin begins to have surface changes (sun spots)
  2. We lose volume (mostly fat)
  3. We lose elasticity in our skin

The rate at which these occur depends on your heritage and your degree of exposure to the environment (sun, smoke, etc). The factors will determine the optimal time for a face or neck lift.

Instead of thinking of a specific procedure, we find that it is much more useful to discuss what aspects of aging are bothering you. We can then discuss the best way to address those changes naturally. 

If you don’t like the skin along your jaw, then we need a procedure to address skin. 

If you don’t like the excess fat under your neck, then we need a procedure to address the fat. 

If you don’t like the sun spots and changes in skin tone…. you get it. This is a pragmatic way to find the right procedure for you. Note that none of those questions asked about your age.

Evolution Of Facelift & Necklift Surgery

The word Facelift makes some people nervous given that historically, facelifts led to a “tight” or “windblown” appearance that was anything but natural.

Older procedures that focused on simply pulling the skin tight were short sighted and failed to provide durable, natural rejuvenation.

Newer procedures focus on rejuvenation and not augmentation. The goal is always to make you look like a younger version of yourself, not someone else. 

I hope that this page provides some useful information so that we can empower you to make the right decision. Think of us as a guide or partner.

Most of the patients that come to see us have concerns about facial aging. This begins to occur when there is discord between the image you see in the mirror and your own self perception. We believe that we can maximize your quality of life by rectifying this discord. 

Holistic Approach

I like to think of the face as a whole. Though we will discuss different areas of concern, it is usually critical to address neighboring areas of the face in order to ensure that we do not create a “surgical” appearance.  

Imagine a smooth neck. As you begin to shift the skin on your neck and jaw up, it may appear to bunch on your cheeks, so we have to then lift the cheeks, and then the lower eyelids…. Etc.

So while a more extensive procedure may sound intimidating or less natural, it is usually this holistic approach that gives us the most natural outcomes. 

Let’s start with the basic procedure. There are many techniques for rejuvenating the face. Each procedure is distinguished by 3 basic components:

  1. the incision
  2. how the deeper layers (SMAS- superficial muscular aponeurotic system) of the face are lifted
  3. how the neck is refined

My preferred incision is hidden along the sideburn, along the edge of the ear and then wraps around behind the ear.

The amount of extension behind the ear depends on the degree of excess skin, if any (many times there is very little excess and it need only be repositioned). In most of my patients I like to use a “High SMAS” facelift that is able to reposition the deeper layers of the face into a more youthful position without causing any distortion of the mouth or muscles of facial expression. 

Neck and Jawline

The neck is refined by creating a smooth elegant foundation. The neck is composed of layers.

The neck, just like the face, loses fat in the layer just under the skin (subcutaneous fat) as we age. Therefore, there are very few patients that benefit from liposuction of the neck even if you feel that you neck is “fat”.

A youthful neck is smooth and free of lines or veins. An older appearing neck tends to have lines and veins and “bands”. The difference between the 2 is the amount of subcutaneous fat.

So while neck liposuction can provide a temporary improvement for some patients, it can accelerate the aging process.

My approach focuses on contouring the deeper structures of the neck (platysma muscle, submandibular glands, subplatysmal fat, and digastric muscles) while leaving the more superficial, “youthful” fat unharmed. I believe this creates a more natural, durable result.

Additional Procedures

Since a natural rejuvenation requires that all areas of the face appear to be the same age, many patients benefit from combining fat grafting, an eyelid lift (blepharoplasty), brow lift, or laser resurfacing with their facelift in order to create a “non-surgical” appearance.

For example, a refined jawline and youthful cheeks may be noticeable if your forehead till appears wrinkled. The human eye is incredibly sensitive to small changes in facial configuration or expression.

We have to ensure that there are no incongruencies. While you may decide to share the details of your procedure, no one should be able to tell that any surgical procedure has occurred. 

Is it safe?

Your NorCal Plastic Surgery team is committed to safety in all aspects of treatment.

We combine surgical expertise and the most advanced techniques – in conjunction with a state-of-the art surgical center and board-certified anesthesiologists – to ensure the safest environment, which helps produce the best results and minimize recovery for all patients.

The typical downtime from a facelift is about 2 weeks. Luckily this is not due to discomfort as we use long acting local anesthetic to improve recovery and frankly facial surgery is not typically painful.

Our post operative dressings are very minimal. The surgery can be performed as a same day surgery or you may opt to spend the night. There will be some bruising and swelling, but you will be presentable to a stranger after roughly 2 weeks. 

If you are preparing for an event (wedding, birthday, vacation, reunion, etc), we recommend facial rejuvenation no less than 8-12 weeks before your big day, in order to ensure appropriate healing and full activity.

If you are interested in facial rejuvenation, I encourage you to reach out to us. We would be happy to answer your questions and schedule a complimentary consultation

When it comes to a facelift, the skill and experience of your surgeon will determine the quality of your results. Dr. Rankin is a highly trained and meticulous surgeon who focuses on excellence. Unlike skin only, or cookie cutter procedures, he uses his proven strategy to customize your results.

What sets Dr. Rankin apart:

  • Board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
  • Surgeries performed at accredited, state-of-the art surgical center with board-certified anesthesiologists
  • Trained at Vanderbilt University, one of the leading plastic surgery training programs in the U.S.
  • Industry leader as consultant for surgical device companies
  • Amazing online reviews
  • Beautiful, natural-looking results

Discover Our
Before & After Gallery

You can view NorCal Plastic Surgery’s before and after photo gallery to see the remarkable results achieved by Dr. Rankin and our team of skin care experts and aestheticians. Click to see more real patient photos.

Facelift & Neck Lift Results San Francisco
*Individual results may vary

Take the Next Step

Want to learn more about how a FaceLift can help you gain more confidence in your appearance? Schedule your consultation with NorCal Plastic Surgery by calling our East Bay location at (925) 856-4800 or our North Bay location at 415-727-9666, or by filling out the consultation request form below. Proudly serving the East Bay, Marin County, and the greater San Francisco Bay area. We look forward to helping you achieve your aesthetic goals.