Facelifts and neck lifts are meticulous operations that require an eye for detail and careful planning. Board-certified San Francisco, CA plastic surgeon, Dr. Leonard Gray, has been perfecting his technique with these procedures for the past 20 years. Scars can be made shorter and less visible. SMAS (superficial musculo-aponeurotic system) tightening, under the skin layer, allows for deep tightening of the facial tissues without pulling too much on the skin itself. Also, release of tethering attachments up high on the cheek and down by the jaw allow for a more complete re-draping and tailoring. The result is a natural, refreshed look without an over-pulled appearance.
Sometimes the facelift can be combined with mild liposuction in the jowl area and fat injection in some of the deeper lines in the face. Conservative fat injection, with their associated stem cells, can be associated with skin quality improvement. Dr. Gray can also improve the neckbands with corset stitching of the platysma muscle. Scars are well hidden so women can wear their hair short or wear it up. At Bay Area Plastic Surgery, Dr. Gray and his team believe that the best result is a natural look that complements the patient’s active lifestyle. Good patient rapport and excellent surgical results are critical to Dr. Gray. He wants to make the entire patient experience the best possible.
"Second Time Around - Dr Gray performed my surgery 18 years ago and back then I knew he was the best . My results were incredible and his office was so welcoming and kind. I have moved out of the country to Europe but knew I would only trust him once again . Almost 20 years later the office staff still remains the best Cherisse his nurse is one of a kind and makes the whole process seamless even from out of town. I felt like I knew her for years. I did all my communication through emails until the surgery. So anyone who is considering from out of town it can be done. And Dr Gray is the best out there im sure of it, on a scale of 1-10 I give him a 11! I would very confidentially say he's probably the Picasso of plastic surgery and a real perfectionist."- K. / RealSelf / Aug 27, 2017
"This review is for my consultation only. The women who worked the front desk were so kind and welcoming. Made me feel really comfortable. Reading through the other reviews, it makes it very hard for me to believe that these people had a bad experience. Dr. Gray walked through his office like it was his home and treating everyone in it like they were part of his family. My consultation with him went above and beyond my expectations. He was very thorough and had very kind bedside manner. Sometimes when I read bad reviews, I will look at those people's profile to see what else they have reviewed and more times than not I will see that that person just can't be happy no matter what...anyways, this was for a consultation only, and mine was amazing."- L.N. / Yelp / Jun 29, 2017
"Amazing perfectionist plastic surgeon - I am so happy I found Dr. Gray! He is amazing and so is everyone at his office. One of my implants broke (it was 10 year old). I had a consultation and decided to remove them and then go back after I am done having kids for new implants and more work if need it. I am very happy with my results. Dr. Gray is a perfectionist. You can barely see the scar - it's been 3 weeks! The prices were..."- C. / RealSelf / May 27, 2017
"Amazing! - Ive had a few surgeries with Dr. Gray for breast implants. Going smaller then larger and small again. Dr. Gray and his nurse Cherrisse are wonderful. He is a talented surgeon and I have several friends who have had surgery with Dr. Gray all with perfect results. I trust him because I know I will be safe and have a beautiful outcome. He is also my go to for botox."- B. / RealSelf / May 21, 2017
"Dr Gray did my surgery in 2010 and I am still extremely happy with the results, he was patient and available for several follow up appointments and his skills are incomparable, no scars and a very natural feeling. I definitely recommend him!"- V.B. / Google / May 21, 2017
The technique used during a facelift is dependent on the patient’s facial features and conditions. Most surgeons will always aim for the less invasive technique, but some patient cases are severe and will require internal tissues, fat and skin to be manipulated. Patients must also understand the procedure in detail, including the level of invasiveness, placement of incisions, what layers of tissues will be corrected, and what risks may be associated with the surgery before moving forward.
Also referred to as the cutaneous facelift, this technique removes excess and loose skin to create a tightened look. The remaining skin is repositioned to lift sagging cheeks and jowls. It also improves the profile along the jaw line. With this facelift technique, the muscles or fat tissues are left untouched. As the treatment focuses on the skin only, recovery is quick. This is ideal for those who still have good tone muscle and distribution of fat, but find the skin losing elasticity in some areas.
Traditional Facelift (SMAS)
SMAS is the superficial musculo-aponeurotic system, which is a muscle complex that is primarily active when it comes to facial expression. With normal wear-and-tear due to age, gravity and personal habits, muscle tissue loses its form and becomes displaced significantly for those over 50. This particular facelift is considered the standard when it comes to this cosmetic procedure. With lengthy incisions on the side of the face, from the temple to the lower hairline behind the ear, the skin will be peeled and lifted to reshape contours. If there is excess fat and skin, these will also be removed.
Deep Plane Lift
For those who have severe cases of drooping and skin folds that are normal with aging and extensive sun exposure, a deep plane lift may be the best approach. This is especially true for those whose facial profiles need extensive reshaping on areas that typically have the volume and tight contours. This involves a highly specialized skill set and the plastic surgeon must be carefully selected as the nature of procedure has a high chance of damage to the facial nerves.
Also called as a short-scar facelift because of the shorter incisions made, a mini lift is a quick treatment that corrects the middle and lower face. Many patients initially consider this technique, but this doesn’t correct any severe issues and usually renders short-term results. Patients who undergo this procedure are most likely to also stage a full facelift as a final step to fully rejuvenate and reshape the face to its youthful curves.
All facelift procedures are performed in an accredited surgical facility with general anesthesia. Even though this is considered an outpatient procedure, there are some cases where the patient stays overnight for monitoring. It is normal to experience bruising and swelling after the surgery, and patients will feel as if their face is being pulled tight. This subsides within a couple of weeks. Optimal results will be evident after several months. It is important that activities are limited to help create a safe and quick healing.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $13,000 - $15,000
- Recovery Time
- 6 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 4-6 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 4 Months
- Procedure Recovery Location
Cosmetic surgery is constantly evolving and always finding ways to minimize the invasiveness of procedures. There are countless options that are considered less invasive than a facelift, including wrinkle relaxers such as BOTOX®, injectable fillers, microdermabrasion and chemical/laser peels. These alternatives aim to correct signs of aging such as wrinkles, as well flatten and soften folds and contours. The effects, while effective, are often short-term lasting about 6 months to a year. Although these procedures can be safely repeated, for some, a facelift may be a better, more permanent option.
Immediately following a facelift procedure, the patient will feel tightness and a pulling sensation. This is normal as the facial tissues, skin and muscle adjust to their new positions. It is important to choose a reputable plastic surgeon that has years of experience in facial cosmetic surgery. A doctor with experience in facial surgery will create natural, smooth results that will last for years to come.
A tradional facelift requires a long cut from the temple to the lower hairline, but the scars will be well concealed within the hairline and natural creases on the face. With the lesser invasive techniques, the scars heal pretty well and will almost be completely invisible to the naked eye.
Anyone can consider a facelift as soon as evidence of aging starts taking a toll on the skin. Generally, patients who are age 50 to 70 consider a facelift. Personal habits and environmental conditions can impact the skin and there are patients who are only 40 that are also good candidates for a facelift.