Conveniently located to serve the areas of Lafayette, CA and East Bay

A facelift procedure with Dr. Elizabeth Lee at ArtfulSurgery provides men and women with beautiful, natural-looking results while shedding years off of their appearance.


As we age, we start to notice changes in the face as gravity pulls us down. The jawline softens and we frequently develop jowls. And while the lower part of the face gets fuller, we lose volume in the upper face, developing sunken cheeks, hollow eyes and deep creases around the mouth. Facelift, clinically known as rhytidectomy, is a plastic surgery procedure designed to improve the shape and firmness of the face.

Facelift procedures typically involve trimming lax skin and repositioning facial volume to create a smoother, more youthful and natural-looking face. Men and women from their late 30’s and on may benefit from a variety of facelift techniques that would best suit their individual needs. While some might only need a touch up of the lower face, others may need a SMAS facelift for a deeper lift. Sometimes fillers are used to replace lost fullness and enhance the results of the facelift when appropriate.

A perfect facelift is one that provides the immediate first impression of rested, youthful vitality without looking “done.” We want our patients to have their friends wonder if their fabulous glow and youthful appearance is due to a new exercise routine or a new hairstyle.

Ideal Candidates

Ideal candidates for a facelift procedure are healthy women and men concerned about the aging of the face, including loose skin of the lower face and jaw and or extra fat pooches in the jowl area. Loss of firmness in the neck and around the eyes may also be reasons to investigate facial rejuvenation surgery.

Well done surgery can set the clock of your appearance back 5-10 years or more. A facelift should be carefully designed to meet your concerns and the anatomy of your very individual face. A private consultation and facial examination with Dr. Lee will determine the specific technique that will give you your natural, optimal results.

Techniques & Types of Facelift

There are several different facelift techniques that Dr. Lee performs to cover an array of different patient anatomy and different aesthetic needs. Facelift surgery is done as an outpatient procedure in a fully accredited operating room, so you come in for your surgery and go home to sleep in your own bed that night. Dr. Lee works with board-certified anesthesiologists to provide the safest anesthetic care. Facelifts are often are often combined with other facial procedures such as eyelid surgery, brow lift, neck lift, laser resurfacing or lip enhancement. Aesthetic body surgery can also be done at the same time as aesthetic surgery to the face, in some instances when desirable.

Traditional/Full Facelift

The traditional or full facelift, addresses loose skin of the entire face, from the outside corner of the eye to the jawline. Incisions are made just in front of the ear extending around to the crease behind the ear as needed to remove extra skin. Incisions designed this way allow Dr. Lee to hide the thin healed scar around the shape of the ear, camouflaging it to be unnoticeable. Cheeks are lifted, nasolabial folds are smoothed, jawline is improved, and excess skin is removed.

Incisions in a full or traditional facelift may extend into or along the hairline of the sideburn area or the scalp of the temple.

Lower/Mini Facelift

A mini facelift, also called a lower facelift, addresses the appearance of the face from the jawline to the corner of the mouth, in a swathe extending up to the top of the ear. With this procedure, jowls, marionette lines, the downturned corners of the mouth are all addressed, restoring a smooth jawline and a youthful appearance around the mouth. A more limited operation, the incisions are smaller than with a full facelift, often eliminating the extensions into the hair and behind the ear.

SMAS Facelift

SMAS is a shortening of the phrase superficial musculoaponeurotic system.

While sometimes described as a “standalone” facelift procedure, it is often an integral part of a full or lower facelift. The SMAS is the layer of the face, underneath the skin, that gives support to the deeper tissues of the face.

The soft tissue of the face sags over time with the effects of gravity. Lifting the SMAS helps put these tissues back in their more youthful position. Adding the SMAS procedure to a full or lower facelift helps to give a very natural restoration to the face while avoiding the overdone look when skin alone is pulled too tightly.

Brow/Forehead Lift

A brow or forehead lift addresses wrinkling of the forehead and the heavy, drooping of the eyebrows that can occur over time. Done traditionally through an incision in the scalp, Dr. Lee does most of her brow lifts endoscopically, using tiny incisions and a small camera to visualize the delicate areas requiring correction.

When combined with a facelift, a browlift can balance the rejuvenation of the face, restoring youthful appearance throughout.


While facelift rejuvenates the face and brow lift the forehead, facelift is often extended to include the restoration of the neck. Often treated in continuity with the facelift, neck lift can address loose neck skin, vertical bands, extra fat and fullness under the chin and in the jowl area.

In short, facelift surgery can be customized to address all the areas that may concern you.

Eyelid Lift/Blepharoplasty

If you experience drooping, tired-looking eyes, eyelid surgery can do the trick. Eyelid surgery is designed to remove sagging skin from the upper eyelids and fat deposits. The outcome of this procedure is bright, vibrant eyes and, on some occasions, better vision as drooping eyelids can get in the way of eyesight.


If you are not quite ready for a Facelift but are hoping for less aggressive approaches to achieving a freshened look, Dr. Lee and ArtfulSurgery have a full range of nonsurgical rejuvenating tools. She offers multiple approaches to improving sun damage and wrinkling of the skin with skin care, laser and other light-based therapies and the artistic and minimalistic use of injectable fillers and Botox to soften lines and fill in wrinkles.


During your private consultation with Dr. Elizabeth Lee, you will explain the concerns you have with your facial skin and your aesthetic desires. Please share your medical history and any past surgeries. She will perform a detailed examination of your face which will help determine the technique s that will help you reach your aesthetic goals.

Dr. Lee’s goal is to make sure you are as informed and comfortable as possible. She will explain all pros and cons of a facelift as well as its alternatives. Recovery length and protocol will also be explained. If you have any questions at all please feel free to ask them at this time; this includes questions about pricing. We know that making the decision to undergo a surgical procedure is not an easy one, so we are here to help in any way to make you feel comfortable and confident in your decision.

*For privacy reasons, we do not provide photographs of faces on our site. Facelift before and after photos can be reviewed in our office during your private consultation.


Your facelift procedure will be performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. After you are asleep, Dr. Lee will use local anesthetic to allow the general anesthesia to be more lightly administered. You will wake up quickly and comfortably with this technique. This means you are able to return home the same day as your procedure, but you will not be able to drive yourself so please arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home. You will also need an adult to be with you throughout the first night home and to bring you back to the office for your first visit the day after surgery.


You will be given a personalized recovery plan to help smooth your recovery process. But generally after a facelift procedure, your head will be bandaged to help reduce the amount of swelling. Drainage tubes will be used to prevent fluids collecting underneath the skin. Slight bruising and discomfort is normal and will subside with time. We will provide you with a pain medication protocol that will keep you comfortable after surgery.

You should expect to take one week off of work for a desk job and should plan to relax around the house during that time.

Everyone’s recovery is a bit different and we will help guide you through your return to your regular activities. Dr. Lee will be there for you every step of the way, and if you have any questions whatsoever please give us a call. We are here to help you during the entirety of your facelift journey.