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How It Works

Facelift (or “Rhytidectomy”) is a surgical procedure meant to counteract or lessen the effects of time and gravity on the face. With this procedure, excess facial and neck skin are removed, and the tissues under the skin are tightened.

The laws of physics and nature dictate that with age, our skin loses its elasticity. As a result, we often see a sagging of the jaw and neck line accompanied by loose folds of skin in the neck and around the mouth.

 Activities such as smoking, sunbathing, outdoor activities, and stress can alter the appearance of our faces. A facelift can reduce these signs of aging, resulting in a firmer, fresher appearance. A facelift is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery procedures in the United States. There is really no non-surgical alternative that can match the results of a properly performed facelift.

Before and After Nose Job
17 photos

Initial Consultation

At your initial consultation, Dr. Heffelfinger or Dr. Krein will interview you to get a thorough understanding of your medical history. Candidates must be in good health, have no active diseases or serious, pre-existing medical conditions, and must have realistic expectations of the outcome of the surgery.

He will then discuss your goals and the changes you seek with the facelift procedure. Some patients are better candidates for this surgery and will realize better results. Your doctor will discuss all these variables so you understand what your outcome might be.

In addition to discussing this surgery, your doctor may point out other options that might benefit you. He will show you before and after pictures of patients that have had this type of surgery, so that you may better understand the results you can expect.

The doctors at Jefferson Facial Plastics, with their excellent training and extensive experience with hundreds of these procedures, will answer all your questions.

At the end of the consultation, you will fully understand the surgical procedure, the surgical facility, anesthesia options, and the cosmetic benefits you might expect.


Facelift surgery is often performed in your doctor’s office, but some patients may require a hospital admission. Your doctor will advise you of the best options. The surgery itself consists of an incision near the temple in the hairline then tracing a line in front of the ear, circling the ear lobe and behind the ear, ending again in the hairline . If the neck will be lifted as well, a small incision will also be made under the chin.

Your doctor will then tighten muscles and sagging tissue, remove excess skin and reposition the remaining skin to create a more well-defined and youthful look.

The incision will be closed meticulously with sutures. Staples are generally used in the hairline, as they are less likely to cause necrosis of hair follicles. Because no two patients are alike, each surgery will be personalized to the facial and neck structure of each patient. A facelift may be performed alone, or in conjunction with a forehead lift and/or eye lift (blepharoplasty), or nose surgery (rhinoplasty). Your surgeon may also recommend injections of Restylane to enhance results.

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925 Chestnut Street, 7th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: 215-503-3223

Fax: 215-503-6742

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