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What is a facelift?

Facelift surgery is an art form dedicated to correcting age-related imperfections of the neck, jawline, lower face, and the cheeks. A facelift is a general term for a surgical procedure that works to restore a youthful appearance in these areas. Dr. Richard Rand is an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon who is known to deliver among the best results with facelift surgery in Bellevue.

Why choose Dr. Rand for a facelift?

Dr. Rand considers the facelift to be the highest art form of all plastic surgery procedures and he has performed facelifts for over 30 years. He and his expert staff at the Northwest Center for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery are committed to patient education, ultimate safety, completely natural looking results, and to ensure the most positive cosmetic surgery experience from consultation through recovery.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of facelift surgery, please don’t hesitate to contact our office in Bellevue today for more details.

Branded facelifts: Do they get predictable results?

You may have heard about or seen advertising for a branded facelift such as the Lifestyle Lift®, SmartLift®, and countless others.

Although it is very tempting to assume that a designed procedure such as this would give you more predictable results, unfortunately, this is not the case.

These branded facelifts are not the same as what Dr. Rand performs. They also are typically rated on national sites such as RealSelf with poor satisfaction rates. Facelift surgery has no standardized technique. Experienced surgeons perform facelifts differently for each patient because each patient presents different anatomical variations. It is therefore always up to the surgeon to interpret each procedure and each patient in a customized way that allows for the best facelift results possible.

A customized approach to facelift surgery for superior results.

At the Northwest Center for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Dr. Rand carefully plans out every face lift surgery based on the goals and physical needs of each patient. He has no single standardized facelift. We will study your face in detail, evaluate your tissues, and take photos to create a facelift that helps you achieve the look you want.

Face lift Bellevue

What are the benefits of facelift surgery?

There are many different facelift surgery techniques and the potential results will vary widely by the technique. Dr. Rand places his highest priority on the following benefits:

  • The restoration of a beautiful, angular neck with no excess fat or loose skin
  • Creating a smooth, youthful jawline with no jowls
  • Enhanced cheek volume restoring the fullness of youth
  • The complete absence of an “operated on” look

Am I a candidate for a facelift?

With the right plastic surgeon and patient, these goals are achievable. So how do you know if you’re a good candidate for a facelift in Bellevue?

If you are concerned about loose skin and fat in your neck and jowls along the jawline, you have moved beyond what can be done with simple skin care, dermal fillers and BOTOX®. Surgery is your best treatment option at this point.

Before & After

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The procedure: How facelift surgery is performed


A general anesthetic as administered by a board-certified physician anesthesiologist is safe and effective for the proper performance of a facelift. Facial surgery in Bellevue takes time, roughly 3.5 to 4 hours, and most patients have a better experience being asleep for a facelift.

Local anesthesia is also occasionally an option, combined with a sedative to make you drowsy. You would be awake but relaxed, and your face would not be sensitive to pain. It is possible to feel some sensations or slight discomfort. Ask Dr. Rand what the major differences are between general and local anesthesia.

Facelift procedure steps

  • Incisions are carefully crafted around the ear to make them virtually invisible, and along the sideburn and lower scalp to prevent hair loss, following the natural contour of the areas to remain well hidden regardless of your preferred hairstyle.
  • Separation of skin, subcutaneous tissue and muscle of the neck and face is performed. Fat can be removed or repositioned, and underlying muscles tightened. The SMAS is the deep tissue of the cheek which is carefully lifted to restore youthful cheek volume.
  • Deep tissues are repositioned and tightened, and excess skin is trimmed or removed.
  • Fat is removed from the neck and the muscles are tightened giving a smooth, sculpted contour to the neck, restoring its youthful angles.
  • Stitches are placed to maintain the new form and fixate the results during healing.
  • Bandages will be placed around the face to minimize swelling and bruising.
  • Every facelift is customized for your goals and facial structure. You should plan on keeping your calendar clear on the day of the surgery as well as 2 weeks after for a thorough recovery.

Facelift incisions and techniques

The incisions will vary. Most are placed along the hairline and in front and behind the ears and under the chin. Quality face lift surgery requires an ability to create inconspicuous scars around the ears. Dr. Rand uses meticulous pre-surgical design customized to each patient. Gentle handling of the tissue and incision closure under no tension produces rapid healing, 2 weeks for most patients before being very presentable publicly.

What is the recovery from a facelift?

You should plan to relax for your recovery period and arrange for someone to help you for the first few days. Recovery time is approximately 10 days and you should be presentable in about 2 weeks. Pain is generally minimal and specific postoperative instructions will be provided to help you expedite the recovery process. Medications will be prescribed to help manage discomfort, but Tylenol usually suffices. All stitches are removed at the end of the first week of recovery.

It will take about 3 months for your face to feel back to normal with a regular sense of texture, sensitivity, and tightness. You will have bandages for a few days after your Seattle facelift surgery. Dr. Rand will provide instructions on caring for your incisions. Following recovery procedures is very important and we will schedule follow-up appointments during your recovery period to check on your progress. Be sure to ask any questions you might have about your progress and let us know how you feel. Every patient’s recovery is a bit different.

Facelift FAQ's

What procedures can I combine with my facelift surgery?

A facelift can be well paired with blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), a brow lift, a neck lift, chin augmentation or lip augmentation. Results can also be enhanced through non-surgical treatments such as injectables and dermal fillers, laser therapy and chemical peels. If you are interested in maximizing your facelift results by combining multiple solutions, be sure to discuss it with your surgeon during your private consultation.

Will I have any scars from getting a facelift?

Every cosmetic surgery procedure will bring about some degree of surgical scarring. Dr. Rand will customize your facelift operation to your needs and body. There will be small, inconspicuous scars in areas near the ears and the hairline. Our goal is to make sure that every patient has a natural look, not an ‘operated-on’ appearance. Beginning at 1 week, we will provide scar treatment. Scars may look more severe early on in the recovery period, but they will be less noticeable over time.

How long does facelift recovery take?

Facelift recovery typically takes around 2 weeks in most cases. There will be bruising and swelling for the first few days. You should expect to feel better within a week and to be presentable in about 2 weeks. There is usually very little pain during the recovery period, and it is usually manageable using Tylenol. The swelling of the early recovery period may cause some issues with facial mobility but that should quickly go away. We will carefully evaluate the swelling, bruising, and facial mobility at every follow-up visit to ensure your recovery is going well.

Is there anything I need to do to prepare for a facelift?

You may need to adjust any medications you are taking. You should start using high-quality skin products on your face for several weeks to help your skin be more elastic. If you smoke, you will need to stop 6 weeks before surgery and until recovery is complete afterward. Avoid taking any anti-inflammatory drugs to avoid increased bleeding and bruising. We will do some medical testing and evaluation to see if you need to do anything else.

What plans should I make prior to my surgery?

It’s also important that you have someone else bring you to and from facelift surgery, as well have someone to take care of you for the first few days and nights after surgery. You will also want to clear out your calendar for the whole day of your surgery and two weeks after to help make sure your recovery is smooth. You will have a drain to help reduce swelling, which will be removed the day after surgery.

We want to make your facelift surgery as comfortable an experience as possible, with the best results possible. We will provide you with a thorough preparation procedure and answer any questions you might have.

Are there any risks to facelift surgery?

As with any surgery, there are risks for facelift surgery. Complications may include bleeding, infection, skin loss, facial nerve injury, temporary or longer-lasting hair loss at incision areas, fluid accumulation, changes in skin sensation, numbness, skin irregularities, skin discoloration, and anesthesia risks. Your health and safety are our number one concern. Complications are extremely rare in Dr. Rand’s hands.

Dr. Rand plans each surgery for maximum effectiveness and minimal discomfort for every patient, customizing the procedure for your goals and needs. There will also be a board-certified physician anesthesiologist present before, during, and immediately following your facelift surgery to ensure the process is as safe as possible. We will discuss the potential risks and complications before you undergo surgery.

How long do the effects of a facelift last?

In one respect, the results of a facelift last forever, as you will always look better for having done the surgery. It is usually only after about 10 years that a patient might consider a touch-up surgery to refresh the result. But most patients never feel the need to do the surgery again. Taking care of your general health and the health of your skin, not smoking, and minimizing sun exposure can help the beneficial effects of surgery to last longer. High-quality face products do make a difference in the health and appearance of your skin.

Will I look like myself?

Your facelift in Bellevue can help you feel restored and years younger – but you want to look like yourself, just younger. That’s when you need your surgery to be performed by a top-rated plastic surgeon, known for excellent results. You can look as energized as you feel when Dr. Rand performs this custom age-defying surgery. Please take a look at our photo gallery to see the before and after photos of dozens of our satisfied patients.

Facelift revision

A facelift revision is a facelift done following an earlier facelift. Facelift revisions are usually performed for one of two reasons. Sometimes it’s time for an upgrade to a facelift that was done years ago. If a patient’s facelift was done over a decade ago and the results are beginning to wane, this is usual. Over such a long time after a facelift, age does eventually begin to show. In this case, the facelift can be redone to achieve a fresh, youthful result.

In other cases, a facelift revision is done because the patient is not happy with the results of their first facelift. Patients may experience scarring or asymmetries from older techniques or inexperienced surgeons. Having this corrected with a facelift revision is a precision procedure that Dr. Rand offers his patients.

Patients who would like a facelift revision in Bellevue should wait until six months or a year have passed since their first one. This gives the body a chance to heal fully and to ensure that the face has completely settled, which allows Dr. Rand to see the concerns and underlying situation more exactly and to revise it more expertly.

Once you are ready for a facelift revision, the errors or other issues with your first facelift can usually be resolved in the hands of an experienced plastic surgeon like Dr. Rand. He can correct the problems and give you the natural, youthful appearance you want.

Our professional and friendly staff would be delighted to answer any questions you might have about facelift surgery. Contact our office in Bellevue, Washington today area for more information about facelift surgery.

Facelift Bellevue

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