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Facelift New York City

Introduction to Facelift

At our boutique practice on 5th Avenue in NYC, facelift surgery is an extremely popular procedure. The surgery can reverse the effects of gravity by lifting the tissues of the lower face. With various approaches and techniques, a facelift can also improve the soft tissue contour in the midface and cheek areas. Combining facelift and forehead lifts can effectively rejuvenate the entire face. Facelift, probably the most well-known cosmetic procedure, aims to lift the descended facial tissue and remove the excess skin. A well-done facelift can make the person looks 10 or 20 years younger. Dr. Lao uses his many years of experience and vast understanding of the aesthetic ideals of both Eastern and Western cultures. He strives to provide all of his New York Facelift patients with a look that not only meets their desires but helps maintain their cultural identity.

Brunette woman showing her perfect face

What is a Facelift?

The technical name of the procedure is a rhytidectomy, but it’s commonly known as a facelift. As people age, gravity, and decreased collagen production cause facial tissues to sag. Droopiness in the face not only results in an aged appearance, but it can also cause you to look sad or upset. The most prominent change is the appearance of the jowls, the soft tissue prominence lateral to the chin.

Deep Plane Facelift

A Deep Plane Facelift addresses the connective tissue and muscle layer beneath the facial skin and can be performed to prevent the overdone or “pulled” appearance that can come from a traditional facelift. Rather than just pulling on the skin, a deep plane facelift elevates the Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System (SMAS) layer from underneath and releases the main ligaments that anchor the SMAS. This technique lifts the face without adding too much tension to the skin layer to avoid a “pulled” look and can last longer than most traditional facelifts.

Asian Facelift

The Asian Facelift is specifically designed to cater to our Asian patients and reverse the signs of aging. The goal of this procedure is to help your appearance without losing your ethnic identity. Some of the unique characteristics of the Asian face include a flatter facial skeleton with heavy soft tissue that causes more sag in the lower face, more fat accumulation in the face and neck area, thicker skin, and prominent drooping cheek fat pads.

The Asian Facelift utilizes similar techniques to a Deep Plane Facelift since it is important to support the thicker and heavier tissues. This approach also provides Dr. Lao with better access to the buccal fat pads in his patient’s cheeks for reduction if needed. Since this lift is supported deep within the structure of the face, there is less tension or pulling on the skin incision lines once closed, leaving more imperceptible fine lines and avoiding hypertrophic or keloid scarring.

Brunette woman with perfect lips and skin posing

Who are the Best Candidates for a Facelift?

The best candidates for a Facelift are healthy individuals who are not currently suffering from any medical conditions that impact healing. You should be a nonsmoker and maintain positive and realistic expectations from the procedure.

What are the Benefits of a Facelift?

For patients who have considerable sagging in the mid-face and also want to address signs of aging in the lower face and neck, a facelift is likely the best option. A facelift can:

  • Restore lifted cheeks
  • Improve the appearance of the nasolabial folds
  • Eliminate loose neck skin
  • Contour the jawline

Dr. Lao Facelift Expertise in NYC

  • Dr. William Lao has performed over 1,000 successful facial plastic surgeries over the last 10 years.
  • Winner of the 2020, 2021, and 2022 Top Doctor awards from NEW BEAUTY magazine
  • Graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a double major, followed by a Doctorate in Medicine from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • Dr. Lao is a member of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
  • He has written multiple chapters in several textbooks about many cosmetic plastic surgeries, including Facelifts.

Facelift at First Glance

  • Surgery Time: 3 – 6 hours
  • Cost: ~$20,000 – $30,000 (For an accurate cost, please ask during your consultation).
  • Recovery: Most patients return home on the day of surgery and return to normal social activities within a month’s time, however, it can take up to a year for minor swelling, bruising, tightness, and numbness to reside.
  • Results: On average, most patients are presentable within 10 – 14 days, but can take two to three months for your face to feel “normal” again. Results will last an average of 5 to 10 years as your face continues to age.

How to Prepare for a Facelift

Our goal is for you to have a smooth procedure and a safe recovery, so after your initial consultation, our Patient Coordinator will provide you with certain instructions to follow prior to your surgery. These instructions may include:

  • Get your prescriptions filled before surgery: Dr. Lao will prescribe you some temporary pain medication for an easier recovery period. We strongly recommend having this prescription filled and prepared for you after your surgery. We want you to be able to have a relaxing post-operative experience and getting this step taken care of eliminates additional stress.
  • Quit smoking: While smoking does have its own risks and side effects (including a more aged appearance), we are not trying to stop you from doing anything you may enjoy. The more important reason you should avoid smoking for at least a month before surgery is that tobacco products will constrict blood flow and could complicate your procedure and recovery.
  • Stop taking certain medications: Certain medications such as anti-inflammatories and herbal supplements can increase your risk of excessive bleeding during surgery. If you have any questions or concerns about the medications you are on, please discuss this with Dr. Lao during your consultation, and feel free to discuss it with your personal physician. As stated above, these instructions are to ensure the most successful and safest results for your procedure.
  • Fast before surgery: You will be informed to avoid food or liquids at least 8 hours prior to surgery. Regardless of the anesthesia, you will be administered, this step is instituted for your safety.

What’s the First Step?

Deciding to undergo facelift surgery is a personal one, and a great deal of thought should be put into it before jumping to a decision. If you’re considering a facelift, we’ll be able to guide you based on your current skin condition and desired results during a consultation.

However, there are a few considerations that must be taken into account when determining your candidacy. Since the facelift is an invasive procedure that requires recovery time, patients undergoing the surgery should be in good general health to ensure a fast recovery and optimal results. In addition, potential patients should also have realistic expectations for the outcome of the surgery. While a facelift can provide significant improvements to your facial contours, it has its limitations. We’ll discuss this and more during your initial consultation.

What to Expect on the Day of a Facelift?

A facelift is not a cookie-cutter procedure. A good facelift should be tailored for each individual by considering the degree of sagginess, volume distribution, the need for the inclusion of a neck lift, and the condition of the skin.

Most facelift techniques involve an incision in front of the ear hiding at the skin crease. The scar is quite inconspicuous and typically well-hidden. There are also non-incisional facelift techniques available, such as thread lifting, but patients should understand that these methods provide much shorter-term effects than a traditional facelift. Dr. Lao strives for natural-looking results in his New York City facelift patients while placing patient safety and comfort as top priorities.

Mini Facelift vs. Facelift

Dr. Lao is skilled in performing both facelifts and mini facelifts. The best type of facelift for you will depend on your treatment goals.

Mini Facelift: If your facial concerns are subtler and are concentrated in the lower face and neck, a mini facelift may be the optimal procedure for you. It is a less-invasive treatment than a full facelift. Because of this, patients have a shorter recovery while still achieving a more youthful facial profile and improved neck and jawline contours. It can also be performed using local anesthesia with sedation instead of general anesthesia.


“As a double-board-certified plastic surgeon, I perform facelifts and mini facelifts in my NYC office. This procedure is highly popular, as it can dramatically improve facial appearance. Whether you have specific concerns like drooping facial tissue and jowls or you are just tired of looking tired, I can help you find the best solution for restoring youthful facial contours. The first step toward your facial rejuvenation is scheduling a consultation. I look forward to meeting you!”

Blonde short haired woman looking to her side
Close up portrait of a brunette woman with perfect skin and smile



Time: 3-5 hours

General Anesthesia or Local Anesthesia


Ambulate the night of surgery

Shower 2 days after surgery

5 to 7 days off work


6 weeks from heavy lifting and swimming

Facelift Recovery

Facelift surgery is normally performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home soon after it is completed. You will need to take some time off to rest and recover as your body heals. You should give yourself about two weeks before returning to your normal daily activities. We’ll provide you with instructions on how to take care of your dressings and when to make follow-up appointments to ensure that your body is healing as expected. You can expect to experience some swelling after the procedure, but it is temporary and will subside in time. Once the swelling diminishes, you will be able to see the full results of your treatment. You can further enhance the results of your facelift by committing to a skincare regimen that involves daily moisturizing and keeping your skin protected from the sun when you go outside. Living a healthy lifestyle, in general, can help keep your skin looking beautiful for a long time to come.

Why Choose Dr. Lao?

Dr. William Lao is a board-certified plastic surgeon who is proud to have attended Johns Hopkins University. Dr. William Lao has over a decade of experience and has been listed as a Top Doc in the aesthetic magazine, NewBeauty. Dr. Lao prides himself on patient safety and his ability to connect with his patients.

Our state-of-the-art center is where art and science meet to create new masterpieces in each one of our patients. As a Double-board-certified surgeon, Dr. William Lao has a comprehensive understanding of both Eastern and Western aesthetic ideals. As a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Lao uses his experiences from practicing plastic surgery for over a decade to combine advanced surgical techniques and concepts from both worlds and customize his procedures to provide the best results possible. He is a proud member of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS). Over the years, Dr. Lao has established himself and his world-renowned practice by being named a Top Doc in the aesthetic magazine New Beauty, writing numerous articles for scientific publications and medical textbooks, and performing presentations in the plastic surgery community. Dr. Lao prides himself on patient safety, his ability to connect with his patients, and using precision and artistry to create dramatic aesthetic enhancements while retaining a completely natural and untouched look.

How Much Does a Facelift Cost in New York City?

The cost of a The cost of a Facelift in New York City can vary on a number of factors. As an experienced Facelift surgeon in Manhattan, Dr. Lao will meet with you in his office to discuss all options and pricing.


Can I combine a Facelift with other procedures?

Absolutely! Many of Dr. Lao’s patients choose to combine their facelift with other procedures to achieve their ideal aesthetic goals. Here are a few of the most popular:

What are the risks associated with a Facelift?

Although Dr. Lao uses his years of experience to minimize any risks associated with your Facelift, there is always the possibility of risks, such as:

  • Bleeding
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (cardiac and pulmonary complications)
  • Facial Nerve injury
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Negative Anesthesia reactions
  • Scarring
  • Swelling
  • Unsatisfactory results

While a majority of these side effects will clear up over a few weeks, if you do experience any concerning or long-lasting reactions, please contact our office immediately.

Is a Facelift Painful?

When you come in for your Facelift surgery, you shouldn’t experience any pain as you will be under sedation. During the recovery stage, many patients do not feel too much pain, but you can expect a deep bruised sensation in addition to the swelling, and some of our patients have also expressed feeling a “heavy” face, however, these symptoms should dissipate over time and can be treated with the gentle application of an ice bag or cold compress carefully. Dr. Lao will also temporarily prescribe you some pain medication in order to help alleviate any pain or discomfort as your recover. Some patients will also find the bandages on their face to be mildly irritating, especially as they sleep, but it is very important to keep them on until Dr. Lao removes them, typically one day after surgery.

How Many Appointments Will I Need?

Dr. Lao will want to see you again within a few days post-surgery to remove any sutures and see how you are recovering. After this initial appointment, you can expect to return a few more times over the year as a way to monitor your results and ensure your satisfaction. Usually, this entails a week after your first appointment, then again about a month later, followed by three to six months, and then about a year after your surgery. You may require more or fewer follow-up appointments depending on how your face is healing. Dr. Lao will always inform you of when he would like to see you again, after which our Patient Coordinator will be able to help you schedule your next check-up.

When Will I See the Results?

You may be able to see some positive, visible changes after your surgery, but you will still be very bruised and swollen during the first few weeks of recovery. On average, our patients begin to see the final results of their surgery around the six-week mark. If you follow the instructions we provide for you, it will help increase the chance for better and longer-lasting results.

When Can I Workout Again?

It is incredibly important that you take it easy during the initial stages of recovery, but on average, most patients are able to begin a walking routine after the first week of surgery. You should then be able to start stretching, cycling, and performing yoga after about three weeks post-surgery, and then one to a more regular workout after six weeks. Dr. Lao will be more than happy to give you better timelines of when you can resume certain activities when you come in for your check-ups.

Are There Non-Surgical Facelifts?

We understand that not every patient is ready to commit to the recovery time, cost, or even permanence of a Facelift, but would like a younger appearance. Dr. Lao does offer certain non-invasive treatments for his New York City patients, such as PDO Thread Lifts, IPL Photofacial, Thermage, Dermal Fillers, or BOTOX. While these treatments certainly do not have the longevity of a Facelift, they can help fight the appearance of aging temporarily.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you’re interested in learning more about facelift surgery, contact our office to schedule your consultation today. Dr. William Lao is a double-board-certified plastic surgeon who is dedicated to helping each and every patient look and feel their absolute best. He strives to deliver the best facelift New York City has to offer. He’ll help guide you with care and compassion throughout the entire process and answer any of the questions you have along the way.

Real patient before facelift photo


Real patient after facelift photo


before + afters

Real patients, real results! Check out our before and after photo gallery and peruse through different gallery options of surgical and non-surgical patients!

View of Manhattan, NYC outside of Dr. Lao Plastic Surgery

Out-of-town patients

Dr. Lao has provided surgery for patients from almost every continent in the world. With such a wide range, patients frequently ask about travel arrangements for surgery.

Real patients

Real Reviews

Patient Resources

We’re here to help, with a number of patient resources designed to make your experience as comfortable as possible. Read through the materials below, and don’t hesitate to reach out and set up your consultation to learn more about what we can do for you.

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