The facelift procedure is one of the most common techniques we utilize for facial rejuvenation. Modern techniques allow for excellent long-term results with surprisingly little recovery or discomfort. The facelift procedure is actually not well named: it is a neck and jowl lift directed to the rejuvenation of the lower half of the face. A “brow lift” addresses the upper half of the face.

We all experience similar changes over time which result in the typical aging changes of the lower face. These include a loss of the youthful jawline appearance and the development of jowling. The area of the midface is affected with more prominence of the folds of skin to the sides of the mouth and nose. The neck area often will lose its youthful contours in profile and develop “bands” of excess tissue. There is a general laxity of tissue due to the loss of structural support and also to the loss of elastic tissue and collagen in the skin. This loss of resilience and spring to the skin quality adds to lines and wrinkles.


There is considerable variability from person to person; however, there are definite common causative factors for skin aging:

  • Sun (UV) exposure is undoubtedly the most significant factor. The use of high SPF factor sunscreens, as well as protective clothing, is very important. Sun tanning or the use of tanning booths is highly destructive acting only as an ‘aging machine’.
  • Smoking causes a major acceleration of the skin aging process, probably due to vascular damage.
  • Nutrition: Extremes of weight or rapid weight change contributes to aging. A well-balanced diet can manage this factor.
  • Skincare: Moisturizers coupled with basic high quality skin can prevent aging and delay the onset of aging. Northwest Face & Body’s master estheticians can aid you in developing the best routine for your skin.


One of the most important considerations in the facelift procedure is the attention to many small details important in avoiding a “surgical” appearance. It is essential to avoid the typical “over-stretched” appearance we are all too familiar with. Important details recognized include:

Hairline: It’s important to not shift the position of the tuft of hair in front of the ear or to create a “notched” effect at the hairline behind the ear. It should be possible to wear the hair pulled back and not see a significant scar.

Tissue suspension: The support structures under the skin should remain supported and the skin itself not simply trimmed and pulled. By achieving strong support under the surface, the skin simply ‘comes along for the ride’ in a natural and youthful direction.

Attention to these areas will result in an extremely pleasing natural and long lasting result. The overall expectation should be one of improvement and enhancement of facial youthfulness and vigor and an increased sense of beauty.


A licensed anesthesia provider will place you under general anesthesia for your facelift surgery. The recovery from the anesthetic is usually about one hour, after which you can usually go home. The actual procedure requires approximately three hours and involves a meticulous elevation and freeing of tissue. Dr. Allegra will also elevate a second layer of supporting tissue (the SMAS layer). It is this layer that Dr. Allegra firmly re-suspends. Dr. Allegra will treat excess fatty tissue with liposuction particularly in the fat pad under the chin area. Following this, the skin tissue is “re-draped” in a natural direction with the removal of all excessive and redundant skin.

Meticulous closure along the incision lines then helps assure excellent camouflage of the incision. A wrap around dressing is then applied to reduce the tendency for swelling or bruising. The head turban pressure dressing is kept in place overnight and removed the following day in the office. Individuals may either go home if reasonably nearby or they may elect to stay at the hotel across from our Carillon Point office.

Recovery is rapid with a reasonable, socially presentable appearance between five days (with makeup) to approximately ten days (often without makeup). Generally, you can expect only minor bruising or swelling in the lower neck area. Pain is usually minor and rarely even requires medication. Many patients are up and reasonably active by the second day.


Dr. Allegra will instruct you to place cold compresses around the face and neck areas. The patient is requested to keep the head elevated for one to two days. Dr. Allegra will remove the dressing the next day in the office. Hydrogen peroxide placed on Q-tips may treat and clean the wounds in and around the ear. Bacitracin is placed on the incisions in front of the ear.

You can begin showering the day after the procedure. It is important to refrain from performing any rigorous exercise or strenuous activity until at least two weeks after the surgery: lifting, bending over and exercising can increase bruising and will slow healing down. You should minimize any head movement as well. Lateral stretching of the head (which might occur when driving) is not recommended for the initial week. Dr. Allegra will remove clips after five to seven days andat which point you can apply makeup.

Swelling and discoloration are to be expected to a certain degree in the neck and behind the ears, but both generally dissipate within one to two weeks after the procedure. If one has flown in for the procedure, it is generally possible to safely fly back at one week following the procedure.


Following a facelift procedure, the “hands of the clock” are turned back for the long term. Physiologically you remain the same age, but the appearance of the face stays generally more youthful. Patients may see anywhere from 10 to 20 years of improvement in one’s facial appearance. However, we will still age and the manifestations of the aging process will continue to exert their effects on the face.

Nevertheless, when comparing one’s youthful appearance (after having had a facelift) to one’s peers and/or siblings, the sense of a more youthful appearance continues over time. As a general concept, one can expect that there is a return to baseline appearance in about 10 years; however, one is still 10 years ahead of peers. A percentage of individuals who undergo a facelift may desire a repeat facelift after about ten years. This is easily and effectively accomplished.

The Best Facelift In Bellevue And Kirkland At Northwest Face & Body

Dr. Ludwig Allegra of Northwest Face & Body is an accomplished plastic surgeon who has performed hundreds of facelift surgeries. He understands the science and aesthetics behind facelift surgery making him one of the best facelift surgeons in Bellevue and Kirkland.

Northwest Face & Body has served the Eastside’s plastic surgery needs since 1983. Located on the shores of Lake Washington, Northwest Face & Body is just minutes from downtown Kirkland and Bellevue. Offering the best in cosmetic surgery and non-surgical procedures like BOTOX and lip filler, Northwest Face & Body is the Eastside’s premier plastic surgery provider.

To schedule a consultation at Northwest Face & Body, call. us at 425-576-1700. You can also contact us online via our Price Simulator™ app, contact form, and chat.