Face Lift

face lift tucson

Surgical Procedures

Face Lift

At it’s very core, Perfection Plastic Surgery provides optimal patient care by a dedicated team with far reaching expertise. Dr. Kay is highly trained, has years of experience and is recognized as one of the leading plastic surgeons in the southwest. In all areas of plastic surgery, ranging from office-based excisions, to cosmetic makeovers, to complex reconstruction following trauma, we believe that it’s our personalized and broad-based experience that allows us to offer the best care to our patients, regardless of the procedure they require.

When to Consider a Facelift

  • If you show signs of facial aging, but still have some skin elasticity.
  • If you are looking to lift the cheeks, soften the nasolabial folds, minimize marionette lines, lift the jowls, define the jaw line, tighten the neck, remove neck fat and/or decrease facial wrinkles.
  • If even when you are healthy and energetic, people say you appear tired or sad because of aging in the midface, jawline and neck.

Dr. Kay’s Approach

I strive to achieve a natural, rejuvenated appearance with long-lasting results through my approach to facial rejuvenation. I devise a plan to meet your specific goals, with consideration to your facial skin, bones and volume. The face is evaluated in thirds, assessing the brow, the cheeks and the neck. We can do procedures on each individual third of the face or combinations. The most common combination which people call a ‘facelift’ is the cheek-neck lift combination.


  • A facelift will remove sagging skin and restore normal facial contours.
  • A natural, rejuvenated appearance with long-lasting results can be achieved.


  • Facial surgery is not designed to change your fundamental appearance and cannot stop the aging process.
  • There is downtime associated with this procedure.

Related Procedures

For the face that has lost tissue volume, fat transfers can be done at the time of the facelift procedure. This not only delivers facial volume, but stem cells contained in the prepared, autologous fat can improve the overall quality of your skin. As an alternative, the use of dermal fillers can restore facial volume and fill in specific, deeper wrinkles and folds. If skin conditions such as discoloration, uneven tone, texture, fine lines, wrinkles and poor elasticity are present, fractionated laser resurfacing at the time of surgery is performed to improve the skin’s quality, leading to a more comprehensive, balanced result.


The most common combination, which people call a “facelift,” is the cheek-neck lift combo. A neck lift is the procedure of choice when you have sagging skin of the neck only. It involves removing excess skin and fat as well as repositioning the underlying muscles and tissue. The result is a better defined neck and jaw line. When facial sagging in the cheek area is pronounced in the presence of a more normal neckline, a cheek lift alone may be suggested.

The placement of the scars depends upon the exact procedure performed. Ideal scar placement is in the junction between the face and ear, under the hair or at the hairline and underneath the chin with meticulous precision. The goal is to make the scars as inconspicuous as possible. It should be noted it takes up to 18 months for scars to fully mature. The final appearance of the scar has to do with each individual’s ability to heal.

These procedures are widely marketed with promises of great results with minimal cost, low risks and negligible downtime. In reality, they are only limited skin lifts. These procedures are not widely accepted by Board Certified Plastic Surgeons, because they have not been scientifically studied, nor have the details of the procedures been specifically defined in peer reviewed journals. It would therefore seem the ‘Quick Lift’ and ‘Lifestyle Lift’ are merely terms created primarily for marketing purposes. Dr. Kay has observed that most minimally invasive surgical procedures are deceivingly pricey and provide limited, short-lived results. In an article published by the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, a patient survey on facial surgery discovered that 60% of the participants felt the duration of results from a procedure was more important than the cost when deciding on a treatment. This negates the idea that everyone is only looking for a quick inexpensive fix. Both the Quick Lift and Lifestyle Lift fees may exceed the fees of most of the board certified plastic surgeons in this area.

The goal of facial surgery is to rejuvenate the face in a natural way, without changing your overall appearance. You will look refreshed and rested, without looking tightly pulled. The pulled look often comes from exclusively removing skin without doing any work on the deeper supporting layers of the face, specifically the muscle-facial layer (called the SMAS, short for superficial muscular aponeurotic system).

There is no defined age range for facelift surgery. Dr. Kay has performed facelifts on patients slightly under 40 to slightly over 80. More important than age, surgical candidates must be healthy without a medical condition that would make surgery a risk for you.

The longevity of a facelift depends upon many factors. These include, but are not limited to your age at the time of surgery, history of large weight loss, sun exposure and resulting skin damage, smoking history, and genetics. Going beyond only removing excess skin, Dr. Kay tightens the underlying muscles and tissues (called the SMAS), which he has found increases the lasting effects of facial rejuvenation surgery. Some of the Dr. Kay’s procedures held up for 20 years, but we find the average longevity is between 8 and 13 years.

Most of our patients do not find the neck, cheek or “facelift” procedures to be particularly painful. One contributing factor is the targeted injection of a long-acting, local anesthetic, in addition to the intravenous sedation administered by a board certified anesthesiologist. Patients frequently comment on tightness in the neck, below the chin, where separated muscle bands are stitched together to sculpt the neck, numbness of the cheek and neck, and occasionally pressure or discomfort where the drains are placed (the drains are removed the day following the procedure). Discomfort can be expected, but not pain.

This can be very individual, in part because there is no clear definition of downtime. We frequently refer to two types of downtime: physical/prescribed downtime and social downtime. Some individuals are ready to resume daily activities as soon as sutures are removed, while others, who don’t want anyone to know that they had surgery, wait until most of the swelling is gone. In general, most patients are able to have makeup applied at 10 to 14 days post-surgery, and feel comfortable being seen in public.

It is important you do not elevate your heart rate for 10 to 14 days post-surgery. If laser resurfacing is done in conjunction with surgery, this time may be extended. Unrestricted exercise can usually be resumed in 4 to 6 weeks.

As the name of our practice suggests, Dr. Kay is a perfectionist. He likes to keep tabs on how the healing and scar maturation are progressing. By following you for a year, it allows time for the progressive, natural resolution of swelling and relaxation of the tissues to occur, and affords Dr. Kay many opportunities to intervene with the healing process if need be. As added incentive, we offer a standard, complimentary microdermabrasion at 2 to 3 months after your surgery and at your one year anniversary.

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