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What is a facelift?

Growing older does not mean you have to look old! A facelift is designed to tighten sagging skin of the face and neck; firm up muscle support; smooth creases around the eyes, nose and mouth; remove excess fat in the neck; erase bands in the neck; and improve the jawline.

Presentation is variable, across a huge spectrum. Some individuals present in their 40s with lax jawline and signs of aging in the neck, while others may present with significant laxity of the skin from the eyes down to the neck, with sun damaged skin and lines in the face. Face and neck lift approaches are individualized depending on patient presentation and goals. Some individuals want their outcome to be subtle and not noticed – this gentle result is possible.

The approach to a facelift depends on individual presentation, but in general, incisions are strategically placed in the natural creases of the hairline around the ear and possibly under the chin. The objective is a refreshed, rejuvenated appearance that looks natural, not different. Some individuals have minimal laxity along the jawline and treatment only requires a small incision around the ear, and surgery can be performed under local anesthesia in about 1.5 hours. While there are many new, less invasive treatments out there, a surgical facelift is still the gold standard in facial rejuvenation, a comprehensive approach in one encounter.

A facelift not only improves and refreshes the face and neck—it can actually improve skin quality. The healing process stimulates inflammatory mediators that can improve old scarring and poor skin quality. Results go beyond just facial tightening.

Who is a good candidate for a facelift?

Good candidates for a facelift are men and women in good physical and psychological health who have deflation and wrinkles of the face, lax and/or irregular skin texture, and a poorly defined neck and jawline.

This procedure may be combined with a brow lift, blepharoplasty, facial fat grafting, neck liposuction or injectibles to rejuvenate the entire face and neck. During the initial consultation you will discuss with Dr. Shermak what you would like to improve so she can understand your expectations and determine how to best achieve your desired results.

What is the mini-lift under local anesthesia?

Some individuals, particularly those under 50 years of age, have minimal laxity along the jawline and upper neck. Pulling the skin up simulates the treatment goal. This procedure only requires a small incision around the ear, and can be performed under local anesthesia in about 1.5 hours.

How can I assure I don’t look overdone?

You should state your “end goal” to Dr. Shermak. Her aesthetic aim generally is to achieve a rested, refreshed look. The client should recognize herself or himself easily in the mirror after surgery, seeing the clock turned back, not the face of a stranger. Dr. Shermak would not want that for herself.

Will the facelift scars be visible?

The scars fall into the hairline and creases around the ear, or shadow under the chin. Scars will fade over time. If the temple is included, patients may actually experience an improved hairline.

How long will a facelift last?

On average, about 8 years. Some individuals with sun damaged skin or particularly lax skin may see a shorter duration of result, while others may be happy with their outcome for 15 years. A secondary facelift may be entertained later to improve upon relaxed results that will occur over time.

What is the recovery like for a facelift?

Facelift surgery tends to be performed on an outpatient basis. You may experience temporary swelling, numbness, and bruising that respond well to head elevation, ice packs and Arnica Montana herbal supplementation.

You will be seen in the office within 1 to 3 days to have your post-operative dressings removed. Stitches are removed 7 to 10 days after surgery. Makeup may be applied by 2 weeks after surgery. Most clients find they can resume regular activities and return to work within 2 weeks, with swelling taking up to a month to resolve.

Taking the next step Schedule a Consultation

We invite you to call Dr. Shermak’s Baltimore plastic surgery office at 410-324-6592 to schedule your personal facelift consultation today. You may also view our online library of before and after photography to get a better idea of what to expect from the facelift procedure.

1304 Bellona Avenue, Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093

Dr. Michele Shermak offers some of the top cosmetic procedures Baltimore, MD has to offer
including Baltimore breast augmentation & liposuction

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View Update Virtual Consultation

We are officially open, thanks to Governor Hogan!

We welcome new patients and are looking forward to performing elective surgical procedures, starting the week of May 11.

This is a new day, with new safety protocols. Our goal is to keep everyone safe and respect the continued risk COVID-19 presents. For this reason, we will be instituting the following protocols:

  • We will have Sandy stationed at our entryway with sterilizer and a COVID-19 survey for our new patients to fill out. Sandy will also check your temperature and collect your paperwork at the door – our medical intake form can be filled out prior to your coming to the office, or you can fill it out after you arrive.
  • Please bring a mask for any in-office visits. If you are coming for surgery, please bring a paper mask if you have one. For any other visits, cloth masks or paper masks are fine.
  • We need any patient waiting to be seen to wait in your car until we can safely accommodate you in an exam room. We need to respect social distancing and are spacing our patients out to assure safety.
  • We can only allow the patient to come in to the office for examination. Friends or family will need to wait outside the office.
  • For those assisting our postoperative patients on the day of surgery: we ask that you kindly wait in your car and we will call you in to discuss postoperative instructions.
  • I am continuing to schedule Virtual Consultations which is exciting and new! Check out my Resources section or header at drshermak.com to get started!

I look forward to seeing you soon!


As of July 1st, the staff members at The Plastic Surgery Center of Maryland will no longer routinely be wearing masks following the state guidelines per Governor Hogan.

All of our staff members are vaccinated.

If any patient would prefer that the medical staff member caring for them wear a mask, please let us know and we will gladly do so.

We treat patients with compormised immune systems and we need to be respectful of their needs.

We are asking patients who are not fully vaccinated to please wear masks while in our office so that we may continue to safely accomodate our patients with weakened immune systems.

Thank you!

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