The Ultimate Guide to Facelift

Last fact-checked: 15 September 2020

For a radical approach to combat the signs of aging, a facelift could be the answer. If you have been put off by the high prices at home, it's worth looking abroad—with many of the quality-checked hospitals and clinics listed on our site charging up to 70% less. 

Discover top facelift surgeons in places like Mexico, Thailand, Bali, Turkey, the Philippines and other South American, European and Asian countries with help from Medical Departures. 

What Is a Facelift?

A facelift, also called rhytidectomy, is one of the most complete approaches to treating aging skin. The surgery removes excess skin and tightens the tissues and muscles underneath. It can correct a range of problems including jowls, double chins, sagging and lines. Although there are now a variety of non-surgical, minimally invasive ‘lifts,’ surgical facelifts are still considered to be the most effective way of achieving a more youthful-looking face.

The main advantages of having a facelift are that it can improve many areas of the face in one procedure and make you look years younger. The effects can last around 10 years, whereas you may only notice the effects of non-surgical treatment for a few months. 

Am I Suitable for a Facelift?

You may be a good candidate for a facelift if you are in good general health and have realistic expectations about the outcome of the procedure and you have one or more of these characteristics:

  • Deep lines extending from your nose to the corners of your mouth (nasolabial folds)
  • Lines from the corner of the mouth down the chin (marionette lines)
  • Jowls
  • Sagging skin 
  • Creased and sagging skin in the neck
  • A double chin

Facelifts Before and After Surgery - Do's and Dont's

You will be given comprehensive instructions by your doctor before your facelift surgery. These may include making certain lifestyle changes, such as stopping smoking to improve blood flow or weight loss, as required. You should also avoid taking medication that increases blood loss, such as aspirin.

Some other tips and considerations worth bearing in mind while you are still recuperating include:

  • Waiting at least a month before coloring your hair (or do it just before surgery).

  • Stock up with nutritious food including fruit, vegetables and lean protein to assist healing. Avoid salt as it increases swelling.

  • Wear clothing that opens at the front rather than slips over your head.

  • Prop up your head with lots of pillows when sitting or in bed.

  • Get plenty of rest and avoid activities like housework, exercise, heavy lifting, hot saunas or showers for two to three weeks.

Facelift Recovery Time

Recovery is an essential part of any surgery, so do take note of the following considerations before deciding whether facelift surgery is for you:

  • Straight after your surgery, you may be placed in a wrap or compression garment.

  • In order to reduce swelling, always recline rather than lie down and do not bend forward.

  • Discomfort and pain should begin to start to get better after 48 hours; bruising and swelling will begin to subside after two days, taking around two weeks to clear.

  • You may wash your hair with room temperature water 24 hours after surgery and do remember to use the cool heat setting on the hairdryer.

  • Do not drive, or do any heavy lifting for the first week; swimming and strenuous activities should be avoided for at least a month.

  • Do not wear make-up until you have been told you can by a medical professional.

  • It will be at least six months before your facelift heals completely, both inside and out. 

  • Always consult your surgeon as to when you will be able to safely fly back home (as this will depend on a number of factors, such as your post-surgery condition and the length of your flight). 

How Much Can I Save on the Price of Facelift Surgery by Going Abroad?

Depending on where you go in the world you can expect to save at least 50% on facelift costs abroad and in some cases up to 80%.

As an example, facelifts in the United States may set you back around $18,000, which is compared to:

[Please: the above-mentioned average prices are estimates based on data at the time of writing. These can be found on our clinic listing pages]

How Do I Book?

Browse through our top-rated clinics in numerous destinations around the world; compare prices, read authenticated patient reviews, see before-and-after photos and, once you've made a decision, you can book through our site to secure the best prices online.

You can also connect with the Medical Departures Customer Care Team if you have any questions or need assistance with your booking. 


Kita, Natalie. The Liquid or No-Surgery Face Lift. Very Well Health. 13 October 2019. https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-liquid-face-lift-2710240

Herndon, Jaime, MS, MPH, MFA. Facelift: Everything You Need to Know. Healthline. 13 December 2018. https://www.healthline.com/health/face-lift

Why you should quit smoking before having surgery. The Truth Initiative. 6 March 2017. https://truthinitiative.org/research-resources/harmful-effects-tobacco/why-you-should-quit-smoking-having-surgery

Whitlock, Jennifer, RN, MSN, FN. 10 Ways To Improve Your Recovery After Surgery. Very Well Health. February 2020. https://www.verywellhealth.com/post-surgery-recovery-tips-and-guide-3156833