Faceliftin Boston, MA

Named Among the Best Plastic Surgeons in Boston

Helena O. Taylor MD, PHD, FACS & Stephen R. Sullivan MD, MPH, FACS

Get Ready to Face the World With Confidence

One of the first places to show signs of aging is the face. Sagging skin and fine lines begin appearing, and confidence starts slipping away. Getting back the facial features you enjoyed when you were younger isn’t an unobtainable wish; it’s something you can achieve with a Facelift in Boston. This simple procedure can boost your self-esteem and rejuvenate your face’s natural youthful appearance.

Facelift at Taylor & Sullivan Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery

Taylor & Sullivan Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery offers facelift surgery in the Boston, MA, area. Our board-certified plastic surgeons, Dr. Taylor, and Dr. Sullivan are highly experienced in performing many cosmetic procedures. With their compassionate care and attention to every detail, they are committed to helping patients achieve a brighter and more youthful-looking appearance.

How the Face Ages

Boston Facelift model smiling

As we age, the skin on our face loses elasticity and collagen, leading to wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin. The underlying facial fascia and muscles also relax, causing the tissues to sag and fat deposits to shift or diminish, resulting in hollow areas, and a more bottom heavy face. This is not something that we have lifestyle or non-invasive approaches to correct, despite what you may see online.

What is a Facelift?

A facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure designed to elevate the midface and lower face and improve the visible signs of aging in the face. It is almost always done in conjunction with a neck lift.

There are many different approaches from more limited skin excisions to “deep plane” facelifts where the muscles are elevated off the bone. In our practice, having tried lots of different techniques, we favor a SMAS plication procedure, that aggressively tightens the underlying structures, without overly tightening the skin. In our experience this puts things back where they belong, without making you look “operated on” or like a different person. It also balances safety with respect to risks to the facial nerves. Very frequently we will perform a small volume of fat grafting to the cheeks and lips at the time of a Facelift.

Benefits of a Facelift

Boston Facelift model smelling flowers

With a Facelift Boston patients can enjoy numerous benefits, including:

  • A more youthful, rejuvenated appearance
  • Reduction of sagging skin and jowls
  • A cleaner jawline
  • Restoring volume to the midface
  • Boosting self-confidence and self-esteem

Am I a candidate for a Facelift?

Candidates for a Facelift typically include men and women who are in good overall health, have realistic expectations, and are bothered by noticeable signs of aging around the face and neck. However, some factors may disqualify individuals from undergoing the procedure, including:

  • Severe medical conditions, such as uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Active infections or skin conditions in the treatment area
  • Allergies to anesthesia or surgical materials
  • Smoking or nicotine use
  • Immunosuppression or steroid use

Concerns that can be addressed with a Facelift include:

  • Sagging or loose skin on the face
  • Deep wrinkles and creases around the mouth and nose
  • Jowls or a double chin
  • Loss of volume in the cheeks
  • Excess skin or fat in the neck area
Boston Facelift model in yellow top

Consultation and Preparation

Before undergoing our Boston Facelift procedure, a consultation is vital, as a facelift can vary significantly in scope. During your consultation, our team will assess your medical history, examine your face, and discuss your goals and expectations for the procedure. We will also explain the facelift procedure, including the risks and benefits, and answer any questions. We typically meet with patients at least twice before any surgery.

To prepare for the facelift, you may need to make lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, avoiding blood-thinning medications, and following a healthy diet. You should also arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure and assist you during recovery. Some patients may spend a night in the hospital, while some may safely go home afterwards.

Complementary Procedures

Facelift surgery can be combined with other procedures to enhance its results. Complementary procedures frequently include eyelid surgery, fat transfer, and lip lift. Combining procedures may make sense anatomically, and medically, but will be different for each patient, and your surgeon will discuss your options with you.

Neck Lift

In our practice, a neck lift is almost always done in conjunction with a facelift. A neck lift is a surgical procedure designed to address sagging skin and excess fat in the neck area. During a neck lift, we make small incisions behind the ears and under the chin, remove excess fat and skin, and tighten the underlying muscles. The result is a smoother, more youthful-looking neck. A neck lift can be performed alone or in combination with a Facelift to provide a more comprehensive rejuvenation of the face and neck. Neck lift surgery is an excellent option for patients who are unhappy with the appearance of their neck due to aging, weight loss, or genetic factors.

The Taylor & Sullivan Facelift Procedure

Facelifts in our practice are typically done under general anesthesia, which we find to be the safest and most comfortable approach for patients. Incisions are made around the ears and hairline to allow for repositioning of the skin and underlying tissues, and often an incision is made in the crease beneath the chin. The SMAS layer is tightened and the excess skin is removed to create a smoother, more toned look. Often some supplemental fat grafting is performed to the cheeks and sometimes the lips.

The length of the procedure can vary depending on each patient’s individual needs, but it typically takes several hours to complete. Many patients can safely go home afterwards, but some patients may spend the night here in the hospital.

Facelift Recovery Timeline

If you’re considering a Facelift, it’s important to understand the recovery timeline. While every patient’s experience will be different, there are some general stages of recovery that most people go through.

Here’s what you can expect during each week of your facelift recovery:

Week 1

During the first week after your Facelift, you’ll need to rest and take it easy. You may experience some pain, swelling, and bruising around your face and neck. Your surgeon will likely prescribe pain medication to help manage any discomfort, although this is often minimal. You’ll also need to keep your head elevated as much as possible to reduce swelling. The sutures are removed between postoperative days 6 and 8.

Week 2

By the second week, you should start feeling more like yourself again. Many patients can return to work or other normal activities at this point, although there may still be some residual swelling and bruising. Although things can look fairly normal the face is predictably numb in front of the ears at this point. The scars will still be pink and delicate. We encourage walking and light exercise.

Weeks 3 and 4

During weeks three and four, most patients see a significant improvement in their appearance. Swelling and bruising should continue to subside, although you may still have some residual discoloration around your incision sites. You can resume exercise and other physical activities at this point, but you should still avoid anything too strenuous.

Week 5 and Beyond

After five weeks or so, most patients are healed from their facelift surgery, but the scars will not be mature, and the face will still feel numb, sometimes for up to a year.

Why choose Taylor & Sullivan Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery?

Boston Facelift model with dark hair

Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan at Taylor & Sullivan Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery try to take an individualized and thoughtful approach to each patient. If they don’t think surgery will be helpful, they will tell you. As Harvard faculty members specializing in plastic surgery, with fellowship training in craniofacial surgery, they have been named among the top plastic surgeons in Boston and have received numerous awards and accolades for their work. They are committed to providing personalized care and achieving natural-looking results for their patients.

Schedule Your Boston Facelift Consultation at Taylor & Sullivan Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery Today

There is no “right time for surgery” except when something bothers you enough. If you find the descent in your face and neck is impacting your day to day life, it may be time to contact us for a consultation, to see what your options might be. Our experienced surgeons are here to provide you with the care and attention you deserve to achieve natural-looking results. It’s time for you to reclaim your youth and restore your self-confidence - let our experts help make it happen!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Facelifts common?

Every year, around 131,000 individuals in the United States undergo Facelift surgery – making it one of the most popular cosmetic procedures.

Is a Facelift painful?

Facelift surgery is performed under anesthesia, so you will not feel any pain during the procedure. We use lots of long acting numbing medicine, and a cocktail of non narcotic medicines post operatively. You may experience some discomfort and soreness during the recovery period, but most patients are pleasantly surprised by how easy the recovery is.

What are the risks associated with a Facelift?

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with Facelift surgery. These can include bleeding, problems with wound healing, scarring, nerve damage, and complications related to anesthesia.

How long does it take to recover after a Facelift?

The recovery time after a Facelift can vary depending on the individual and the extent of the surgery. Generally speaking, most patients can return to work and normal activities within two weeks of their surgery. Often the face can look fairly normally, but it does take some time for the face to feel normal.

Is a Facelift permanent?

While the results of a Facelift are long lasting, time marches on. Typically, things never go back to where they were before surgery, but skin continues to relax with the passage of time. Many younger patients may choose to do a facelift or neck lift, because of inherited laxity or positioning of the neck muscles. For those patients, the results are very long lasting.

Will my Facelift be obvious?

Most of our patients don’t want to look “different” or “operated on.” Most people just want to see whom they expect to see in the mirror. With that in mind, we strive to create natural-looking results that enhance your features without appearing obvious or artificial. Your surgeon will work with you to determine your desired outcome and develop a treatment plan that achieves those goals while maintaining a natural look.

What is a good age to get a Facelift?

There is no specific age at which someone should consider getting a Facelift. The decision should be based on individual factors such as whether something bothers you, skin quality, degree of sagging or wrinkles, and overall health. Comorbidities, rather than age, may make you a poor surgical candidate..

Can I combine a Facelift with other cosmetic treatments?

Yes. Many patients choose to combine facelift surgery with other cosmetic treatments such as fat grafting, eyelid surgery and lip lift.

How much does a Facelift cost?

The cost of a facelift can vary depending on the type of procedure being performed and the complexity of the case.


  • In the week before your operation:
    • Consider eating pineapple, it may help reduce bruising
    • Consider supplementing with Arnica montana, it may help reduce bruising
    • Complete household chores and prepare meals for the first few days of postoperative recovery
    • Follow preoperative instructions with eating, drinking, and medications
  • Postoperatively, get out of bed and walk (with assistance) every few hours after your operation to decrease the chance of postoperative problems such as blood clots.
  • Practice 15-20 deep breaths every hour to keep your lungs open.
  • After surgery, it is important for you to have someone available to stay with you for the first 24-48 hours, as you may feel drowsy. You may require help the first few times you get out of bed.
  • Please take your medications as directed by Dr. Taylor or Dr. Sullivan to manage discomfort or symptoms.
    • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 1000 mg every 8 hours, space doses 4 hours after Ibuprofen so one or the other is taken every 4 hours
    • Ibuprofen (Motrin) 800 mg every 8 hours, space doses 4 hours after Acetaminophen so one or the other is taken every 4 hours
    • Gabapentin 300 mg every 8 hours for 7 days
    • Vitamin C 500 mg daily for 50 days
    • Oxycodone 5 mg – 1-2 tablets every 6 hours as needed for pain, though many patients may not need it
    • Colace 100 mg twice daily to prevent constipation, it is important to have a bowel movement each day
    • Zofran 8 mg every 8 hours if needed for nausea
    • Scopolamine patch will be placed on the neck on the day of surgery and can stay for 3 days
    • Bacitracin ointment twice daily to the incisions
  • Eat a light diet for 2-3 days and avoid spicy food. Some suggestions to ease abdominal discomfort or indigestion after surgery:
    • Drink water or warm liquids
    • Prune juice to prevent constipation
  • You may have drains under the skin in the neck. These will be secured and you can sleep with them, but avoid pulling on them. Keep the drainage bulbs compressed at all times. Instructions regarding the drains will be given to your caretaker or nurse. The drains and head dressing are usually removed by Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan the morning after surgery.
  • You may shower or sponge bath the day after the operation after your dressings and drains have been removed. You may wash your hair with a gentle shampoo and conditioner and your face with a gentle soap. Pat dry and then apply a thin layer of Vaseline or antibiotic ointment (e.g. Bacitracin or Polysporin) to incisions and suture lines for 5 to 7 days.
  • Elevate your head and shoulders and when in bed keep your head elevated about 30 degrees (two pillows under your head and back) to help with the swelling.
  • Do not smoke or expose yourself to smokers or nicotine as skin and wounds can be compromised.
  • You may apply ice packs to the face and areas around the eyes for the first 48 hours to reduce swelling and bruising. Bags of frozen peas and corn make for excellent ice packs. You might also consider Icewraps Gel Packs or Swiss Safe gel packs, which can be ordered from Amazon or online. Apply the ice packs for 20 min of each hour while awake.
  • Cosmetics can be worn on the face as early as 10 days after surgery as long as all sutures have been removed.
  • Your hair may be dried with a blow dryer on a cool, not a hot, setting. Hair coloring or use of hair products should be delayed until 3 weeks after surgery or when all wounds are healed and there are no crusts or scabs.


  • For the first week following surgery, raising your blood pressure and heart rate can cause bleeding. Avoid straining, stress on your facial muscles or vigorous activity. Facial movements (smiling, talking, chewing, yawning, etc.) should be kept to a minimum. We recommend walking 15 minutes 2 to 3 times per day.
  • Please do not drive for 7 to 10 days or while taking pain medications such as oxycodone.
  • Do not lift anything heavier than 10 lbs, run, lift weights, or perform strenuous exercise for 3 weeks. Normal activity can be gradually resumed after 3 weeks.
  • Massage to the areas of scar and skin of the face and neck can help increase circulation and soften firm areas. Please wait at least 3 to 4 weeks after surgery to start massage to avoid increased swelling.


  • Moderate swelling and bumpiness of your face and neck is to be expected. This is most notable in the neck and will increase for 48 hours. Much of the swelling usually resolves within the first few weeks after the operation. Though you may find that your neck is slower to resolve. A feeling of tightness of the face and neck is to be expected. Please be patient. The swelling and feeling of tightness will gradually subside over the following months.
  • Bumpiness of the skin is also normal and will smooth out as the swelling resolves and the tissues soften.
  • Tingling, itching, and numbness of the face and neck skin are all normal. Tingling and itching are signs of healing and will resolve. Sensation usually returns gradually and slowly over weeks to months. Please be patient and avoid resting against hot surfaces, which can injure or burn the skin.
  • Scars and tissues take one full year to mature. You may notice that they become red, raised and firm for several weeks to months before becoming soft, flat and pale. Avoid Vitamin E as it can irritate the scar. Mederma has no proven benefit and is not worth the expense. All incisions will be sensitive to sunlight during the healing phase. Direct sun contact or tanning booths are to be avoided. Silicone cream or skin moisturizer with sunscreen and gentle massage may be helpful.
  • A small amount bleeding from the incision is expected. Please call our office (617-492-0620) if you have:
    • Continuous bleeding
    • Significantly more swelling on one side when compared to the other
    • Worsening pain
    • Fever, spreading redness or irritation of the skin
    • Shortness of breath

It is important to be seen by Dr. Taylor or Dr. Sullivan after your operation. They will see you in follow-up appointments at 1 week, 3 weeks, 3 months, and 1 year or as often as needed post-op. Call to schedule your appointments at Taylor & Sullivan Plastic Surgery office at (617) 492-0620 between the hours of 8:30 – 5:00 or visit our webpage at www.massplasticsurgeons.com. We are always available for postoperative concerns or emergencies and can be reached through our paging service 24 hours per day at (617) 492-0620.

Download our Facelift Aftercare Instructions here.

Call Today 617.492.0620

To schedule a private consultation with Dr. Taylor or Dr. Sullivan, please call the office or request an appointment using our form. We welcome your visit and your questions.

300 Mount Auburn St. Ste 304, Cambridge, MA 02138

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300 Mount Auburn St. Ste 304, Cambridge