412-693-6475 Menu

What is a facelift?

A facelift is a popular surgical procedure to rejuvenate the effects of aging, sagging skin. The lines of the face are tightened, contoured and sculpted to address wrinkles and creases, sagging cheeks or jowls, and excess skin and fat. The final result? Smoother, firmer and revitalized features, renewing your youthful look again.

Dr. Leong Facelift Patient Before & Afters

View All

Who is a candidate?

Men and women who want to look younger and enjoy firmer, contoured features are likely good candidates for a facelift. Candidates should also meet the following points:

  • are generally in good health
  • are not experiencing significant medical conditions that may impair healing
  • are nonsmokers
  • are realistic in their expectations about what this surgery can do for them

What are the benefits?

A facelift brings a renewed confidence because it aligns what’s on the outside with how you want to feel on the inside: young and attractive. Facelifts are extremely popular because they work to target a number of concerns, and thus provide many benefits:

  • Gives a firmer, more youthful appearance
  • Lifts sagging, aging skin
  • Reduces or eliminates jowls or a double chin
  • Targets many signs of aging in one procedure
  • Tightens skin
  • Can be done at any age, once the face begins to show signs of aging
  • Takes as much as ten years off the face
  • Revitalizes and refreshing the appearance
  • Lifts a heavy brown
  • Greatly reduces or erases wrinkles and heavy lines
  • Opens the eyes in a natural and youthful way
  • Sculpts and refines the lines and contours of the face


Facelift Surgery Pittsburgh

What is the proper age for a facelift? Watch Dr. Leong interview his patient 4 weeks after receiving a facelift in Pittsburgh.

Facelift Surgery Pittsburgh

Dr. Leong explains this remarkable before and after procedure.

Facelift Incision in Front of the Ear

Facelift Incision - Around Sideburn Discussion

Dr. Leong standing next to a patient with a pink background

Face Lift Made Her Look 20+ Years YOUNGER!

Dr. Leong standing next to a patient with a blue background

She Is Only 6 DAYS Out From a Facelift?!

Dr. Leong standing next to a patient with a blue background

Understanding Facelift Anatomy Simplified

Why Choose Dr. Paul Leong at Sistine Facial Plastic Surgery?

Dr. Leong has trained at the leading institutions in the U.S. After he completed his medical degree at the Yale University School of Medicine, he devoted the next seven years to honing his skills in head, face and neck surgery at the University of Pittsburgh in the otolaryngology program which consistently ranked among the top five in the country.

At Sistine Facial Plastic Surgery in Pittsburgh, we represent transparency and integrity in everything we do. Dr. Leong tells his patients the truth about their upcoming treatment—even if it’s something they don’t want to hear. He is dedicated to his patients’ well-being, and that means ensuring they are fully informed about all factors before undergoing treatment. Additionally, Dr. Leong’s focus is to create natural results, never fake or overdone. Rest assured, when you come to Sistine for treatment, you are walking into an environment of technical excellence and high integrity.

It’s your face. Trust it to a specialist.

Best Facelift in Pittsburgh

Facelift surgery in Pittsburgh

For many years, Dr. Leong has routinely lectured about state-of-the-art facelift surgery at international conferences and plastic surgery departments in Pittsburgh, around the United States, Europe, and Asia.

At Sistine Facial Plastic Surgery, it is important that our patients have full access to his thought process and approach to facelift surgery, and invite you to review the unabridged videos of many of these lectures on this site. As you’ll hear in these videos, all facelift surgery is not created equally. In these videos, and during your consultation, Dr. Leong prefers to use the same vocabulary that surgeons use in their professional literature and at professional meetings.

For example, there are several broad categories of our Pittsburgh facelift surgery (skin-only facelifts, plication facelifts, imbrication facelifts, deep plane facelifts, and Hi-SMAS facelifts).

As opposed to describing facelifts in terms of over-marketed brand-name procedures, an exercise which purpose is more to confuse and obscure than to assist and educate patients – Dr. Leong works to keep it real and tell you what it takes to get great results. Please take a look at Dr. Leong’s before and after pictures and draw your own conclusions.

Before & After

View All

What are the different types of facelift surgery?

There is a great deal of marketing focused on promoting certain types of branded facelifts. Most of this marketing is quite misleading and glosses over important details of how the facelift is done and which facelift might be best for you. It’s important to research exactly what the surgery entails, how extensive it is and what techniques will be used.

Dr. Leong spent many years of formal education and training at some of the best institutions to develop facial plastic surgery skills. More importantly, years of experience focused on facelift surgery have allowed him to develop an approach to facelifts that delivers natural-looking, long-lasting results--providing patients with what is arguably the best Pittsburgh has to offer when it comes to facelifts. Dr. Leong uses this approach when performing each type of facelift procedure.

Some basics about the different types of facelift surgery:


Called a “mini” because it is less invasive and dramatic than a traditional facelift, this procedure targets aging in the lower face, including minimal or moderate skin sagging, early jowls, and excess skin. The incisions are more minimal and recovery time is generally shorter, but the effects are also not as significant. However, this facelift does provide a smoother and more uplifted effect. The best candidates for this procedure are younger patients who are not experiencing the more severe signs of aging yet.


The mid-facelift targets the cheeks, deep creases and lower eyelids. A mid facelift is designed to enhance facial definition and sculpt the lines of the face, while lifting the skin to eliminate deep lines. This facelift is more ideal for those who do not have jowls or excess skin sagging in the neck.

Deep Plane

This is a more involved and impactful facelift created for those with severe cheek and neck aging. A deep plane facelift does go deep to tighten and lift the muscle tissue. The skin is lifted to tighten loose skin and address a sagging neck or heavy cheeks. While it is a more in-depth procedure, it also produces the most dramatic, refined and long-lasting results.


SMAS stands for (superficial musculo-aponeurotic system). This is the thin sheet of muscle and connective tissue that is located deep in the mid and lower face. The SMAS facelift is designed to address the SMAS, lifting the mid and lower face. It also addresses significant loose or sagging skin.The SMAS facelift is known to reverse signs of aging noticeably by achieving a firmer, sculpted and more youthful face and neck.

Not only was I very happy with my experience, I was thrilled beyond description! How fortunate am I that I landed an appointment with a true professional that excels at what he does? Not only was he prompt but Dr. Leong spent a great deal of time discussing my issues, concerns and goals.

Review from AngiesList.com

The results were more than I possibly could’ve hoped for. I had a facelift with Dr. Leong. The results were incredible. I have heard he is the best facelift surgeon in the region and I couldn’t agree more. I would recommend him to anyone.

Review from RateMds.com

What are the main considerations surrounding a facelift procedure?

Patients have several worries as they consider a facelift. They are concerned about whether their procedure will be safe and if they will have any complications. Your best assurance that your procedure will be smooth and without difficulties is to select a surgeon with extensive training and a good deal of experience with the facelift procedure. Sistine Facial Plastic Surgery confines itself to facial plastic and aging face/facelift surgeries, which comprise more than half of the surgical practice.

Patients are also concerned that they may not get a natural appearing result and that their results may not last as long as they could. Dr. Leong is very passionate that his patients should get a result that looks completely natural. As everyone says at Sistine Facial Plastic Surgery, “If it doesn’t look natural, it doesn’t look good.”

This is a key weakness of many of these lunchtime lifts that we all see advertised on infomercials and elsewhere. It is simply impossible to compress top quality facial plastic work into a couple of hours.

Many patients that have these commercial lifts end up with a very pulled and unnatural look that is very hard to correct.

Obtaining a result that is long lasting, as well as natural appearing, is completely dependent upon the technical details of how the procedure is performed. Dr. Leong has trained with and learned from some of the finest facelift surgeons in the world. This factor, combined with years of experience, has allowed him to provide consistent high-quality results for his patients.

How does Dr. Leong reduce your downtime following a facelift?

Dr. Leong understands that the lifestyle of many facelift patients makes it difficult to take an extended period of time off of work. While the actual facelift surgery is never rushed, Dr. Leong makes every effort to reduce the time required to fully recover from your facelift surgery and get back to your normal life.

Facelift in Pittsburgh

What procedures may be combined with a facelift?

It is important to note that facelift surgery does not address all signs of aging, such as wrinkles near the eyes or lines around the mouth. Facelift surgery can be performed in combination with other surgeries such as fat transfer, cheek/chin implants, facial liposuction, upper eyelid lift or lower eyelid lift, or browlift surgery.

Paul Leong MD FACS

The Facial Specialist

Dr. Leong's education and training is extensive. He started by earning his medical degree from the prestigious Yale University School of Medicine. He then went on to perfect his expertise in head, face, and neck surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, a top five otolaryngology program in the country. Dr. Leong continued his education through two fellowships, the first in Advanced Oncologic Surgery of the Head and Neck at Pittsburgh Medical Center and the second in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Oregon Health Sciences University.

What is the cost of a Facelift and Face-neck lift in Pittsburgh?

As with any service, patients naturally inquire about the expenses associated with undergoing a facelift in Pittsburgh. There are various sources providing information on the costs involved. These costs may fluctuate not only across the country but also within Pittsburgh itself. The procedure typically encompasses neck rejuvenation and varies in pricing.

During your consultation, Dr. Leong will provide a specific quote for your facelift or face-neck lift. This quotation will encompass all anesthesia and operating room charges. Given the individualized nature of each patient's surgery, Dr. Leong will need to assess your anatomy and discuss your objectives before offering a quote.

Is it safe to smoke after my Facelift?

Although the risks and complications are almost always increased for smokers during any surgical procedure, it is tremendously higher for a facelift surgery. This is because nicotine is a vasoconstrictor that reduces blood flow to the tissues. Surface area inside the blood vessels decreases when vasoconstriction occurs, which also results in a rise in blood pressure. Healing is greatly compromised due to this.

In addition, the carbon monoxide in the smoke displaces oxygen from the blood which then reduces the oxygen flow to the healing tissues. This combination increases the risk of the elevated skin from the facelift, which therein also increases the risk of skin necrosis. It is recommended to discontinue smoking preferably six to eight weeks prior to surgery as well as six to eight weeks after surgery to avoid these complications. It’s very important to understand that reducing smoking will not be enough—the patient must stop smoking completely in order to make the risk of surgery acceptable.


How long will my facelift last?

A facelift is a permanent procedure, but that doesn’t mean it stops aging completely. The results of your facelift surgery won’t be reversed, but new signs of aging will continue appearing on your face as you grow older. You can think of it like this — a facelift reverses the clock but doesn’t stop it.

If you opt for a facelift in your 50s, the procedure might take 10 years off your face, making you look 40. As such, by the time you’re in your 60s, you’ll look like you’ve just hit 50. Generally speaking, you can assume that you’ll always look a decade younger than your age.

Is it painful to get a facelift?

Facelift surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia and sedatives or general anesthesia, depending on the surgical techniques used. If it’s performed under local anesthesia and sedatives, you’ll be awake for the procedure, but you won’t feel any pain or discomfort.

If it’s performed under general anesthesia, you’ll be in a deep sleep and won’t be aware of the procedure, so you won’t feel any pain either. You will, however, experience some pain and discomfort after the facelift, but the post-procedural recovery can be managed with pain medications.

Who should avoid receiving a facelift?

A facelift is meant for adults with moderate to severe aging, excessively sagging skin, deep wrinkles, and other major signs of aging. If you’re in your 20s and 30s, you might benefit more from dermal fillers, wrinkle relaxers, or minimally invasive procedures. Even patients in their 40s can often benefit more from a mini-facelift rather than a complete facelift.

You should also avoid facelift surgery if you have a history of bleeding disorders, underlying medical conditions, or if you’re a smoker. Smoking impedes your body’s ability to heal properly, leading to complications or poor cosmetic results. Your surgeon will run numerous tests and review your medical history to ensure you’re a viable candidate for a facelift.

How soon can I drive after a facelift?

Patients can drive after they are off prescription pain medication and feel comfortable turning their head and making the usual motions of driving. This usually happens within 4-5 days for most patients.

How painful is facelift recovery?

Patients describe some pain and heaviness after a facelift, with the predominant feeling being a deep bruised sensation due to swelling. This will last for about two to four days.

Can I drink coffee after my facelift?

During the recovery phase, it can be important to avoid caffeine. Caffeine may increase the risk of bleeding and interfere with your healing. For some people, although not all, caffeine can cause swelling to worsen.

How long will my neck be swollen after a facelift?

Swelling and inflammation in the face and neck are normal during the recovery period. Depending on the extent of your procedure, you can expect the swelling to dissipate in approximately 3-4 weeks.

What age is best for a facelift?

While there is no “best age” for a facelift, as the decision to have this type of aesthetic surgery is a personal one, most facelifts are performed between the ages of 40 and 60. When a patient wants to reverse moderate to severe signs of facial wrinkles, lines and creases, and non-surgical treatments are no longer as effective, a facelift is generally required to achieve ideal results.

Now Serving Morgantown

Dr. Paul Leong is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon specializing exclusively in aesthetic facial plastic surgery. With an international reputation for the quality of his facelift surgery, Dr. Leong’s practice has a regional scope, drawing patients from well beyond Pittsburgh. To better serve his patients in the region, Dr. Leong has expanded with an additional office in Morgantown, WV.


Contact Sistine Facial Plastic Surgery

To learn more about Facelift Surgery or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Paul Leong to talk more about this treatment, please contact Sistine Facial Plastic Surgery today.

Schedule A Consultation

Video Consultation Available