The Piazza Center for Plastic Surgery and Advanced Skin Care
7900 Farm to Market Road 1826, Bldg 2, Suite 206
Austin, TX 78737
Phone: (512) 288-8200
Monday–Thursday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Facelift & Mini Lift
At The Piazza Center in Austin, TX, facelift surgery is popular with women and men from Austin, San Antonio and surrounding cities who want to enhance the contours of their mid to lower face and neck. It involves repositioning the soft tissues and fat pads under the skin and tightening the muscle layer into its original position, creating smoother, firmer contours on the neck, jawline and cheeks.
Dr. Marcelo Antunes is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon with a reputation for creating harmonious, natural-looking results. He uses surgical techniques that minimize the invasiveness of facelift surgery while still creating remarkable, long-lasting results.
Why Choose A Facelift Specialist?
The best person to perform your facelift or a mini facelift is a facial plastic surgeon. At our Austin practice, we are fortunate to have a true facelift artist in Dr. Antunes.
Dr. Antunes has dedicated much of his career to mastering the technical skill and understanding of facial anatomy required to achieve excellent outcomes from facelift surgery. There are many different techniques for performing a facelift (including a mini facelift, deep-plane facelift, MACS facelift or S-Lift and SMAS facelift), and advancements in this procedure have evolved significantly over the last decade. Facelift is a repositioning procedure where the deeper structures and muscles are shifted to a more youthful position and the skin is simply draped without any tension over the tissues. The procedure is done very carefully, with meticulous attention to every detail to give the patient a natural appearing result and restoring harmony to the aging face.
Dr. Antunes’ thorough understanding of the aging process and how it affects the facial structures–skin, muscles and ligaments and facial bones—enables him to create a surgical plan tailored to address the specific concerns of each patient. He extensively plans facelift surgery, considering the patient’s unique facial features, such as the prominence of the chin and cheeks, the jawline and neck anatomy, the skin’s thickness, and overall facial symmetry. He notes subtle features, such as an underdeveloped chin or jaw, or the loss of facial volume, then corrects them during the facelift procedure.
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Do You Need a Facelift?
With age, gravity causes the skin, muscles and connective tissues in the face to sag. Sagging neck muscles create deep vertical folds on the neck and under the chin, called “banding.” In addition, you also tend to lose volume in your face, so you appear “deflated” as jowls form along the jawline and deep folds in the cheek (“nasolabial folds”) and alongside the mouth (“marionette lines”) develop. Hollowing under the eyes and excess fat and skin under the chin—a double chin—are other common signs of facial aging. Dr. Antunes may combine a cheek lift with your facelift to rejuvenate a sagging midface area. Facial bones lose some structure, changing the support for the soft tissues over the cheek, chin and jaw.
Ideal candidates for a facelift are concerned about:
- Sagging jawline
- Drooping or flattened cheeks
- Blunted neckline with excessive skin laxity
Going into your initial consultation unsure of what to expect can sometimes be intimidating. But once you find out about the consultation process, you will realize that there is little reason for concern. Doing some homework prior to your visit may ease and better prepare you.
The primary goal of your initial consultation is for you to meet Dr. Antunes and spend time with him to discuss your aesthetic goals and desires. During your consultation, you will typically meet with him for a thorough examination and learn about facelift surgery and his approach. Getting to know your surgeon is extremely important. You need to ensure that your surgeon is not only skilled, practiced and board-certified, but that you also feel comfortable around him or her. Your surgeon should carefully listen to you, discuss your goals, give you realistic and honest feedback, and answer any questions that you have. During your first visit at Dr. Antunes’s office, he will determine if you are a good candidate for facelift surgery and help you will decide if this is the right for you. Dr. Antunes has a stellar reputation as one of the most talented facelift surgeons in Austin and Central Texas.
The consultation starts with a complete medical history and previous surgical history, including previous plastic surgery procedures. It is extremely important to tell your surgeon if you smoke and if you take any prescription or over-the-counter medications, supplements, or other drugs as these could have a significant impact on your surgery. During your exam, Dr. Antunes will analyze your face and discuss your concerns. He will discuss the specific features that are contributing to the aged appearance of your face.
Based on Dr. Antunes’s detailed evaluation and a discussion of your goals, he will explain what approach is best for you; including all the available alternative treatments and all of the risks, limitations, and expected outcomes associated with each of these. In addition, Dr. Antunes may recommend additional procedures to enhance the final result such as skin resurfacing, fat injections and eyelid and brow surgery.
It is extremely important to understand the limitations of each procedure and to have an open and candid discussion of your expectations. Dr. Antunes firmly believe that well-informed patients are the happiest. Many times, having the wrong expectation causes unsatisfactory results, even when there are no complications with the procedure and the results were very pleasing. During the consultation, Dr. Antunes will also go over the details of the procedure including the type of anesthesia used, the facility where surgery will take place, incisions, expected recovery period and what to expect.
After meeting with Dr. Antunes, addressing all your concerns, and getting all questions answered, you will meet with our Patient Consultant to talk about dates, pre- and post-treatment visits, and fees. You may decide to go ahead with surgery and schedule a date, but if you are unsure or don’t feel fully informed, don’t hesitate to ask any questions. A second meeting may be necessary and should always be available as an option.
Our goal is to provide our patients with exceptional experience. Beginning with your initial consultation, we hope to build a long-lasting relationship with you that enhances the entire process.
A facelift and mini lift restores a more youthful appearance to the mid to lower face and neck. When performed with the expertise of a surgeon such as Dr. Antunes, a facelift elevates and tightens the deep tissues and facial muscles in addition to smoothing wrinkled skin. This creates natural contours and avoids the “operated-on” look that patients fear.
Dr. Antunes may choose one of several techniques for a facelift and advances over the past decade have dramatically changed the approach to facelift surgery to create long-lasting and natural-looking results. The days when surgeons simply stretched the skin and removed any excess, leading to an unnatural, “windswept” appearance are gone.
Dr. Antunes may use deep sedation/twilight sleep, general anesthesia, or even a local anesthetic during facelift and mini lift surgery, depending on the extent of your procedure. He hides incisions within the hairline and creases around the ear. The type of facelift performed is tailored to each individual patient after completing a thorough facial analysis and examination, along with evaluating your goals, desires, facial structure and specific pattern of aging.
After making the incisions, Dr. Antunes carefully lifts and repositions the layer of tissue and muscle just below the skin—a technique called a SMAS facelift or deep-plane facelift. Repositioning these delicate layers of the face addresses both the skin and deeper tissues and muscles of the face and neck. He then simply drapes the skin without any tension over the tissues. Dr. Antunes pays meticulous attention to every detail and the technique he uses is comprehensive but also provides a quicker recovery than most traditional facelifts.
A facelift can take as little as 3 hours or as long as 5 to 6 hours, depending upon the type of lift. Dr. Antunes may recommend during your consultation combining other procedures, such as eyelid surgery, fat transfer, or skin resurfacing procedures, with your facelift.
Learn more on our blog:
- Types of Facelift: A Guide To Determine Which One is Best for You
- Facelift Incisions: The Journey to Become Invisible
Meet Dr. Antunes
Board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Marcelo Antunes dedicates his practice exclusively to aesthetic procedures for the face. He can help you look your best and be confident in your appearance.About Dr. Antunes
Recovery & Results
Most patients go home the day of surgery and are cared for by a loved one. You may have surgical drains that remain in place overnight to help prevent fluid from building up. Dr. Antunes removes your bandage the day after the surgery and removes all sutures a little more than a week after surgery.
Recuperation after a facelift can take from 1 to 3 weeks. You should avoid strenuous physical activity for 2 weeks. Most patients do not experience much pain after surgery but may notice discomfort from the swelling and bruising. Depending on your type of work and the extent of your procedure, you may return to your regular activities as early as 10 days after surgery.
Several follow-up appointments scheduled during the first 2 weeks after the surgery give Dr. Antunes the ability to closely monitor your progress. Most patients have many questions during the initial couple of weeks and Dr. Antunes believes meeting with him frequently alleviates any anxiety you may have about the recovery process. His primary objective is to provide a safe, comfortable surgical experience that produces the results you desire and makes you happy. Patients have direct access to him at all times, if necessary.
You can expect to be 75% healed by 6 to 8 weeks after the surgery and 100% healed after 6 months.
Facelift at a Glance
Goal: To restore a youthful appearance, rather than make the patient look different. The result should appear natural and correct jowls and wattles for a more refined jawline, smoother neck, and contoured cheek.
Procedure: The incisions are hidden within the hairline and creases around the ear. The type of facelift performed is tailored to each individual patient. This is determined after a thorough facial analysis and examination; evaluating your goals, desires, facial structure, and specific pattern of aging.
Anesthesia: Local anesthesia, deep sedation/twilight sleep or general anesthesia.
Procedure length: As few as 3 hours or up to 5 to 6 hours, depending upon the type of lift. Other plastic surgery procedures may be combined with a facelift as recommended during the consultation.
Aftercare: You may have drains that will stay overnight. Most patients go home comfortably on the same day and are cared for by their family or friends. Patients typically do not experience pain after surgery but rather describe a feeling of tightness.
Recovery: Ranges from 1 to 3 weeks. Depending on your type of work and facelift, you may return as early as 10 days. Full, strenuous physical activity should be avoided for 2 weeks after the procedure. Bruising can occur after surgery, which may be easily camouflaged with makeup. Dr. Antunes will normally see you several times during the first 2 weeks after surgery, and you will have direct access to him at all times. Because many questions arise in the first 2 weeks following any surgery, Dr. Antunes believes setting up a series of appointments for that time period alleviates anxiety a patient may have about the recovery process. His core objective is to provide a safe, comfortable surgical experience that produces your desired result and makes you happy.
- Day 1: Bandage removal
- Day 4 to 10: Suture removal (beginning day 4 and complete by day 10)
- 10 to 14 days: Return to work and social activities
- 10 to 14 days: Ready for makeup
- 6 to 8 weeks: 75% healed
- 6 months: 100% healed
My Philosophy On Facelift Surgery
“Facelift” is a term that can describe several types of procedures to reposition and reestablish support for underlying facial tissues and remove excess skin to achieve a smoother, more youthful contour. As the anatomy changes, the surgical techniques used for correction will also change. I perform a thorough and precise analysis of the face and neck to properly determine the aging effect on the anatomy. After that, I formulate a plan to correct the changes responsible for the aged appearance. It takes a great deal of experience and dedication to be able to accomplish these steps accurately and leave the patient with a natural-looking result.
Patients seek facial surgery due to several different reasons. Understanding your goals is perhaps the most important part of the procedure. During the consultation, your photographs are taken and you and I will carefully review them and discuss which features you want to have changed.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” for facial rejuvenation surgery, as every patient will have different bone structure, facial fat pads and different nuances in the anatomy of the face. I believe the key for a great result in facelift surgery involves a thorough understanding of the aging process on the face – loss of elasticity of the skin and ligaments, loss of facial volume and gravitational descent. Once this three-dimensional process is well understood, the restoration will leave the patient with a natural and well-balanced result. Every surgery that I do is different as every face is different. And a customized, individualized technique describes best my approach to facelift surgery.
One of the most important issues related to facial rejuvenation, facelift surgery in particular, is a deep understanding of the aging process in the face. The chronologic sequence of events usually starts during the 30s-40s, when a gradual process of weakening of the structures of the face takes place resulting in the look associated with the aging face. The brow starts to descend, associated with skin laxity, facilitating the appearance of the orbital fat creating the “bags” around the eyes, frown lines and nasolabial folds become more prominent. Cheek structures appear to descend along with loss of fat on the cheek prominence, further increasing the nasolabial folds and creating skeletonization of the lower eyelid region. Jowl lines appear along the jaw and submental fat accumulates along with the formation of neck bands. The sequence of event progression is not uniform, however. The progression involves not only skin changes but also laxity of ligaments, changes in volume of the facial fat pads and position of facial bony structures. An appreciation of this process allows me to prepare a more comprehensive approach and give my patient a natural and harmonious result. My patients are thoroughly evaluated and changes of skin and muscle laxity, volume loss and skeletal changes are determined. A customized treatment plan is made to address each portion of the aging process.
I perform all types of facelifts, from the minimally-invasive quick recovery mini-lift to an extended facelift involving deep plane facelift with muscle dissection. I have been through extensive training and developed a significant comfort level when performing these procedures. This allows me to address the deep structures using smaller incisions and to create natural, long-lasting results with a shorter recovery period. My main goal is to design a treatment plan to address your concerns that is customized for your face. In addition, I will often combine the facelift procedure with other procedures such as skin resurfacing, fat transfer, eyelid, and brow surgery among others to achieve a harmonious result.
I take a lot of pride in my work with facelift surgery – the results speak for themselves. I do not do tummy tucks, breast surgery or body liposuction. Rather, I dedicate my practice entirely to the face and nose. This highlights my commitment to excellence in facelift surgery.
Things You Should Know About Facelift Surgery
- Facelift surgery requires extreme attention to details in every aspect.
- One size definitely DOES NOT fit all. Every face is different and every facelift surgery will be different.
- A good facelift should always look natural.
- Facial rejuvenation surgery can create a profound transformation in the shape of the face and neck, but the present anatomy can only change so much. Be realistic.
- Most patients will be swollen for a few weeks after surgery, but this varies depending on the patient and if additional procedures were performed. Be patient. The face starts to get into its final shape in about 4-6 weeks after surgery, even though the healing is not complete for 6 months.
- Today’s facelift is safer and more effective than any other time in history.
- Good healing is a critical portion of a successful facial surgery
Dr. Antunes takes great pride in the natural-looking results he creates for facelift patients, who travel from San Antonio and other areas of Texas to have him perform their facelifts. Request an in-person or virtual consultation using the online form to meet personally with Dr. Antunes to discuss your concerns. You can also call The Piazza Center at (512) 288-8200 to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Antunes Answers Common Questions
How long do facelift results last?
Many of my Austin facelift patients ask me this question during their consultation. While this procedure can help rejuvenate the face for years to come, it does not stop the natural aging process. Unfortunately, there is no procedure that will keep the face rejuvenated forever; however, your facelift results should last for many years. Most patients do not feel that they need a touch-up procedure for 7 to 10 years. If you take great care of your skin with prescription-grade skin care products and use sunscreen daily, your results will be further enhanced and have greater longevity.
At what age should I consider a facelift?
There is no one age that a person suddenly becomes a candidate for this procedure. Each person is different and may require facial correction at different times in their lives. Typically, those who are candidates for a facelift procedure are middle-aged or older and experience lax, loose skin of the mid to lower face. The only way to find out if you are a candidate is to meet with a qualified surgeon for a consultation.
Can a facelift be combined with other procedures?
Yes, a facelift is often combined with other procedures for a more comprehensive facial rejuvenation. For patients with loss of facial volume, Dr. Antunes can perform fat transfer at the same time. For those looking to correct wrinkles of the upper portion of the face, your procedure may be combined with a brow lift or even eyelid surgery. Also, for facelift patients who desire a nonsurgical procedure in addition to their facelift, BOTOX® Cosmetic or injectable fillers may be an appropriate solution.
Why should I choose Dr. Antunes to perform my facelift?
Outstanding results are due to of a number of factors.
1. Thorough pre-operative consultations
During the initial consultation, Dr. Antunes will answer your questions. He explains all different options, discusses your medications and medical history, and evaluates if you are a good candidate for facelift surgery. Dr. Antunes will determine if you would benefit from additional procedures combined with the facelift surgery to enhance your results. He will review the pre- and post-operative instructions, so you are better prepared for the procedure and post-procedure period.
2. Customized goals
Success in facelift ultimately comes down to a happy patient. From his experience treating patients, it is clear that there is no set aesthetic standard that can be applied to all patients. Dr. Antunes understands that every patient is different. Everyone has different anatomy, skin thickness and ethnic characteristics that need to be taken into consideration when performing a facelift. Taking these factors into account allows him to create a plan tailored to the patient’s wishes while always keeping realistic expectations. The goal is to create a rejuvenated appearance that looks natural. He does not take the “one-size-fits-all” approach in facelift surgery. Every individual patient will have an individualized plan.
3. Realistic expectations
It is extremely important to keep realistic expectations in terms of what can be achieved with facelift surgery. Dr. Antunes will perform a thorough physical exam and facial analysis and then determine what can be realistically achieved based on the patient’s anatomy. An honest discussion regarding your goals and can be achieved is of paramount importance. Dr. Antunes believes that well-informed patients will be happiest.
4. Attention to detail
Dr. Antunes recognizes that facial surgery requires the utmost attention to every detail of the procedure. This diligent and careful approach will make the recovery period faster. Dr. Antunes believes that there are no shortcuts to quality. He will be the one making every single stitch and making sure the final outcome is exceptional and achieves your goals.
5. Ongoing experience
Dr. Antunes performs several facial procedures each year and is the biggest critic of his work.