Dr. Balikian’s philosophy with all facelift surgeries is for patients to look like themselves, only better, without the signs of aging. Patients’ faces look naturally lifted and do not look pulled. Using his skill, experience, and eye for facial aesthetics, Dr. Balikian can provide you with beautiful results from your facelift in Temecula.

Rejuvenate Your Natural Look With a Facelift

A facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, is a plastic surgery procedure designed to eliminate the signs of aging by lifting, smoothing, and recontouring the facial muscles and skin to provide a refreshed, youthful appearance.

As we age, the effects of gravity cause underlying facial muscles in the cheeks and neck to become loose. Skin folds appear on the cheeks, and fatty tissue can appear around the neck and jowls, causing the jawline to lose its definition. Weakened platysma muscles of the neck separate and form a “turkey wattle.”

Patients who choose a facelift usually have two motivating factors: either they want to halt the advance of the aging process or they seek to reverse the already-present signs of aging.

A facelift will “set the clock back” to enable you to look like you did several years ago. It rejuvenates the face by reducing sagging skin, lifting, and tightening weakened muscles of the face and neck, and removing excess fat and tissues underneath the skin, which smooths out and reduces wrinkles.

As we progress through our lives, the natural aging process brings about a great deal of change to our bodies. One area that exhibits these changes the most is our faces. While many of us may want to retain our youthful good looks as we get older, sadly gravity fights our hopes. Over time, we all eventually develop sagging necks, jowls, and wrinkles that make us look much older. Fortunately, those of you who want to keep looking as young as you feel can fight back the signs of aging with a cosmetic procedure known as a facelift.

Types of Facelifts

Mini Facelift

There is no true definition of a mini facelift. However, in our hands, a mini facelift uses small, well hidden, incisions around the ears to access the cheeks and neck muscles that have descended with gravity. With sub-SMAS and deep plane techniques, Dr. Balikian can lift the tissues that have fallen with gravity and secure them back where they were ten years ago. Once the architecture of the face is lifted back, the excess skin can be removed without excess tension.

This surgery will sharpen the neckline, improve the jawline by lifting jowls and soften the marionette lines. It will not get rid of excess tissues in the neck or tighten bands that have appeared in the neck.

Facelift (Lower Face and Neck Lift)

As with the mini facelift, this facelift uses small, well hidden, incisions around the ears to access the cheeks and neck muscles that have descended with gravity. In addition, it utilizes a small incision under the chin (completely hidden) to access the neck. Dr. Balikian can then treat the excess fat and tissues of the neck, improving a “turkey waddle” as well as vertical banding.

With sub-SMAS and deep plane techniques, Dr. Balikian can lift the tissues that have fallen with gravity and secure them back where they were ten years ago. Once the architecture of the face is lifted back, the excess skin can be removed without excess tension. The result is a natural lift, that sharpens the neckline, the jawline, and the marionette lines.

Extended Deep Plane Facelift

This facelift can be thought of as an extension of the Facelift. It differs from a SMAS facelift in that the skin and deeper tissues are lifted as one unit. This allows for more aggressive lifting and flattening of the jowls, marionette lines, and nasolabial folds. It also allows for the more significant lifting of the cheek fat that has descended with gravity as well.

The result is a natural lift, that sharpens and extends the neckline, sharpens the jawline, the marionette lines, and the nasolabial folds, and lifts the cheeks at the same time. It is an advanced technique performed by only very few plastic surgeons with the expertise and training required for a next-level result.

Neck Lift

For patients that are only bothered by a sagging neck. An isolated neck lift will sharpen and elongate the neckline, remove excess fat, and tissue that may be hanging and repair any vertical bands. However, it does not treat the jowls or sagging cheeks. Therefore, a neck lift is most often combined with a lower facelift to allow for the most harmonious result.

Recovery and Results

The length of your recovery and what to expect during it will depend on the type of facelift performed and other factors. When patients wake up after the facelift surgery, some of them will likely not remember anything from the procedure. The dressing will not be removed until 24 hours or once advised by the surgeon. Swelling, bruising, and discomfort are to be expected. Medication can help to manage pain during your recovery period.

First Few Days After the Procedure

The patient will need pain medication for comfort. The patient may also feel tightness in the neck. In some cases, the patient will find the swelling to be more dominant on one side than the other. This is normal during the recovery process. Rest is very important. If drains are used, the patient may need an appointment to remove the tubes. Light walking can be performed and beneficial for healing.

One Week After Surgery

Most patients can stop the pain medication after a week. The patient can take walks and perform other light activities. Patience is essential, since the results will not be visible during the first few weeks.

Two Weeks Later

This is the time when patients can return to their work, unless it is physically demanding. There will still be minimal bruising and swelling in the concerned areas. Some patients can feel a tingling sensation as the swelling slowly fades away.

One Month After a Facelift

A month after the procedure, the patient can return to moderate lifting and other strenuous activities. Most bruising and swelling will disappear during this period. It will take a couple of months before the side effects of the surgery disappear.

Post-operative instruction following your facelift in Temecula will be provided.

The instructions will cover the different stages or periods of recovery from the first week up to several months after surgery. Some of the instructions given to the patient will include:

  • Seeking assistance during the first few days of recovery
  • Sleeping with one’s head elevated
  • Staying at home for at least one to two days
  • Getting plenty of rest and proper diet
  • Increasing fluid intake
  • Avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Stopping certain medications

Dr. Balikian will also give instructions for taking care of the incisions:

  • Clean your incisions two to three times a day usually with soap and water.
  • A mixture of one part vinegar and three parts distilled water can be used for cleaning the incisions.
  • The cleaning should be done gently, and the area should be patted dry.
  • After drying, the incisions can be cleaned with a mix of hydrogen peroxide and water.
  • The incisions should be covered with an antibiotic ointment.

To see real results provided by Dr. Balikian, please visit or facelift before-and-after gallery.

Other Procedures to consider with a Facelift

Our faces age in three different ways: Gravity, volume loss, and texture changes/wrinkles. A facelift best treats gravity changes as we are lifting tissue that has fallen. A facelift alone does not fill areas that have lost volume or smooth out deep wrinkles. Therefore, other procedures are often combined with the facelift to get the most balanced, beautiful result.

Other Procedures to consider with a Facelift

Facial Fat Transfer

As we age, our face also ages like a grape turning into a raisin. Volume is lost, and unwanted folds and creases develop. Although a facelift will lift some tissues into place and help fill in those spots, often more volume is needed. Facial fat transfer allows Dr. Balikian to replace your volume loss, with fat from other parts of your body, such as stubborn belly fat. Combining fat transfer with a facelift allows Dr. Balikian to tap into his artistry to complete the picture of a pretty face. He often says a facelift rejuvenates, while the fat adds beauty.

Lip Lift

Just as gravity causes the jowls and neck to descend with time, it also causes the lip to sag and lengthens over time. This sometimes causes the upper lip to look longer and roll inward, causing a thin lip. Often, people with this look cannot get lip injections because the lip will just point out and look like a thin line. The solution is a lip lift. Dr. Balikian creates a small incision below the nose and removes about 5mm of excess skin. This shortens a long lip and rotates the upper lip into a more youthful position. Dr. Balikian often says this procedure is the “icing on the cake” for a younger-looking result.


Often wrinkles on the face are deep and stubborn. A properly performed facelift can help smooth some wrinkles out by removing excess skin, but it will not eliminate deeper wrinkles. In this situation, Dr. Balikian often recommends a CO2 laser resurfacing at the same time as surgery. Through this heat stamp, the top layer of skin will be resurfaced, and the deeper layers will be contracted. Collagen formation will begin, and the deepest wrinkles will be improved. Just like refurbishing a damaged piece of furniture with medium sandpaper, the overall result will look better, but the deepest dings will remain to some extent.

Richard V. Balikian, MD, FACS

Double Board-Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon
Artistry. Excellence. Compassion

Trust Your Face to a Facial Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Balikian is an experienced, double board-certified, facial plastic surgeon. He is double board-certified both in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery as well as Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Balikian belongs to a very select group of elite cosmetic surgeons with at least six years of specialized surgical training exclusively in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery of the face and neck.

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How Much Does Face Lift Cost?

The cost of a Face Lift will depend on several factors. The price can be affected by body type, type of technique performed, surgical complications, and even allergies. Find out more by scheduling a consultation.

Contact Our Office

Dr. Balikian is a highly-skilled, double board-certified plastic surgeon who proudly serves Temecula Valley and San Diego. If you are interested in learning more about facelift surgery in Temecula, do not hesitate to contact our office to schedule a consultation. During your consultation, our team can go over the details of your procedure including the expected cost of your facelift and the payment options available to you. Dr. Balikian will happily guide you through the entire process and address any questions or concerns you have along the way.

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I felt well prepared prior to surgery and excited.


I always planned to have a facelift but was really apprehensive about scars and the ‘Joker face’ look, but when I saw the lower facelift/neck lift results on another of his patients, I was finally ready. Dr. Balikian and his staff answered all my questions and I felt well prepared prior to surgery and excited. […] I’m only 12 days post-op and have no visible suture lines. My saggy neck skin and jowls are gone! I just look refreshed and younger, far from the ‘Joker face’ look I was afraid of. I’m really happy with my results and I will recommend Dr. Balikian without hesitation.