No one has the ability to halt the aging process entirely. However, Maryland facelift surgeon Joseph Michaels, MD, FACS, is an expert at rejuvenating the look of an aging face with a facelift procedure.

faceliftAs we age, the effects of gravity, the sun and your particular genetics affect the quality and texture of your skin. As time passes, the body’s cells slowly stop generating the two proteins that are integral for maintaining elastic, young-looking skin: collagen and elastin. When this happens, the skin loses its elasticity and starts to droop. Also, over time, muscle tone is lost, and fat may migrate to undesirable areas of the face. All these developments result in noticeable signs of aging throughout the face, including wrinkles, creases, furrows, deep facial folds, hollow pockets, sagging skin and jowls, among others.

With facial rejuvenation surgery, Dr. Michaels’ principal goal is to correct the visible signs of aging on the face while delivering natural-looking results. After your facelift surgery, your face should never look too tight or as if the skin has been tautly pulled back. Instead, Dr. Michaels strives to ensure that you simply look like a younger, improved version of yourself.

Before & After Photos

About Facelifts

Facelift surgery is a suspensory procedure designed to elevate the facial soft tissues. The overall purpose of a facelift is to tighten the lax skin, restore muscle tone and redistribute any displaced fat. During the facelift procedure, Dr. Michaels elevates the skin and then repositions the deeper connective tissues of the face (i.e., the superficial musculoaponeurotic system, or SMAS) to improve the look of your cheeks and jaw contour.

Although a facelift can be combined with other rejuvenating procedures such as eyelid surgery, it is most commonly combined with neck lift surgery to restore a youthful contour to the neck. Dr. Michaels can perform a neck lift using the same incisions that he utilized for the facelift procedure, with the addition of a small incision placed underneath your chin fold to provide access to the muscle bands in the neck that frequently require tightening or repair.

At Michaels Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, Dr. Michaels has helped countless Bethesda and Fairfax facelift patients like you achieve a more youthful, reinvigorated look.


Facelift surgery is performed under general anesthesia. Usually, Dr. Michaels requires his facelift patients stay overnight the first night after surgery so you can be closely monitored by the nursing staff and so Dr. Michaels can see you first thing the following morning.

The traditional facelift approach involves making an incision that starts at the temple (either in front of the sideburn or within the hairline), continues around the ear, and ends behind the ear or in the scalp area. The incision pattern varies by person, depending on the complexity of the individual’s facial rejuvenation needs and his or her aesthetic concerns. Dr. Michaels uses several variations on this incision pattern based on a patient’s unique needs. For individuals desiring a smoother forehead and lifted eyebrow line, for example, the surgeon makes an incision within the upper hairline to access the tissues in the upper facial region. For those who would like a more refreshed, youthful appearance around their eyes, Dr. Michaels creates an incision in the upper eyelid crease to address the sagging upper eyelids and / or directly inside the lower eyelid to address the “bags” that can form under the eyes. To rejuvenate the look of the chin and neck area, the facial surgeon positions an incision again within the hairline, starting in front of the earlobe, extending around the back of the ear and terminating in the lower region of the scalp.

Once the incision has been made, Dr. Michaels carefully elevates a skin flap, restores the supporting tissues and muscles, re-drapes the remaining skin and excises any loose skin. He then carefully closes the incisions, using a technique that makes them the least visible. Any sutures that do not dissolve on their own are removed in the office about five to 10 days following surgery. The aesthetic results of facelift generally last about five to 10 years, depending on lifestyle habits (e.g., smoking), hereditary factors and previous facelift procedures.

Quick Facts


4-6 hours (depending on the extent of procedure)




An overnight stay is usually required.

Side effects

Temporary swelling, bruising, and some pain


Pain, bleeding, infection, rare damage to nerves, incomplete improvement


1-2 weeks: back at work. 2-3 weeks: gradually increase strenuous activity. 6-12 weeks: swelling resolves and patient can resume normal activity.

Duration of results

About 5-10 years

If you would like to learn more about a facelift and other facial rejuvenating procedures, click here or call 301-468-5991 in Bethesda, Maryland or 703-957-8610 in Fairfax, Virginia to schedule a consultation.