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What is a facelift?

Our specialized multilayered SMAS facelift is designed to target the problem areas of your face and improve your face as much as possible by both lifting and contouring.  Our facelifts also include a neck lift and contouring if you desire. Our goal is to provide you with a smoother, very natural and younger facial appearance.   Our facelift carefully lifts the underlying facial tissue and brings the soft tissue back into a more youthful position. I remove excess skin and tissue that has begun to wrinkle or sag with age. Our facelift is the “platinum standard” for comprehensive facial rejuvenation.


Our approach to facial rejuvenation is different from the standard facelift. We perform a specialized facial rejuvenation in Rhode Island procedure that is artistically tailored for each patient’s individual needs and desires. Our specialty is to give each patient a very natural and more rested, youthful appearance. Facial rejuvenation from our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Patrick K. Sullivan, can dramatically reduce signs of age in the face with results that look beautiful and natural.

Turning Back the Clock

Facial rejuvenation can’t stop the aging process. What it can do is “turn back the clock,” improving the most visible signs of aging by removing excess fat from the neck and jowl area, tightening and lifting underlying tissues back into a more youthful position, sculpting, enhancing cheek bones, and redraping the skin of your face and neck. Our facial rejuvenation in Rhode Island procedure is done under intravenous sedation with an overnight stay in a recovery facility with our private nurse. Although there will be some bruising and swelling after the procedure, this will typically fade significantly in about 2 to 3 weeks (see “The Kindest Cut”). The final results from facelift surgery is usually most apparent after 4 to 6 weeks, or sooner, with continued improvement for several months.

What it’s like to have facial rejuvenation?

John was a successful 62 year old who became disenchanted with his double chin as he reached his fifties. After several years of feeling insecure about his appearance, he finally reached out to Dr. Sullivan to find out what could be done to improve his look.

View a patient’s perspective on facial surgery

See this patient’s story of her truly natural results just 6 weeks post-operation from a multi-layer facelift combined with neck contour and rejuvenation:

What is the recovery time?

The recovery for a facelift procedure is usually more comfortable and quicker than one would expect. Many of our patients say they have “No Pain” with our technique.  We have specific ways we have developed to prevent pain.  You will spend the first night in the comfort of our recovery center with our concierge nurses who I have specially trained to give you the very best care.  You will need to sleep with your head elevated to limit the potential for swelling.  No bandages are necessary while you are in the recovery center the first night and you do not need bandages when you go home or to the hotel either.  We do everything we can to make this a comfortable, relaxing experience.  (See the videos on our website to hear our patients discuss their experience.  Other online videos can be confusing and misleading if they are not of our patients and our special treatments.)

Swelling and minor bruising should be expected but is rarely more than minimal.  It should not be a cause for concern and usually subsides over the first 2 weeks.  No matter what the variables are we will be there to guide you and help you so you need not worry.  The first set of stitches will be removed around four or five days post-surgery. The remaining stitches will be removed after about ten to twelve days. Resting, following our detailed instructions and taking it easy is a big part of a successful recovery. You should make plans to take 12 to 14 days off from work, or any other commitments you may have. After that time, most patients are comfortable returning to work and social activities. If you plan to attend an important event, we advise that you plan your facelift surgery at least six weeks prior to the event.

Am I a candidate for your specialized multilayer facelift?

A good candidate for a facelift is someone who is in good health, both physically and mentally, and is beginning to show signs of aging that they find concerning. Good candidates are usually looking to improve sagging skin, treat the loss of their jawline definition, remove jowls, lift sagging cheeks, soften deep smile lines, and contour the lower areas of the face and neck.

What is the average cost of a facelift?

The cost of a facelift will vary depending on your needs. Rejuvenation of the face is a significant investment and you want to make sure you are getting the very best care possible, not the least expensive.  You will live with the results of your facelift for decades whether it is good or bad. The skill, artistic abilities and techniques of your plastic surgeon are the most critical aspect of a successful facelift surgery – far more important than price. Please call our office and discuss your goals with one of our patient coordinators.  They will be able to give you an appropriate range of the cost.

Additional Facial Rejuvenation Procedures

Additional procedures that may enhance the results include: brow lift, eyelid surgery, nose reshaping, earlobe reduction, or placement of fat and stem cells into areas of the face to enhance lips, cheeks and jawlines or to fill in deep creases.

Please contact Dr. Patrick K. Sullivan to schedule a consultation for facelift surgery in the Rhode Island area. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have. If you would like to view more actual patient results, please visit our facial rejuvenation gallery.

Mini-Facelift 6 Months Post-Op:

I am extremely happy with my experience and most importantly the results of my surgery with Dr. Sullivan. I look younger and much less tired than before the surgery. He really knows what he is doing and is very thorough from beginning to end. The results were natural and lovely.

- (Realself Testimonial)

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Dr. Sullivan and his staff treated me like a queen before, during , and after my procedure. He and his staff are eager to please. His surgical and artistic skills are the best, giving a very natural look post op. I would highly recommend him to anyone who is considering having a cosmetic procedure done

- Deb Peloso

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Its been 1yr since my procedure. Truly thankful to Dr Sullivan and his outstanding staff. Glad I researched many Dr’s in this field. Was told for yrs by many if you want the Best surgeon you have to go to NYC. So not true. The Best of the best is right here in Providence RI and that’s with Dr Patrick Sullivan

- Nancy Seifert

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My experience exceeded beyond my expectations. I am very pleased with my results, I highly recommend Dr. Sullivan! He is the best !!!!

- Dale Zanoria

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Dr sullivan and his staff were wonderful..he is a very talented physician and is a true artist. very meticulous and thorough, as well as kind and compassionate. after facial rejuvenation, i can wear my hair up for the first time in years and show my jawline..people feel i look rested and years younger, but not that i had “something done”. it’s a very natural look. he is extremely skilled.

- Virginia Chapin-Sheff

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Facial Rejuvenation/Lift—FAQs

How long is a facelift surgery?

Each patient will have different goals when it comes to a facelift, and the length of surgery varies. A typical facelift will take about four to six hours. Some might take longer if undergoing additional procedures, such as eyelid surgery.

How long does a facelift last?

How you take care of your skin after a facelift will play an important role in how long it lasts. A good daily moisturizer and a broad spectrum UVB sunscreen are all essential steps you will need to take to maintain your new look. Unfortunately, a facelift cannot stop gravity or the natural aging process.  The quality of the skin at the time of facelift surgery is a big determinant of longevity.  Many of my patients say their facelift results last forever.  They say it has them looking much younger than they would have otherwise appeared. One woman brought in her best friend for our special facelift and told me:  “It’s been 14 years since you did my facelift/ fat injection surgery.  I still look much better than I did before the surgery. I look much younger than my friends. I don’t plan to have anything else done. You will just see me when I bring in my friends”.  And that is just what she has done.   However, if there is a great loss of elasticity and wrinkling the skin may need to be addressed again.

Will I have visible scars after a facelift?

This is very dependent on the type of face lift you have.  Please go to my website and Instagram /Facebook to see examples of my specialized multilayer SMAS facelift incisions.  With my treatment there is no tension on the skin as the lifting and contouring is done at a deeper level.  My goal is that my incisions be completely imperceptible. Scarring can be extensive in a poorly-performed procedure in which the facial skin is pulled too tightly, placing tension on the skin. We see patients come into our office so frequently who have had those types of facelifts.  Patients often choose them because they are cheaper.  Frequently, there is nothing we can do to help them.  We feel so bad for them because they didn’t know they would end up with a problem that couldn’t be fixed. I make every effort to place incisions in areas that will be invisible once healed.


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