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How Much Does a Facelift Cost?

By Luke J. Curtsinger, III, MD

By Luke J. Curtsinger, III, MD

Treatments like BOTOX®, JUVÉDERM®, and Profound can do a lot for reversing some of the signs of aging, but if you’re ready for something more permanent, you might have considered a facelift. It’s a surgical procedure that improves the most visible signs of aging by removing excess fat, tightening the underlying muscles, and re-draping the skin of your face and neck.

Having a surgical facelift can be a great way of getting long-lasting results, but the cost is higher than what you’ll pay for injectable facial treatments, and it’s not typically covered by insurance. If you’re thinking about having facial work done, it’s important to consider the cost of facelift surgery when deciding what’s right for you.

What Is the Average Cost of a Facelift?

Exactly how much does a facelift cost in the U.S.? According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a facelift is $7,467. This figure does not include the various fees and expenses associated with the procedure, like fees paid to the:

  • Surgeon
  • Anesthetist
  • Facility where the surgery is performed

RealSelf gives an all-inclusive average price of $12,275. The price for a facelift ranges quite widely around this average, from a low of $2,800 to a high of $21,600. Why is the facelift price so variable? There are several reasons for this:

  1. There’s more than one kind of facelift – You might opt for a mini facelift, also called a lower facelift. In this procedure, the lower half of the face—the cheeks and jowls—are lifted. In contrast, a full facelift lifts both the lower and upper halves of the face. A full facelift takes longer and involves more work than a mini facelift, so the cost is higher. There’s also a limited facelift procedure called the FreshLook Lift®, available only at Savannah Plastic Surgery. It ranges from $6,000 to $9,500 in cost.
  2. The location where the surgery is performed can affect the facelift cost.
  3. The fee charged by your surgeon can affect the cost as well.

A Breakdown of Facelift Costs and Fees

When you see a surgeon for a facelift consultation, part of the appointment involves talking about the cost. And before your scheduled procedure, you should receive an itemized list with details of how much the facelift costs and the various fees that price includes.

Surgeon’s Fee

Most of what a facelift costs goes towards the surgeon’s fee. This is what your surgeon charges for their time and expertise. In general, the more highly skilled your surgeon is, the higher the fee they charge. This is especially true when it comes to facial surgery, as it’s precise, delicate work, where a surgeon’s skill and expertise can make a huge difference to the final result.

A surgeon’s fee can also vary depending on the type of facelift you want and the location of the surgeon’s office.

Anesthetist’s Fee

The anesthetist for your surgery charges their own separate fee, which is based on their skill level and how long the procedure takes. Certain kinds of anesthesia may also increase the anesthetist’s fee. For instance, if you need general anesthesia, you can generally expect a higher fee. Having general anesthesia is usually advised for a facelift due to the nature of the surgery. According to a consumer guide, the anesthetist’s fee for a facelift ranges from $1,000 to $1,300.

Facility Fee

The facility fee pays for all the other costs of a facelift. This includes items and equipment used in the procedure and costs to run the operating room. If you need post-operative care, this is also covered by the facility fee.

A facility fee adds between $500 and $2,000 to the total cost of a facelift. How much you actually pay depends on several factors, including:

  • Where the procedure is performed
  • How long surgery takes
  • Whether you need extensive post-operative care

If your procedure is performed in a hospital or you need an overnight stay afterwards, for instance, these things will increase the facility fee. The fee is lower if the surgery is performed in the surgeon’s clinic as an outpatient procedure.

Miscellaneous Costs

Your surgeon will likely provide one or more prescriptions to help you through the post-op recovery period. Depending on your needs, these might include antibiotics, painkillers, sleep aids, or anti-nausea medication. The cost of medications is highly variable; it depends on what your insurance covers and whether any copays apply. The cost of medication might be anywhere from a few dollars to over $100.

Why Location Affects the Cost of a Facelift

The cost of a facelift varies depending on the location where you have the procedure. There are a few reasons why that’s the case.

First is simply that the price you pay depends in part on the cost of living in that location. The cost of living in the state where you have the procedure will influence the cost of the surgery. And within the same state, it may cost more in a city versus in the suburbs.

Another reason location matters is that in-demand, highly skilled surgeons tend to practice in big metropoles. If you choose to have surgery in a city like Los Angeles or New York, you’re likely to pay more for getting a facelift there.

What’s the Difference Between a Full Facelift and the FreshLook Lift®?

The FreshLook Lift, which is available exclusively at Savannah Plastic Surgery, is a more affordable facelift option, costing between $6000 and $9,500. The difference in cost is because the FreshLook Lift® is a limited facelift. This procedure uses less invasive surgical techniques than a full facelift, with smaller incisions, less scarring, and a quicker recovery. In terms of results, the main difference is that the FreshLook Lift® targets the jawline only, while a full facelift targets the forehead and neck as well as the jawline. The FreshLook Lift® is designed for people with only minor skin sagging around the jawline, while the full facelift is for people who are looking for more dramatic, full-face results.

Want to Know More? Talk to a Surgeon

Whether you’ve already decided you want a facelift or would just like some more information, talking to a surgeon is the best way to get some expert advice. An experienced, qualified plastic surgeon will be able to answer any questions you have about facelift costs. And they’ll be able to explain other aspects of a facelift and answer any questions you have.