Facial Rejuvenation

Facelift in Montclair, NJ with Dr. Caroline Szpalski

You deserve to look as youthful as you feel. However, aging is inevitable, and its signs can negatively impact your self-image and self-esteem. Facial rejuvenation procedures can help effectively reduce the signs of aging, including wrinkles, fine lines, and lost volume. Facelifts are the gold standard of rejuvenation treatments to help restore your appearance and confidence. By tightening and repositioning the facial structures beneath the skin, facelifts can deliver dramatic transformations, enhancing and preserving your youthful look.

Fellowship-trained female plastic surgeon Dr. Caroline Szpalski and her team want to help you feel confident in your own skin and your own unique identity, making her your choice as one of the best facelift surgeons in the tri-state area of New Jersey.

Contact us at (646) 777-0170 or complete our online form to schedule your facelift consultation today. We are located in Glen Ridge, NJ and proudly serve patients in the Montclair, Bloomfield, Clifton, The Oranges, Paramus, and Franklin’s Lakes areas.

What Is a New Jersey Facelift?

A facelift, medically known as a rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that aims to improve the visible signs of aging in the mid-face region. Without altering your fundamental appearance, a facelift tightens the underlying tissues, removes redundant tissues, and re-drapes the skin in a precise manner to deliver more youthful-looking contours. Most people interested in a facelift wish to refresh and rejuvenate their appearance; they feel that their face looks “tired” or “worn”, not accurately reflecting their real energy level, vitality and youthful spirit.

Facelifts focus on rejuvenating areas that are most vulnerable to distinct aging concerns, including:

  • Sagging, loose skin in the mid-face, neck, and jawline
  • Jowls and pre-jowls
  • Deep facial wrinkles and fine lines
  • Nasolabial folds
  • Marionette lines
  • Volume loss
  • Double chin

Dr. Szpalski uses her unparalleled skills and exquisite style to deliver enhanced, natural-looking results for a refreshed, never overdone facial appearance. A facelift has many different features and options, all designed to help smooth the skin of the face and neck, tighten the underlying tissues and muscle, and remove excess skin. Each facelift technique, used in the right setting, has outcomes that are consistently reliable and long-lasting. The results are a reversal of the effects of gravity and gentle redraping of the soft tissues to restore a more youthful contour to the face.

What Are the Benefits of a Facelift in New Jersey?

Facelift surgery will not change your overall appearance, nor will it halt the aging process altogether. The results of a facelift are subtle but significant. The ultimate goal of a facelift is to look refreshed, natural and rested, rather than looking “done,” pulled too tight or “plastic”. More facelift benefits you can expect are:

  • Sleeker facial contours
  • Visibly younger looking skin
  • Tighter skin
  • Long-lasting results

What Are the Different Types of Facelift Surgery?

Traditional Facelift

A traditional facelift makes use of standard incisions for facelift surgery hidden in natural facial creases or in the hair-bearing region of the scalp, described in detail below. Traditional facelift techniques allow for the most reliable and long-lasting results in facial rejuvenation; scars are shortened whenever possible if a patient’s anatomy and specific situation allows. The outcome of a facelift is reversal of the effects of gravity, correction of age-related changes, and gentle repositioning of the soft tissues of the face to restore a more youthful and refreshed contour. Most traditional facelifts combine the techniques of subcutaneous and SMAS lift procedures.

Limited Incision (Short Scar) Facelift

A “short scar,” “limited incision” or “MACS” (minimal access cranial suspension) facelift makes a shorter, S-shaped incision at the temples that may also continue around to the ear, and can include additional incisions within the lower eyelids or under the chin. This procedure does not typically address as much facial laxity as a traditional facelift, and does not adequately address the lower face or neck. This is a preferred technique for the lower face and neck.

SMAS Facelift

The “SMAS” describes the “superficial musculo-aponeurotic system” of the face, a complex system of fine facial muscles and connective tissue that makes up the deeper soft tissue structure of the face. Repositioning, tightening and/or trimming the SMAS to restore volume after descent of facial structures with age (in addition to trimming and repositioning excess skin) is routinely performed in many traditional facelift procedures, when indicated. The SMAS facelift technique can provide significant cheek elevation and reduce sagging in the lower face and neck.


Subcutaneous Facelift

A “subcutaneous” facelift repositions and trims excess skin and superficial fat of the face but does not address the deeper muscles or soft tissues (SMAS) of the face. This technique is for excess skin and redraping only, and is often one part of a traditional facelift.


Deep Plane Facelift

A “deep plane” facelift involves dissection of the SMAS and repositioning this layer in an even deeper plane than a traditional and/or SMAS facelift. The deep plane lift is more extensive than other facelifts types and has a greater risk of injury to the facial nerves, which lie within or below the SMAS layer.

Accompanying Procedures

To accomplish a finished, polished appearance, facelift results typically rely on rejuvenating other facial areas as well. Indeed, a facelift by itself facilitates improvements to the jaw line, the cheeks, and the “nasolabial area” but does not specifically address the neck, forehead (“brow”), or eyes. A full facial examination at your consultation will elucidate which surgical option(s) will tackle the specific features of aging present and best achieve your goals.

As such, other procedures may be performed in conjunction with your facelift to achieve dramatic facial transformation, including:

Meet Caroline Szpalski, MD

Female Plastic Surgeon in New Jersey

Rediscover your identity with the help of Dr. Caroline Szpalski, a board-certified and fellowship-trained plastic surgeon in New Jersey. With a unique multicultural upbringing and a European flair, Dr. Szpalski crafts elegant sophistication into every natural-looking patient transformation. Dr. Szpalski takes a less-is-more approach to plastic surgery to help patients maintain and appreciate their unique appearance and cultural beauty. No matter your aesthetic goals, start your journey toward a more confident you by scheduling your consultation with Dr. Szpalski and her expert team today!

Choosing Dr. Caroline Szpalski as Your NJ Facelift Provider

Fellowship trained in microsurgery and the most complex cases at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Caroline Szpalski is a female plastic surgeon who was born into a family of medical professionals. Growing up in Africa and Europe, Dr. Szpalski brings an international flair and sophisticated European sense of style to her practice. With a distinct worldly and multicultural perspective and a unique Ethnic identity, Dr.  Szpalski recognizes that there are many standards of beauty, identity, color, and culture across the world. As such, Dr. Szpalski offers a unique approach for all patients, which is essential when considering a facelift surgeon.

As a busy surgeon, wife, mother, and New Yorker, Dr. Szpalski understands the diverse challenges many of her patients face. With a less is more philosophy, Dr. Szpalski tailors her style for each patients’ needs, employing meticulous detailing to provide natural-looking, long-lasting results for a sense of timeless elegance.

Your Facelift Consultation with Dr. Szpalski in New Jersey

Dr. Szpalski’s goal during all facial rejuvenation consultations is for her patients to feel confident in their decisions regarding their appearance, their procedure, their overall health, and their unique identity. During your consultation, Dr. Szpalski aims to understand your goals and set realistic expectations to ensure that she is the right provider for you.

With her less is more philosophy, Dr. Szpalski treats only the areas that will enhance your features to ensure you never have an overdone appearance. During your facelift consultation, Dr. Szpalski will conduct a thorough examination of your skin, facial features, and areas of concern. Following your exam, she will discuss facelift risks and benefits to determine whether the approach is appropriate for your aesthetic goals.

After determining which facelift approach is right for you, Dr. Szpalski will work with you to ensure a comfortable, individualized treatment based on your unique anatomy. With a focus on providing patients with exemplary care, Dr. Szpalski has created a warm, welcoming, nonjudgmental environment safe for sharing your concerns, making her one of the best facelift surgeons in the tri-state area of New Jersey.

Am I an Ideal Candidate for a Montclair, NJ Facelift?

Good candidates for a facelift include men or women who are healthy, in good physical shape, and at their ideal body weight (or a stable weight following major weight loss).

Facelift candidates are those looking for long-lasting enhancements of their more youthful-looking appearance by addressing the signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, or skin folds.

Good candidates for a  facelift surgery should:

  • Be in good overall health, living a healthy lifestyle
  • Not be pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Not smoke, or be willing to quit at least six weeks prior to and after the procedure
  • Have no conditions that impair healing
  • Have realistic expectations and a positive outlook
  • Understand the risks and benefits
  • Smokers, patients with multiple or untreated medical problems, and individuals who are psychologically unprepared for surgery are not good candidates for a facelift. 

A facelift can be an extremely rewarding and empowering experience, but should be done at the right time and for the right reasons. Candidates for facelift surgery should be emotionally stable, have the support of their surrounding friends and/or family members, and be fully educated about the procedure they are contemplating. 

Preparing for Your Facelift in New Jersey

It is essential to be in good physical and mental health before any facelift procedure. While each facelift will be unique and tailored to your needs, here is some general information to help you prepare.

  • Before surgery is not a good time to diet. Maintain a stable weight and avoid crash dieting or weight fluctuations by participating in a consistent exercise regimen and well-rounded diet.
  • Proper nutrition supports a successful recovery. Eat healthy, balanced meals with plenty of proteins to optimize results and recovery.
  • See your primary physician for a full examination and appropriate testing to ensure you are medically fit for surgery.
  • If you currently smoke, vape, or use nicotine products, you should quit. As smoking is detrimental to your health, especially during recovery from surgery, patients should stop smoking at least six weeks before and after surgery. Dr. Szpalski orders a nicotine test for all patients who smoke to help avoid complications caused by smoking or the use of nicotine products. 
  • For two weeks prior to and after surgery, refrain from medications, vitamins, and supplements that increase bleeding or bruising risks.
  • Stay well-hydrated before and after your procedure.
  • Prepare your home and schedule for recovery. Take time off work, purchase necessary supplies, fill pain medication prescriptions, freeze meals for easy preparation, and arrange a clean, comfortable place to rest.
  • Arrange for a trusted friend or family member to drive you home from your procedure and assist you with household management or childcare.

Glen Ridge, NJ Facelift Procedure Overview

Dr. Szpalski performs facelift procedures in fully accredited facilities at Freedom Surgical Center, St. Joseph’s Health University Medical Center, or Hudson Regional Hospital.

On the day of your procedure, you’ll arrive approximately an hour prior to your scheduled surgery to meet with Dr. Szpalski and your anesthesia provider. Dr. Szpalski will review your surgery details and answer any final questions you have. A facelift is performed in the operating room under general anesthesia or intravenous (also known as “twilight”) sedation for optimal comfort, control, and safety. In some cases, it can also be done under local anesthesia with or without sedation. Incisions are made in the hairline at the temple region, in front of the ear, hidden in a natural fold, around the earlobe, and ending in the lower scalp behind the ear. A second incision may be required beneath the chin for chin and neck contouring. The skin of the face, cheeks, and neck is gently “elevated” off the deeper structures under surgical “loupe” magnification to protect delicate blood vessels and nerves of the face.

Depending on the details of the facial anatomy and the aging process, underlying fatty and/or muscle tissue (SMAS) is repositioned and sculpted to create a more youthful contour. The skin is gently redraped without any tension, and any skin excess is trimmed. Dissolving stitches (“sutures”) are used wherever possible; it is common for surgical staples to be placed in the hair-bearing scalp region for easy removal in a week or two.

When you awake from your facelift, soft dressings will be in place, and you will be comfortable. Facelift surgery is not normally very painful. Pain medication is prescribed for you to take after surgery as needed. A small, soft drain is sometimes placed to gently remove “wound fluid” under the skin for 1 to 3 days after surgery. 

Facelift incisions tend to heal very well with good quality scars due to the excellent blood supply of the face and absolute avoidance of tension on the skin closure. As mild swelling and any bruising subsides, visible improvements of the facelift procedure will appear over a few weeks.

Facelift scars are permanent but remain concealed in the natural contours of the face and within the hairline. It takes several months up to a year for the final results to be evident and for all scars to become “mature.” As a component of scar therapy, it is important to minimize direct sun exposure to the face not only during healing but as a life-long behavior to help maintain your rejuvenated appearance and to minimize future “photo-aging” (sun damage).

The final effect of a facelift is a rested, more youthful, natural result that can increase your confidence. Depending on the extent of your procedural plan, facelifts typically take two to three hours.

New Jersey Facelift Recovery

Following a facelift, expect to experience swelling, bruising, discomfort, or numbness in the treated areas. However, these side effects will gradually resolve over the next six weeks. You will be prescribed pain medication to alleviate discomfort.

It’s essential for the first three to five days to keep your head elevated and avoid bending, lifting, or strenuous activities to minimize swelling and bruising. Typically, Dr. Szpalski will remove any sutures in three to seven days, check on your healing progress, and provide post-op instructions for optimal facelift recovery.

Depending on the extent of your facelift, most patients plan to take one to two weeks off work. However, it’s important to avoid all strenuous activities, including exercise, for at least six weeks.

Timeless Elegance

How Soon Will I See My NJ Facelift Results?

Your recovery will be greatly determined by the extent of your facelift. You should expect bruising, swelling, and tightness that may obscure your results for the first few weeks after treatment. As your face heals, swelling will dissipate, typically within a month, revealing your improved facial contours. Residual swelling, however, may persist for 6 to 12 months.

With thorough post-operative care, your optimal facelift results will provide a rejuvenated and more youthful-looking appearance that will last.

A facelift, in reality, lasts forever, giving you a refreshed and rejuvenated look that will endure for many years to come. However, you will continue to age as appropriate after any type of facial plastic surgery. In the future, you will still appear younger than if you had not had your procedure, but you will never appear tight, “overdone,” or abnormal.

Maintaining excellent skin care, smart sun avoidance, and consideration of Non-Surgical Rejuvenative Procedures can often prolong the results of your facelift. Over a long period of time, additional facial aging may bring about recurrent signs of aging and a “Secondary Facelift” may be recommended. A secondary facelift is slightly more complicated and requires the experience and judgment of your plastic surgeon to avoid complications. Long-term follow-up with your surgeon will enable ongoing assessment of your results both in the short term and over many years to come.

What are the Risks of a New Jersey Face Lift/Facial Plastic Surgery?

The decision to have facial plastic surgery is a personal and significant one. Like any surgical procedure, the potential risks of surgery must be weighed against the expected benefits in order to determine whether having surgery is indeed for you. What makes facial surgery unique is that the results are visible immediately after surgery, while surgery of the breasts or body can be concealed beneath clothing during the initial healing period.

For this reason, it is imperative to learn about all potential risks of facial plastic surgery, including both the common and very rare complications. Awareness of possible unfavorable outcomes and risks will help you make the decision whether surgery is for you, and will enable you to proceed fully informed and educated.

Some risks are specific to all facial surgery procedures such as a facelift, brow lift, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), neck lift, and earlobe surgery and include the following: Unfavorable scarring, bleeding (“hematoma”), fluid accumulation, infection, poor wound healing, anesthesia risks, correctable hair loss at the incisions, fluid accumulation requiring drainage after surgery, skin discoloration, bruising, skin sensitivity or temporary facial swelling.

More uncommon risks of facial surgery but those worth mentioning include: Facial asymmetry, facial nerve injury with weakness or abnormal facial perspiration, skin loss, permanent numbness or other changes in skin sensation, loss of fat deep under the skin (“fat necrosis”), persistent pain, skin contour irregularities, “spitting sutures” that may spontaneously surface through the skin, become visible or produce irritation that require removal, unsatisfactory results including asymmetry, unsatisfactory surgical scar location, unacceptable visible deformities at the ends of the incisions, and the possible need for revisional surgery.

For those procedures that involve the eyes and/or brow, further rare but potential risks include eye irritation or dryness, eyelid disorders involving abnormal low position of the upper eyelids (“eyelid ptosis”), loose eyelid skin, abnormal laxity or rolling out of the lower eyelid (“ectropion”), difficulty closing the eyes, or “lid lag” (pulling down of the lower eyelid} that is often temporary. Many of these conditions are self-resolving but a minor revision may be necessary for correction if a complication should arise.

As a general principle, the practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. While reliable outcomes and beautiful results are anticipated in most patients, there is no absolute guarantee of surgery. In some situations, a second minor procedure may be needed after a period healing to achieve the most favorable results.

How Much Do Facelifts Cost in New Jersey?

New Jersey facelift costs can vary by patient based on individual needs and goals and the surgical techniques required. During your consultation, Dr. Szpalski will determine the scope of your procedure and estimate your facelift cost in New Jersey.

Schedule Your Montclair, NJ Facelift Consultation Today

Look as young as you feel when you partner with Dr. Caroline Szpalski, one of the best facelift surgeons in New Jersey, for all your facial rejuvenation options. Learn about facelift near me options in Glen Ridge, NJ by calling (646) 777-0170 or completing our online form.

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