with Dr. Thomassen

What is a Facelift?

A Facelift or Rhitidectomy is a surgical procedure used to address signs of aging in the face and neck.  These signs include cheek descent or ptosis, deep nasolabial folds, jowls and marionette lines, and neck rhytids or wrinkles and bands.

Dr. Thomassen has specialized in face and neck lifts and has over 17 years of experience.  He performs a variety of facelifts in our Fort Lauderdale Office/Surgical Center.

A facelift procedure rejuvenates the face by lifting and contouring the soft tissues under the skin as well as removing excess skin.  This is done using strategically placed incisions that are hidden in the contour of the ear and hairline.

The Benefits of a Facelift with Dr. Thomassen

Dr. Thomassen offers the most current procedures tailored to your goals.  In addition, we tailor the anesthetic approach to ensure you feel most comfortable with the procedure.  From local anesthesia only to intravenous sedation, you have options we can discuss that will ensure your safety and comfort.  In addition, we perform this surgery in the privacy of our Office Surgical Center with a board certified Anesthesiologist.

Our philosophy is that a natural yet more youthful look is important.  We also value a quick recovery and long-lasting results. Dr. Thomassen will find the combination of treatments that will reach these goals.

Who is a Good Candidate for a facelift?

Good candidates for a facelift are men and women of any age that are concerned about significant signs of aging like deep nasolabial folds, jowls, and neck bands.  Most commonly this is seen in patients from late 40s to later in life.  However, even younger patients may exhibit premature signs of aging due to effects of weight loss, smoking, sun exposure, etc.

Also in men and women with prior facial rejuvenation procedures, a facelift may help improve results that have relapsed over time.

Preparing for your facelift procedure

The key to a successful breast augmentation surgery lies in a thorough preoperative evaluation.  For your medical history, Dr. Thomassen will inquire about your medical conditions and medications taken.   Any conditions that may pose a risk for anesthesia or surgery will be addressed.


Any medications that may result in excess bleeding will need to be stopped 2 weeks before surgery.  These include anticoagulants like aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen.  Tylenol is safe to take prior to surgery.  You need to provide us with a list of homeopathic medications taken as these could have an adverse effect on wound healing and bleeding.


A history of smoking or vaping is very important to report as this could adversely affect your wound healing as well.   In general it is safest to stop smoking for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after surgery.

Physical Exam

Dr. Thomassen will examine you to determine how best to undergo the surgery.  Key examination information is the presence of any facial asymmetry, excess or lack of volume, and the presence of prior scars.  Also skin quality will be assessed to determine if skin resurfacing procedures would be beneficial to perform at the same time.

Preoperative Clearance

Dr. Thomassen will recommend the appropriate preoperative workup required according to your medical history.  This workup usually involves an evaluation by a primary care doctor to ensure you are in an optimal state for surgery.  This includes laboratory evaluation.  If there are any abnormal findings from your workup, Dr. Thomassen will call you and discuss how to proceed.

Days before Surgery

  • Avoid strenuous exercise in the days leading up to your surgery.  You should be well rested leading up to your surgery date.  Also avoid excessive sun exposure.
  • Refrain from alcohol the week before surgery.
  • Stop using skin irritants on your face 1 week before surgery, including light peels, acne medication, and retinoic acid.
  • Pick up your prescriptions with plenty of time before your procedure.  Set up a comfortable recovery area at home and plan your meals including a light clear liquid meal for the first night.
  • Plan for someone to be with you for 24 hours after surgery.
  • You will receive a call from our Operating Room Nurse a few days before your procedure to go over the consent and any preoperative details and instructions to make sure you are ready for surgery.
  • You will recieve a call from our Anesthesia Provider the day before surgery to go over your medications and discuss details about your anesthesia.
  • Use antibacterial soap when showering the day before surgery.
  • Remove any piercings or jewelry you may have before coming in for the procedure.

What to expect the day of surgery

The day of surgery you will arrive at our office at the appointed time.  Wear something loose and comfortable that you can easily remove and put back on after the procedure.  A button down shirt and loose pajama bottoms are ideal.

You will meet the surgical team, including a preop nurse and anesthesia provider.  Dr. Thomassen will answer any final questions you may have regarding the procedure and do some markings.

What Anesthesia is Used for a Facelift Procedure?

Facelift procedures are performed with IV sedation and/or local anesthesia.  The IV sedation medications used will make you fall asleep but you will still be able to breathe on your own.  Local anesthesia will  ensure you are comfortable throughout the procedure.  When you wake up, you should feel comfortable, without the nausea that accompanies general anesthesia.

How long does a Facelift take?

The procedure itself takes about  2 1/2  to 3 1/2 hours to perform.  When you wake up, you will have a head wrap in place and should be comfortable. You will be able to go home after you meet criteria for discharge. Dr. Thomassen will call you the evening of the surgery to ensure you are doing well.  The pain medications prescribed will make you comfortable.

What is the Recovery like for a breast augmenation

Your first follow up with Dr. Thomassen will be the next day after surgery. Dr. Thomassen will remove your dressings and the drains.  A comfortable facial garment will be placed.  You will be able to shower the next day and wash your hair.  You will receive  further instructions on how to care of your incisions and speed up your recovery.

You should not plan to undertake any strenuous exercise for at least 4 weeks after surgery. Light walking is fine the first week and you can gradually increase excercise as you feel better.

At the 1 week visit, your sutures will start to be removed.  At that point your swelling will be mostly resolved.  You can start to wear makeup after this visit.

At 2 weeks, you will have any remaining sutures removed and be able to be around people without any evident signs of having had surgery.

Common questions regarding facelifts

Schedule Your Consultation Today!

If you’re considering plastic surgery, choosing the right plastic surgeon could not be more important. Dr. John Michael Thomassen has the training, experience, and caring to provide you with excellent care. We invite you to have a consultation about the procedure you need.