What is a Facelift?

One of the most common reasons patients come to Dr. Timothy R. Miller's office is to learn more about his innovative Orange County facelift techniques he performs in Aliso Viejo, CA to correct lax and sagging skin of the face and neck. A facelift is a surgical procedure designed to reverse these age-related conditions and Refresh the cheeks, jawline, and neck by gently elevating and repositioning the skin and underlying layers. Through proper evaluation, surgical technique, and an artistic approach, Dr. Miller provides his patients seeking facial rejuvenation the natural, defined, and Refreshed appearance they seek.

Dr. Miller is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon. After medical school, his training and experience have been devoted exclusively to surgical and non-surgical procedures of the face and neck. At his Orange County office, he specializes in facelift surgery and other asethetic facial procedures for people from Mission Viejo, Laguna Beach, San Clemente, and other surrounding communities. To schedule your personal evaluation with Dr. Miller, call us at 949-482-1752 or request your consultation online.

Facelift Orange County

A 3D video illustrating the actual results of a lower face and neck lift with chin augmentation from a chin implant. The procedure was performed in Aliso Viejo at Refreshed Aesthetic Surgery Center by Dr. Timothy R. Miller. See more images and get more details here.

Dr. Miller's Approach to Facelifts

My guiding philosophy for facelift surgery is that the result should be a Refreshed appearance. To achieve this, it is important to know and remember that there is no single cookie-cutter approach to face and neck lift surgery. I think it is essential to evaluate and study each patient's unique underlying anatomic features in order to determine the cause(s) of their facial aging and develop a personalized and well-rounded treatment plan, which may or may not require surgery.

If a facelift is required, I will typically perform a deep-plane facelift (also called a high-SMAS facelift). In certain cases, a mini-facelift is appropriate. The deep-plane facelift I perform is a more technical and advanced facelift procedure and it produces the best and longest-lasting results. It does take just a little longer to perform, but I find that the results and my patients are well worth the extra effort and time.

Deep Plane Facelift

The deep plane facelift is well-known for delivering very natural-looking results because it involves release, repositioning, and tightening of the “muscle layer”. Working at this level allows the skin and muscle layer to be repositioned in a natural tension- free manner. This is a very important point to consider and not overlook. Other techniques, such as “plication facelifts”, rely on stretching the muscle layer – often in an unnatural direction –and applying excessive tension during skin closure. This can result in a pulled, unnatural appearance with the eventual migration and widening of scars that become noticeable as the skin and muscle layer spring back.

Facial rejuvenation and obtaining a refreshed appearance is not only about face lifting. For instance, some patients not only sag but also "sink." That is, some patients, through aging, will lose volume in certain areas of the face. If I determine during the consultation that a patient would benefit from volume replacement to achieve his or her goals, then a procedure to add volume can be performed at the same time as the facelift. There are several options available but fat augmentation is an excellent and cost-effective procedure. Fat augmentation and volume replacement is important as it restores youthful facial contours. By re-establishing these contours and shapes during a facelift, I achieve a more refreshed and rested result.

Featured Before & After Photos

View all Facelift Orange County photos in our gallery.

Facelift Benefits

The top benefits of a facelift include:

  • Tightens sagging skin tissues on the face and neck
  • Contours the jawline and neck to remove a double chin
  • Reduces or removes jowls
  • Suitable for men and women
  • Turns back the clock to restore your youth
  • Can be paired with other cosmetic procedures, such as brow lifts, rhinoplasty (nose job), or blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)
  • The incision scars are concealed. Learn more here
  • Natural-looking results

Am I a Candidate For a Facelift

The ideal facelift patients have moderate or severe signs of aging, such as jowling, loss of jawline definition, neck bands, fullness under their chin, wrinkles, skin laxity and sag, etc. Most patients who opt for facelift surgery are usually past their 40s. However, you can also opt for a mini-facelift surgery if you have minor signs of aging, in order to turn back the clock and retain youthful contours as long as possible.

Aside from experiencing the effects of aging, you’re the ideal candidate for a facelift if you:

  • Don’t have underlying medical conditions that impair wound healing
  • Don’t smoke, or are willing to stop smoking before and after the procedure
  • Have realistic expectations from the procedure
  • Are in generally good physical and mental health

Facelift Recovery

At Refreshed Aesthetic Surgery, Dr. Miller believes in safety first. Patients typically spend their first night in our licensed, comfortable overnight suite, with a registered nurse. The suite is located inside our offices and alongside our accredited surgery center. The next morning you will need someone to drive you back home. You should expect some discomfort over the next few days, which you can be relieved with medications. The bruising and swelling typically peak about two days after the procedure, but you can expect the temporary swelling and bruising to subside over the course of 2-4 weeks.

You should stay at home and avoid activities for the first 10-14 days. Carefully follow all of your surgeon’s postoperative recovery guidelines, including when and how to bathe, and refraining from intense work for at least two weeks, at which point you can slowly resume your daily activities. However, even when most of the swelling has gone down, and you’re returning to normalcy, you should still avoid vigorous activities for 4-6 weeks.

Your doctor will schedule follow-up appointments to remove the sutures around 3, 7 and 10 days after the surgery. The incisions by Dr. Miller are carefully designed to be hidden and are hand sewn, never stapled. They will initially be light red, but they’ll slowly start fading away, eventually turning light pink, before completely merging with the surrounding skin. However, it may take one to six months for the incisions to fade away completely.

Orange County Facelift

Today, more than ever, men are seeking facial rejuvenation.

Common Questions or Concerns

Will I have obvious scars?

No. Dr. Miller's incision patterns are meticulously designed to be well concealed. In fact many of his referrals come from hair stylists, and because he takes the extra time to close his incisions his patients are not hesitant to wear their hair up or back in a ponytail. Visit our photo gallery to see Dr. Miller’s typical facelift incisions results.

Will I look wind-blown?

No. Many people believe that all Orange County facelift surgeries will result in a wind-blown look. This too-tight or pulled look is often produced by older techniques or an inexperienced surgeon. Dr. Miller is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon and sculptor who has refined his surgical technique through extensive training and experience. He uses only the most advanced techniques to create natural-looking results that truly represent you.

Are there nonsurgical alternatives to facelift surgery?

Yes. Non-surgical rejuvenation procedures are limited but do exist. For those patients with minimal skin laxity of the face, volume augmentation or volume replenishment can achieve amazing results. The volume must be placed, or targeted, in the right areas, however. Common areas are the temples, cheeks, perioral area and jawline. Fat augmentation, Sculptra®, and fillers like JUVÉDERM®, RADIESSE®, Restylane®, and BELOTERO BALANCE® are popular choices.

Non-Surgical Devices

Currently, non-surgical devices like Thermage® and Pellevé® are promoted as non-surgical alternative to facelifts. Unfortunately, their results can be variable and modest. Additionally, it is important to know that these devices do not tighten the muscle layer or remove excessive redundant skin, and may impact the fatty tissue in the face and neck. However, these treatments can be effective for certain patients but are often marketed to patients who really require surgical measures to meet their goals.


For patients with "neck bands" with minimal to no skin laxity or fatty tissue, BOTOX® Cosmetic, Dysport®, or XEOMIN® are excellent options. These products will temporarily relax and elevate the neck bands, thereby diminishing their appearance. Many patients who are bothered by various elements of facial aging can benefit from a non-surgical facelift, a special procedure that uses a combination of fillers and neurotoxins to address several concerns at once. Unfortunately, it is important to know that neck bands cannot be eliminated by special neck exercises, electrical pulses, or skin care products.

Can I improve my neck with liposuction alone?

Maybe. There is no question that liposuction has a role in neck rejuvenation, but its role is often over-emphasized and overdone. It must be remembered that there is no single definitive approach to rejuvenating the neck. Sometimes liposuction is all that is required, but rarely is this the only procedure that is needed for those in their 40s or older.

What Happens?

As the neck ages the muscles become loose and liposuction alone will actually make these loose muscle bands or cords more visible. It is also important to understand that sometimes the fat in the neck is located below this muscle I just mentioned. Removing this fat by liposuction is dangerous as liposuction should only remove fat above the muscle. As a result, I offer my Aliso Viejo patients neck lift surgery in Orange County as a safer, more consistent option for neck rejuvenation.

What is a Neck lift?

Consequently, a formal neck lift procedure is the most effective technique for removing excess fatty tissue in the neck while also allowing for more precise and lasting treatment of neck bands and excess skin. As a result, a neck lift is a safer, more consistent option for neck rejuvenation. Contact us today to learn more about one of the best facelifts Orange County has to offer.

Step-by-Step Procedure Facts

  • Your procedure will be performed in our AAAASF-accredited operating facility.
  • You will receive either twilight anesthesia or a general anesthesia for increased comfort.
  • For most procedures you will be able to return home the same day. Some procedures will require an overnight stay in our licensed overnight suite.
  • The majority of the recovery period will take 1 to 2 weeks.
  • Some of the results will be noticed almost immediately but will improve further over the next several weeks.
Facelift Newport Beach