Contact Us

Home  |  Patient Resources  | Blog
CHICAGO: (312) 788-2560

Request a Consultation


Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Thomas Mustoe performs facelift surgery in Chicago to smooth lines and wrinkles around the mouth and chin, tighten loose skin and jowls, and correct sagging in the neck. His extensive research in wound healing has guided his development of innovative facelift techniques. Using these techniques, Dr. Mustoe achieves beautiful, natural-looking results with reduced discomfort, scarring, and downtime. His facelift technique was published in the premier plastic surgery journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery after being performed in 742 patients over a 10-year period. This respected scientific journal considered Dr. Mustoe's innovative technique sufficiently original to merit inclusion in their respected publication.

If you would like more information about face lift surgery in Chicago with Dr. Thomas Mustoe, request a consultation online. Or you can call us at (312) 788-2560 and one of our helpful staff members will schedule your appointment.

How the Face Ages

Although the signs of aging eventually appear in all areas of the face, for many people the mid to lower face and neck tend to fare the worst. As skin and tissue lose elasticity, gravity begins to pull them downward. The cheeks lose volume and start to droop, deepening nasolabial folds and creating hollows or indentations beneath the eyes. All of this descending tissue and lax skin accumulates in the lower part of the face, obscuring the clean line of the jaw and creating wrinkles and jowls. In addition, the neck typically takes on a saggy, banded appearance and begins to blend in with the lower face.

Signs of Aging

Note the signs of facial aging in this patient:
Woman's face with signs of aging under-eye hollows, flattened cheek, and lax jawline and neck. See this patient's impressive facelift results by visiting Dr. Mustoe's patient photo gallery.

See Her Results
Woman's face with signs of aging

To correct the signs of aging in the face and neck, Dr. Mustoe can perform a full face and neck lift, a neck lift alone, or a modification of either procedure depending on your specific needs. He also offers the mini facelift for patients who have less advanced facial aging.

Modern Facelift Techniques

The facelift results of today are far superior to those of a few decades ago. In the past, a facelift mainly involved pulling the skin tighter, which created an unnatural, tight appearance. Dr. Mustoe focuses on restoring the underlying muscle and tissues to their more youthful position, for results that are natural-looking, beautiful, and long-lasting. The modern facelift can:

  • Re-create a clean, defined jawline
  • Restore the more youthful contours of the cheeks
  • Smooth and firm wrinkled, sagging skin in the lower face and neck

Incisions are placed where they will be concealed naturally by facial creases and hair. For the full deep-plane technique, the incisions begin in the hairline, at the temple, and they end behind the ear. For a mini face lift, the incisions typically trace the lower part of the front of the ear, and they end in a small area behind the ear called the sulcus (see illustrations).

Facelift Diagram

How Dr. Mustoe Achieves Natural-Looking Results

To fully address the aging changes in a completely natural way, Dr. Mustoe has developed his own technique, published in the respected medical journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, for lower facelift or neck lift in which the deeper tissues are fully released at their critical attachments (deep plane approach). This allows full repositioning and natural tightening of the superficial facial musculature and fatty tissue to restore their youthful position. The skin is only selectively undermined and is carried along with the deeper tissues to completely avoid the stretched or pulled look. Dr. Mustoe also restores volume where needed using advanced fat transfer techniques. Drawing from his experience with over 2,000 patients, Dr. Mustoe tailors the technique based on the individual patient's aging changes, previous surgeries and desired outcomes.

Facelift Information Video

Recovery and Results

Dr. Mustoe uses small incisions hidden within the hairline that are practically undetectable once they have healed. The degree of correction needed will influence the extent of the incisions. His years of experience and research have helped him to develop innovative techniques to minimize tissue trauma and allow for a shorter, more comfortable procedure and recovery. Dr. Mustoe's facelift patients are almost always back to work and everyday activities within 10 to 14 days. For neck lifts and short scar mini-lifts, the recovery can be even faster.

In addition to offering comprehensive results with quick recovery, Dr. Mustoe is able to perform the procedure under local anesthesia with sedation with improved safety. His techniques also enable him to perform future procedures 10 to 15 years later with the same natural appearing outcome. He has lectured on his techniques to plastic surgeons nationally and internationally.

Minimal Bruising

Dr. Mustoe's techniques minimize bruising, which is largely resolved within a week and fully resolved in 10 days for most patients. For the occasional patient who has more bruising or who desires an accelerated recovery, he now offers a state-of-the-art laser treatment which dramatically improves bruising with one brief treatment performed during a postoperative visit. To get more information about facelifts, visit our Facelift FAQ page.

Dr. Mustoe listened well and explained what he could do. He didn't try to talk me into other work. He showed me before-and-after photos and gave me a realistic idea of what to expect. I thought it was interesting that he asked me for photos of myself 10 years ago. This was because his goal is not just to improve a person's appearance, but to make her look similar to how she looked when younger." -agegracefully44, facelift patient on RealSelf Read more reviews Realself logo

Patient Beware

Many highly marketed techniques, including the popular "alternative facelifts" called by a variety of catchy names, provide limited or minimal repositioning of the deeper tissues including facial fat and superficial facial musculature. They may rely on sutures to pull or drag the deeper tissues into a more youthful position. However, the deeper attachments are fully released, which can result in uneven tension and an "operated on" look in which the patient may look younger, but different. In addition, the neck is corrected in part by a submental incision which pulls the neck's superficial muscles centrally, while the cheek tissues are pulled laterally. These opposing vectors can also create unnatural tension at the jawline and irregularities in the neck. Finally, techniques that rely on sutures to drag tissues to the desired position rather than release and reposition give results that may not be as long lasting.

Complete Your Facial Rejuvenation

It is a common misconception that a facelift restores a more youthful appearance to the entire face. While it is true that a facelift can take years off of your appearance, it is important to understand that this procedure addresses only the lower half of the face and the neck. It does not address concerns such as a sagging or wrinkled forehead or drooping brows. These can be corrected through a brow lift performed separately or at the same time as your facelift. Some patients will choose to have eyelid surgery to correct puffiness, wrinkling, or sagging of the eyelids and to complement their facelift results.

Why Choose Dr. Mustoe

Dedicated to advancing the field of plastic surgery, Dr. Mustoe has developed several innovations for a better facelift and neck lift procedure and result. These include:

  • Full results with a "mini" recovery
  • More natural-looking, lasting outcomes
  • Smaller incisions and less tissue trauma
  • Minimal bruising
Request a Consultation Meet Dr. Mustoe

Back to Top

Over 2,000
Rhinoplasty Procedures

Learn About Rhinoplasty

Co-Author of
"Aesthetic Head
and Neck Surgery"

View CV Highlights