Board-certified plastic surgeons Dr. Thomas Mustoe and Dr. Sammy Sinno perform 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. Dr. Mustoe’s extensive research in wound healing has guided his development of innovative facelift techniques. Using these techniques to address deeper tissues, Dr. Mustoe and Dr. Sinno achieve beautiful, natural-looking results with reduced discomfort, scarring, and downtime.

Dr. Mustoe’s 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.

Facelift/Minilift Before and After Photos

Case: 1 of 17
Case: 1 of 17
Before & After Facelift/Minilift by Dr. Mustoe Case 973 Front View in Chicago, IL
Before & After
Case: 2 of 16

One month post-op deep plane facelift with Dr. Mustoe
Before & After Facelift/Minilift by Dr. Mustoe Case 69 View #4 View in Chicago, IL
Before & After
Case: 3 of 16

79 year old woman who underwent deep plane facelift (midface and neck) without a submental incision, upper and lower eyelid blepharoplasty and temporal brow lift. Note the marked improvement in the neck and jowls with a refreshed appearance without looking pulled. Read More
Before & After Facelift/Minilift by Dr. Mustoe Case 216 View #1 View in Chicago, IL
Before & After
Case: 8 of 16

Facelift, Upper & Lower Belpharoplasty

Keep in mind that each patient is unique and your results may vary.

How Do I Know If I Need a Facelift?

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.

How Does the Modern Facelift Address Facial Aging?

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, taut appearance. Dr. Mustoe’s and Dr. Sinno’s advanced techniques focus 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

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

Woman with skin damage over time

Signs of Aging

Note the signs of facial aging in this patient:

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

How Do Dr. Mustoe & Dr. Sinno Achieve Natural-Looking Facelift Results?

To fully address facial aging in a completely natural way, our surgeons use Dr. Mustoe’s 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 and Dr. Sinno also restore volume where needed using advanced fat transfer techniques. Drawing from their experiences with over 2,000 patients, Dr. Mustoe and Dr. Sinno tailor the technique based on the individual patient’s aging changes, previous surgeries and desired outcomes.

Facelift Incisions

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 facelift, 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).

What Is a Mid Facelift?

A mid facelift, often referred to as a cheek lift, restores youthful fullness to the mid face by specifically targeting and rejuvenating the cheek area versus the lower face and neck. It addresses concerns such as flat, sagging cheeks and laxity around the mouth that make you appear older than you feel. A mid facelift has a shorter recovery window than a full facelift, and results last for 10 years or more. 

What Is a Mini Facelift?

facelift diagramA mini facelift is similar to a full facelift, but it produces smaller adjustments through smaller scars, as its name implies. Incisions are usually limited behind the ears, totally in the sulcus between the ear and the head, and are at the edge of the ear anteriorly where they are completely hidden. Dr. Mustoe and Dr. Sinno can reposition muscle, fat, and skin. The mini technique is best for patients who have less extensive signs of aging, since it is generally limited to the neck. Our surgeons can evaluate your face and determine whether a mini or full technique would work best for you. In either case, the procedure does not require general anesthesia. Recovery time needed to feel comfortable professionally is typically about a week.

“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

TLKM Plastic Surgery

What Is Facelift Recovery Like?

Dr. Mustoe’s and Dr. Sinno’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. The area of the cheeks near the ears remains numb during the first several months before the sensation gradually fades.

Dr. Mustoe and Dr. Sinno use 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. Their years of experience and research have helped them to develop innovative techniques to minimize tissue trauma and allow for a shorter, more comfortable procedure and recovery.

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

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

Dr. Mustoe and Dr. Sinno

Why Choose Dr. Mustoe & Dr. Sinno

Through extensive research and experience, Dr. Mustoe and Dr. Sinno have developed several innovations that contribute to a better rhinoplasty procedure and result, characterized by:

  • Predictable, natural-looking outcomes
  • Use of local anesthesia with sedation
  • Shortened, more comfortable recovery
  • Minimal bruising
Request a Consultation

Facelift FAQs

How Long Does Bruising Last After a Facelift?

Dr. Mustoe’s and Dr. Sinno’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, we now offer a state-of-the-art laser treatment which dramatically improves bruising with one brief treatment performed during a postoperative visit.

Are There Nonsurgical Facelift Alternatives?

A nonsurgical facelift is an anti-aging approach that utilizes nonsurgical treatments and is most appropriate for people with mild facial aging. These surgical alternatives may include:

  • Dermal fillers: JUVÉDERM VOLUMA® XC, and RADIESSE® are injectable fillers that can replace lost volume beneath the skin. Sculptra® Aesthetic is an injectable that stimulates the production of your body’s own natural collagen.
  • Laser treatments: Often used to enhance the results of a facelift, laser treatments can further reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
  • Radiofrequency (RF) microneedling: This form of collagen induction therapy can improve skin elasticity and address mild skin laxity.

Dr. Mustoe and Dr. Sinno generally recommend treating early signs of aging nonsurgically for patients whose skin retains much of its elasticity.

When Is the Right Time for a Facelift?

Most people begin to consider facelift surgery in their 40s or 50s, but the age range varies, and physical condition is more of a determining factor than age. Our surgeons have operated on a patient with major weight loss in her late 20s, and operated on another patient who was 92, and all ages in between. A facelift or mini facelift is the appropriate approach when the loss of volume associated with aging is accompanied by sagging of the skin on the jawline and neck, which requires the subcutaneous tissues to be repositioned.

What Are the Drawbacks of Superficial Facelift Techniques?

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.

Can a Facelift Be Combined With Other Procedures?

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. Combining procedures is safe in Dr. Mustoe’s and Dr. Sinno’s experienced hands, and it benefits patients who have only a single recovery period.