Face Lift Consultation

Face Lift Consultation and Physical Exam

We have outlined below what you can expect from your face lift consultation. Read carefully, as there are many suggestions that will save you time, clear up questions, and help you convey to your plastic surgeon what you want to accomplish. Depending on the results you want, the cost of a face lift or facial rejuvenation can vary, and your consultation is crucial in determining your surgery's exact cost.

Health History

All cosmetic surgery consultations begin with a thorough health history. This is especially true if general anesthesia is being used, but also applies to local anesthesia. Face lifts are usually done under general anesthesia. Prior to meeting with Joseph T Cruise, MD you will be given a health history questionnaire to fill out in the waiting area. There are five areas of your health you will be asked about. Be sure to answer it with detail so that your surgery and anesthesia can be optimized for you.

General Health

General health problems are important to discuss so that your surgery is as safe as possible. Be sure to mention any chronic illness. Of particular concern are: high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, liver and kidney disease, stroke, cancer, bleeding problems, and wound healing problems.

What will Joseph T Cruise, MD do if I have medical problems?

In short, he will make sure your health is optimized as much as possible to ensure your safety. This may mean referring you to your private physician.

If you have a health problem you can often save yourself time by getting a letter from your private physician prior to your cosmetic consultation stating what the health problem is, how it is being treated, and whether or not you are able to tolerate general anesthesia safely.

If you are seeing any specialist (cardiologist, kidney doctor, psychiatrist, etc. ) be sure to bring a letter from them stating that you are able to tolerate surgery.

Be sure to let Joseph T Cruise, MD know if you have ever had a blood clot.

Past Surgical History

On your questionnaire you will be asked about previous surgeries. Be sure to identify any problems you may have had with anesthesia. Of particular concern are previous cosmetic surgeries especially if you do not like the result and are interested in revision.


Be sure to list all medications you take including aspirin and over-the-counter medications. These are important as they may increase bleeding and affect your surgery. It is extremely important to stop taking aspirin and aspirin containing products at least two weeks before surgery. Tylenol is a good alternative. Here is a partial list of aspirin containing products and other products to be avoided prior to surgery.

Allergies to Medications

Information about medications that cause allergies is very important so that these medications can be avoided. Of particular importance is the reaction you had, especially if you had trouble breathing. Be sure to include this information! Nausea is not an allergy but it is important to mention as well.

Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use

These three will certainly affect your surgery and MUST be mentioned so that your surgery can be optimized. Smoking causes a profound decrease in wound healing and will lead to worse scarring and a less favorable result. With large procedures such as a face lift, neck lift, tummy tuck, and breast lift smoking must be stopped at least 3 weeks before and after surgery. Otherwise, the results could be disastrous leading to non-healing wounds, poor scarring, and/or infection. With smaller procedures such as eyelid surgery, nose surgery, breast augmentation, and Liposuction smoking will hurt the overall result but this may or may not be noticeable. In this case smoking cessation is strongly advised but is not mandatory.

Physical Exam and Treatment

The key to the face physical exam is to determine exactly what is causing the problem. Below is a typical sequence that an experienced plastic surgeon uses to evaluate the neck and what can be done to correct problems.


With aging, facial fat either descends or goes away, or a combination of both. In the temple region, this causes a sunken area characteristic of aging droopy skin also is a result. Crow's feet with smiling are not uncommon and are acceptable as long as they are minimal. Permanent wrinkles and/or deep lines during smiling give an aged appearance. A face lift will elevate some of the descended temple fat as well as smooth out the wrinkles. Wrinkles with smiling will not be eliminated but should be improved. Concurrent brow lift and/or lower blepharoplasty may be necessary to treat significant crow's feet.

Above - Droopy Temporal Region - This is not corrected by face lift alone. This patient had temporal brow lift and lower blepharoplasty.


Similarly, facial fat in the cheek descends or goes away. As it falls it bunches up just above the nasolabial crease giving the typical fallen face appearance. During your consultation, your plastic surgeon will pinch this area and elevate the fat upward, thus, simulating a face lift. During a face lift, the surgeon will reposition this upward by 1 of 3 methods.

Before and After Facelift. Notice cheek elevation and improvement of cheek folds above the lips.