Short Incision Minimally Invasive Facelift

Dr. W. Mark Warfel is a fully trained plastic surgeon with over 14 years of experience, specializing in a minimal incision facelift technique which combines vertical lifting of the face jawline and neck with re-volumization of the midface and mouth area. The modern facelift technique he performs is safer, more natural looking, and has a dramatically reduced recovery time. 



Minimal, hidden incisions, in combination with volumization , deliver more than just tightening, for a true rejuvenation of the face. The result is natural and long lasting.



What is the Dr Warfel’s new face lifting technique? 

It is a small incision, minimally invasive muscle and soft tissue vertical lifting. It is usually combined with revolumizing key areas that have lost volume with fatty tissue grafting. It is done with local anesthesia. It is safer, more natural looking, and quicker healing than standard techniques.




Traditional incision and operated area                               Dr Warfel’s Incision and operated area



The incision is smaller than traditional facelift techniques. The incision starts in the temporal hairline, where hair grows through the small scar hiding it from view. The incision continues hidden in the crease in front of the ear ending at the earlobe. There is no scar behind the ear. This technique eliminates the traditional incisions that extend into the scalp both above and behind the ear. The hairline will not be affected. Once the incision is made, undermining of the skin is performed, and the deeper layers of the face are ‘lifted’ without dissection in a vertical direction using secure absorbable suture fixation to cranial fascia. Unlike most other facelift techniques, there is no need for drains (tubes) to be inserted and left in after the surgery. Muscle tightening and liposuction of the neck is performed, and excess skin is repositioned and the excess removed. Shriveled midface structures such as lips, cheeks and around the mouth are re-inflated with the patients own stem cell rich fatty tissue. The results tighten and re-contour the skin and soft tissues of the face to restore a healthy look of youth. Dr Warfel prefers to do this procedure with local anesthesia in his certified ambulatory surgery center at 635 Madison Avenue. This is the safest form of anesthesia eliminating the need and risks of general anesthesia. You will be given oral medications before the surgery which will relax and calm you. Although you will be awake during the surgery you may not remember it. The area is made numb, somewhat like during a dental procedure. You will feel no pain, and won’t even require an IV line. If you are opposed to this form of anesthesia you may discuss the option of general anesthesia with Dr. Warfel.

Doing the procedure in the hospital is considered unnecessary but if desired, can be arranged.


Am I a good candidate for facelift surgery?

If you have sagging or loose neck skin, and/or jowls forming, It’s probably time for a facelift.

Fillers can disguise the first signs of jowling but eventually a face lift is needed to correct them.


How will Dr Warfel evaluate me for a facelift?

During the pre-operative consultation, Dr Warfel will perform a complete history and physical examination. During your physical examination, your facial bone structure, underlying skin structure, skin thickness, texture, and elasticity as well as the extent of facial wrinkles and folds will be assessed. This information will be used to formulate a surgical plan and the goals of the procedure will be discussed.


Understanding the risks

Fortunately, significant complications from facelifts are infrequent. Every year, thousands of people undergo successful facelift surgery and are pleased with the results. However, anyone considering surgery should be aware of both the benefits and risks. These will be discussed in person with Dr. Warfel. Some of the potential complications that may occur include hematoma (an accumulation of blood under the skin), infection, and reactions to drugs. While plastic surgeons are trained in techniques for safely manipulating facial skin and tissues, injury to underlying structures is possible, though usually temporary. Due to the non invasive nature of the "Lift" Nerve injury is highly unlikely. Facelift incisions are usually quite inconspicuous; however, this is not entirely predictable due to individual variations in healing. You can help minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions given to you by Dr. Warfel both before and after surgery.


Your Surgical Experience

The goal of our plastic surgery team is to make your surgical experience as easy and as comfortable as possible.



If you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking well in advance of the surgery(at least 2 weeks before and 3 weeks after). Certain medications that increase the risk of bleeding such as Aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (including Advil, Ibuprofen Motrin), and some vitamins/homeopathic regimens should be discontinued 2 weeks prior to surgery. If your hair is short, you may want it to grow out enough to cover your incisions while they heal. Any chemical processing of your hair should be performed prior to surgery since you cannot have any of these procedures for a month of more after surgery. If your facelift will be performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.


Day of Surgery

Medications are administered for your comfort during the procedure. For your safety during and after the operation, various monitors are used to check your heart, blood pressure, pulse and the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood.

When surgery is completed, you will be taken into a recovery area. An elastic bandage will be wrapped around your face. There is surprisingly very little discomfort experienced after facelift surgery. However, any discomfort you may experience will be controlled with pain medication as needed. You will most likely be permitted to go home after about an hour in the recovery room.


It is mandatory that you have someone to drive you home and stay with you for at least the first night following surgery



It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes to recover from Facelift surgery varies greatly between individuals. Elevation of the head is extremely helpful in reducing the initial post-operative swelling. You can use ice packs intermittently (20 min on/ 40 min off, each hour). Ice is helpful for up to 72 hours. You should avoid Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications for the first few days after your surgery. Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke should be avoided to prevent delays in the healing process. Once the dressings are removed, puffiness and discoloration may be more pronounced in some portions of the face than others. Do not be alarmed by any unevenness or temporary asymmetry – this is normal. The initial swelling is usually calmed after a few days and resolves gradually after that. Most bruising resolves within 2 weeks. Concealing makeup is usually permitted after the first week. You may experience numbness to lateral areas of the facial skin postoperatively, which resolves within weeks or months. Stitches are removed within a week of the surgery. Some patients find that mild swelling persists for many weeks.

Straining, bending, and lifting should be avoided during the early post-operative period as these activities may predispose you to bleeding.

Dr. Warfel will give you specific instructions that may include caring for the dressings and incisions, directions for your analgesics and other medications, specific concerns to look for, and when to follow up in the office to monitor your healing process. Although the incisions heal rapidly, depending on your individual skin, it may take up to 9 months for the incision scars to fully fade. Avoidance of factors that could reduce the benefits of the surgery, such as excessive unprotected sun exposure and cigarette use, is vital.


Results of your Facelift

The results of your facelift may be subtle or dramatic, depending on your appearance prior to surgery. Since the healing process is gradual, you should expect to wait several weeks for an accurate picture of your “new look”. Additional minor changes or settling may occur over several months following your Facelift surgery.


How much will a facelift cost?

Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery. You will be given an estimate for your custom procedure at the time of your evaluation. The price will depend on the extent of the procedure & the addition of any other procedure to be done at the same time ( i.e.: eyelids, laser, fat grafting)


The cost includes the following components:


Surgeon’s professional fee

Facility fee

Anesthesia fee ( no fee for local anesthesia)


Surgical garments

Medical tests


Maintaining a relationship with Dr Warfel

You will return to Dr Warfel’s office for follow up care at prescribed intervals, at which time your progress will be evaluated. The costs for these visits are included in your initial surgical fee.

Please remember that your relationship with Dr. Warfel does not end when you leave the operating room. If you have questions or concerns during your recovery from Facelift surgery, or need additional information at a later time, you should contact Dr. Warfel.