How Can You Afford a Great Facelift?

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Before and After SMAS facelift and neck lift by Dr. Brian Machida

During this time of economic uncertainty, many might feel that they can’t afford a facelift right now.  When inflation is high and companies are considering layoffs, it’s understandable that some might delay getting a cosmetic procedure they need.  But at a time like this, can you afford to look less than your best?

Newsweek reported about important research in “Could Your Looks Affect Your Career?”:

Fifty-seven percent of hiring managers told Newsweek that qualified but unattractive candidates are likely to have a harder time landing a job, while more than half advised spending as much time and money on “making sure they look attractive” as on perfecting a résumé…Asked to rank employment attributes in order of importance, meanwhile, managers placed looks above education.

Hiring managers ranked looks above education?  For many, that’s hard to imagine.  But a Cornell University human resources publication published an in-depth review of research on this subject.  Here’s what they said:

Given the high-stakes nature of job acquisition, many researchers have asked, for example, whether attractive job candidates are more likely to be hired than their peers. Overwhelmingly, the answer is yes… Furthermore, physically attractive job candidates are also offered higher starting salaries than their less attractive peers.

At a time when youth and good looks are highly valued, it appears that for many aged 40-65, the question is not, “Can I afford a facelift?” but “Can I afford to look less than my best? How much less?”  Of course, no one wants a cheap procedure from an inexperienced or substandard provider.  Fortunately, there are highly experienced plastic and facial plastic surgeons who can provide an outstanding facelift at an affordable price.  How do they do it and how can you find them?

age discrimination, attractiveness and income
Studies find that attractiveness beats education at job interviews

How to find a better facelift that’s affordable

As recent news reports and “Facelift Abroad – Are the Savings Worth the Risks?” revealed, a plastic surgery vacation to a third-world country can be a risky proposition.  You can get a much safer procedure in the US and get terrific results without having to pay more than you can afford.  How can you find a skilled surgeon and a better price?

First, consider the surgeon’s location.  A surgeon pays higher office rent in places that cater to the rich and famous.  Their staff needs higher wages.  So, the surgeon must charge more.  For instance, as of January 2023:

  • A facelift in New York City ranges from $20,000 to $80,000.
  • A rhinoplasty (nose job) in Beverly Hills costs $25,000 and more

In contrast, a Google search reveals that a facelift in Albany, NY can range from $11,500 to $14,000.

A facelift in Inland Empire, California where I practice ranges from $10,000 to $16,500.  That’s similar to Dallas and Atlanta.  Location can make a significant difference in the cost that highly experienced, board-certified facial plastic surgeons may charge.  It makes sense to go where rates are naturally lower.

Joan Rivers Propofol
Joan Rivers died after receiving Propofol when a physician failed to properly monitor her condition.

Next, look for physicians that use safe cost-saving methods.  One of these methods is safer local anesthesia plus oral sedation.  Your dentist routinely uses lidocaine with no problems.  One big innovation in facial plastic surgery is performing facelifts using a local anesthetic plus an oral sedative to help you sleep through your procedure – without putting you under.  This method has proved safer than either general anesthesia or IV sedatives like propofol (remember Joan Rivers?).

“The Wild West: Patient Safety in Office-Based Anesthesia,” was published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. It revealed cases that highlight the danger of giving general anesthesia or IV sedation in a doctor’s office:

  • A 27-year-old woman from Alabama died from respiratory failure shortly after returning home from office-based breast augmentation. Her death was attributed to effects of sedation administered during the procedure.
  • A 28-year-old woman from Virginia Beach, Virginia developed malignant hyperthermia during office anesthesia for breast augmentation. No dantrolene was available in the office setting. By the time she was transferred to an emergency department, her temperature was 107 degrees. She subsequently died.

In light of these hazards, surgeons who use general anesthesia in the office are required to keep a local hospital on alert in case an emergency situation occurs.  The patient pays that extra hospital fee.

In contrast, the safety advantage of local anesthesia plus oral sedation was demonstrated in a study conducted by the State of Florida of over 600,000 in-office surgeries.  While a number of serious complications were attributed to general anesthesia or IV sedation, no major adverse events were attributed to local anesthesia.

Local anesthesia also costs considerably less.  Surgeons who use general anesthesia or IV propofol are required in many states to have a licensed anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist on hand exclusively to monitor patients’ safety.  This is not needed or required for local anesthesia with oral sedation.  You save the cost of that doctor or nurse and the hospital fee.

Finding a high-value surgeon and a better facelift

As we’ve seen, your face is a valuable asset.  So, while getting an affordable facelift is important, what you really want is to look good for years.  Not every plastic or facial plastic surgeon can provide that.

How can you get a great new look that lasts AND that you can afford?  Choose the right surgeon.

facelift, plastic surgeon
Famous plastic surgeon with Canadian PM – Productionmartin, CC BY-SA 4.0

You can get a great facelift by going to a celebrity surgeon.  But their rates are often so high that only celebrities and the rich can afford them.  You could save money by going to a new or inexperienced surgeon.  If everything goes really well, you may get satisfactory results.  But after performing over 6,000 facelifts in my career, I can tell you that sometimes the patient’s anatomy or condition might not be exactly what the surgeon expected.  If they’re not prepared, you may not get the great new look you want.

Even an inexpensive facelift that doesn’t make you look good costs too much.  Therefore, the best value is to find a talented plastic or facial plastic surgeon who has performed a lot of good facelifts and charges reasonable rates.  Paying a bit more for results you really like is better than paying less for results you don’t like.

facelift, marionette lines, cheeks, facelift Inland Empire, deep plane facelift Inland Empire, nasolabial folds facelift, nasolabial folds filler, marionette lines, deep plane facelfit, Inland Empire, deep plane facelift, Dr. Brian Machida
Before and one week After Deep Plane Facelift by Dr. Brian Machida, MD, FACS. Dramatic improvement, including in the jawline, cheeks and nasolabial folds, is seen while patient is still healing.

How can you find a high-value plastic or facial plastic surgeon?  First, choose one who is board-certified in plastic or facial plastic surgery.  Check how many facelifts they’ve performed.  You’ll often find that a plastic surgeon does most of their work on the body.  You want one that specializes in the face and neck.  Facial plastic surgeons spend virtually all their efforts on face and neck procedures.

Next, take the time to examine their facelift Before and After photos, ideally performed on people like you.  A plastic surgeon who does a great breast lift or a facial plastic surgeon who performs a terrific nose job may not give you a great facelift.  Try to find Before pictures with facial aging similar to yours.  They can give you a better idea of how much that surgeon can help you.

Financing a better facelift            CONTACT Dr. Machida Inland Empire, CA 

Most plastic and facial plastic surgeons offer financing.  But if you can find an interest-free credit card offer, that can work out even better.  Some have been able to take an unsecured bank loan.  You can find several options published on websites from The Forbes Advisor to Nerd Wallet.

You don’t have to spend an extra day looking in the mirror and not liking what you see.  There are qualified, experienced, and reasonably priced plastic and facial plastic surgeons in every state in America.  You just have to do your homework. If you’re in Inland Empire, California, you can contact me at STC Plastic Surgery in Ontario for a free evaluation.

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Before and After facelift by Dr. Brian Machida

About Dr. Brian Machida, MD, FACS

Dr. Brian K. Machida, MD, FACS is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon. He has an exceptional level of experience, having performed ( read more )

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