Dr. Delgado's expertise in facial regeneration is a never-ending journey to provide individually specific results for each patent seeking to improve their appearance and restore their youthfulness. Dr. Delgado takes the time to create the best surgical plan for each patient to help them achieve their desired surgical outcome.

Pretty Woman With Hair Pulled Back And A Few Strands Framing Her Face

What Is a Facelift?

A facelift is a cosmetic procedure designed to restore a more youthful version of you! As we age, we begin to see sagging tissue in the lower face, decreased elasticity of the skin, and the loss of facial volume. These changes progress slowly over time. Excessive sun exposure and smoking can accelerate the aging process. A successful facelift will tighten the skin of the lower face, eliminate sagging jowls, and reduce prominent facial wrinkles. Some facelifts incorporate fat transfers to help fill the hollowness. Dr. Delgado listens carefully to each patient to understand their individual surgical goals.

I was very nervous about getting a facelift because I did not want to look unnatural or over done but Dr. Delgado listened to my concerns and immediately put my fears at ease. He was very honest about what to expect and explained the procedures in detail. You can tell he has a passion for this and cares about his patients, not just the dollar signs. The surgery went smoothly and I couldn’t be happier with my results!

— Mac

Facelift Videos

Dr. Delgado speaking with a facelift patient in San Francisco

The Facelift Procedure with Dr. Delgado

Facelift patient in San Francisco

Sandy's Facelift Testimonial

Who are the best candidates for facelift surgery?

Most facelift patients are men and women between 40 and 60 years of age, though this does not mean individuals who fall outside this range are automatically not good candidates. In addition, the ideal candidate will understand that a facelift is intended to enhance the appearance, not to give an entirely different look.

It is vital that you are realistic with your goals. You can have dramatic results, but it is not designed to make you look like someone else. Dr. Delgado is well known for providing a natural and un-operated appearance with facelift surgery in Marin County. What a facelift does is turn the clock back eight to ten years.

Instead, candidacy for facelift surgery is generally determined based on the presence and severity of one or more of the following concerns:

  • Skin laxity or sagging
  • Prominent jowls
  • Neck laxity and fullness
  • Platysma bands or cords that are seen under the chin
  • Loss of the jawline or mandibular angle
  • Lack of fullness in the face

Before & After Facelift with Dr. Delgado

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Out of Town Patients

Dr. Delgado has treated patients from all over the globe. If you live outside the Bay Area, please don’t hesitate to ask us about our travel packages and accommodations. Dr. Delgado’s international following has grown so much over the years that we have developed a travel program we tailor to each patient’s specific needs. Several of our patients from overseas have even traveled with their interpreters. 

Once you have chosen Dr. Delgado as your surgeon, we begin preparing you for your surgical experience. We provide you with your surgical booklet with all the information you need to get ready for surgery. Whatever your needs are, we work with you to make certain your surgical experience with us is successful in every way. 


Today, there are many types of facelifts: Liquid Facelift, Fat Injection Facelift, Short-Scar Facelift, Mini Facelift, and the Modern Facelift. Other options exist—such as the Lunchtime Facelift, the Weekend Facelift, and the Lifestyle Lift—although these names are more marketing terms than anything else. They fall into the categories of Mini or Short-Scar Facelifts. 

Liquid Facelift

“Liquid Facelift” is a term used to describe injections of products to fill various facial areas and create more fullness. A patient’s fat is commonly used, but products such as Sculptra® Aesthetic, Radiesse®, and JUVÉDERM VOLUMA® can be utilized as well. A Liquid Facelift can often be a great option for patients who do not need or desire surgery to address their aesthetic concerns. Depending on the specific injectable(s) administered, periodic retreatment will be necessary to maintain lasting results. This is not a facelift but a volume enhancer, which expands the skin—much like inflating a balloon—and provides a lifting effect.

Fat Injection Facelift

A Fat Injection Facelift refers to the transfer of fat to the face to increase volume and achieve a rejuvenated appearance. With the Coleman Technique—which was developed by Dr. Sydney Coleman of New York City—fat is selectively grafted from regions such as the abdomen or legs with the assistance of liposuction. Once harvested, the fat is processed via centrifugation, which separates fat into several layers: an upper oil layer, a central purified and concentrated fat layer, and a bottom level consisting of blood.

Short-Scar Facelift

The Short-Scar Facelift was introduced around the year 2000. The demand for this procedure is strong because the lift can be significant, and the incision is limited to the front of the ears. The keystone of the Short-Scar Facelift method is that it lifts the deep structure called the Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System (SMAS). This firm and fibrous network runs under the skin but over the facial muscles and forms the framework of the face. When the SMAS is tightened, it can yield significant and long-lasting results. This is a powerful facelift for the length of the incision. Since the SMAS connects to the neck region, that area can also be improved. 

Modern Facelift

The Modern Facelift has evolved over many years, starting with the discovery of the SMAS (Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System). Surgeons have dissected and pulled the SMAS every which way as they learned how to utilize this tissue plane best. The Modern Facelift technique often includes an incision in front of and behind the ear and into the hairline, which is needed if a significant amount of redundant skin is present, especially in the neck. The SMAS is more extensively supported with this technique than in any of the other facial rejuvenation surgeries. As a result, it is considered the gold standard for face-lifting and will typically be long-lasting.

Composite SMAS Facelift

This is a great technique for elevating the SMAS (Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System), and it is one of Dr. Delgado’s favorites. With this technique, the SMAS is raised with the skin attached—unlike the other SMAS method in which the SMAS and the skin are separated. The final result can be a very smooth and one-piece, natural look. It is important to note that the Composite SMAS Facelift does not work well with patients who have an abundance of loose skin. In this situation, the face has much more skin to remove than SMAS. Therefore, by separating the two layers, the skin can be pulled and trimmed independently.

Hollywood Facelift

Dr. Delgado has a special facelift procedure centered around less conspicuous incisions (or scar locations) known as the Hollywood Facelift. Many of the previously discussed facelift techniques can be performed for appropriate candidates using this method, even the Modern Facelift. The beauty of the Hollywood Facelift is that there are no incisions beyond the ear—the incision is confined to the ear anatomy so that one can wear their hair up, for example, and no scars will be seen. This is a great technique for men, especially bald men (and even women) who have lost their hair for various reasons. The best patient is one who does not have a significant amount of neck skin.

San Francisco skyline

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Mini Facelift

Dr. Delgado also offers a mini facelift. The Mini Facelift involves only the skin. This is not a deep lift and does little, if anything, to improve the neck. If you pull the skin back and upwards in front of the ears, this will mimic the effect of a Mini Facelift.

Since the procedure only pulls the skin, the results will not last for more than a few years. The Weekend Facelift and the Lunchtime Facelift are examples of the Mini Facelift. The Mini Facelift incision for women is often within the tragus of the ear, which will avoid the incision in front of the ear.

However, for men, the incision is often in front of the ear to prevent pulling the beard or hair-bearing skin into the ear. This takes longer to fade but results in a more natural ear appearance for male patients.

Dr. Miguel Office background
Dr. Miguel Delgado

How to Prepare for facelift surgery

The first step is a consultation with Dr. Delgado that can be scheduled at his San Francisco office or his Marin County office in Novato. He will listen as you express your aesthetic concerns and describe your short- and long-term goals regarding your face during this appointment. He will also examine your face to evaluate the extent of skin laxity and assess other aspects that may need correction to achieve a balanced and natural appearance.

Based on this information, Dr. Delgado will explain your facelift options and provide his recommendation on which technique would be best for your needs. To help demonstrate the results that can potentially be achieved, Dr. Delgado may use computer imaging, which displays a visual impression of the proposed outcome. Additionally, he will show you before-and-after photographs of patients on whom he has performed facelifts so you can see the actual results of his work. 

What Can I expect during my facelift procedure?

Facelift surgery is performed at Marin Cosmetic Surgery Center, Dr. Delgado’s private surgery suite located on the Sutter Health Novato Community Hospital campus. This allows him to offer his patients private, concierge medical care while providing the extra measure of safety and reassurance afforded by the surgery center’s contiguous location to the Sutter Hospital campus.

The facelift procedure begins with preoperative markings—Dr. Delgado will use the facelift surgery plan sheet that was created at your pre-op appointment. He will make drawings on your face for the location of the incisions and the direction of the pull vector. You will then be lightly sedated and taken to the Operating Room. Once anesthesia is complete, and all is sterilely prepped, the operation will begin.

The surgery begins with an incision is first made in front of the ear. The following steps will vary based on the type of facelift you are receiving and the required work to achieve the desired results.

Facelift Surgery Recovery

The first few hours after facelift surgery will be spent in the Recovery Room. Depending on the specifics of your treatment, you may be able to go home with someone to assist you once you are completely alert and oriented. At home, you are to apply cold packs around your face and neck area for 48 hours to reduce swelling and sleep with your back and head elevated at 45-60 degrees for approximately four to five days. This is critical in reducing swelling. Some patients will spend the night in the Recovery Room at Marin Cosmetic Surgery Center, especially if a complete facelift is performed. If you are staying overnight, your care will be provided by a Registered Nurse with post-operative training, including ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) certification.

An additional person will be assisting her overnight with your care. This recovery personnel has been hand-picked and trained by Dr. Delgado to provide the highest level of surgery aftercare. Dr. Delgado will see you the following day and inspect your incisions.

If drains were placed, they may be removed, but they are often left in if extensive neck work is performed. You will be discharged with a responsible adult to transport you to your home and settle you into your recovery environment. You may shower and wash your hair in 48 hours, even if the drains are still in place.

Maintaining elevation of your back and head is very important to minimize swelling. You may experience minimal pain, but most patients report a sensation of tightening from the swelling primarily. Pain medication is prescribed, but usually, it is needed for just a day or two. Much of the swelling and mild bruising will resolve in seven to ten days, as long as proper care is taken.

Makeup may be applied after one week. Most patients return to work or social activity after seven to ten days. Strenuous physical exercise is to be avoided for four to six weeks following facelift surgery in Novato.

Comfortable chairs

Dr. Delgado discusses “The Art of the Modern and Natural Male Facelift

Dr. Delgado discusses “The Art of the Modern and Natural Male Facelift

Facelift FAQs

Are there risks with facelift surgery?

How much does facelift surgery cost?

How long does facelift surgery take?

Can I have other procedures done at the same time as my facelift?

Will I have scars?

Do I need a neck lift?

I’ve had a facelift elsewhere, but I’m not happy with the results—can you help?

Are there risks with facelift surgery?

As with any surgery, there are potential facelift risks and complications. That said, with a board-certified plastic surgeon, a board-certified anesthesiologist, and a well-trained surgical team, complications are rare.

How much does facelift surgery cost?

In general, the cost of a face and neck lift surgery at our San Francisco and Marin County practice ranges between $13,000 to $14,000, including fees for the surgeon, anesthesia, operating facility, compression garments, and all follow-up care.

How long does facelift surgery take?

The amount of time it takes for a facelift to be performed depends on the type of facelift and if any other procedures are included. The Mini Facelift involves skin elevation and closure, which takes about two hours. The Short-Scar Facelift takes approximately three hours, and if the neck lift is performed, it generally requires four hours. The state-of-the-art Modern Facelift usually takes about five hours.

Can I have other procedures done at the same time as my facelift?

It is common for patients to have other cosmetic procedures at the same time. These procedures can include a brow lift, eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty, chin implant, chemical peel, and volume replacement in the face, such as fat injections. Dr. Delgado may advise you to consider one or more of these additional procedures to achieve the most harmonious and natural results possible.

Will I have scars?

Dr. Delgado will make minimal incisions in well-concealed areas, and the incisions fade extremely well over time. Dr. Delgado has excellent techniques for closure of the incisions with a state-of-art cosmetic and plastic surgery closure. He will put a great plan in place to optimize your healing for the least conspicuous facelift scarring possible.

Do I need a neck lift?

A neck lift is a major part of a facelift. Sometimes, the patient complains more about the neck than the face. The most common presenting complaints for patients requesting a facelift are correction of the jowls, the laxity of the neck skin, and platysma bands. Occasionally, a patient will present with minimal neck laxity, and a Mini Facelift would be appropriate.

I’ve had a facelift elsewhere, but I’m not happy with the results—can you help?

If a patient is unhappy with a facelift performed elsewhere, Dr. Delgado can certainly evaluate the issues and provide a recommendation. It is often best to try and work out the issues with the original surgeon because they know what was done, and the financial outlay will be much less. However, if you have lost confidence in your surgeon, Dr. Delgado is always willing to advise and possibly perform a facelift revision.

Contact Marin Cosmetic Surgery Center

Dr. Delgado takes great pride in providing each patient with a natural and elegant facelift. To learn more about facelift surgery in San Francisco or to schedule a personal or virtual consultation, please contact our practice online or by phone today.


165 Rowland Way, Suite #300 Novato, CA 94945


San Francisco

450 Sutter St #2433 San Francisco, CA 94108

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