About Mercy


A facelift surgery can help our Des Moines, West Des Moines, and plastic surgery patients of the Heartland reverse the effects of age, exhaustion, and exposure to the natural elements. Dr. Maurice and Dr. Carlisle are highly skilled at this procedure and focus on giving patients beautiful results that look natural and not “done.” The goal is not to make you look like a different person, but instead to turn back the clock and help you look like a younger, more rested version of yourself.  A facelift is one of the most popular and powerful surgical enhancement options for patients from age 45 to 75.

Each facelift by Dr. Maurice and Dr. Carlisle is specifically performed to address each patient’s needs and desires. Our highly trained plastic surgeons will assess every aspect of your face, including skin texture, bone structure and muscle tone. The next step is that they will listen to your vision of the desired final outcome.

The procedure is custom tailored to your face using incisions that are hidden in natural skin creases or within the hair in order to bring harmony to your face.  Dr. Maurice and Dr. Carlisle use a variety of maneuvers to tighten the underlying facial muscles, lift fat that is sagging, and remove excess skin and fat.

Facelift surgery takes about four to five hours to complete. You may be discharged home the same day of surgery or stay in the hospital. Only consulting with Dr. Maurice and Dr. Carlisle will help you decide what is right for you.

Why get a facelift?

  • First, you should do it for YOU, and nobody else. Not your spouse, friends, or job
  • The key to being happy with a facelift is to do it for yourself
  • To look like a more youthful, rested version of yourself

What does a facelift do?

  • Uses precise techniques to improve multiple problem areas of the face that happen with aging
    • Improvement of wrinkles and large creases in the face
    • Lifts fat in jaw and cheeks
    • Gets rid of turkey neck
    • Improves your neck line
    • Improves your jaw line
    • Improves the fullness in cheeks

Am I too old or too young for a facelift?

  • You may start seeing facial changes in your 40s, 50s, and 60s
  • If you are young, a short-scar facelift  (S-lift) or MACS (Minimal Incision Cranial Suspension) lift can help correct jowls, early marionette lines between the nose and mouth
  • As you age into your 50s and 60s, a more traditional facelift is typically appropriate, although some patients may be good candidates for short-scar facelift into their 60s
  • If you are older, surgery is just as safe, provided that your doctor screens to avoid potential complications

Am I a candidate for a facelift?

  • A facelift may be right for you if signs of aging in your face are causing you to look tired or sad
  • By correcting the aged muscle and skin in the neck and face, a facelift can improve the visible signs of aging in the face and neck, such as:
    • Loose skin and fat under the chin (“double chin” or “turkey gobbler”) and jawline (creating “jowls”)
    • Facial fat that has fallen or displaced (contributes to the “jowls”)
    • Deep creases along the nose that extend toward the corner of mouth
    • Sagging of the cheek
  • Ideal candidates have moderately excessive skin in the neck, jowl, and cheek and have good bone structure
  • Good bone structure is the key for patients who are interested in minimally invasive face lifts
  • Interested in a minimally invasive facelift?
    • Minimally invasive procedures are available with Drs. Maurice and Carlisle, such as short-scar facelift (S-lift) or MACS (Minimal Incision Cranial Suspension) lift. These procedures can be good for older patients, but they tend to be best for younger patients or older patients with mild aging
      • A consult will determine what is best for you

What different types of procedures are available?

  • A traditional facelift addresses all the issues listed above: wrinkles, creases, fat, turkey neck, neck line, jaw line, cheek fullness
  • Other procedures are available with Drs. Maurice and Carlisle, such as short-scar facelift (S-lift) or MACS (Minimal Incision Cranial Suspension) lift. These procedures can be good for older patients, but they tend to be best for younger patients or older patients with mild aging
    • A consult will determine what is best for you

How is a facelift performed?

  • There are a wide variety of face lift procedures performed at Mercy Plastic Surgery because each procedure is highly individualized for each patient’s specific needs
  • All techniques involve an incision in front of the ear and hidden in the contours of the ear
    • More extensive face lift procedures extend this incision behind the ear and into the hair behind the ear so that the neck can also be lifted
  • Modern face lift techniques correct not only the skin, but also tighten the underlying soft tissue layer (SMAS)
    • This means that the procedure is focused on correcting the problem underneath rather than only tightening skin
  • It is performed under general anesthesia and take approximately 4-5 hours to complete

Can I do other procedures with a facelift?

  • Yes. It is typical that patients choose other facial cosmetic procedures along with facelift
    • Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)
    • Browlift
    • Chemical peel around the lips/mouth
    • Lip lift

How long will a facelift last?

  • The average facelift lasts about 10 years. After that, the face will age again and lose some skin elasticity and structure
  • Second-time facelifts are not the “norm” but many patients chose that option years later due to the normal aging process. Secondary facelifts are available with the face lifting expertise of Drs. Maurice and Carlisle

What results can I expect?

  • Results from your facelift will be long-lasting, but it may take several months for swelling to fully resolve and up to six months for incisions lines to fade
    • In fact, many hairdressers have complimented Drs. Maurice and Carlisle’s patients on their hard-to-find incisions
  • You can help maintain your rejuvenated, more youthful appearance through life-long sun protection and a healthy lifestyle
  • Mercy Plastic Surgeons can help you select a good skin care program to keep your face looking its best
  • Follow-up consultations with your surgeon will help ensure your facelift results

What should I expect after surgery?

  • Bruising and swelling last 2-3 weeks following facelift surgery
  • You may also experience tightness, numbness, and swelling for several weeks
  • You should expect to appear more youthful immediately. This youthful result will become most evident when a majority of the swelling and bruising resolve at approximately 2-4 weeks after facelift

What is recovery like?

  • A bandage will be placed around your face to minimize swelling and bruising. The bandage will be removed within one to two days
  • Even though most patients experience very little pain, we will prescribe pain medication for you
  • You will be instructed to keep your head elevated when lying down, to avoid as much activity as possible, and to report any discomfort to Drs. Maurice or Carlisle
  • Facelift procedures can be performed as an outpatient or with a one-night stay in the hospital. Consulting with Mercy Plastic Surgeons will help you decide
  • Most patients return to work and ordinary activities within 2-3 weeks
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Des Moines, Iowa 50314

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