Facelift (Rhytidectomy) in Toronto

Facelift Before & After Pictures

Starts at $18,999
Procedure Time
4 hours
Recovery Time
14-21 days

What is a Facelift?

While aging is inevitable, deterioration isn’t. There are several steps that can be taken to repair the damage caused by becoming older.

As we age, there is a general loss of volume in the face. As a result of this loss of facial volume, the soft tissues of the face descend, leading to deepening smile lines and the onset of heavy jowls. In addition to a loss of volume, the face succumbs to sun exposure, photodamage, and deterioration. Finally, gravity results in descent. 

Thus, the face experiences the 3 D’s of growing old: deflation, descent, and deterioration. Fortunately, a facelift reverses the 3 D’s and restores a youthful, rested, and natural appearance to the face.

To counter the effects of aging on the face, many opt to receive a facelift. A hallmark of cosmetic surgery, the surgical facelift is a rejuvenation procedure designed to restore youth, beauty, and freshness, as well as boost self-confidence. Also known as a rhytidectomy, a facelift is one of the most widely-used cosmetic procedures in the world.


Facelift” is a term that relates to a wide variety of different procedures, including micro-facelifts, vampire facelifts, suture suspension facelifts, and thread lifts. Still, all procedures under the umbrella term are designed to improve the look of the face, including the cheeks, jowls, and neck. During the procedure, your SpaMedica plastic surgeon will remove excess skin, smooth out wrinkles, eliminate age spots, and restore missing volume. At SpaMedica, a facelift involves creating hidden incisions behind the ear and hairline in order to re-suspend droopy fat tissues and avoid visible scars.

At SpaMedica, our team of seasoned professionals ensures that this common and routine procedure repairs the signs of aging and restores a more youthful appearance.

How Much Does a Facelift Cost in Toronto?

While a surgical facelift in Toronto varies in cost depending on the particular areas of your face that you would like to change, at SpaMedica, facelift fees start from $18,999. Mini-Facelifts, which can cost as little as $11,999, and Suture Suspension Facelifts and Threadlifts ($6,999) can be a less invasive way to get a significant facial rejuvenation result.

How Long Does it Take to Recover from a Facelift?

For a surgical facelift procedure, it takes approximately 14-21 days for bruising and swelling to subside following the procedure. Also, it is worth noting that oral medication can be used to easily manage any initial discomfort.

Recovery for a mini facelift in Toronto takes 14-20 days.

How Long Does a Facelift Take?

Much like the cost and recovery time, the length of the surgical facelift procedure is dependent on the breadth of the cosmetic work. However, on average, surgical facelifts at SpaMedica take around 3-4 hours. It takes approximately 2.5 hours to perform a mini surgical facelift.

What is a Mini Facelift?

Also known as a weekend facelift, a mini surgical facelift is a partial or “mini” version of a facelift for those who wish to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin in the lower third of the face. During a mini facelift, the surgeon places small incisions around the ears to make the lower face look younger, improve chin definition, remove excess skin, and tighten the underlying tissue. 

Differences Between a Facelift and Mini Facelift

A surgical facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, is a procedure which involves lifting the top layer of skin off of the face and separating it from the facial muscles, fat, and tissue. The surgeon manipulates the skin by pulling it in different directions, removing excess skin, and overall creating a tighter, smoother look for the recipient.

As a full facelift focuses on the entire face, a mini surgical facelift, also called a weekend facelift, focuses on smoothing out certain parts of the face – typically the lower half. The surgeon will make small incisions by the earlobes and various actions are then taken – such as fat removal, contouring, and lifting. The results are not as dramatic as a full facelift but can be great for patients with minimal concerns who want to freshen up their appearance and look more youthful. 

Who is a Surgical Facelift Candidate?

In truth, there is no particular age restriction for a facelift in Toronto, and there is no one specific trait that defines a “good” candidate. Patients with sagging cheeks, soft tissue volume, hanging neck skin, and early jowls make good candidates for surgical facelifts and mini-lifts, as well as endoscopic and threadlift procedures.

However, while there are no specific traits that dictate candidacy, there are certain conditions that can make the process more seamless.

Skin Laxity
Ideally, a patient’s skin should have a good amount of laxity, as a facelift at SpaMedica is designed to remove excess skin and resuspend the deep muscle skin.

Well-Defined Bone Structure
A well-defined bone structure can make a great deal of difference for a surgical facelift, as the cosmetic surgeon will have proper support while performing alterations.

Proper Physical Health
Good health and a lack of serious medical conditions are vital for a proper recovery following a surgical facelift procedure.

Additionally, people with signs of aging on their necks and lower faces are often good candidates for a mini facelift. Ideal candidates:

  • Are in good physical health
  • Have deep creases or jowls
  • Look tired
  • Have lost skin elasticity in the lower face and neck
  • Have experienced a reduction in muscle tone in the lower face and neck

Benefits of a Surgical Facelift & Mini Facelift

Some benefits of a surgical facelift include:

1) Youthful Appearance

By tightening loose skin and deep supportive muscles, removing wrinkles, and repositioning facial fat, the cosmetic plastic surgeons at SpaMedica are able to instill a more youthful and rested appearance in patients.

2) Natural-Looking Results

After your surgical facelift at SpaMedica, you will look amazing without looking operated on. Indeed, Dr. Bell boasts the surgical skill to ensure that scarring is minimal and not generally noticeable. The team once worked under the guidance of Dr. Bell, who has been performing facelift surgery for 25+ years, and is recognized as one of the top plastic surgeons in all of the world.

3) Combat Premature Aging

Unfortunately, genetics can often lead to some individuals appearing years or even decades older than they actually are. A surgical facelift procedure can combat the signs of premature or excessive aging by restoring a more youthful complexion.

4) Restore Confidence

At its core, a surgical facelift is designed to boost confidence. After all, when you look good, you feel good.

Some benefits of a mini facelift include:

1) Minimal Scarring

The scars are hidden behind and within the ears, so people enjoy the results without unsightly scars. The skill of the surgeon is very important for those who wish to minimize scarring. Dr. Bell’s surgical technique keeps scars hidden from view.

2) Minimal Side Effects

Many people prefer a mini facelift to a traditional facelift due to the minimal side effects. Patients experience less bruising and swelling when compared to a traditional facelift. That greatly reduces the recovery time.

3) Improved Self Confidence

People can’t help but feel confident after a mini facelift. They look years younger and love showing off their results.

4) No General Anesthesia

A mini facelift is performed under local anesthesia instead of general anesthesia. People can enjoy the age-defying benefits without having to go under full anesthesia. This gives people more confidence as they prepare for the procedure.

Risks of a Facelift & Mini Facelift

Like all procedures, surgical facelifts are associated with possible risks and complications that patients should consider prior to undergoing the procedure. Dr. Bell has been performing high-volume facelift surgery for 25 years and, after this many facelifts, the risk of a significant complication is extremely low. 

Although Dr. Bell has not seen most of the risks listed below, these risks have been reported:

1) Infection

Although infections are very rare with respect to this procedure, Dr. Bell and his experienced team take every precaution to ensure that the surgery is a smooth, seamless experience. Preventative antibiotics are also given.

2) Abnormal Scarring or Swelling

In some cases, the procedure can result in swelling. However, this swelling should subside in the days following the procedure.

3) Bruising

In rare cases, the procedure may result in bruising that can last several days. However, any discomfort can be significantly diminished using oral medication prescribed by the doctors at SpaMedica. 

4) Mild Discomfort

Patients may experience a low level of discomfort following the procedure. This discomfort should subside in the hours or days after the procedure.


Similarly, mini facelifts come with the following risks:

1) Infections

Preventative antibiotics are given.

2) Hematomas

Small blood collections under the skin that require drainage.

3) Facial Nerve Damage

Dr. Bell has 22 years of experience conducting facial surgeries, with zero nerve complications.

4) Adverse Reaction

It is very uncommon to have an adverse reaction to local anesthesia.

Why Choose SpaMedica for a Facelift?

By using advanced facial plastic surgery techniques and state-of-the-art equipment, the SpaMedica team is capable of producing incredible results while also reducing the amount of surgical swelling and bruising.

Under the guidance of the incomparable Dr. Bell, the skilled and experienced cosmetic surgeons at SpaMedica combine technical proficiency and unparalleled precision with an individualized approach that puts the patient first.

When it comes to your face, only the very best will do. Dr. Bell and the skilled staff at SpaMedica have been performing complex Toronto facelift procedures for over two decades, making them a nationally renowned team you can trust!

Different Types of Facelifts

As previously mentioned, the term “facelift” can refer to several different facial elevation and rejuvenation procedures. The following options are some of the most common rhytidectomy procedures.

Deep Facelift
This procedure focuses on tightening the muscles that lie deep beneath the skin. However, before proceeding with this option, consider how this procedure entails a longer recovery process and more discomfort. This deep plane facelift is the technique that will last the longest and leave the most natural result with older, more droopy faces.

Neck Lift
In addition to including all the elements of a surgical facelift, this procedure also involves an incision that is placed beneath the chin, where the aging structure of the neck, bands, cords, and low hyoid bone are all corrected.

Mini Lift
This procedure is specifically designed for patients that only have minor concerns about the appearance of their cheeks and jowl. The incision is often hidden only behind the ear, or behind and within the ear, with no scalp extension.

Suture Suspension facelift and threadlift
This is a mini-facelift performed with bio-absorbable threads that are inserted into the droopy elements of the face and used to lift and reposition those drooping facial structures. When combined with FaceTite and Morpheus, the suture suspension can lead to facelift-like effects without the scar. As the pioneer and developer of this technique, Dr. Mulholland, SpaMedica’s former Principle Surgeon, is known worldwide for this procedure. 

In May of 2021, after 25 years as Canada’s most recognized Cosmetic Surgeon, Dr. Mulholland retired from active Plastic Surgery Practice. Dr. Mulholland moved to the United States to pursue his work with InMode MD electrosurgical (a company he co-founded) in the United States. He will continue to educate and teach the science of practice management through his BoomerangFX book, webinars series, and the SaaS practice management software (another company he co-founded). In 2022, Dr. Mulholland moved to London, England, to expand the InMode technology and BoomerangFX Software message internationally.

The plastic surgeons at SpaMedica are experts in this special kind of mini-lift. 

Ponytail Facelift
A ponytail facelift involves incisions made in the upper part of the face, usually above the ear or beyond the hairline. The surgeon pulls the ligaments below the skin to reduce sagging and adjust the face. The incision does not need to be near the areas you want to be tightened. 

Non-Excisional Facelift
While it is possible to use non-invasive treatments to minimize the visible effects of aging, only a surgical facelift can restore youth and freshness by eliminating wrinkles and drooping jowls. However,  you can combine energy-based treatments like AccuTite, Facetite and Morpheus8 to replicate many of the effects of an open facelift that last 5 years or more.

Spotlight: The Mini Facelift Procedure

Similar to a full facelift but less invasive, a mini facelift addresses wrinkles, excess skin, and other signs of aging on the face and neck. This procedure tightens the skin, leaving the lower face and neck looking smoother and younger. The incisions are hidden behind and within the ears.

If you’ve experienced a loss of muscle tone and skin elasticity on your lower face and neck, and/or you’ve noticed deep creases at the corners of your mouth and sagging jowls, this procedure may be right for you.

In comparison to a traditional facelift, a mini lift is a smaller, less invasive procedure. In addition, because a mini facelift is less complicated and drastic than its traditional counterpart, it also carries fewer risks and boasts a quicker recovery time. However, due to the fact that it is less invasive, the final results of a mini-lift are less noticeable and more temporary. As such, this procedure is only used for patients with moderate facial aging concerns.

Non-Surgical Facelift Alternatives

The Suture Suspension Thread Lift Combined with a Vampire Facelift

Following a thread lift, a fractional laser or radiofrequency device is used to smoothen the skin. The little microscopic holes in the skin are then treated to the vampire facelift.

The vampire facelift is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure that involves drawing a small amount of the patient’s own venous blood back into their face. During the procedure, a small tube of blood is withdrawn during the procedure so that doctors can use the patient’s own wound-healing and regenerative growth factors to improve skin textures and regulate age-related changes like fine lines.

In short, blood is drawn and harvested. Then, it undergoes centrifugation to separate the bioactive cells. Later, these cells are placed on top of the skin with the micro holes for penetration of the factors, which is also injected under the patient’s skin with small needles.

The procedure is used to treat fine lines and sagging on the chin. However, it is important to note that the results are not immediate, as improvements are typically seen after 3 months.

Non-surgical mini facelift alternatives include Botox injectable, fillers, Forma and Suture Suspension Thread lifts.

How is a Facelift Performed by Dr. Tom Bell?

At SpaMedica, a surgical facelift is performed under local anesthesia with IV sedation or under general anesthesia. Prior to your surgery, one of Canada’s most reputable and experienced Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Tom Bell will determine the best type of anesthesia to use based on your previous medical history, as well as your current prescriptions.

Dr. Tom Bell has performed over 3000 facelifts, blepharoplasty and cosmetic facial procedures.

During the procedure, your SpaMedica plastic surgeon will make incisions within the ear and behind the ears, as well as in the temple scalp hair. The skin is then carefully raised from the face and neck area. Liposuction under the chin or fat grafting to the face may be required. 

Finally, excess skin is carefully removed and meticulously sutured.

Dr. Tom Bell also performs or oversees all mini facelift procedures at SpaMedica. Dr. Tom Bell has over 25 years of experience in Cosmetic Plastic Surgery of the Face and Body and was named by W magazine as Canada’s best cosmetic plastic surgeon.

The cosmetic surgeon makes incisions behind and within the ears. The surgeon then pulls the tissue toward the ears to remove excess skin and sagging tissue, tightens the muscles and irons out wrinkles. Fat sculpting is also possible during this procedure. Finally, the surgeon closes the imperceptible incisions.

How to Prepare for a Facelift

Prior to your surgical facelift in Toronto, Dr. Bell and his team will review your medications and medical history. Based on the scope of the surgery, SpaMedica doctors may recommend that you follow certain preparations in the weeks leading up to your procedure date:

Patients may be asked to stop taking Aspirin or any medication that contains Aspirin. 

Smoking should be discontinued two weeks leading up to the procedure, as smoking can hinder the recovery process. 

Patients should adopt a healthy lifestyle and diet in the weeks leading up to the procedure, as this will make the recovery process smoother and less eventful.


Dr. Bell provides patients with specific instructions before undergoing a mini facelift. In addition, patients should:

  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated
  • Maintain their weight
  • Stop taking anti-inflammatory medications
  • Cut down on salt to reduce water retention
  • Stop smoking
  • Take time off work

What to Expect After a Facelift

Following your procedure, Dr. Bell and his team may recommend a comprehensive postoperative skincare regime from our Universkin skincare line, which is designed to improve the colour, texture, and tone of your skin after the facelift.

UniverSkin is used to improve skin clarity and texture for a younger-looking complexion and help maintain surgical facelift results for as long as possible and will provide you with beautiful skin that only enhances the confidence-boosting results of the facelift.

Surgical Facelift Recovery and Timelines

After the Surgery: A loose-fitting bandage dressing is applied to the patient. 

Week 1: Initial discomfort is controlled through oral medication. 

Week 2: Sutures from the procedure are removed. 

Week 3: Bruising and swelling have subsided significantly. Patients are also able to return to work and engage in light exercise. 

Week 4: The early results of the facelift will now become evident. 

Best Procedures Paired with a Surgical Facelift

Additional procedures to combine with a facelift can include facial treatments such as blepharoplasty, browlift, dermal fillers, botox injection and energy-based skin rejuvenation devices. During your consultation session, SpaMedica doctors can provide details regarding any of these suitable options.

Eyelid blepharoplasty surgery is one of the most common procedures to pair with a facelift, in part because both procedures share similar goals and results. Whereas a facelift is relegated to the cheeks and jowls, this procedure focuses on the eyelids. Blepharoplasty surgery can restore your youthful glow by resolving puffiness, fixing hooded eyelids, and removing wrinkles under the eyes.

Blepharoplasty, Necklift, Fractional RF (Morpheus8) and fat grafting all work with a mini facelift.

Surgical Facelift FAQ

What Can You Not Do After a Facelift?

After a surgical facelift, it is best to avoid:

  • Bending over or lifting anything heavier than 5 pounds.
  • Engaging in vigorous exercise.
  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol.
  • Children or pets bumping your face or neck.
  • Putting pressure on your neck or face when you sleep.
  • Walking into direct sunlight for the first 6 weeks.
  • Using a hot tub or sauna for the first 6 weeks.
  • Taking Aspirin, Advil, Motrin, or other pain relievers as they may cause bleeding.

Can I Drink Coffee After a Facelift?

For the first 6 weeks, it is best to avoid caffeine, as it may dramatically slow down the healing process. 

How Long Until I Can Return to My Normal Activities After Receiving a Facelift?

Depending upon the type of facelift, it is recommended that patients wait 2-3 weeks before returning to work. Also, most cosmetic plastic surgeons recommend waiting 3 weeks before engaging in moderate physical activity and 6 weeks before high impact workouts.

Can I Combine My Facelift with Other Procedures?

Surgical facelifts are typically combined with eyelid surgery to soften puffy bags below the eyes, droopy skin on the upper lid, as well as brow lifts to smooth forehead wrinkles. Liposuction for a double chin is also common.

Will the Results of My Surgical Facelift be Permanent?

At SpaMedica, results from a traditional facelift generally last for 7 -10 years. Your face should look on average 10 years younger, fresher and more natural. Once you have fully healed, the clock will start ticking again on aging, but you will be aging from a much younger starting point. Our doctors can provide you with a program to keep your face looking rejuvenated and younger after the procedure. A second facelift can also be performed once the results have faded over time.

What Type of Anesthesia Is Used in a Facelift?

To ensure patient comfort, surgeons at SpaMedica use local anesthesia with IV sedation or general anesthesia.

What is a Vampire Facelift?

A vampire facelift is a safe and non-surgical procedure that brightens skin tone, restores youth, and improves facial volume. Interestingly, the procedure uses a concentrated serum processed from your own blood. The serum is injected under the skin, where it triggers a collagen production that results in brighter, younger-looking skin.

How Painful Is It to Get a Mini Facelift?

Most people report a mild degree of discomfort around the ears, coupled with tightness. The discomfort and tightness dissipate within days.

Do I Have to Stay Overnight for a Mini Facelift?

Most patients are required to stay at SpaMedica overnight for this procedure. The SpaMedica medical team monitors patients at this time. Because patients stay overnight, they do not have to go home with dressings on the incision sites.

Does a Mini Facelift Leave Scars?

Dr. Bell places the incisions behind and within the ears. Most people won’t even notice the scars from a mini facelift.

At SpaMedica, our team of seasoned professionals ensures that this common and routine procedure repairs the signs of aging and restores a more youthful appearance. Visit our website, call us, or visit our office today to book a consultation and start your self-confidence journey.

Thomas Bell, M.D
Physician and internationally recognized cosmetic plastic surgeon and lecturer.
66 Avenue Road, Suite 4 Toronto, Ontario M5R 3N8

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