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Facelift (Rhytidectomy)

Deep wrinkles and sagging skin on the face can distract from your features and cause you to look much older than you feel.

Dr. Robert Singer combines artistry and innovation with experience and in-depth training​ to achieve incredible facelift results.

Discover if facelift surgery at our La Jolla, CA, surgical center is right for you...

Artistry, Compassion, Experience, Safety, Training and Innovation

One Year after Facelift Surgery, The Majority of Patients Love Their Results!

The Importance of Choosing a Reputable Plastic Surgeon

Plastic surgery is the fusion of art and science and refining the face requires an approach that is individualized, studied, and measured.

To sculpt the face through plastic surgery requires an approach that is individualized, studied, and measured. Achieving the most appropriate result for each face requires the ability to evaluate the facial anatomy and then to apply scientific principles, skill, and artistry.

Dr. Robert Singer is known worldwide for his expertise and skill within the field of cosmetic surgery. He has performed thousands of facelifts over the years for patients desiring a more defined, youthful appearance. Our incredible results have made Dr. Singer and our practice the success that is today. Patients from San Diego and around the world come to Dr. Singer's La Jolla, CA, surgical center because they value the very finest results. To find out if you are a good candidate for plastic surgery, message our office online, or call:

(858) 455-0290

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"I can't thank Dr. Singer enough for his professional artistic abilities..."


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Dr. Singer is the most professional, caring, and knowledgeable plastic surgeon in the world. His staff is the best I have ever dealt with. Dr. Singer has done all of my plastic surgery and my results have been amazing. I would not use any other plastic surgeon. Dr. Singer actually cares for his patients. He listens to your needs and I have never sat for hours in his waiting room like other doctors. Always punctual. They make you feel like family. I give Dr. Singer 100 stars.

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I can't thank Doctor Robert Singer enough for his professional artistic abilities. If I could, I would have added several more stars to his rating... Thank you Doctor Singer for making the surgery look so natural and to your staff for their professional care, their compassion, and the personal attention that was shown towards me and my husband.

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Rhytidectomy Techniques

Facelift techniques have evolved significantly over the past 15 years. Prior generations of facelift operations tightened only the skin and ignored important principles of aging and facial structure. Unfortunately, tightening only the skin produced distortions of the facial features and often resulted in an unnatural, flattened, wind-blown, pulled look, as well as a shorter length of efficacy.
Woman's face with lines to indicate facelift surgery results

​Traditional Facelift

A traditional facelift more comprehensively addresses excess fat and sagging skin for patients with moderate to severe signs of aging. The goal of the procedure is to correct deep facial wrinkles, sagging skin, and the muscle layer under the cheeks and other areas of the face. 

Woman's face with lines to indicate facelift surgery results

Mid or ​Mini Facelift

For patients with less serious concerns, usually under the age of 50, we might use a “mini” facelift technique. By focusing on the central third of the face, the procedure is designed to correct sagging skin between the eyes and upper lip. A mini facelift is less invasive, involves shorter incisions, and typically has a quicker recovery period. Also known as a "mid" or "maintenance" facelift, the procedure may be recommended to freshen the results of a prior surgery.

Woman's face with lines to indicate facelift surgery results

Multi-Vector Facelift Surgery

Facelift techniques have evolved significantly over the past 15 years. Prior generations of facelift operations tightened only the skin and ignored important principles of aging and facial structure. Dr. Singer performs a modern multi-vector facelift that addresses the underlying support for more natural-looking, long-lasting results. The supporting deeper tissue – the SMAS (superficial muscular aponeurotic system) – is tightened, lifting the underlying muscle layers of the cheek and the neck. The fat in the cheek is also contoured into an improved position or sculpted if it is excessive.

Our advanced techniques produce incredibly natural-looking effects. 

See the difference for yourself...

Before and after facelift surgery Before and after facelift surgery
We were able to address wrinkled, sagging skin on this patient's cheeks and other concerns.
"Dr. Singer does the most natural looking facelift I have ever seen, and I was extremely satisfied with my results. The care I received from Dr. Singer and his staff after the procedure was exceptional..." Linda Wilson

Procedure Timeline

There is no single technique and no universal facelift. Instead, Dr. Singer will use a mixture of techniques to address your unique concerns and goals.

Dr. Singer will perform the entire Facelift surgical procedure which can take 90 minutes to six hours depending on the patient. Dr. Singer's focus will be on the success of the surgery, not in how fast he can complete the procedure. Here is a general outline for the facelift procedure at our La Jolla, CA, surgical center...

We make no compromises when it comes to the quality of our procedures and the level of our patient care.
We make no compromises when it comes to the quality of our procedures and the level of our patient care.


During a facelift consultation, Dr. Singer will listen to your desires and expectations for your procedure. He will then evaluate your anatomy and physical appearance to create a custom treatment plan that best suits your needs.


At our AAAASF-accredited (American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities) private operating facility, you will be taken care of by thoroughly trained personnel, including carefully selected, experienced, board-certified anesthesiologists. Most of our facelift patients are given a twilight anesthetic, allowing them to sleep while breathing on their own, but usually not requiring deeper general anesthesia.


Incisions are strategically placed along the hairline and the curves around the ear to minimize the chance of visible scarring after your recovery. Depending on your treatment plan, Dr. Singer may make additional incisions to address other areas.

Facial Contouring

Excess fat may be redistributed or removed from the face and neck to eliminate jowls and sagging. The underlying tissue is repositioned and the facial muscles are tightened. The skin is then redraped over the contours of your face, and loose tissue is trimmed away.

Begin Recovery

Finally, Dr. Singer will close the incisions in the hairline and other areas with sutures. We may place a small tube under the skin behind your ear to help drain any excess fluid. While the procedure can be done on an outpatient basis (as long as a responsible adult is available to stay with you after surgery), we sometimes recommend you stay a night in the adjacent Scripps Memorial La Jolla hospital. We can also arrange for a private duty nurse to stay with you, as you will need hands-on assistance for at least 48 hours after surgery.

Post-Op Care

You will need help driving and performing many physical activities in the first week following the operation. Usually, you will return to the office the next day to be evaluated and then again to have your drains taken out, generally two days after the surgery. We will see you several times in the next two weeks to check progress and remove sutures - this does not hurt. Some are removed five to six days after the surgery, and the remainder at 12 to 14 days.

Let Dr. Singer Explain the Process Himself...

Superior Individualized Care

We make no compromises when it comes to the quality of procedures and the level of patient care. Our surgical center is located at the heart of beautiful sunny San Diego, right next to the first-rate Scripps Memorial Hospital. Dr. Singer and our compassionate, dedicated staff ensure you receive individualized, attentive care every step of the way.

Dr. Singer remains at the forefront of innovative surgical techniques, providing nothing less than the best work for our valued patients.  Schedule a consultation at our La Jolla, CA, practice today. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and design a custom treatment plan for you. You can contact us online, or call:

(858) 455-0290

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 My results were very natural and I couldn't be happier!!


Elizabeth P.


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Dr. Singer did an amazing job with my surgery.  My recovery went well because of the special care he and his office provided.  My scarring is minimal and the fees for what I had done were very reasonable.  I am very happy with choosing Dr. Singer.  I now have been visiting his office for medical grade facials and I am loving it.

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Dr. Singer is exceptionality skilled and very professional. My results were very natural and I couldn't be happier!! The staff and nurses always make you feel like family and are always there to answer questions or concerns.
Highly recommend!!

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Alternative Options

If you are not ready for facelift surgery, there are non-invasive, temporary procedures to rejuvenate your face. These include custom supervised skin care plans, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser treatments, and fillers and other injectables such as Restylane®Juvéderm, Dysport®, or BOTOX treatment.

It is important to understand that non-surgical treatments do not have the same longevity and dramatic results as a well-performed face, neck, or eyelid surgery. They may be very suitable for certain patients in need of less enhancement, however, the results are usually temporary.

Nothing Can Match The Amazing Results of a Facelift 

Before facelift
After facelift

What to Expect after Facelift Surgery

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When will I see results?

While you will see some of the results almost instantly, it is important to be aware that it can take up to a year for your scars to completely heal. It may take two to three months for the face to feel "back to normal" in the sense of its sensitivity, color, and skin tightness.

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How long do the effects last?

The results will vary from person-to-person. Most patients can expect their results to last between eight and 12 years. The length of time that patients enjoy a satisfactory improvement after a facelift depends on many factors including genetics and the quality of their skin. As you age, and develop normal additional signs of aging, a maintenance facelift or secondary procedure can be performed.

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How do I extend my results?

Continued sun damage can speed the aging process and we sometimes see this issue in our patients living in sunny San Diego. Take good care of your skin by wearing hats and sunscreen, properly moisturizing, and practicing ongoing skin care provided by our trained estheticians.  

Why Choose Dr. Singer?

Dr. Singer has the respect of his peers and patients across San Diego, the surrounding Southern California area, nationally, and internationally. He has the reputation of being the most experienced and highly acclaimed facelift surgeon in the San Diego area. He has helped thousands of San Diego residents with an eye for balance and beauty and the skills of an artist.

Dr. Singer is certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He has been engaged in private practice in the La Jolla area of San Diego since 1976 and is now an internationally recognized plastic surgeon

Looking for more comprehensive treatment?

Combining Plastic Surgeries

Are you unhappy with bags under your eyes or lines in the brow area? Dr. Singer is happy to perform additional procedures in conjunction with your facelift for a more comprehensive streamlined treatment. Many of our patients in the greater San Diego region and beyond opt to combine their facelift surgery with injectables like BOTOX Cosmetic or Juvéderm, or another facial procedure like eyelid surgery. You might want to consider:

Advantages of  Multi-Treatment Plans

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Reduced Cost

Combining treatments can be financially beneficial because you only undergo anesthesia and surgery once, therefore reducing the cost of the operating room and surgical supplies.

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Less Downtime

In addition, you minimize downtime by only having one recovery period following a single comprehensive surgery.

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Dramatic Results 

If your goals for cosmetic surgery include more dramatic enhancement, combining treatments will more effectively achieve the results you are looking for. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What can a facelift do?

A facelift can turn back the clock, but will not stop the process of aging. The length of time the improvement is acceptable before any additional surgery may be considered varies with each person. However, most people can expect their results to last between eight and twelve years.

Heredity is important. If your parents aged slowly, you probably will, too. Your diet, general health, time spent in the sun, smoking, weight gains and losses, emotional traumas, and type of skin will all play a role in determining how long the improvement will last. For many men and women, a rhinoplasty can improve the shape of the nose, while eyelid surgery, forehead lift, dermabrasion, micro-fat grafts, skin rejuvenation, or cheek and chin implantation can enhance the results achieved by the facelift.

In some cases, a partial limited incision facelift (mini-lift) or a neck lift may be all that is required to restore a natural more elegant and youthful contour to the face.

Are there alternatives to a facelift?

There are a variety of procedures which claim to replace a facelift, but in reality do not. Fillers, Dysport or Botox, peels, laser treatments, and radio-frequency all may improve appearance in some patients. We incorporate some of them at the Singer Surgical Centre in our options of treatments, but they do not produce the same long standing result of a well performed natural appearing facelift. They provide a lesser degree of improvement, the results are usually temporary, and in the long run may be more expensive.

Many of the claims of alternatives to a facelift are scientifically unsubstantiated. There are no “facelifts in a bottle”. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Am I too young (or old) for a facelift?

Most patients who seek a facelift are 40+ years old. However, if a patient has substantial loose skin of the face and or neck at a younger age, they can undergo a more limited variation of this procedure. Unfortunately, if a patient’s skin elasticity has diminished too much during the aging process, he or she may get a significant improvement, but not an ideal result, nor will it be as long lasting as in the patient with better elasticity.

How long before I can resume normal activities after my facelift?

This will depend on the individual. Most people are able to return to work between 10 and 14 days after their surgery even though some residual swelling and bruising may take up to three weeks to disappear. You should refrain from any strenuous activities for at least three weeks. Strenuous activities or exercise before that time will increase the risk of bleeding, swelling, and bruising. Sun exposure should also be avoided during that time. Your return to your normal activities is more determined by swelling and bruising and by your personal feelings about how you want to look as you resume social activities. A lot of the swelling will be resolved within eight to ten days, which is when most patients resume more normal limited activities. Bruising generally resolves in 2-3 weeks but it can be fairly easily covered with make-up prior to total resolution. Many patients prefer to wait until the bruising has disappeared before attending any major social events, or if they want to look their best before being seen by their friends.

How much pain will I have?

Most patients who have facelift surgery say they are surprised at how mild the discomfort is that they experience. Patients more typically complain of tightness from swelling or a pulling sensation under the chin or in the temple area. Understandably, after any surgical procedure, some discomfort can be expected and pain tolerance varies from patient to patient. Patients are provided with prescriptions for pain medication. Many patients use the prescription medication 2-5days after surgery and then switch to Extra Strength Tylenol. It is uncommon for patients to report extreme pain after surgery.

Can I do anything to prevent bruising?

Most patents will have some bruising. You can minimize bruising by following instructions and using Arnica 1-2 days before and after surgery.

How long does healing take?

Most patients look reasonably good at 2-3 weeks, but subtlely improve over months. It takes a year to see the final results.

What Are the Facelift Postoperative Instructions?

You should expect:

  • Moderate swelling, bruising, and bloodshot eyes that may last for about two to three weeks. Don’t be concerned if blood appears on your bandage, especially behind the ears.
  • Sensations of tightness, which subside slowly over several days to weeks.
  • Intermittent sensations of tingling, burning, and itching behind or on your ears. These also subside over several weeks. Numbness of the cheeks and neck that gradually improves over several months.

Call: (858) 455 0290 if you have:

  • Severe pain that doesn’t respond to medication.
  • Significant swelling, and/or unrelenting pain which occurs more on one side than the other.
  • Bandages that become too tight.
  • Any other problems or questions.

Activity: You should “take it easy” the day of your operation and the following days. Sleep on your back for two weeks, elevating your upper body on two or three pillows. By keeping your head elevated above your heart, swelling can be minimized. Because of your medications, you may need assistance getting to and from the bathroom for the first day.

Medications: Take the medications we’ve prescribed according to the instructions on the bottle. You may feel a little drowsy, so have someone help you. If you need a refill, call the office and give us the telephone number of your drugstore or pharmacy. Do not take aspirin for five days after your surgery.

Pain: Most patients feel that the discomfort from this surgery is minimal. The greatest period of discomfort usually lasts about twenty four to forty eight hours. Thereafter, you should have less discomfort and less need for medication. Occasionally, it lasts a little longer.

Smoking: Do not smoke for two weeks after surgery.

Alcohol: Do not drink alcohol for five days after surgery

Driving: You may drive after five days.

Diet: Start with liquids (fruit juice, milk shakes with Carnation Instant Breakfast, etc.) the first day then for the remainder of the first week progress to soft foods (pudding, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, oatmeal, pasta) that do not require much chewing, restricting salt and artificial sweeteners.. To prevent dehydration, please drink as much juices and nutritional fluid as possible.

Hair: You may wash your hair after the dressing is removed. We suggest that you wash it in a shower with ordinary shampoo. You may dry it with a towel, or blow dry it with a cool dryer. Do not use a hot hair dryer, electric rollers, or curling irons for three weeks following surgery. Do not color or bleach your hair for three weeks after surgery, or until you are completely healed.

Makeup: You may apply makeup when the bandages are removed, keeping the makeup away from the incisions for two weeks.

Sun: Do not sit in the sun at all for three weeks after surgery. If the incisions are exposed, apply sunscreen for six months.

Sports: Strenuous sports such as golf, tennis, swimming, bowling, jogging, aerobics, jazzercise, or bicycling may be resumed after three weeks. Refrain from any activity that significantly raises your body temperature, and/or blood pressure for three weeks after surgery. This includes hot tubbing, sexual relations, and brisk walking.

Work: Depending on the kind of work you do, you may return to your job as soon as you are comfortable.

Postoperative visits: The day after surgery: If the procedure is to be performed as an outpatient, you will be seen at our Centre. If you are hospitalized, you will be seen there. You will be examined at this time. Subsequent visits: They will be determined by your progress. The drains are removed one to two days after surgery. The dressing is removed three to five days after. Some of the stitches will be removed four or five days after surgery, the remainder at about two weeks.

This does not hurt. A consultation will be provided by our cosmetologist at no charge to you.

You will feel more comfortable using the private waiting room for your initial postoperative visits.


Dr. Robert Singer

Robert Singer, M.D.

Dr. Robert Singer is a board-certified plastic surgeon and former President and Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Aesthetic Society who gives his patients life-changing results. His technical mastery and artistic sensibilities have helped thousands of patients achieve natural-looking rejuvenation through facelifts and other complex procedures. Dr. Singer is a member of several prestigious organizations, including:

  • Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation, Founder and Prior President
  • QUAD A, Prior President
  • San Diego Plastic Surgery Society, Prior President
  • California Society of Plastic Surgeons, Prior President
  • Chosen by his peers as the inaugural visiting professor of California Society of Plastic Surgeons (CSPS) for all academic plastic surgery programs in California: UC Davis, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, Loma Linda University, Stanford University, UC Irvine and USC
  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Prior Chairman of the Board of Trustees
  • International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, Member of numerous task forces including Patient Safety
  • American College of Surgeons 

To discover what Dr. Singer can do for you, request your consultation online or call his plastic surgery practice at (858) 455-0290.

Contact Dr. Robert Singer

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La Jolla Office

9834 Genesee Avenue
Ste 100
La Jolla, CA 92037

Open Today 8:30am - 5:00pm

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