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A face lift, or rhytidectomy, is a very common procedure to remove all of the most visible signs from the head and neck areas. This procedure can have profound results in facial rejuvenation.

If you would like to remove the most visible signs of aging from the most visible of areas, this surgery just might be the right choice for you so that you can achieve the results of looking your absolute best.  Are you someone who finds yourself bothered by various signs of aging? Would you like to remove all of the sagging in the midfacial region? Tired of watching those creases below the lower eyelids become deeper and deeper by the day?

The surgery is designed to address those problems and more. The deep creases that have formed along the nose that are slowly making their way to the corners of the mouth can be addressed. The fatty deposits and loose skin that collect beneath the jaw and chin are removed as well.


There are other approaches for the patients to consider as well.  A brow lift can work wonders when it comes to correcting a brow that has started to experience deeper furrowing or even sagging.  Additionally, eyelid surgeries are available to those who are in search of the best way to rejuvenate their aging eyes.

These procedures can be performed at the same time as your surgery in order to further enhance the results of facial rejuvenation. However, there are several important factors to keep in mind.

Facelift Before and After

To find out if facial rejuvenation in Santa Barbara is right for you, contact Dr. Sheffield at (805) 318-3280 to discuss a customized treatment plan.

• It is important to realize a few things about the procedure before meeting with the medical professionals responsible for their surgery. For starters, it is not designed to provide a fundamental change to your personal appearance.

• Secondly, this surgery is not going to be able to stop the aging process. If non-surgical approaches are available, then they will be presented. It is important to note that if the non-invasive options do not achieve the desired results of the patient, then surgery may be the only option that will provide the results the patient seeks to achieve.

While there are non-surgical procedures available to various patients, these procedures are simply unable to offer the same level of results that surgery can provide. In certain instances, the non-surgical procedure could serve as a way for the patient to defer a surgical procedure for a period of time.

These delays are necessary at times and the non-surgical options are often utilized as a means of complimenting a surgical procedure but may delay the time at which a facelift is necessary and can also compliment the results of a surgical procedure.


Patients will have the opportunity to schedule a consultation before any procedures actually take place and at this time, they can ask any and all questions that they may have about the process. Once the consultation begins, patients will have to chance to sit down with Dr. Sheffield and discuss their personal goals and objectives for the procedure. He will then present a customized treatment plan.

Dr. Sheffield is here to help and patients must provide him with any pieces of pertinent information that have to do with their procedure. The consultation meeting is the perfect time to divulge anything that he is going to need to know to ensure safety and the best possible results.

Patients need to be making sure that they are taking the time to make Dr. Sheffield fully aware of their preexisting medical conditions. If the patient is currently going through any additional medical treatments, these need to be shared with the doctor. The same goes for any current use of medication that is taking place.

Each and every one of the options available will be discussed by Dr. Sheffield. This allows the patients to have a better idea of what to expect prior to scheduling facial rejuvenation. A facelift procedure can often raise a number of questions and concerns for each patient.

As a result, we provide patients with a full evaluation of their current health status. If there any preexisting conditions that may need to consider, we will take the time to have a closer look at those as well.

Dr. Sheffield will also be sure to have a full discussion with the patient about the most likely outcomes when it comes to their procedure. Any potential complications or risk factors that are associated with the procedure are also discussed in full.

Facelift Before and After


The patient is going to be given the specific instructions that they need for success by Dr. Sheffield before the procedure takes place. He is here to offer the instructions that will make the difference between a good procedure and a great one.

There are certain guidelines that the patient must adhere to as far as their preparation process is concerned. Eating and drinking are going to be discussed at length so that the patient is completely prepared for the big day. If the patient is a smoker, guidelines are going to be offered for this habit.

Patients who rely on medications and vitamins will be given very specific instructions on how they are supposed to be preparing for their surgery. In order for the surgery to go as smoothly as possible, the following instructions need to be followed to the letter:

Smokers are going to need to make some major changes to their lifestyle if they wish to get the most out of their surgical procedure. Patients who smoke will need to cease these actions well before the procedure is actually going to take place. It is imperative for a patient to stop smoking at least two to three weeks before the surgery takes place.

To find out if rhytidectomy in Santa Barbara is right for you, contact Dr. Sheffield at (805) 318-3280 to discuss a customized treatment plan.

This is a critical aspect because the act of smoking is incredibly damaging to the skin and will interfere with the results of the procedure. Smoking keeps the blood flow from being able to make its way to the skin in the manner that it is supposed to. As a result, the healing of the patient’s incision areas may be adversely affected. Even a patient who stops smoking may still be at increased risk.

Additionally, you will need to arrange for a ride home after your surgery, whether you have chosen to receive the procedure on an outpatient or inpatient basis. You may also need additional care from a friend or loved one in the days that follow.


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The facial rejuvenation procedure can be performed in a hospital, outpatient surgical center or the surgeon’s own office based facility. These surgeries are typically offered on an outpatient basis. There may be some instances where the surgeons elect to hospitalize patients for 24 hours after the surgical procedure has taken place because of the use of general anesthesia.

Patients with certain medical conditions could need to be monitored as well. If the patient is a diabetic or someone with high blood pressure, they could require a short inpatient stay.


Medications will be administered for the patient’s comfort when their surgical procedure is underway. General anesthesia and intravenous sedation are available. The doctor is able to recommend the best choice for your needs.


The surgical process will take several hours and the total amount of time spent will depend on the number and types of procedures being performed. If the rhytidectomy is especially extensive, the surgeon may choose to spread out the procedures over two sessions. Each surgeon has their own approach. Some plastic surgeons may move back and forth between each side of the face and others complete one side before moving onto the next. The sequence of events and the incision placement will be decided according to the surgeon’s technique and your facial structure.

Facelift Before and After


The type of surgery depends on the changes the patient desires to make to the facial area. Limited incision face lifts, neck lifts, and traditional face lifts are available.

Traditional incisions start at the temples or hairline and continue around the ear before ending at the lower scalp. The face, neck, and jowls are re-sculptured and the underlying tissue is re-positioned. Muscles and deeper facial layers can also be lifted.

The excess skin is removed and the necessary skin is draped over the patient’s newly uplifted contours and excess skin is trimmed away. An aging neck may require an additional incision. The incisions are typically closed with skin adhesives.

Traditional Rhytidectomy: An Alternative to the traditional rhytidectomy is available. Shorter incisions are made at the temples before the surgeon continues around the ear and concludes under the upper lip.

Limited Incision: Neck lifts are used to correct sagging in the jowls or neck again. This incision will typically begin at the earlobe front and snake around the ear before ended at the lower scalp.

Neck Lift: Incisions are performed below the chin and often behind the ears depending on the specific technique. The platysma muscle is tightened.  Excess fat and skin are trimmed away. Remaining skin and tissue is positioned carefully and sewn closed.


Rhytidectomy incisions are concealed from view. They are hidden within the natural contours of the face and ear and within the hairline.


Patients may need a drain tube and they will also have a light bandage. Once the bandages are removed, the drain tube is taken out. In a week to 10 days, sutures in the hair are taken out. Most swelling will conclude within the first two weeks.  The post-op effects are more pronounced once bruising and swelling subside. The final result should help you feel more confident about yourself and restore your appearance.  Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding excess sun exposure are key elements to continue as you move forward.


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mini facelift

Mini Face Lift Surgery

This procedure is often used with patients who are looking for facial rejuvenation and a refreshed look but without the cost and down time associated with a full face lift. It’s features include enhancing the jawline, lifting the neckline and generally restoring the face’s youthful appearance. The resulting enhancement give patients a more rested and vibrant look. Dr. Sheffield is a facial rejuvenation expert who transforms his patients and restores their natural beauty.

Understanding the Procedure

It is a less invasive surgery and can be used in conjunction with other procedures such as upper blepharoplasty and brow lift. A mini face lift also has many distinct features when compared to a traditional counterpart such as smaller incisions, decreased swelling, minimal bruising and a quicker recovery time. Because it is a modified procedure, the shorter incisions are possible and more easily concealed allowing patients more freedom in hair styling. Additionally, the facial skin is only pulled back slightly and the resulting in a non-operated look restoring a more youthful appearance.


The surgery can be performed in two to three hours unless other procedures are being performed concurrently which may require more time. Dr. Sheffield will perform the surgical procedure under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. Because it is a less invasive surgery, patients can resume light daily activities and are usually able to return to work in about a week. Patients should refrain from more strenuous activities for about two weeks. During the recovery period, most patients do not experience major pain or discomfort, but patients can take medication prescribed by Dr. Sheffield on an as needed basis.

Am I a Candidate?

Most procedures are performed on women and men between the ages of 40 and 50.  Patients are generally seeking minor facial rejuvenation rather needing a complete procedure. Some of the aspects of concern include jowls, skin laxity along the jawline and sometimes wrinkles in the lower face region. Generally, this surgery can address all of these aesthetics concerns, but if there is sagging or excess droopy skin, a full facelift may be required. Additionally, brow lift and upper blepharoplasty are procedures often used in combination with this surgery.

This surgical procedure is particularly effective for younger patients in Santa Barbara who possess good skin elasticity. The benefits of this procedure include:

• Reduced incisions
• Little scarring
• Less bleeding
• Decreased numbness
• Faster recovery


This is a plastic surgery procedure to improve and correct several different regions of the neck and face. This procedure allows for the proper elevation of the patient’s midface (also known as the checks), an increased amount of neck definition and improvement to the jowls on the lower portion of the face. In the neck region, the platysmal bands are the areas of focus. The sagging skin is lifted as a result of the procedure. This surgery is not designed to correct any issues that are taking place in the upper portion of the face. Patients looking to remedy this area may consider a brow lift instead. Fat transfers can be used by Dr. Sheffield in order to fill the areas that are in need of assistance and to provide further augmentation that face lifts cannot provide. The texture and quality of the skin is not an aspect that is improved by this procedure. Alternatively, Dr. Sheffield often recommends certain skin resurfacing techniques instead such as micro needling. A medium depth peel may also work well in these instances.
Dr. Sheffield believes that the ideal candidate is one who is beginning to show the signs of aging. The most common question that is asked of Dr. Sheffield in these instances has to do with age. Specifically, patients want to know if the procedure should take place when they are older or younger. Dr. Sheffield once believed that it was the best interests of the patient to wait until they had reached a certain age before receiving a rhytidectomy. Over the course of time, his experience has taught him that patients actually benefit from receiving surgery when they are younger so that they can receive better results. The more youthful the patient is, the more attributes are available for optimal results. Since the skin possesses a higher level of elasticity when the patient is younger, it will conform to the neck and face muscles more easily. There are no magic numbers to share but the average patient’s face tends to show noticeable signs of the aging process by the time they reach the age of 50.
Facial rejuvenation is not going to be able to put a stop to the process of aging. This procedure cannot be used as a means of changing the skin’s texture or quality. What a facelift can do is provide the patient with a more rested and youthful appearance. Patients will usually ask Dr. Sheffield to let them know how much younger they are going to look. He is quick to remind patients that this procedure can allow them to look at least ten years younger or more.
Dr. Sheffield is more than happy to meet with patients when the consultation process is taking place. He takes the time and effort to get to know each patient on a more personal level so that the best plan can be chosen for each patient. From there, the patient is also examined so that he can learn more about the patient’s specific age-related concerns. Dr. Sheffield also provides a full gallery of before and after photos from past procedure so that his patients know exactly what to expect going forward. Once all of the information has been collected, Dr. Sheffield offers patients the necessary recommendations and explains the entire process in detail so that there is no confusion about the techniques being used. He firmly believes that patients who undergo procedures of this nature should always know exactly what will take place. They will also need to know the how’s and why’s of the procedure. Once this step has been completed, Dr. Sheffield takes the time to properly explain the type of anesthesia that the anesthesiologist is going to be relying on. The entirety of the process is explained and no steps are left out. Our patient care coordinator will walk the patient through the process of scheduling the procedure.
These procedures are performed in a facility that is certified by the AAAASF. Only anesthesiologists that have been board certified are allowed to perform the surgery.
One of Dr. Sheffield’s strongest held beliefs is that only anesthesiologists who have received board certification should be providing anesthesia to patients who are in an office setting. These surgical procedures are performed with the use of general anesthesia or IV sedation. A board-certified anesthesiologist will evaluate each patient and decide what the safest course of action should be. However, in our office, all procedures are perfromed using local anesthesia. This reduced risk, recovery time and the cost of the procedure.
Dr. Sheffield uses the deep plane rhytidectomy technique. This technique is preferred because it allows the patient’s neck to become smoother and tighter. The results will appear to be all natural. To start the procedure, liposuction must take place. A small incision is made behind the patient’s chin. There are some patients who may not need this procedure. Patients who receive this incision are able to enjoy the benefits of tighter neck muscles once the incision is made a bit larger. The neck becomes more contoured as a result. Incisions are made by the ears. Because of the post-tragal fashion in which these incisions are made, this allows for them to remain hidden and they are imperceptible once the healing process takes place. Facial muscles are elevated and tightened as well. Small stitches are used to drape, trim and close the skin.
The typical surgery takes roughly three to four hours.
Dr. Sheffield is able to place the incisions in areas that allow for them to become imperceptible after the healing process is complete. The tiny cartilage just in front of the patient’s ear is the location he chooses. Incisions are also made inside of the crease. By using this method, patients avoid unsightly scars in their hairline. Dr. Sheffield avoids using hairline incisions for this specific reason.
Scars take place any time an incision is made. That being said, the scars that take place during this procedure cannot be seen. Dr. Sheffield’s scars are typically invisible because of the placement that he chooses. No tension is placed on the skin and tiny stitches are used to close the incision.
The majority of Dr. Sheffield’s patients do not experience any pain. Every patient is different and some could experience a mild form of pain. Medication is prescribed to any patient who is experiencing discomfort.
Patients will need assistance back at home for at least 48 hours after surgery. Patients are urged to arrange for help from friends and loved ones.
Patients need to know that this process is much easier than they think it is going to be. These surgeries are ambulatory and this allows a patient to return home on the same day as the procedure. A bandage dressing is used and the patient must sleep with their head elevated for the first night. The morning after the facelift has been completed; the patient will visit Dr. Sheffield’s office. At this time, the dressing is removed and the patient receives instant relief. After five days have passed, the patient returns to the office. The tiny stitches in front of the ear and beneath the chin are removed. Once this visit is complete, much of the swelling will have subsided and bruising should also begin to recede. Another visit is scheduled ten days later. Dr. Sheffield removes all stitches that have been placed behind the ears. At the fourteen day mark, patients can resume their normal work/school schedule. Three weeks after the surgery, exercise regimens can be resumed as well.
The majority of Dr. Sheffield’s patients resume work within fourteen days.
Dr. Sheffield’s patients resume their exercise routine within three weeks.
The stitches that are placed in front of the ear and beneath the chin are removed by Dr. Sheffield five days after the procedure has been completed. The stitches behind the ears are removed ten days after.
This can happen in only in the rarest of occurrences. Dr. Sheffield’s level of attention to detail keeps such issues from taking place. However, it is important to note that unexpected problems can occur when it comes to any surgical procedure. Scarring, bleeding, poor healing, infections and nerve injury are a few of the potential risks. These will all be discussed with the patient extensively during the consultation process.
While the results of the procedure will certainly stay with the patient forever, it does not stop the aging process from continuing to progress. A patient is always going to look younger after a rhytidectomy has taken place than they did before. Since the aging process is different for each patient, it is hard to say how long the results are going to last for.

Click below to learn more about other Cosmetic procedures and Facial Rejuvenation.

Brow Lift


Neck Lift

Mini Facelift

Upper Eyelid Surgery

Lower Eyelid Surgery

Next to Mini Facelift

Interested in knowing about your face lift options?  Whether you are thinking about having cosmetic surgery, a non-surgical procedure or have had prior surgery and are seeking additional touch-ups, it is critical to work with a skilled plastic surgeon that specializes in facial procedures. Dr. Robert Sheffield is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon at SB Aesthetics offering services to those in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, Oxnard and Ventura, CA, and the surrounding communities.  Dr. Sheffield offers patients a customized treatment plan and is available to answer your questions. To schedule a consultation, call 805.318.3280 today.


If you are considering plastic surgery in Santa Barbara, CA, or anywhere around Santa Barbara County, contact us to schedule a one-on-one consultation with top plastic surgeon Dr. Sheffield

601 E Arrellaga St #101, Santa Barbara, CA 93103

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