Understanding the Cost of a Facelift: Investment and Value

Dr Darren Mckeown

Published by Dr Darren McKeown

Date posted — 2.05.24


Making the decision to have a facelift is a big one. The ethics of changing your appearance – is it something I should really do – what about the downtime and the risks of having surgery. There is a lot of things to consider. And a big one of those considerations has to be, of course, how much is it going to cost.

The short answer is that you can, of course, have it done in a budget clinic either in the UK or abroad for £6000 – £7000. Most reputable clinics however with expert facelift surgeons charge in the region of £20,000 – £30,000 for a full facelift surgery, that typically includes the facelift itself as well as other cosmetic procedures like eyelid surgery or laser skin rejuvenation that may be required for a comprehensive rejuvenation. If you chose to have surgery in an expensive city, like London or New York then the costs will be higher. There are some doctors in New York and Los Angeles with big celebrity patients who even charge into the hundreds of thousands – although that doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting a technically better procedure at that level. There comes a point when you’re paying for the celebrity brand association and expensive clinic location, rather than the quality of surgery and care provided.

Key Takeaways

Understanding Facelift Surgery

The term ‘facelift’ is really an umbrella term that covers a wide range of procedures and it can mean many different things to different surgeons – and so if you simply look at facelift cost alone, then you will often be comparing apples with pears. Although most type of facelift procedure start the same way – with incisions around the ears – what happens next varies considerably from surgeon to surgeon and that’s why there can be such a big variation in facelift cost. Many surgeons use a very simple surgical technique that involve placing a few stitches into the SMAS and trimming off the excess skin. This is a very basic type of facelift procedure that can be done in as little as two hours, and so the cost of this type of facelift is a lot less than the cost of a more sophisticated type of facelift.

To achieve the best outcome – which to us means the most natural, youthful appearance, that lasts a long time – most facelift experts now agree that the deep plane technique is the best type of facelift procedure. This type of facelift involves lifting under the SMAS layer, releasing the retaining ligaments of the face, and truly repositioning the tissues. This technique involves operating in the layer where the facial nerve lives, and so this type of facelift takes much longer and is a much more technically challenging procedure to perform. The remaining skin is then simply tailored to the new underlying facial contours. A deep plane facelift in our practice can easily take 6 – 8 hours to do properly, which is why it costs more than a clinic that will rush through a more basic technique in a couple of hours.

Factors Influencing the Cost of a Facelift

The biggest factors that affect facelift cost are the type of facelift you are having and the location of where you are having your procedure performed. If you are having a deep plane facelift in an expensive city like London, New York or Los Angeles the cost may be between £40,000 and £60,000. If you chose to have a deep plane facelift by a celebrity surgeon in one of these cities it could go as high as £500,000. On the other hand, the facelift cost uk will be lower in less expensive regions outwith London for example in Scotland where the cost of a full facelift – which also includes additional procedures like eyelid surgery – will likely be more in the region of £20,000 – £35,000.

Link: Prices

Average Cost of Facelift Surgery

The facelift cost varies considerably from a few thousand pounds up to hundreds of thousands of pounds. Understanding the different types of facelift, and what you are actually paying for, is critical to ensure you know what you are getting when you chose to have surgery. The clinics that charge low prices at £5000 or £6000 typically use less advanced techniques, that can be performed quickly in a couple of hours and they usually do several procedures in a day. Most facelift experts agree this is the wrong approach. To achieve the best result, your surgeon needs to spend a lot of time carefully repositioning the tissues to making sure you get a natural result that lasts a long time. The most respected facelift experts do not perform more than one per day. For this level of expertise, you should expect to pay upwards of £20,000.

Minimally Invasive vs. Surgical Facelift Costs

Generally minimally invasive or non-surgical facelift techniques are most suitable for patients who are a bit younger – perhaps in their 40s or 50s. Or they may be older but unwilling to commit to surgery. In these cases we usually try to replace lost facial fat by restoring volume with hyaluronic acid. This can have quite a profound effect in creating a rejuvenated appearance. The cost of this, for a full face treatment, is typically around £3000 with results that are expected to last up to two years. The other minimally invasive option to rejuvenate the appearance is laser skin rejuvenation – improving the quality of the skin which can help to create a more youthful appearance. Costs of laser treatment can typically range from £1200 – £5000, depending on your individual needs. Finally, to address skin laxity – a range of skin tightening technology such as BBL SkinTite or Morpheus 8 can help improve skin elasticity and skin laxity. A course of skin tightening treatment will typically cost £1500 – £2000. Performed in combination – volume restoration, laser skin rejuvenation and skin tightening, can provide an effective and comprehensive rejuvenation for people who do not want to have surgery.

Link: Non-Surgical Facelift

Lower Face and Neck Lift: Specific Cost Considerations

Many patients request a neck lift to be performed in isolation. In some younger patients, it is possible to do this with an incision placed under the chin which allows the surgeon to remove excess fat and contour the muscles of the neck. The cost of an isolated neck lift like this is typically around £10,000. For most patients who want to lift the neck however, they normally need a face and neck lift to be able to adequately remove enough skin from the neck. If it is only the lower face and neck that bother you then a deep plane face and neck lift is the best option – without doing the ancillary procedures like eyelid surgery or laser skin rejuvenation. The cost for this type of facelift would typically be around £20,000.

Mini Facelift Costs

The concept of a mini-facelift seems appealing to many. The mini facelift will cost less so you will save money. It will have a shorter recovery time. It’s Less invasive. Less risky. However, a mini facelift also means mini results. And ironically, although it is less invasive than a deep plane facelift, the results can be less natural because it relies on tightening – rather than repositioning – the tissues, which can give a stretched or pulled look that we always want to avoid. For that reason, we do not offer mini facelift as an option in our practice. The clinics that offer mini facelifts are usually those that have less skilled facelift surgeons.

The One Stitch Facelift: A Cost-Effective Option?

The One Stitch Facelift is an attractive concept because it sounds so simple. You simply place some barbed stitches under the skin, pull everything tight, and ta-dah, you have a magically lifted face with no fuss and minimal cost. When the new generation of stitches were first launched in 2012 we were one of the first clinics in the UK to trial them. We were initially very excited by the results: patients walked out of the door very happy by the instant and miraculous lift. Unfortunately however the results simply do not last and within a matter of weeks they have usually dropped back to their original position which means that as well as being very inefficient, it also works out very expensive when you consider the cost per duration of result. We stopped offering the one stitch facelift not long after we started, as have most reputable clinics.

Link: One Stitch Facelift

The Full Facelift: Understanding Comprehensive Costs

  • Detailed look into the full facelift and its associated costs

What Does the Cost Include?

When you are quoted a fee for your procedure, you want to understand the total cost that you will pay – so you don’t get any surprises later. When we quote you for surgery, unless otherwise specified, it includes all of the following:

Surgeon’s Fee

This reflects the time that the procedure will take as well as the plastic surgeons own technique. Plastic surgeons who have dedicated the time and effort to learn the most advanced techniques will generally charge more per hour than surgeons who use more basic techniques.

Anaesthesia and medications

This includes the drugs and medications used during the procedure itself as well as any medications you may need to take away with you afterwards.

Hospital or Clinic Charge

The hospital or clinic fee will also vary according to the expertise and reputation of the clinic as well as the duration of the procedure. In general, clinics that have a well established reputation for medical excellence, taking care of their patients and only employ experienced surgeons, will charge higher rates than more commercial clinics with mixed reviews.

After care

Following your surgical procedure the aftercare is absolutely critical to ensuring you achieve the desired outcome. We see you regularly after your procedure to monitor your progress and check for any signs of problems occurring. Minor wound healing issues are common after surgery and the purpose of the attentive aftercare is to identify any issues early, whilst they are still minor, and take care of them straight away so they don’t get a chance to escalate into something bigger. All of this is reflected in the price you pay for your procedure.

Financing Your Facelift: Payment Plans and Options

Finance options are a consideration for many people. We presently don’t offer in-house finance options for surgery. However, patients are of course free to arrange their own finance agreement elsewhere to fund their surgery.

How to Budget for Your Facelift

Choosing to have a facelift is a big decision. It’s usually a once in a lifetime event that you don’t take lightly. Most of our patients therefore plan their facelift a long time in advance, and budget for it accordingly. Many of our patients chose to have their facelift as a retirement gift to themselves, and use some of their pension lump sum to fund their facelift.

  • Tips on planning and saving for a facelift

Comparing Facelift Prices: What to Look For

If you want to compare the prices of facelift surgery between different clinics and surgeons you should ask the clinics what type of facelift they perform? Ask if it is a deep plane procedure? If they do not offer a deep plane technique, they may try to use confusing language to answer your question that makes it sound like they do something similar. The best question to ask is how long the procedure takes: if they tell you 2 or 3 hours, then they are probably quoting you for a more basic facelift, like a mini facelift, that involves less work on the deeper tissues.


As with most things in life, when it comes to surgery, you get what you pay for. Making the decision to have cosmetic surgery is a big deal, and you should not rush into it. If you cannot afford to have the best care right now, then it is better to hold off and save longer to get it done properly the first time round. If it doesn’t work out the first time, then revision surgery is not only more difficult and less likely to be successful, it’s also more expensive – that’s before you consider the psychological impact of the unsatisfactory primary surgery.

  • Recap of key points
  • Encouragement to consult with a professional for personalized advice

Facelift Cost – FAQ’s

  • Common questions and answers regarding facelift costs

How long does a face lift last?

The results of your facelift are permanent. When the excess skin and tissue has been removed, your face will always have less tissue excess than if you never had the procedure. However, just because you have reduced excess now – doesn’t mean that your face and neck won’t continue to age in the future, and so it is likely that you will want other cosmetic procedures to help maintain the results. If you plan to have a repeat facelift in the future, it would be rare to do this in under 10 years.

What is the best age to have a facelift?

There is no best age to have a facelift. Most of our patients chose to have their facelift surgery in their 50s or 60s. We aim to make the facelift surgery a once in a lifetime event, so if you do it too soon, then the changes are that you will need to repeat the surgery at a later date. Equally, you don’t want to leave it too late into your 70s and beyond, when general health may not be as good for the recovery process.

Who should not get a facelift?

You shouldn’t get a facelift if you are too young. Although some surgeons advocate operating as early as the 20s, most younger patients have signs of the ageing process that can be effectively treated with much less invasive and less expensive options. You should also not have a facelift if you think it will make you look like your daughter. Although most patients look much better after their facelift, they tend to look well and rested for their age rather than 20 years younger. Understanding that, and having realistic expectations on that front, is key to successful outcome that you are happy with.

How many years does a facelift make you look younger?

You will often hear doctors tell you that a facelift takes 10 years off you. In all honesty, if you look carefully at the before and after photographs, most patients look much better afterwards, but still roughly a similar age range. You might go from looking like an exhausted 55 year old to someone living their best life and a really good looking 50-something. Although many of the features of ageing – such as loose skin – can be corrected with a surgical procedure, the ageing of the human face is very complicated and involves changes to the shape of our facial bones and even our skull, so that the human eye can still roughly work out a persons true age – even if they look really good for it!

Dr Darren Mckeown

Dr Darren McKeown

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