A natural, timeless result

A traditional or standard facelift does not stop or halt the aging process but instead turns back the clock by addressing the more visible signs of aging, including skin laxity, fat accumulation, and weakening of the underlying facial musculature. By addressing these areas and redraping the overlying skin, a natural, more youthful result is obtained. Dr. Moses’s goal with facelift surgery, and truly any facial rejuvenation procedure, is a natural, timeless result.

Facelift & Necklift Procedures at Palmetto Facial Plastics

Dr. Helen Moses helping a patient look at herself in a mirror while smiling
smiling woman sitting on a couch with a notepad and pen

All about facelift surgery

Historically, a traditional full facelift (rhytidectomy) was the only option to surgically address the signs of facial aging. Currently, the numerous facelifting techniques available allow individual surgeons to customize facelift procedures to more discreetly and more accurately address the individual patient’s areas of concern. With more options available for facial rejuvenation, Dr. Moses, guided by the concerns of each individual patient, carefully curates a plan to obtain a result that more closely realigns one’s inward image with the outward reflection to provide a natural, timeless result. A facelift may also be combined with other procedures to further attend to additional areas of concern; this includes eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), liposuction, CO2 laser skin resurfacing, and chin augmentation, to name a few.

    What To Expect


    Pre-Operative Visit

    Surgery Arrival

    During the Procedure


    Follow-Up Care



    If you are considering a facelift, you can discuss your aesthetic goals with Dr. Helen Moses at Palmetto Facial Plastics. She will evaluate your facial condition and advise if facelift surgery is ideal for rejuvenating your look. Additionally, during the consultation visit, a full medical history, including prior surgeries, allergies, and medications as well as photo imaging are obtained. Instructions for the proposed facelift procedure are then provided.

    Pre-Operative Visit

    Dr. Moses employs the most advanced surgical techniques to achieve remarkably natural results, never overdone, over-pulled, or obvious. Dr. Moses’s years of training and extensive experience with nationally acclaimed facelift surgeons allow her to deliver a result that 'everyone will notice, but no one will know.' Prior to surgery, patients return for at least one more visit (the “pre-op” visit) to revisit your goals for surgery, review your photos as well as medical history and any changes. During this visit, you will be provided any prescriptions for medications that may be necessary during the post-operative period as well as your surgical recovery kit. The pre-operative visit is also a lovely opportunity to take time and sit down to review any questions or revisit any concerns.

    Surgery Arrival

    Upon your arrival, you will be escorted to your pre-operative room. Following the surgery, you will be returned to the same room for your post-operative care to ensure your utmost comfort and privacy.

    During the Procedure

    Dr. Moses employs the most advanced surgical techniques to achieve remarkably natural results, never overdone, over-pulled, or obvious. Dr. Moses’s years of training and extensive experience with nationally acclaimed facelift surgeons allow her to deliver an outcome that "everyone will notice, but no one will know." Before surgery, patients return for at least one more visit (the “pre-op” visit) to review imaging, review the history and any changes or concerns, and obtain any prescriptions for medications. This provides the opportunity to take time and sit down to review any questions or revisit any problems.


    Surgery is performed at Prisma Parkridge Surgery Center or CIPI Surgery Center, both in Columbia, South Carolina. The average downtime for facelift and necklift procedures is seven to ten days. Some patients might require up to two weeks if Dr. Moses performed additional adjunct procedures. A dressing at the end of surgery remains in place overnight. Special techniques are utilized as well during surgery so that surgical drains are not in place during the recovery process and specialty nursing case is not necessary.

    • The first week

      Patients are often surprised that discomfort is usually minimal and can be managed with over-the-counter medications. However, in the instance once may experience some additional discomfort, prescription pain medications are available and guidelines for use are closely reviewed. Swelling is a part of the normal recovery process, and is most prominent for the first 72 hours following surgery. Patients will sleep with the head gently elevated to help reduce additional swelling and on occasional may use ice at their discretion. The first week is largely uneventful, focus on healing and recovery with the main tasks centered around keeping the incisions clean (which is reviewed in detail) and being compliant with activity restrictions. Toward the end of the first week, the initial sutures around the ears are removed, along with any eyelid or neck sutures that may be present from adjunctive procedures.

    • The second week

      You will notice a significant reduction in swelling and bruising, if any is present. Medications provided to you prior to your surgery help minimize bruising for an overwhelming number of patients which further helps to ensure a rapid recovery. Additionally, at the beginning of the second week, the hairline stitches can be removed.

    • 3 - 6 weeks

      Initially, you will have to avoid any strenuous exercise and activities. However, 3 to 6 weeks after surgery, you can increase your activity level, with most returning to vigorous physical activity by 4 weeks.

    • 3 - 4 months

      After three to four months, the vast majority of swelling has resolved and the results are continuing to sharpen and further define. Certainly prior to this time period, all the incisions are healed and the notable improvement has long been appreciated, but in this 3 to 4 month time frame, patients will observe that their results continue to improve and refine. We often hear, 'My results keep getting better and better,' which is music to our ears. The gradual ongoing improvement of the final 10-15% of the result continues from this point onward as the final stages of wound healing take place.

    Follow-Up Care

    Follow-up care is crucial for ensuring the best aesthetic results, so Dr. Moses schedules a series of post-op appointments to monitor your progress. She will also instruct you on caring for yourself so you can enjoy your rejuvenated appearance for as long as possible.


    With more options available for facial rejuvenation, Dr. Moses is guided by each patient's concerns when carefully curating a treatment plan. The goal remains the same: to obtain a result that more closely realigns the inward image with the outward reflection to provide a natural, timeless result.

    Facelift & Neck Lift Testimonial at Palmetto Facial Plastics

    Dr. Helen Moses showing a patient their face in a mirror

    The facelift procedure

    The art of facelifting begins with the incisions. Dr. Moses utilizes incisions hidden in already existing creases and curves of the face and neck. The incision starts in the area near the temple in order to address the deflated cheek area, and by lifting this area, it can achieve a more natural, youthful look. The incision then continues around and slightly in the ear before continuing around the earlobe. This extends behind the ear in the existing crease and lastly extends into the hairline. After the incisions are healed, patients should be able to confidently wear any hairstyle, ponytail, or updo desired without concern that the incisions are visible to the naked eye. Incision placement, and closure of the incisions, are paramount in order to provide a seamless result. Dr. Moses diligently creates the incisions in such a way that they will not only appear inconspicuous initially but that even years down the road, will continue to be out of sight. 

    Dr. Moses then surgically addresses the actual muscle layer of the face and/or neck (SMAS, or superficial aponeurotic system) and lifts and permanently repositions this supporting structure of the face. By physically “lifting” the areas that have aged or descended due to age and restoring these structures to their natural anatomical location, there is increased longevity of the result. Further surgical details and the extent of surgery may vary for each patient, and this process extends back to the first office visit. During the consultation visit, each patient’s areas of concern and facial aging are identified and thoroughly evaluated to formulate the most well-suited technique for addressing their own signs of aging.

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    Mid facelift

    The mid-facelift targets the cheeks, often where the earliest signs of aging become most apparent. A mid-facelift can address sunken areas near the cheeks and eyes for a more youthful look. Incisions are typically just two small incisions:

    • Near the hairline of the mid-face

    Full facelift

    Incisions are made:

    • In front of the ears
    • Above the hairline
    • Along the scalp

    Dr. Moses accesses muscle, tissue, and skin through these incisions so the patient’s face can be contoured and tightened.

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    The Mini Facelift Option

    The Mini Facelift is a decreased downtime alternative to the traditional facelift. With only minimal downtime needed, this facelift technique is an alternative for those who are not quite ready for a full facelift or individuals who are unable to afford much time away from their busy schedules yet still desire a refreshed, rejuvenated appearance. The Mini Lift surgically addresses the hallmarks of aging in the lower face and neck, similar to the benefits of a full facelift, with less downtime, less bruising, and less swelling. The best-suited candidates are often between the ages of 40 and 65 with early signs of aging or those simply with less time available away from their busy schedules.

    Facelift vs. other treatments


    • BOTOX & Dysport
      These neuromodulators are injections that address wrinkles and fine lines by relaxing facial muscles.  These may play a role in your comprehensive plan but accomplish different goals than surgical facelifting. 
    • Facial fillers
      Facial fillers are primarily made of hyaluronic acid, which is naturally produced by the human body and helps create a youthful, fuller look. These are helpful for reducing some aging contours of the face and restoring some volume changes.
    • Chemical peels
      A chemical peel can diminish age spots, uneven pigmentation, and blemishes. It can also help smooth out lines and wrinkles.
    • Laser skin treatment
      Laser skin treatments can address deep scars, fine lines, discoloration, and wrinkles by triggering the body’s healing process. This pairs beautifully with surgical procedures but also may be performed independently for a robust, effective improvement in the skin.

    Combination face rejuvenation treatments

    A facelift may also be combined with other procedures to further attend to additional areas of concern; this includes:

    • Eyelid surgery
    • Liposuction
    • Laser skin resurfacing
    • Chin augmentation
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    Our Columbia, SC team will care for you

    Dr. Helen Moses and the team at Palmetto Facial Plastics in Columbia, SC, are here to care for you and help you achieve youthful, natural-looking results. We are committed to your satisfaction and will provide the personalized attention and high level of communication you need to feel supported throughout your journey with us. Reach out to our office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Moses to take the first step.

    Dr. Helen Moses | Reviews

    R Rose W.

    She's magnificent. I had a very bad experience with a doctor out of Charlotte NC. Dr. Moses was wonderful, she's very thorough and you feel like you're in good hands. She straightened out the problems I had from the other Doctor in NC and did so much more. The...

    Rose W.
    F Flora H.

    All of my questions/concerns were answered in a respectful manner that was easily understood. I plan to have more procedures as I feel confident in her as a Physician. So confident, in fact, that my sister is traveling from the Charleston area to be a client o...

    Flora H.
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