California Facelift

Conveniently located to serve the areas of San Diego, CA

California Facelift San Diego

The California Facelift is a unique approach to the traditional facelift procedure that concentrates on specific areas in the face such as the neck and jawline. The result is a more youthful, natural appearance that evokes the poise, vitality, and status associated with the Golden State lifestyle.

America's Best Facelift Plastic Surgeons List by Newsweek

This specialized facelift provides accentuated cheekbones and firmer contours to the jawline and neck. An innovative and effective state-of-the-art procedure, the California facelift lifts sagging skin, adds volume to deficient areas, and adjusts the underlying tissues for a long-lasting, rejuvenating effect. Dr. Steven R. Cohen, MD, FACS has cultivated the highest standards, and groundbreaking techniques in his medical practice over the past 30 years. However, this extends beyond his approach to cosmetic treatments, and includes pediatric medicine and community philanthropy. He and his caring team at FACES + are ready to take your look to the next level. Start your journey to a revitalized appearance with a consultation at our sunny San Diego office. Or, give us a phone call at (858) 453-7224.


As we mature, our faces invariably develop wrinkles, fine lines, and loose skin. Patients end up investing time and money in home treatments and products that only offer temporary improvement – if any at all! However, a California facelift is a long-lasting solution that gives patients a youthful, vibrant look. Not all facelifts are created equal: the California Facelift is a sought-after procedure that combines advanced lift techniques with regenerative facial fat grafting. Dr Cohen can apply this winning combination to the midface, neck area, or both.

A Golden State

Our patient after her deep plane face and neck lift with Dr. Cohen

For a California facelift, incisions are made over the temples and above the hairline. This conceals evidence of the surgery while still giving Dr. Cohen direct access to the layer of connective tissues essential for a successful facelift procedure: the SMAS, or superficial muscular aponeurotic sheath. [1] And, unlike other lift procedures, this lift treatment is combined with restorative facial fat grafting to provide a comprehensive facial transformation. Fat grafting removes unwanted fat from the patient’s body and injects it (and its regenerative medical properties) into areas lacking volume. Contours reemerge, and lines and wrinkles in the face are smoothed for a youthful, natural-looking outcome.


A California Facelift is an innovative approach to reverse signs of aging in both the texture and topography of the skin. So besides wrinkles, fine lines, and loose skin, it also restores sagging muscles, and the natural fat deposits of the face that become depleted and succumb to the incessant pull of gravity. A California facelift restores your features to their youthful appearance (and location) with a firm, fresh appearance. With the added boost of fat grafting, patients that opt for this lift procedure also enjoy restored plump, vibrant volume in the face. 

Natural-Looking, Long Lasting Results

Dr. Cohen expertly restores natural contours, so his patients don’t have to worry about the appearance of overly tight, pulled skin and the telltale “surprised” expression. Patients will enjoy results for years to come, and any surgical scars are cleverly concealed. 

Invisible Surgical Scars

Incisions made during a facelift procedure are designed to be invisible. While the size and location of the incision may vary between patients, they are typically placed along the hairline or around the ears for optimal concealment.

Ideal Candidates

Healthy men and women benefit from this exciting approach. Dr. Cohen that patients are: 

  • In good health and free of pre-existing conditions
  • 40 years of age or older
  • A non-smoker or prepared to quit a few weeks before treatment and for the duration of their recovery
  • Looking to solve skin laxity in the face, and neck
  • Have realistic expectations

To see how you can achieve a youthful, refreshed look, schedule a consultation with Dr. Cohen. His comprehensive consultation process will review your health, skin condition, and determine the most effective approach to achieving your desired results. If a California facelift isn’t right for you, Dr. Cohen will be happy to recommend another procedure.  

Personal Consultation with Dr. Cohen

Dr. Steven R. Cohen is a major contributor to the field of plastic surgery and has received several prestigious awards for his reconstructive work with children. His career has also included collaborations with medical technology companies to develop groundbreaking new devices and techniques. He is resolutely dedicated to enhancing the lives of patients in the San Diego area and beyond. 

Our offices are conveniently located adjacent to La Jolla, Torrey Pines, and the University of San Diego. At your consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss concerns about your appearance and your desired aesthetic results. After reviewing your medical history and examining your skin’s elasticity, Dr. Cohen will determine whether you are a good candidate for a California facelift, or if you would benefit from another procedure. At FACES + you can expect an honest and experienced perspective, whether from Dr. Cohen, or our wonderful, supportive staff. However, if a California facelift is a good solution to your signs of aging, you’ll be given a personalized list of instructions to help you prepare for your procedure date. 

If you’re considering this effective surgery, you can learn more before scheduling a consultation by taking a look at Dr. Cohen’s informative blog post about what sets the California Facelift apart from other traditional facelifts.

Preparing for Your Procedure

Before your surgery date, Dr. Cohen recommends that patients:

  • Adjust prescription intake: Hold off on blood thinners, anti-inflammatories, and OTC medications as they may cause unnecessary bleeding and bruising during the process. Please supply FACES + a current list of the medications that you take. 
  • Fill prescriptions beforehand: Dr. Cohen will provide pain management medication to offset discomfort. 
  • Temporarily stop smoking: Nicotine is off-limits a week before and a few weeks after surgery. This chemical is known to restrict blood flow and can cause complications during the procedure and aftercare process. 
  • Designate a recovery buddy: Have a friend or family member drive you home and spend a few hours with you after your procedure. You’ll be experiencing the lingering effects of the anesthesia for the rest of the day.

Steps in a California Facelift Procedure

The surgery will begin once the appropriate anesthesia has taken effect, and you are resting comfortably. A California facelift uses the deep-plane approach, an advanced facelift technique that adjusts the tissue of the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) layer. [2] The procedure begins by making incisions at the temples above the hairline, so they’re concealed. Dr. Cohen carefully moves the underlying facial tissues located in the upper and mid-cheek section in a subtle upward diagonal, towards the center of the face. This inverts the triangular shape that occurs with aging and restores definition to the jawline and cheeks. The underlying tissue is sutured into place, and the skin is carefully redraped across the lifted features. Any excess skin is trimmed, and the incisions are closed with sutures.

Injectable Tissue Replacement

Dr. Cohen combines your lift with an injectable tissue replacement. This pioneering process developed by Dr. Cohen uses fat cells with rich healing and regenerative properties from your body to volumize and rejuvenate. An ITR treatment uses fat that is processed into three different densities. Structural fat is injected into the cheeks, while a liquified fat smooths the forehead. Another filtration of fat that has concentrated amounts of the patient’s own stem cells can be used to stimulate regeneration throughout the face. A patient’s unwanted fat is simply extracted, purified and filtered, and injected into the face using a thin, medical-grade needle. 

The Neck

Some patients may choose a neck lift to correct the loss of elasticity in this area. The procedure makes an incision of the hairline at the level of the sideburn, continues down and around the ear, and ends at the hairline on the nape of the neck. The skin is lifted, tissues are tightened, and any unwanted fat is sculpted away. Skin is smoothly redraped over the newly defined contours and excess skin is trimmed away. In some cases, another incision under the chin is often necessary. This allows access for liposuction to eliminate a double chin, and for the tightening of the underlying muscle. 


california facelift procedure san diego

Dr. Cohen and his team are here to help you with every step of your recovery! 

Prepare to take it easy for the first three days. You may experience mild discomfort, bruising, and swelling. Take the prescribed pain medication as directed to stay comfortable. Within a week, you’ll be able to go back to work and resume light activities. Over the next few weeks, you will see a steady improvement of your facial contours, diminished bruising, and feel less discomfort.

Apply the Alastin skincare products as directed by Dr. Cohen to nourish your skin and accelerate healing. 

Stunning Results

Your results will gradually emerge in the weeks following your California facelift. Patients that undergo this innovative procedure can anticipate significant yet natural-looking results. Patients will enjoy firmer skin, restored volume, a more defined jawline, and a lithe neckline.

Corresponding & Complementary Procedures 

FACES + offers a vast array of procedures that can be paired with a California facelift for optimal results. Those looking for a comprehensive makeover may be interested in additional procedures, some of which can be performed at the same time as their facelift. 

Getting a brow lift improves the appearance of the browline by removing lax skin around the eyebrows, and smoothing a furrowed forehead and frown lines. An eyelid enhancement, or blepharoplasty, improves the appearance of your eyes by removing excess skin folds from the lower and upper eyelids. 


The California facelift is a customized procedure. Your final cost will depend on the details of our procedure, the areas treated and any additional procedures. We’ll give you a customized quote for your procedure during your consultation


  1. Kathleen Waldorf, M. D., & Tuesday, F. 6. (n.d.). Modern approaches to the traditional facelift. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Retrieved September 14, 2021, from
  2. Raggio, B. S., & Patel, B. C. (2021). Deep Plane Facelift. PubMed; StatPearls Publishing.