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Radiofrequency Assisted Facelift in Sarasota and Tampa

The radiofrequency assisted facelift is an advanced procedure that blends minimally invasive laser lipolysis with traditional surgical facelift techniques. Ideal for both the face and neck, the radiofrequency assisted facelift has significant improvement on the nasolabial folds, drooping around the eyes and cheeks, sagging jowls, and loose tissue under the chin. 

Key benefits 

  • The first and only laser assisted facial contouring procedure
  • Results visible immediately
  • Only one treatment needed
  • Long-lasting results
blond woman with blue eyes and long blond hair posing for a picture

What is a radiofrequency assisted facelift?

The radiofrequency assisted facelift (also known as AccuLift™) blends minimally invasive laser lipolysis (use of a special fiber laser that targets collagen, fat, and water to emulsify and melt fat as well as sever and tighten loose collagen bands under the skin) with traditional surgical facelift techniques. Dr. Holcomb co-developed this procedure. 

It is also known as laser assisted facial contouring (LAFC) when used to sculpt the lower face, or as laser assisted neck contouring (LANC) when used to sculpt the area under the chin and the neck. Dr. Holcomb unveiled this procedure (which was also described as “the 30-minute facelift”) on the CBS award-winning show The Doctors in 2011.

After witnessing the benefits of the radiofrequency assisted facelift technique, Dr. Holcomb incorporated it into his surgical facelifts. He found several key benefits compared to how things had previously been done:

  1. After laser lipolysis, the emulsified fatty tissue was much easier to remove — therefore, much smaller instruments were needed to remove the fat.

  2. In his peer-reviewed article* regarding outcomes for several hundred laser assisted facelift patients, Dr. Holcomb found that a significant percentage of patients were able to avoid placement of an incision under the chin — presumably because the laser assisted neck contouring procedure was very effective and the neck muscles did not require tightening in this area.

  3. There was reduced bruising in the areas that were treated by the laser (lower face and neck).

Benefits of additional procedures

For the absolute best results, many of our Sarasota and Tampa area patients decide to undergo additional procedures at the same time as their radiofrequency assisted facelift. These procedures can include laser skin resurfacing, an eyelid lift, brow lift, facial implants, lip lift, dermal filler injections, or fat grafting.

Certain procedure combinations may not be recommended to be performed together in one session. Combining procedures does not necessarily lengthen the initial recovery period; however, slightly increased swelling during the first few days after surgery may occur.

Patients that undergo laser skin resurfacing may experience skin sensitivity after treatment. This varies with skin type, procedure type, and intensity. We offer several supportive measures to help our patients recover as efficiently and as quickly as possible following surgery and/or laser skin rejuvenation procedures. Dr. Holcomb will always deliver the best results while keeping safety as a priority for his Sarasota and Tampa area patients. 

Benefits of combining procedures include: 

  • Avoiding a subsequent procedure date with additional fees incurred for facility and twilight anesthesia
  • Avoiding a subsequent recovery period with additional downtime for recovery
  • Avoiding additional time off of work or away from social activities

Where the radiofrequency assisted facelift began

Dr. Holcomb pioneered the radiofrequency assisted facelift beginning in 2008. The rationale arose out of his realization that combining the minimally invasive AccuLift procedure that he co-developed may help improve the jawline and neckline (cervicomental angle) without having to do more extensive open surgery in these areas.

Picture of the book of the journal of plastic surgery Picture a page out of the journal

Dr. Holcomb’s peer-reviewed study of the benefits of the radiofrequency assisted facelift procedure was published in the Journal Facial Plastic Surgery “Facets of Facelifting” edition in August 2014 (click to view cover and 1st page of article).

What’s wrong with lying flat?

If you have jowls that are easily visible and partially obscuring your jawline when you look in the mirror while standing or sitting, try looking with a hand mirror while lying on the bed or sofa. What happens? In many people, this results in the jowls moving upwards into the lower face and backward toward the ears, so that the jawline is magically restored to a youthful state.

Guess what position patients are in during facelift surgery? If you guessed flat (supine), you are correct. So in this position, the jowls are simply not visible in many cases. They have temporarily migrated up into the face where surgeons do not perform traditional liposuction. So what happens to the jowls? If you’re having a facelift procedure that doesn’t directly address the jowls, the jawline will generally look better right after surgery but over time, and often sooner than later, the jowls will become apparent again — even if the skin is relatively tight across the jawline.

This is why Dr. Holcomb keeps the patient positioned with the head up during this part of the radiofrequency assisted facelift — so that the jowls are visible.

The procedure

For patients with lower facial fullness and jowling, Dr. Holcomb uses the radiofrequency assisted facelift to remove the jowls with the patient positioned upwards so that the jowls are visible. After laser treatment of the jowls and excess lower facial fat, the fatty tissue is removed with a small tube called a cannula that is attached to a small syringe.

After completion of the lower facial contouring procedure, Dr. Holcomb lowers the patient’s back to address the neck with radiofrequency assisted neck contouring.

In addition to helping to achieve dramatic improvement in the neckline in some patients, the radiofrequency assisted neck contouring procedure may be so effective that opening the neck with an incision under the chin may not be necessary.

After completion of lower facial and neck contouring, Dr. Holcomb completes the surgical portions of the procedure. These surgical techniques generally involve a multi-plane (superficial and deeper tissue levels), multi-vector (tissues lifted in most appropriate direction or vector for the mid-face, lower face, and neck) SMAS facelift approach. When needed, an extended SMAS approach is used to obtain greater improvement in the mid-face area.


Recovery from radiofrequency assisted facelift surgery will take approximately two weeks. Some bruising is likely, and mild swelling is expected during the first week. These gradually diminish over several weeks. Dr. Holcomb and his staff have implemented various measures to help patients navigate the recovery process as quickly as possible. Temporary numbness of the skin in the treatment areas is expected. Many patients feel comfortable enough with their appearance to return to work as soon as 10 to 14 days after surgery.

Radiofrequency assisted facelift in Sarasota and Tampa from HK Plastic Surgery

a co-developer of the radiofrequency assisted facelift, Dr. Holcomb is the perfect surgeon to perform this procedure. As a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, you can be sure that you are in excellent hands with him. If you’re in the Sarasota and Tampa area and you’re interested in this advanced procedure, please contact us for a consultation. 

Holcomb - Kreithen Plastic Surgery & Medspa

*Dr. Holcomb’s peer-reviewed publications regarding laser lipolysis in the face and neck include:

  • Holcomb, JD. Laser Assisted Facelift. Facial Plastic Surgery 2014;30(4, Facets of Facelifting):405-412.
  • Holcomb, JD. Thermally Confined Micropulsed 1444 nm Nd:YAG Interstitial Fiber Laser in the Aging Face and Neck: An Update. Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics of NA. 2014;22(2):217-29.
  • Youn, J-I, Holcomb, JD. Ablation efficiency and relative thermal confinement measurements using wavelengths 1,064, 1,320, and 1,444 nm for laser-assisted lipolysis. Lasers Med Sci. 2012 Apr 26. [Epub ahead of print] 
  • Holcomb, JD, Turk, J, Baek, S-J, Rousso, DE. Laser Assisted Facial Contouring (LAFC) Using a Thermally Confined 1444 nm Nd-YAG Laser: A New Paradigm for Facial Sculpting and Rejuvenation. Facial Plastic Surgery 2011;27(4, New Technologies in Facial Plastic Surgery):315-330.
  • Holcomb, JD. Facelift Adjunctive Procedures: Skin Resurfacing and Volumetric Contouring. Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics of North America. 2009;17:505-514.

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