Different Types of Facelifts – Which Technique Is Best For You?
Facial rejuvenation is a very popular segment of cosmetic surgery. During the past decade much research has gone into advancing both the techniques and technologies used to reverse the signs of facial aging. Today, there are a number of treatment options that plastic surgeons can use to help their patients achieve a more youthful appearance in addition to traditional facelift surgery.
1. Liquid Facelift
Injectable dermal fillers made from hydroxyapatite, hyaluronic acid, or lactic acid calcium, can be used to non-surgically smooth creases and folds, plump lips, and fill hollowing areas. Today, some of the most popular fillers include Juvederm, Voluma, and Sculptra. Treatments with dermal fillers are a great way to prevent or delay the need for facelift surgery.
2. Jaw Line Rejuvenation
This procedure is especially good for revitalizing the area between the jaw and upper neck. Excess fat is removed from the neck via liposuction in order to sculpt the jaw line. This harvested fat can then be used as natural filler, if desired, by injecting it back into the cheek and mid-face area to add volume. This is most appropriate for people with minimal skin laxity as skin is not removed with this procedure.
3. Mini Face Lift
The mini-lift (or mini-facelift) is a facelift surgery technique that uses smaller incisions than traditional facelift techniques and thus it’s less invasive. During the procedure, small incisions are made under the cover of the hair line. These incisions allow the surgeon to tighten the skin and remove excess tissue; improving the appearance of the jowls and neck. Mini-lifts are often called “weekend facelifts” because patients can undergo the procedure on Friday and get back to work (and normal activities) on Monday. In general, the mini lift provides less dramatic results compared to a traditional facelift and is ideal for individuals with early signs of aging who might not be ready for a full lift.
The S-Lift procedure is sometimes used for treating the lower third of the face (neck and jowls). In this procedure an s-shaped incision is used to separate the skin from underlying tissue. The skin is lifted allowing the surgeon to tighten the muscles and tissue. Lastly the incision is closed with sutures. Like the mini-lift, the S-Lift is less invasive and requires a shorter recovery time compared to traditional technique.
The mid-facelift is very effective in treating the mid-face (cheek) area. During this procedure a surgeon makes small incisions in the hairline above the ears, as well as within the mouth. These incisions allow the surgeon to reposition the fat pads in the checks over the cheekbones while also tightening skin in the area.
6. Cutaneous Lift (Skin Only)
Cutaneous facelifts address issues in the neck and lower face area. During the procedure incisions are made around the ear and within the hair line to allow doctors the ability to dissect the skin from underlying muscle. The surgeon trims excess skin and stretches remaining skin to the incision point before closing with sutures. Due to the skin’s ability to stretch over time, this technique is considered to be less durable than other facelift techniques that use forms of muscle tightening.
7. Temporal Facelift or Browlift
Temporal lifts focus on improving the eyebrow area. For individuals with slightly drooping or lowered eyebrows this type of lift can be a great alternative to give the eyebrow area a slight lift without having to undergo a full browlift procedure which is more invasive and requires a longer recover period. The procedure consists of the surgeon making small incisions (typically at the hairline for patients with high foreheads or within the hair for patients with lower hairlines) to lift the skin on the sides of the brows.
8. MACS Lift / QuickLift
Both the QuickLift and the MACS are modifications to the S-Lift technique discussed earlier. These procedures fall between the S-Lift and traditional facelift technique in both invasiveness and results. These procedures require more recovery time than the S-Lift but do provide more dramatic results; making them a good choice for candidates with mild to moderate facial aging.
9. Deep Plane Facelift
A Deep Plane Facelift is an advanced technique where the SMAS (the muscular layer of the face) along with fat and skin are lifted as a single unit. A deeper pull underneath the muscle allows deep plane lifts to address most areas of the face simultaneously – including the midface, marionette lines, and neck. In general, the surgery includes platysmaplasty and neck liposuction if needed.
10. Traditional Facelift
The traditional facelift is an appropriate procedure for patient’s seeking optimal correction of moderate to significant facial aging. Incisions are positioned around the ears and into the hairline as well as a small incision below the chin. The skin is dissected from the underlying muscles allowing tightening of the muscles of the face as well as the neck. Bands of muscle in the front of the neck are sutured together and divided to help provide a smooth contour and defined neckline. Excess fat of the neck and jowels is removed as needed and the skin is re-draped in a natural fashion with excess skin removed both in front and behind the ears. This provides the surgeon optimal exposure and yields the most dramatic and long lasting results for the patient in most cases. Sutures are removed in 6-7 days and patients usually return to work within 10 days. Patients can resume light exercise 2 weeks after surgery.
With any of the above procedures, additional procedures are often performed such as blepharoplasty (eyelid lift), rhinoplasty (nose job), facial implants (such as chin implants), and fat transfers. These can further enhance the results achieved by the patient and allow the surgeon to better meet the needs and goals of each individual.
It is always important to consult with a skilled plastic surgeon regarding which technique would best produce the desired result given your individual characteristics and goals.