A guide to facelift variations
After a brief decrease in popularity, facelifts were back in the top five cosmetic surgeries of 2016, with over 130,000 procedures performed in the U.S, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
ASPS President Debra Johnson, MD, was not surprised to see the rise in popularity of the procedure: “While there are more options than ever to rejuvenate the face, a facelift done by a board-certified plastic surgeon can give a dramatic, longer-lasting result.”
As one of the most popular plastic surgeries, it’s important for surgeons to know the various types of facelifts they can offer patients. They differ based on the type of incision, level of invasiveness and the area of the face. From mini to full, here’s a guide to common facelift variations:
The mini facelift
This procedure is ideal for younger patients who have minimal signs of aging, such as mild jowling or sagging skin, but want to correct them before they become too pronounced. The mini facelift uses smaller incisions than a traditional lift, which makes it a less invasive procedure with a shorter recovery time. These smaller, periauricular incisions are made under the hairline around the ears, allowing the surgeon to tighten the skin and remove excess tissue for a smoother, uplifted facial contour.
The upper facelift
More commonly known as a brow lift, the upper facelift is ideal for patients who want to reduce the wrinkles and lines on their foreheads, between the eyes and across the browline. Alternatively, some patients may want this procedure to simply lift the eyebrows. Tiny incisions are made in the hairline to lift the skin to side of the brows and create a rejuvenated appearance. Surgeons often also suggest an eyelid lift as part of a complete upper face procedure. This addition provides better chances for achieving the patient’s desired appearance.
Moving down the face, the mid-facelift focuses on the cheek and nose areas. Surgeons typically perform this procedure to reduce deep creases and lines, lift sagging cheeks, enhance facial contour and definition and tighten the skin. Incisions are made in the hairline and inside the mouth to re-position the fat inside the cheeks. With minimal risk and little downtime after surgery, the mid-facelift is ideal for patients who want a subtle enhancement. However, this lift is also often combined with other facial procedures for more dramatic results.
The lower facelift
Otherwise known as a neck lift, the lower facelift uses liposuction to remove excess fat beneath the chin and jawline. Once the fat is removed from the neck and jowl area, patients will notice tighter skin and a smoother profile, plus absolutely no signs of the dreaded double chin. A neck lift is often necessary for a natural transition after receiving another facial procedure, especially a full facelift.
“A facelift can give a dramatic, longer-lasting result.”
The full facelift
The traditional, full facelift combines all of the above elements for equal lifting across the face. This procedure is ideal for patients with more prominent signs of aging, such as wrinkles, fine lines and sagging skin. As such, combining treatments or getting a full facelift is most popular among older patients who want a complete restoration of youthful features. This is the most invasive facial procedure, with most patients taking about 10 days to recover. However, this downtime also means patients will see the most dramatic results from a full facelift.
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