Types of Facelifts
Patients are often surprised to find out that there are many different types of facelifts. Everyone knows the traditional, standard facelift. However, even if a patient does not qualify for this procedure, it does not mean that every facelift is out of the question. The facelift procedure types vary based on the amount of skin that needs to be removed, the patient’s goals, skin quality, and several other anatomical and medical factors. For example, mini facelift patients could still benefit from skin removal on the lower face, but do not need it to the extent of a full facelift.
1. Mini Facelift
A mini facelift is a smaller version of the familiar facelift surgery. The incisions are near the ear, but smaller and often concealed better. Likewise, a smaller amount of skin is removed and there is limited correction of the SMAS or muscle structures. For some patients, especially those under 50, a mini facelift may be the best type of facelift for them in that circumstance. However, if they undergo a mini facelift then, they may still need a full facelift later on. Still, it tends to prolong the need for a more extensive procedure.
2. Cheek Lift
A cheek lift—or midface lift—is a type of facelift that focuses on the cheek area. With age, fat pads in the cheeks can descend and cause sagging, extra skin, and a generally aged look. Sometimes this occurs in tandem with lower face sagging and sometimes it occurs before. A midface lift repositions the fat pads into a more youthful position and removes any excess skin. This will also take care of fine lines and wrinkles in the area. If performed alongside a traditional facelift, the combined procedure is sometimes called an extended facelift.
3. Cutaneous Lift
A cutaneous facelift—or skin-only facelift—is an older type of facelift where only the skin is addressed and tightened. This form of facelift is not often performed today except for in very particular circumstances. While it does cause less trauma, it has the risk of looking windswept and unnatural. Due to this and the development of better, more natural looking techniques, the cutaneous facelift technique largely fell out of favor. Tightening the SMAS with the skin provides better results for most facelift surgery patients than a skin-only approach.
4. Upper Facelift
An upper facelift is an uncommon term for brow lift surgery. Addressing the upper face and positioning of the brows, a brow lift is another anti-aging facial plastic surgery. This type of facelift repositions the brows back into their natural and youthful position. The plastic surgeon then removes excess skin to smooth the forehead area. Sometimes this can also have a positive effect on the upper eyelids. Patients do frequently undergo a facelift and brow lift together. Overall, a brow lift can help address wrinkles, sagging skin, and changes in the upper face due to aging.
5. Lower Facelift
A lower facelift is another name for the full facelift. Out of all of the types of facelifts performed, a lower facelift is the most prevalent. It addresses sagging along the jawline and chin. A facelift may also offer some correction to the neck and midface areas. In this procedure, the skin and SMAS are both tightened and extra removed to give the patient an overall more youthful appearance. The most recent iteration of this procedure is called a deep plane facelift which avoids separating the skin and SMAS before tightening them both. The results last an average of about ten years and many patients see lasting benefits and effects of their facelift surgery, even decades later and if they never had another facelift surgery.
6. Liquid Facelift
A liquid facelift is a non-surgical type of facelift that often involves injections of dermal fillers and neurotoxins. For patients with visible wrinkles but not a lot of overall sagging, a liquid facelift can help rejuvenate their overall facial appearance. While non-surgical and not requiring anesthesia, the procedure can still take upwards of an hour to complete because of needing to treat multiple areas and the potential to use several different injectables. Depending on the fillers used, the results can last anywhere from six months to up to two years.