When it comes to facelift surgery, every plastic surgeon or cosmetic dermatologist should engage in extensive rounds of discussion with the candidate to understand the expectations the candidate has from a facelift surgery. There are several types of facelift procedure and the exact choice of procedure depends upon the candidate’s expectations from the surgery and what is possible to achieve given his or her age, facial anatomy and other health factors.
The type of facelift surgery selected also depends on the specific areas the candidate is looking to enhance through the surgery.
What are the factors that help decide the type of facelift surgery that is most appropriate for you?
Before looking at the types of facelift surgery available, let us see what factors will help a surgeon to decide on the best procedure. These are as follows:
Application area – The most important factor is to determine the specific area which requires enhancement either to tighten or to rejuvenate.
Facial features – The facial anatomy is crucial to deciding the type of facelift surgery. The plastic surgeon must assess the condition of the bones, facial muscles, and tissues both to decide what can be achieved realistically during the surgery and also how long these results can be expected to last.
Skin elasticity – For any facelift surgery, skin elasticity and collagen levels are important factors. The skin elasticity helps determine how much the skin can be stretched during the procedure without risking a tear while the collagen levels are important in assessing what level of structure support the skin can receive, post surgery.
Degree of atrophy – Doctors assess the degree of atrophy, i.e. degree of decay due to degeneration of the cells of the facial muscles, facial tissues and bones on the face.
Any previous surgery – If there had been any previous surgery, or any other facial rejuvenation procedures.
Downtime and recovery – Candidates often choose the type of facelift surgery depending on the time it will take to recover and join back to daily routines as they might have practical constraints imposed by their professional, social and family commitments.
Different types of facelift surgery vary broadly by the type of incisions, the area of the face that they are conducted on, level of invasiveness and the number of layers of tissues that will be affected.
What are the different types of Facelift Surgery out there?
Now let’s look at the popular types of facelift surgery:
Standard or Traditional Facelift Surgery
A standard facelift surgery which is also known as the traditional facelift surgery will be suitable if the candidate is looking for a complete facelift. The surgery addresses various problems of ageing like sagging skin, lines around the mouth and creases around the eyes, jowls, fat on the face, etc. It targets a large area on the face, because of which the incisions are done at a length from the temple in the hairline, down past the area behind the ears and all the way down to the lower scalp. This is done under general anesthesia.
The procedure is done by separating the skin and re-positioning the underlying tissues and muscles. After removing the excess skin and fat, the skin is again draped back. This is the most extensive type of facelift surgery and thus the results can be dramatic. Candidates above 50 years of age normally choose to do it. This procedure is explained in greater detail in our previous blog post which you can visit by clicking here.
Mini Facelift Surgery
Mini Facelift surgery has a shorter recovery time. It is less invasive than the standard facelift surgery. The surgery involves a shorter incision, done along the hairline, behind the ears. The purpose of this surgery is to tighten the deep facial tissues, lifting the tissue and muscles around the cheeks to correct jowl and removing the unwanted fat and excess skin. The surgery is more focused on the lower cheeks, neck and the jaw regions of the face.
The procedure is done normally under local anesthesia with sedation. Lots of doctors perform it through endoscopic techniques to limit scarring and accelerate recovery time. Younger patients with some amount of jowls and sagging skin — typically seen as early signs of aging — opt for this type of surgery.
Mid Facelift Surgery
This addresses the middle portion of the face from the cheekbones to the jaws. The goal is to tighten the tissue below the eyes. Incisions used will be similar to the ones uses in the case of traditional facelift surgery except that, in this case, the incisions will be deeper. Some doctors also perform the procedure through endoscopic techniques. This is suitable for candidates who are looking only for cheek augmentation and not a neck lift.
Doctors also club the procedure with cheek implants to make the cheekbones more defined. This procedure is popular among both men and women in their 30s and 40s who are looking to just enhance the muscles around the cheekbones.
Neck Lift Surgery
The neck lift surgery procedure focuses on the area of the face ranging from the chin down to the collarbone. If required, a neck lift surgery can be done along with the mini facelift surgery as the two complement each other. The goal of the procedure is to tighten the skin of the neck and the underlying muscles. Popularly the neck lift surgery helps in tightening the platysma muscle, which is a broad set of muscles extending from the collar bone to the jaw. For people who find their upper face to be perfect, but have sagging skin in the neck region, wrinkles in the skin and jowl lines, just a neck lift surgery is advisable.
Modern neck lift surgery techniques allow for tiny incisions usually placed behind the ears and under the chin rather than the long incisions performed before that would range all the way down from ear level down to the neck. These very same incisions are used to suck out excess fat using liposuction methods or through surgical excisions.
Lower Facelift Surgery
This focuses on the lower part of the face and helps in rejuvenating the bottom third of the face. The goal of this surgery is to eliminate jowls in the area, lift the corners of the mouth, reduce the nasolabial folds and help to define the jaw. Here as well, the incision is done around the patient’s ears and hairline. This is popular among candidates of all ages, whose lower part of the face is showing signs of aging.
Thread Facelift procedure is a less invasive and quick procedure. This can be taken as a convenient alternative to traditional face lift surgery. The procedure takes less time and so does the recovery period. In this procedure, special threads are used for placing tiny stitches that the doctor creates just below the skin to lift the underlying muscles. One end of the thread is pulled to create tension and lift the sagging skin and hold the repositioned skin and facial tissues in place after the surgery. The other end of the thread tethers the skin to the underlying tissues.
This is commonly performed without anesthesia and it leaves no visible scars. The entire treatment takes about 2 hours. This is popular among candidates in their 30’s or 40’s. Because of it being a quick procedure, it is also known as “lunchtime lift”. We discuss this procedure in greater detail in another post that you can check out by clicking here.