The technique used during a facelift is dependent on the patient’s facial features and conditions. Most surgeons will always aim for the less invasive technique, but some patient cases are severe and will require internal tissues, fat, and skin to be manipulated. Patients must also understand the procedure in detail, including the level of invasiveness, placement of incisions, what layers of tissues will be corrected, and what risks may be associated with the surgery before moving forward.
Also referred to as the cutaneous facelift, this technique removes excess and loose skin to create a tightened look. The remaining skin is repositioned to lift sagging cheeks and jowls. It also improves the profile along the jawline. With this facelift technique, the muscles or fat tissues are left untouched. As the treatment focuses on the skin only, recovery is quick. This is ideal for those who still have good muscle tone and distribution of fat, but find the skin losing elasticity in some areas.
SMAS is the superficial musculo-aponeurotic system, which is a muscle complex that is primarily active when it comes to facial expression. With normal wear-and-tear due to age, gravity, and personal habits, muscle tissue loses its form and becomes displaced significantly for those over 50. This particular facelift is considered the standard when it comes to this cosmetic procedure. With lengthy incisions on the side of the face, from the temple to the lower hairline behind the ear, the skin will be peeled and lifted to reshape contours. If there is excess fat and skin, these will also be removed.
For those who have severe cases of drooping and skin folds that are normal with aging and extensive sun exposure, a deep plane lift may be the best approach. This is especially true for those whose facial profiles need extensive reshaping on areas that typically have the volume and tight contours. This involves a highly specialized skill set; the plastic surgeon must be carefully selected, as the nature of procedure has a high chance of damage to the facial nerves.
Also called a short-scar facelift because of the shorter incisions made, a mini lift is a quick treatment that corrects the middle and lower face. Many patients initially consider this technique, but it doesn’t correct any severe issues and usually renders short-term results. Patients who undergo this procedure are most likely to also stage a full facelift as a final step to fully rejuvenate and reshape the face to its youthful curves.
All facelift procedures are performed in an accredited surgical facility with general anesthesia. Even though this is considered an outpatient procedure, there are some cases where the patient stays overnight for monitoring. It is normal to experience bruising and swelling after the surgery, and patients will feel as if their face is being pulled tight. This subsides within a couple of weeks. Optimal results will be evident after several months. It is important that physical activities are limited to help create a safe and quick healing.