Whether it’s addressing jowls, sagging cheeks, or loose skin, facelifts have the ability to refresh and revitalize, allowing individuals to look and feel their best at any age. The transformative power of these procedures can be truly incredible – lifting and tightening the facial tissues, smoothing wrinkles, and restoring youthful contours. Modern facelifts have become more refined, yielding natural-looking yet significant results that can boost confidence and turn back the hands of time. There is a perfectly suited facelift technique for every different facial structure, skin type and aging concern – so which one is right for you? With the help of our own facelift rejuvenation expert, Dr. Konstantin Vasyukevich, in this guide we’ll explore some of the most popular facelift techniques and what they entail.

Full Facelift

With advancements in facelift techniques, some older terminology has changed or lost its meaning and this applies of the term “full facelift”, which can be somewhat confusing to define. Previously, a “full facelift” used to refer to rejuvenation of the entire face, including the neck, cheeks, and forehead. This involved a lengthy incision around the entire head, resulting in significant bruising, swelling, and a prolonged recovery period. However, with improved surgical techniques, this old-fashioned approach is now nearly obsolete, and very few surgeons perform the procedure in this manner. Nevertheless, the term “full facelift” is still commonly used due to its familiarity in the field of facial aesthetics, but with a clear distinction. The newly re-defined full facelift begins at the upper cheek and extends to the lower face, which distinguishes it from procedures that focus solely on rejuvenating the lower jawline and neck, such as a lower facelift.

Deep-Plane Facelift

A deep-plane facelift is an advanced surgical procedure aimed at addressing signs of facial aging, particularly in the mid-face and lower face areas. Although this type of facelift can benefit people of various ages, it is most commonly used today for people of an older demographic with significant aging changes. The most important feature of this facelift is that during this surgery the ligaments of the face are released, allowing for the entire face to be elevated. Unlike traditional facelift techniques, a deep-plane facelift involves repositioning and lifting the deeper, underlying layers of facial tissue that are responsible for sagging skin and loss of volume. The result is a more comprehensive, long-lasting and natural-looking rejuvenation. The procedure is also an excellent way to preserve a patient’s unique facial character while achieving a more youthful appearance.

Before & After Facelift Case 11 View #2 View in New York, NY
Facelift and Neck Lift

SMAS Facelift

Practically all the facelifts that are done today are SMAS (Submuscular Aponeurotic System) type of facelifts. However, this particular designation usually refers to the two most commonly employed methods of lifting the SMAS layer called the SMAS plication and SMAS  imbrication. Plication will fold the SMAS on itself and imbrication will cut into the SMAS and overlap the SMAS layers. Although many surgeons might prefer one of these SMAS lifting techniques over the other, there is very little evidence to suggest that either one is substantially better than the other. It should also be noted, this type of facelift does not release the deep ligaments of the face like a deep-plane facelift, but rather it tightens the SMAS (or underlying muscle), helping to lift the lower part of the face. It successfully eliminates jowls and tightens the neck, but it is not as effective at elevating the cheeks as a deep-plane facelift.

Mini Facelift

A mini facelift is not actually a technical term, but is more so a descriptive or marketing term that describes an individual’s experience with this procedure. There are different surgical techniques that could be used to do a mini facelift, but in general it usually applies to a type of procedure that is more suitable for a younger demographic. It is minimally invasive for people in the early stages of facial aging. It can achieve noticeable improvements in the lower face and neck areas, effectively addressing common concerns such as sagging jowls and a loss of jawline definition. For a mini facelift, less significant surgery is required, making both the incisions and recovery much shorter than with other techniques.

Before & After Mini Facelift Case 90 View #1 View in New York, NY
Mini Facelift

Ponytail Facelift

A ponytail facelift is a term that was originally proposed by Dr. Philip Miller of Manhattan, New York. Also calling it a ”micro-lift”, Dr. Miller described it as a procedure with a limited incision around the temple that produced a very slight lifting effect similar to the lifting a patient would experience by putting their hair in a ponytail. The “ponytail facelift” was later trademarked by Dr. Chia Chi Kao of Los Angeles, California with his own take on this procedure. Dr. Kao proposed a minimally invasive surgery that limited the incision in front of the ear, and most of the incisions are placed in the temple and behind the ear, in the hairline. This procedure was especially appealing for its ability to create minimal scarring, however the results were often also minimal and not very long-lasting. For Dr. Konstantin’s commentary on Dr. Kao’s ponytail facelift technique in Glamour Magazine, you can read our previous blog here.

Endoscopic Facelift

An endoscopic facelift is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to rejuvenate the mid-face and upper neck and mostly helping with the elevation of the cheek and eyebrows. It involves the use of an endoscope, which is a small tube with a camera attached to it, allowing the surgeon to visualize the underlying structures of the face on a screen. During an endoscopic facelift, the surgeon typically places a few incisions in the temple, within the hairline or behind the ears. The benefits of this type of facelift include smaller incisions, reduced scarring, and a shorter recovery time compared to traditional facelift techniques. However, it may not provide the same level of improvement for the lower face and neck as a more advanced facelift, such as the deep-plane lift.

Liquid Facelift

Although it’s called a ”liquid facelift”, this type of facelift is not an actual surgical procedure, but refers to a non-surgical ”lift” by extensive use of dermal fillers. A liquid facelift can help reshape the face, lift the cheeks and camouflage the jowls, however there are no incisions, cuts or stitches involved. This type of “facelift” is fairly short-lasting and would most likely require to be done again in about a year to 18 months after it was originally performed.

If you would like to know more about which facelift technique is right for you or about other facial rejuvenation procedures, we would be happy to see you for a consultation. Please contact our Manhattan-based practice to schedule your appointment with New York’s top facial plastic surgeon and facelift expert, Konstantin Vasyukevich, MD.

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