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What are the types of facelift procedures?

Posted February 02, 2011 in Face Lift Advice
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There are several types of facelift procedures.A large lift is comparable to a traditional facelift, where you lift everything up from stem to stern. You can theoretically get more improvement with this lift, however, there is more risk for looking unnatural, more expense (up to $10,000 or more, depending on where you go), more recovery, and more risk of complication. This is typically done under general anesthesia, uses surgical drains and/or surgical staples, and may take 4 to 6 hours to perform depending on the surgeon. Most of our patients don’t want this and choose something less.

Small is like a standard mini-lift which is performed in about one hour, depending on the surgeon. The small lift will bring the neck and the jowl up and back toward the ears.  It can also soften around the nasolabial fold and strengthen or improve the neck and jowl-line. It is a great procedure, and we have performed many of them, however, it is not for everyone. If you want more improvement than the standard mini-lift, then you may choose the medium or what we call the ImageLift®.

The medium lift is a little more involved than the small lift, and tightens to a greater degree.The main difference is that the medium also tightens in the middle of the neck, where you see the hanging or drooping of the muscle bands. Those muscle bands are called the platysma muscle, and they continue to sag and droop as we age (look in the mirror and flex your neck muscles in the front and demonstrate if you can). So the medium lift tightens from two directions: towards the ears, and towards the midline of the neck, like a corset. That is why it is called a corset platysmaplasty.

These muscle edges of the platysma are the bands that we see as we age. When this is tightened, there is typically a little more of a result than what the small lift achieves. The medium lift can result in a better profile, though it is a little more of a procedure, and requires a little more recovery.

Now, some doctors prefer to focus on just performing the large lifts, while other doctors may prefer to focus on the small lifts. At ImageLift®, we will do all three, small, medium, or large, depending on what our patients are looking for. There is no one-size-fits all, and the best result is to customize an approach to each person’s interests. As you read these stories about real patients, it is helpful to understand the differences between the lifting procedures.

Keep in mind that everyone’s result is different. No plastic surgeon can make a promise or guarantee as to the result. Of course, both the patient and the surgeon want to create perfection. However, the goal for these procedures is not to create perfection. Rather, we are striving for improvement that appears natural. If you make things look too perfect, it can look unnatural, extreme, or severe.

This information is not meant to take the place of a doctor-patient relationship. Information that is given here is for educational purposes only. This will allow you to have a deeper, more meaningful consultation with your doctor. Any questions that you have, please feel free to call us at 877-770-FACE or discuss them with your doctor. It would be unwise to diagnose or treat any medical or cosmetic conditions based only on information from a book.