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The Family of Facelifts

On one hand, facelifts are exactly what they sound like. Loose facial skin is tightened, essentially “lifting” the face to smooth and de-wrinkle. On the other hand, there’s a wide variety of types of facelifts that vary depending on incision, tissue layers treated during the procedure, the area of the face, and the degree of invasiveness. In order to see how well these work, all you need to do is scroll through the before-and-after gallery from the American Academy of Plastic Surgeons: The results are truly astounding.

There’s certainly room for debate amongst surgeons and patients, but the general consensus is that “nonsurgical facelifts” like fillers or laser therapies don’t have the permanent and long-lasting effects of a traditional surgical facelift. Additionally, facelifts aren’t appropriate for everyone: New Jersey facelift experts at East Coast Advanced Plastic Surgery note that good candidates will have a good bone structure and still have some skin elasticity, and are in good enough physical condition to withstand major surgery. If these ring true and you’re bothered by signs of aging in on your face, deep creases, excess fatty deposits, or loose skin along the mid-face, neck, or jowls, it may be worth looking into the cost and availability of a facelift.

If you’ve decided it’s right for you, your surgeon may suggest one of these procedures to remedy your problems. In particular, this surgery is such wonderful evidence of the development of modern technology: We’ve come an awfully long way since facelifts first began to be performed, and it’s exciting to dream about the future possibilities for reversing aging through cosmetic surgery.

So, What Are My Options?

The type of facelift you need differs based on your individual skincare and aging concerns. When you sit down for a chat or consultation with your surgeon, here are a few of the possibilities that they might suggest.

The SMAS Lift: As Dr. Scott Miller explains, “the first facelift simply cut the skin on the face and pulled it back. However, the skin kept falling, as there was nothing to support it in its new, higher position. Surgeons soon realized they were not going deep enough to achieve a lasting result. Enter the superficial musculoaponeurotic system lift (SMAS).” In other words, this procedure lifts the deeper tissues of the face and neck, the ones that are most likely to sage as you age (check out the helpful diagram on this page if you’d like a visual representation). The best candidates for this procedure are anyone over the age of 45 with neck laxity, jowling, or midface sagging. However, patients should also realize that the SMAS takes longer to perform than other procedures and requires a longer recovery period. So, if you’re looking for a quick and speedy tightening, this may not be the procedure for you.

The Deep Plane Facelift: Looking for total rejuvenation? This facelift is the O.G. of facelift procedures, and offers the most comprehensive and long-lasting facial reshaping of all the techniques. If you undergo a deep plane facelift, expect your upper and lower eyelids, brows, face, and neck to all be lifted in one continous section. As you might imagine, there’s different ways to do this procedure but in almost all cases, recovery periods are much longer than any other type of facelift procedure, and there will be significant swelling. As Los Angeles surgeon Dr. Andrew Frankel explains, “because the heavier tissues are independently supported in a deep-plane facelift, they can remain in place for much longer before the aging process weakens these tissues again. Other benefits of an optimal deep-plane facelift may include better healing of the incisions, more natural-looking results, improved circulation throughout the face, and fewer post-operative bumps or lumps.”

The Mid-Facelift: Okay, do you want the benefits of a face-lift, but just in the middle of your face? There’s a procedure for that, and it’s called the mid-facelift. Dr. Jonathan Hoenig notes that “an improperly positioned mid-face can accentuate the aging changes around the mouth and chin. Sagging of the cheeks results in apparent puffiness of the lower eyelids, under eye circles, an indentation in the upper cheek region, and a deepening of the line between the nose and the corner of the mouth.” If you don’t want to worry about your neck, but you’re still concerned about the middle of your face, this might be the perfect solution for you.

Before becoming set on one procedure or another, do your due diligence and make sure to carefully research recovery times, look at before-and-after photos, and prepare list for your plastic surgeon, just like you would with any other cosmetic surgery. If you have questions about these procedures or want help connecting with a plastic surgeon, leave a comment in the section below! We’d be happy to help, anytime.

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