What Is A Facelift?

Facelifts surgically reposition sagging muscles, fat and tissue along with re-draping skin and reduction of excess skin of the face, jawline and neck to produce a more youthful appearance.

A facelift is facial rejuvenation surgery that goes beyond just tightening skin. While there are a variety of facelift procedures, it usually extends below the skin to address the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) by repositioning underlying facial muscles and removing any excess skin. A truly complete and comprehensive facelift with the most natural outcome will reduce, redistribute, and in some cases, add micro-fat, to the face in areas where there is deficient volume.

The modern facelift has moved away from using skin tension to contour the face. As a face ages, there are changes to how fat is distributed, specifically the fat in the lower part of the face. The result a face that looks longer and squarer in shape—young faces tend to be tapered or angular. Thus, the most important aspect of a facelift is to improve facial shape while limiting signs that a surgical procedure has been performed.

Every plastic surgeon and facial plastic surgeon has their own variation on a facelift. All facelift procedures share a common goal: to restore natural curvatures to the features while maintaining an appropriate amount of volume in the right places.

Today’s surgeons typically perform facelifts either individually or in combination with other common facial rejuvenation procedures like eyelifts, browlifts, lip or chin augmentation, necklifts and so on. 

Here, a menu of the types of surgical facelift procedures that board-certified plastic and facial plastic surgeons perform:

  • Traditional or Full Facelift
  • Mini-Facelift or Limited-Incision Facelift
  • Mid-Facelift

Studies show that patients get the best results with a combination of facial rejuvenation surgery that both lifts and repositions skin and underlying sagging tissue combined with the use of injectables and fillers to restore lost volume and natural fat. 

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