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Difference Between Facelifts and Mid-Face Lifts

Standard facelifts have been with us since the early 1900’s. The first recorded facelift was performed in 1901 by Dr. Eugen Holländer in Berlin at the request of a Polish aristocrat. This was done mainly to address jowling and neck laxity. For the first 70 years, facelifts consisted of a skin undermining, a backward pull and an excision of the excess skin. By the 70’s, we learned that the culprit is not lose skin but a laxity of the muscles of the face – the falling muscles drag the overlying skin with them when they become lax. Techniques since that time have been developed to address the muscle laxity and we now get far superior results that last a lot longer. But for many years, the mid-face (the mid cheek and the extra skin which accumulates lateral to our nasolabial folds) was ignored. Mid-face lifts are relatively new but we have been doing them for 20 or more years. Both facelift and mid-face lift procedures are designed to turn back the hands of time but both address different aspects of the aging process. A standard facelift is still the ideal procedure to tighten a loose neck and to help with jowls. Mid-face lifts are relatively new procedures, but they address an age old problem – drooping and hollowing of the cheek areas below the lower eyelids – creating a so called “mid cheek groove” deformity. These mid-face lifts can be done as an isolated procedure to freshen a face in the late 30’s or 40’s that is showing the earliest signs of aging – or combined with a traditional facelift in an older person – or as an isolated procedure in an older patient who has had a traditional facelift but the mid-face had not been addressed. One of the beauties of a mid-face lift is that is can be done through short incisions that are hidden behind the hair line and through a tiny stab wound in the fold between the cheek and the upper lip, just large enough to let us insert a few very long needles, which heals without a visible scar. The mid-face lift will not alter your jowls or neck laxity, so if these are an issue, a traditional face and neck lift will also have to be performed to achieve optimal rejuvenation.

Facial rejuvenation is at the top of the list of the most common aesthetic surgical procedures performed here at Orange County Plastic Surgery. Most people feel physically and mentally vigorous and energetic long after their appearance has begun to deteriorate due to aging. A face, neck, brow or mid-face lift procedure is designed to provide you with a rejuvenated appearance. The degree of improvement achieved depends on the severity of the initial deformity, the age of the patient, tissue elasticity and the recommended procedure. Here are a few patients that show the benefits of the mid-face and traditional facelifts.

(Actual patient of Dr. Bunkis) 47 year old female before and after mid-face thread lift with lower lid blepharoplasty, without a need for a traditional face or neck lift.

(Actual patient of Dr. Bunkis) Similar aged, 47 year old female with neck laxity and jowls, not much in the way of mid-face laxity, but with jowling and neck laxity as well as brow ptosis, before and after an endoscopic brow lift and facelift – no need for a midface here, and conversely, a midface lift would not have addressed the things that bothered her the most, jowls and neck laxity.

(Actual patient of Dr. Bunkis) 54 year old female a year after a traditional face lift done previously, neck still quite tight, but complaining of mid-face and lower eyelid laxity. To address her concerns, a mid-face thread lift was performed by Dr. Bunkis to lift the drooping cheek tissues next to the nasolabial fold, thus removing the oblique trough that forms across the cheek as people age, and giving her a nice and youthful cheek. This procedure also elevates the junction between the eyelid and cheek, allowing us to shorten the eyelid, adding to a more youthful look. The after photos, six years later at age 62, show that the improvement has been well maintained.

It is important to seek a surgeon who is well versed in all of the options so that a customized plan can be developed for your concerns. Please feel free to call Dr. Bunkis at Orange County Plastic Surgery in Newport Beach and Dublin, CA (949-888-9700) for a complimentary consultation so that we can lay out all your options for you. You may also wish to see more patient examples on our website at www.orangecountyplasticsurgery.com

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.