The Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Facelifts: Exploring Surgical and Non-Surgical Options

The Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Facelifts: Exploring Surgical and Non-Surgical Options

You may have heard the terms SMAS, Deep Plane, Mini, Lower Face, Mid Face, Thread, InstaLift, Liquid, and Vampire applied to facelifts.  What do all these terms mean?  While they all refer to the magic of face contouring and correction available to patients in the form of facelift procedures, it can be confusing to know which one is right for you.  Each procedure utilizes different techniques, and each offers a different level of volumizing or tightening.  These procedures also vary greatly in terms of downtime, recovery, and ultimate duration of results.  Read on to learn more about the unique capabilities of each of these procedures in restoring your radiant allure!

In the past, “facelift” was the term for a general type of surgery that was recognized as a single procedure.  Today, there are at least a dozen different techniques that all use the term “facelift” in their titles, largely because they have some impact on making the face appear more youthful.  However, a true facelift is still considered corrective surgery and is much more involved than most of these terms imply.

To put this into context, a true, full facelift takes about 4.5 to 6 hours and involves removing excess skin from the neck and face, tightening the skin that is left, and literally “lifting” the muscles of the face and neck using a variety of techniques.  This is considered a major surgical procedure and often requires at least a few weeks of recovery time.  Popular true facelifts include:

●      SMAS Facelift.  SMAS stands for superficial musculoaponeurotic system, a group of muscles that control smiling and frowning.  During an SMAS facelift, the surgeon tightens this layer with sutures, which often leads to lessening of sagging, particularly in the “jowls” of the face.  The results can last for several years.

●      Deep Plane Facelift.  A deep plane facelift is one of the most long-term solutions available for facial sag or wrinkling.  It can provide up to 15 years worth of dramatic lift to the face.  The name comes from the “deep plane” of the face below the SMAS level, where the surgeon can reposition the muscles while minimizing the effects of scarring.

●      Mini Facelift.  As the name implies, surgeons performing a mini facelift use very similar procedures to those used in a full facelift.  However, instead of the more invasive work done in a full facelift, the mini facelift involves focusing only on tightening the appearance of sagging on the jawline by removing excess skin and fat.  The mini facelift is used employed for younger patients who want to remain youthful and have minimal neck sagging.

●      Lower Face, Mid Face or Cheek Lift.  Many smaller facelift procedures target specific areas on the face using an endoscopic method rather than the full surgical practice used in traditional facelifts.  These procedures are generally appropriate for very targeted repairs, such as a specific, isolated area of the face that needs work.  In some cases, this may be enough to restore a youthful look to the patient and satisfy any further needs for a facelift.

Types of Non-Surgical “Facelifts”

However, due to the popularity of smaller, less invasive procedures, quite a number of “baby lifts” have been developed.  These are not true facelifts, but may provide some temporary help for sagging skin, wrinkles and other unsightly problems associated with aging.  A few of the most popular include:

●      Thread “Facelift”.  A thread lift is considered a temporary facelift procedure, as it is not intended to permanently change the structure of the face.  However, what a thread lift can do is provoke a healing response on the body’s part that forces it to produce more collagen, which can have the effect of reversing some sagging or wrinkling.  Small sutures are added to the face to “lift” the skin; these sutures are temporary and will dissolve over time. 

●      InstaLift®. InstaLift is a proprietary treatment that uses “micro cones” that are injected into the deepest layer of the mid-facial skin to immediately provide lift.  Like the thread treatment, InstaLift® also offers the benefit of activating natural collagen production from the patient’s own body to help heal and reverse aging.  Over time, the cones will degrade, leaving the patient with natural collagen “fillers” in their place.  The recovery time from InstaLift® is very short, allowing patients to return to work or other activities quickly.

●      Liquid “Facelift”. A liquid facelift is a non-surgical procedure during which the surgeon will strategically inject a facial filler into the patient’s face. Adding this liquid beneath the skin brings back volume and reduces wrinkles, creases, and skin drooping. A liquid facelift doesn’t last as long as other options, but it can be maintained with additional injections every year or two. There is no recovery time after this procedure, with patients being able to resume normal activity within several hours of the injection.

●      Vampire “Facelift” .  The “vampire” facelift received its name from the fact that the technique uses the patient’s own blood to reverse the effects of aging.  The vampire facelift requires an injection of the patient’s own plasma as well as a hyaluronic acid filler.  The downtime is minimal, with many patients returning to work the next day.  Results normally last about a year.

The most important thing to remember when choosing an option for your facelift is your personal health goals.  If you only need a small correction, a non-surgical procedure may be right for you.  However, it is very important to talk with your surgeon before making such a decision so that you can correctly manage your expectations and consider the outcomes before you decide whether or not to have a full facelift.

At The Aesthetic Center, we want to help you feel more beautiful and love your face and body!  We offer a wide variety of treatment options that will meet any need.  Talk to us about your goals and let us help you choose the right procedures to boost your confidence and rejuvenate your look.  Give us a call today to schedule your consultation.

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