Background on Facelifts
How long does the operation take? What does it entail?? Well, I’m not a surgeon, simply a blogger. I decided to contact Dr. Mark Kohout, a Sydney based Plastic Surgeon about this.”The operation takes from 3 to 5 hours, depending on the extent of each case,” says Dr. Kohout.
Depending on aesthetic goals and preferences regarding downtime/recovery, risks change. Generally, the different facelifts types vary from incision, to number of tissue layers treated, to the area of the face that is targeted, and their degree of invasiveness.
When these procedures first began, it pretty cut and dry; cut the skin and pull it back. It surely wasn’t reliable, nor did it offer the best results. The skin kept falling because there was no scaffolding to support its new, higher position. Over time, surgeons went deeper into the facial tissues, and the modern facelift was born.
#1 – Deep Plane Lift
The deep plane lift is the gold standard. It involves lifting, releasing and repositioning the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS). In short, the SMAS layer is located underneath the skin and surrounds the muscles of facial expression. It provides longer-lasting results with fewer revisions.
An inconspicuous incisions along the hairline is made so that the facial muscles and upper fatty tissue layers can be easily lifted and repositioned.
During the procedure, the surgeon separates the skin from the SMAS layer, and then enters the “deep plane” by going underneath the SMAS layer to release attachments. This release allows the surgeon to reposition the SMAS layer, and accompanying skin, in a more youthful, natural, and tension-free position. Once repositioned, excess and loose skin is removed, and the edges are sutured or stapled in place.
This lift is great if you have:
- severe facial sagging and laxity;
- and for those looking for a longer-lasting lift.
The results are dramatic, especially in the cheeks, nasolabial folds, jawline and chin. They last about 10 to 15 years and cost between $12,000 and $15,000.
#2 – Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System (SMAS) Lift
The SMAS lift affects the superficial top layers of skin and the deeper tissues of the face and neck. These tissues tend to sag as we age. The difference between this lift and the deep plane lift is that no attachments underneath the SMAS are released.
The surgeon creates an incision at the temple, above the hairline. It is then extended downward following the natural crease to reach below the ear lobe. The SMAS is then tightened using sutures and any excess skin is removed. The rest is stitched up.
This lift works well for:
- individuals with mild laxity;
- some jowls; and
- mid-face sagging.
There are several SMAS lift techniques. Surgery time, recovery, and overall results differ from one SMAS lift type to the next.
It costs anywhere between $5,000 to $12,000.
#3 – Short Scar Facelift
The short scar facelift covers several facelifts that involve short scars. One of those facelift types is an S-shaped incision at the temple or in front of the ear. Unlike other facelift types, this one does not extend behind the ear. The tissues that support your smile lines and jowls can still be re-suspended and tighten a good amount of loose skin.
The minimal access cranial suspension lift (MACS) is another type of short scar facelift. The incision stops right at the ear lobe with this facelift.
Short scar lifts are optimal for:
- people in their 40s and 50s with minimal to moderate excess skin;
- those looking for shorter scar; or
- for those with no visible signs of aging on the neck.
Short scar lift range between $6,000 to $10,000.
#4 – Endoscopic Facelift
Endoscopic facelift procedures use a pencil-shaped probe equipped with a miniature camera to transmit a video of internal facial structures onto a TV screen. The endoscope is inserted through three or more small incisions less than one inch in length so it can easily be hidden.
These facelifts are normally done on an outpatient basis using local or intravenous anesthesia. The smaller incisions can result in a lowered nerve damage risk. However, the results don’t compare with other facelifts.
This type of lift is effective only for:
- cheek sagging.
The cost?? From $6,000 to $10,000. Pretty pricey for something that can only partially fix sagging.
#5 – Midface or Cheek Lift
These facelift types target the middle third of the face. The incisions are placed in the hairline and inside the mouth. The natural fatty layer over the cheekbones is then lifted and repositioned.
It can also be treated with a SMAS or deep plane lift. An isolated mid-facelift can be done endoscopically or via the lower lid if a blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) is performed.
This lift is good for:
- Subtle freshening-up with minimal risk and downtime; and
- Improve nose-to-mouth lines and lift sagging cheeks.
It costs between $6,000 and 10,000.
#6 – Stem Cell Facelift
A surgical facelift relies on lifting the skin and connective tissue to treat facial sagging, but a stem cell facelift involves fat injections to the face to add volume. It’s a two-step process:
- First the fat cells (and the stem cells in them) are harvested by liposuction from areas on the body where they are plentiful (tummy, buttocks, thighs).
- They are then processed, with a focus on the stem cells residing in the fat cells.
- Then, the fat and stem cells are injected into the face to contour and fill the cheeks, under-eye hollows, temples, lips and other facial areas.
This is a great option for:
- people that don’t want to go the surgical facelifts;
- those that want to avoid using botox.
This facelift type costs more than a traditional facelift. Depending on the number of areas to be treated, it can cost anywhere between $5,500 to $15,000.
#7 – Thread Lift
The thread lift (also called feather or aptos lift) is not used as a stand-alone procedure. It’s a technique combined with other facelifts for extra tissue support.
It uses tiny suture barbs that act as a hook to gather skin layers upward to tighten the skin. The barbs are attached to a thread which remains in place following the procedure. No nipping or tucking is involved, the barbs on the threads and fibrous tissue are what provide the lift.
The Gist of it
So here are seven facelift types commonly used to lift sagging skin, each with own set of pros and cons in terms of procedure, downtime, results, and price. Before booking your next appointment with the surgeon, make sure you do your homework so can be well versed in the topic and ensure you are getting the best bang for your buck!