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All of these procedures are known as "face lifting". Some can be done alone, but most need to be done together when aging changes become more advanced in the 40's and 50's. A "mini-lift" is a term used for a minor tightening procedure which accomplishes very little, if anything, and only for a very short time. It is usually "sold" to patients who only want to have a small operation and pay a small surgical fee. No one is unhappier than patients who have wasted their money and taken operative risks to have mini-lifts.

Patients should know that when they are quoted modest amounts of money and short operating times probably to perform today's complicated, technical operations that they are not dealing with a qualified surgeon or are likely to not have a satisfying result. Today's facial lifting procedures require significant technical skills and artistic judgment. Therefore, they take significant time to execute. Expert attention to detail around and behind the ears is necessary to obtain scarring that will be nearly invisible. A standard facelift requires 4 to 5 hours and longer when the forehead and eyes are involved.

The newer and better upper and midface suspension procedures go by many names, such as subperiosteal or vertical lifting. They also require 4 to 5 hours of time. They include the forehead, temple and eyes but not the jowls and neck.

There are as many different ways of performing facial lifting procedures as there are plastic surgeons. Patients should inquire about all the above before selecting their surgeon. Be suspicious of "short operations" and the lesser fees! Quality facial cosmetic surgery is not inexpensive, but it is your face and your emotions and we all have to live in front of mirrors!

A Face Lift Has Many Names


Aging changes of the face start even in the 20's and 30's. Plastic surgery has developed various operations over the last 25 years to improve facial appearances. Aging changes are related to loss of tissue strength and elasticity, as well as sun exposure deterioration. There are many procedures designed to improve each change. A sagging forehead is corrected by a forehead, brow and temple lift. A drooping upper eyelid is corrected by skin and fat removal. Tired lower eyelids can be improved with lifting techniques. However, the fat should not be removed because it creates a hollow, sunken look. The cheeks sag downward to create a smile crease. The newer midface lifting or suspension techniques dramatically improves this area. The jowls and neck can be lifted by a face and neck lift which tightens the muscles.

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