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Different Types of Facelifts; Please Explain?

By Dr. Sutton Graham on May 27, 2014


We get this question a lot from callers and patients.  And we understand why.  Surgeons formerly shared their techniques with colleagues and we chose the methods that gave the best results for our patients.  A minority of doctors have begun to try to create trademarks or branded procedures, whose details they may not share, so you may call us about one that is being advertised heavily, but basically unknown to experienced surgeons. 

Dr. Graham regularly meets with both experienced surgeons and those developing new techniques to bring the best to our patients.  Our facelift techniques have evolved to offer rapid recovery, low risk, effective and natural results.  The procedures are tailored to each patient, so we cannot tell a caller just techniques or elements they might need until he has talked with you and examined you.

The standard facelift currently includes techniques for the cheeks, jowls, jawline and neck.   That means eyelids, forehead, lips, etc are separate elements in our evaluation and treatment, but usually combined when we plan surgery.  It typically takes more than 3 hours, and is done under general anesthesia.  The incisions vary for each patient, but usually at or behind the sideburn, hidden in contours at the front of the ear, in the groove at the back of the ear, then along or within the scalp hairline behind the ear, plus a short one under the chin.

A mini-lift (limited facelift) means some reduction from the standard facelift; shorter incision, no neck incision, less internal support, and less skin slack removed.  The advantages include less pain and swelling, less chance of bruising, less temporary numbness.  These procedures are best for younger men and women with mainly cheek and jowl concerns, who want a natural appearing result with less down-time.  These procedures may be offered under local anesthesia, and are less often combined with eyelid lift or other procedures.

Several names are associated with the mini-lift including s-lift, lifestyle lift, and MACS lift.  To add to the confusion marketers are using terms like vampire facelift or liquid facelift when no actual lifting is being done.  Sometimes the latter are injection-only techniques.

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"I am very pleased with Dr. Graham and his staff! They have been incredibly kind and helpful throughout my surgery. The post-op care has also been top notch! They always respond to my concerns right away, and I always feel well cared for, and listened to."

Mary V.

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