The Piazza Center for Plastic Surgery and Advanced Skin Care
7900 Farm to Market Road 1826, Bldg 2, Suite 206
Austin, TX 78737
Phone: (512) 288-8200
Monday–Thursday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Types of Facelift: A Guide to Determine Which One Is Best for You

In today’s world, there are many catchy terms for facelift surgery to allure patients, such as “lunchtime lift,” “lifestyle lift,” “short scar lift,” “weekend lift,” etc. This can make things fairly confusing for the average patient. In addition, there are some procedures that are called a “lift” that are in fact simply adding volume with fillers, such as a “liquid facelift” or a “Vampire Lift.” So, to put it simply, fillers fill and lifts lift.

Although injectable fillers (synthetic dermal fillers or fat injections) have a very important place in facial rejuvenation, any technique that only adds volume to the face is not necessarily a “lift.” That being said, commonly these procedures will complement each other when creating an improved result.

Facelift procedures involve an incision around the ear – typically in front of the ear, around the ear lobe and behind the ear – and dissection and suspension of facial tissues that have become saggy. These facial tissues may be skin only, skin with suspension sutures on the deep tissues and skin, or skin and elevation of deep tissues (SMAS – “Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System” and facial fat pads). Modern day facelift surgery focuses on this deeper SMAS layer of tissue below the skin. Elevating and repositioning this sagging facial tissue will improve the cheek and jowl contour giving a rejuvenated appearance. Suspension on this deep layer creates a longer-lasting and, more importantly, natural-looking result.

Facelift incisions are made around and inside the ear.

To learn more about facelift incisions, click here.

Types of Facelift

Types of Facelift

None of these facelift techniques will make the patient look “plastic” or “weird” if done properly. The real key is to find a surgeon that is dedicated to facelift surgery to recommend the right procedure and then execute the procedure in the proper way.

Table comparing facelift options Table comparing facelift options

The Vertical Lift – The Direction of the Lift

Regardless of which facelift technique is used, the SMAS (muscle) layer and skin have to be suspended and lifted. The direction of that lift is an extremely important portion of the procedure.

Studies have demonstrated that the surgeon needs to be able to determine the “Angle of Maximal Rejuvenation” which will allow for the greatest reduction of skin and soft tissue laxity to remove jowls, reposition the cheek fat pads, improve nasolabial folds and lift the corners of the mouth. Many inexperienced surgeons perform facelift surgery by tightening the face horizontally or towards the ears, making the face appear stretched and the cheeks flattened.

Facelifts are not about tightening but lifting by properly releasing the tethering ligaments at an appropriate angle of suspension, which ranges from 45 to 60 degrees depending on the patient’s anatomy and age.

By lifting the soft tissues and fat pads in a vertical direction, the cheeks are lifted to pad the cheekbones and create the heart-shaped face typical of youth. The vertical lift will create a natural-looking result and avoid a “plastic” appearance.

An Expert Facial Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Antunes specializes in improving the appearance of facial structures by combining the latest technologies with a facelift procedure tailored to the patient’s needs and anatomy, advanced stem cell fat transfer and high quality skin treatment with laser skin resurfacing or skin care products.  Dr. Antunes prides himself in only recommending for each patient what he or she really needs to improve. Because of his extensive training and experience, he is versed in all types of facelift techniques; every treatment plan is customized.  Many times, facelift and necklift procedures are performed at the same time to ensure harmony in the final result, avoiding the “half” treated appearance. Dr. Antunes often combines other types of facial plastic surgery such as eyelid surgery, fat transfer, laser skin resurfacing and chin implants at the same time.

Dr. Antunes is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon in the Austin Area. He is a guru in facial rejuvenation and is among the best neck lift and best facelift surgeons in Texas.

Please contact The Piazza Center at (512) 288-8200 or request a consultation with Dr. Antunes to discuss your facelift options today.

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