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Question: I'm interested in getting a facelift. However, there are so many different techniques out there. In fact, it seems like there's a new type of facelift every day. Can you explain to me what some of the more common or more effective facelift techniques are and what they're best at treating?
Answer: There are many types of faceliftprocedures advertised. What is most important is for you to find a qualified, board certified plastic surgeon with whom you are comfortable and confident, and allow that surgeon to perform the procedure that he or she feels is best for you in their hands. A traditional facelift is still the gold standard by which all other modified procedures are judged. Some alternative procedures involve advances in technology (endoscopic facelift) and some represent partial facelift procedures (mini-facelift, mid-face lift, necklift). Many however are more marketing gimmicks that promise less scarring, minimal anesthesia and more rapid recovery. For some patients, these may be reasonable alternatives that provide reasonable results, but usually are not as effective or lasting as more traditional procedures.
Complete facelift procedures should equally address the parts of the lower two thirds of the face, those being the cheeks and the neck, with the jawline being the transition zone between the two. For those patients with more pronounced aging changes in one or the other of these two areas, a partial facelift procedure may be appropriate.
It is also important that a face or neck lift procedure address the deeper tissue planes beneath the skin and fat. These are the fascia or SMAS layer in the face and the platysma muscle in the neck, which are continuous. Procedures that involve tightening or lifting of these layers by flap advancement, resection or suture plication should provide more dramatic, more natural and more lasting results.