When it comes to fighting the signs of aging in the face, you have several options: full facelift, midface lift, fat grafting, and a neck lift. What are these procedures, how are they similar and how are they different, and which one is right for you? We answer these questions below.
Facelift vs Neck lift
Facelifts and neck lifts are two of the most commonly performed surgeries to dramatically reduce the visual signs of aging on the face, neck and surrounding areas. Both procedures significantly improve saggy skin and weak muscles.
There are various types of facelift surgeries. It is not a one size fits all which it is why it is so important to schedule a consultation beforehand to discuss your individual needs. Generally speaking, a facelift procedure is the technique of pulling p the skin at the cheeks towards the forehead. The facelift focuses on improving the cheeks, lower face, jowls and jawline. Commonly performed to reduce wrinkles and sagging skin.
A neck lift, however, uses a technique that pulls excess skin under the chin, jawline and jowls. Commonly performed to correct draping skin on the front of the throat and to smooth out any neck bands (rings that appear in the skin around the neck).
Full Facelift vs Midface Lift
Whereas the full facelift lifts the entire face, a midface lift (also known as cheek lift) primarily addresses aging around the cheekbones. Using minimal incisions, the droopy cheek tissue can be lifted up back over the cheekbone thus restoring the more prominent youthful cheek contours. Midface lifts can be combined with fat grafting to the cheeks to help improve early facial aging with minimal incisions.
When there are less noticeable signs of aging sometimes a fat transfer can be performed. Fat transfer involves taking fat from other areas of the body, usually the abdomen or thighs. The fat is then carefully prepared for reinjection into the face in small quantities to increase volume. Fat transfers are typically associated with midface lifts to increase cheek volume. Fat transfers can also be used to plump up facial wrinkles, smile and marionette lines.
Facelift vs Fat transfer
When considering fat transfer or facelift surgery, it is important to understand that fat grafting alone does not address skin redundancy. Although fat grafting may lessen the appearance of the jowls, it does so by adding further volume to the jawline. Jowl formation is related to the effects of gravity on the facial soft tissues, which accumulate in the lower face. A facelift improves the appearance of the lower face by addressing the underlying cause, while fat grafting masks it.
Fat grafting is less extensive than a facelift. Facelift may lead to skin necrosis if performed in an active smoker given compromised blood supply of the facial skin flaps. Fat grafting is less invasive and does not challenge the blood supply of the facial soft tissues to the same degree as a facelift. It is still recommended to achieve smoking cessation for one month pre- and post-operatively to lower risk of healing complications. Smoking may reduce fat graft take, meaning that less fat may survive following injection into the face. The risk of major complications (skin necrosis, in particular) is lower following fat transfer vs. facelift. For patients with other medical conditions for whom facelift is not recommended, fat transfer may be an alternative option. It is a shorter procedure and requires less time under general anesthetic and shorter recovery time. Scarring is minimal. It is important for patients to be aware of the limitations of fat grafting alone based on their specific aesthetic concerns, however it may be an alternative to more invasive surgery.
Which is right for you?
To determine which procedure or procedures is best suited for you, please schedule a free consultation with Dr. John McFate. Dr. McFate is a board certified plastic surgeon. Precision Plastic Surgery is located in West Lake Hills, TX and has an on-site surgery suite that is accredited through AAAASF. Learn more about Precision. Schedule your consultation today: Contact Us.