The face needed to be lifted vertically; as straight upwards as feasible. In order to accomplish this goal I tried several methods and over time evolved into what I firmly believe is the best way of safely performing a midface lift. What began as an operation to repair the consequences from prior facelift surgery eventually became a first line procedure to improve aesthetics in the central portion of the face.
I now perform midface lift in Beverly Hills on 60% of my facial rejuvenation patients and often as a stand alone procedure; even on specific young patients. The midface lift involves incisions inside of the mouth above the gums.
How do Midface Lift work?
In 1998 I was analyzing the face of a woman who had undergone two prior facelift. On close inspection it was obvious to me that the center part of her cheeks had fallen vertically over the years and the prior operations had not helped with this problem but merely tightened her lower tissues horizontally towards her ears.
The net result was that she had that windswept appearance with “Nike Swooshes” emanating from the corners of her mouth. Of course one might expect this to happen if the skin had been pulled towards the incisions in front of her ears while all the weight of her facial tissues continued to drop downwards. The solution was clear to me.
After freeing up the soft tissues from the facial bones they are suspended up to the temples with the aid of the endoscope. Two small incisions are made in the temporal scalp and tunnels are dissected down into the face to communicate with the lower dissection. Once mobilized, the tissues are engaged with an absorbable device, elevated and secured to the temples.
The Midface Lift procedure
The effect is to raise the high points of the cheeks to where they once were or a more optimal position. Because only soft tissue is being elevated, the midface lift creates a more youthful rounder look than one might get with placement of hard cheek implants.
The face becomes less long and thin and more round and there is improved support to the lower eyelids. A midface lift prevents the “flattening” of the face that can result from a traditional facelift and certainly helps to prevent that “pulled look”.
My midface lift is not at all like those “thread lifts”. Those procedures touted as “minimally invasive” often involve placement of many sets of permanent sutures and rely on them to hold the face up in a static manner over time. My midface lift actually moves the tissues by dissection and repositions them to heal in a new position against the underlying bone. As we age we lose volume in our face and I find the midface lift to be uniquely suited to addressing this problem without the necessity of filling the face-up.
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FAQ’s about Midface Lift
The midface lift is used to correct the effects of gravity and aging. While a facelift pulls skin horizontally from the midface to the ears, it doesn’t lift tissue back up over the cheek bones, towards the temple. A midface lift pulls that soft tissue back up and attaches it to the temple. This creates a fuller, more youthful look, and it eliminates the loss of volume around the cheeks and lower eyes that occurs with aging.
An ideal candidate for a midface lift is a man or woman in good health. You must be upfront with your plastic surgeon about complications you’ve had during prior surgeries, any health issues that might impact the procedure, and medications and supplements that you use regularly.
During your consultation, you and your doctor discuss the areas on your midface that you’d like corrected. The doctor goes over the best form of anesthesia for this procedure and what happens during the surgery. You’ll also discuss the things you need to do both before and after the surgery and what to expect during your recovery.
Incisions for a midface lift are made inside the mouth, just over the gum line, and/or along the temple.
After providing the anesthesia and making the incisions, the plastic surgeon loosens the tissue from the facial bones. The tissue is pulled upward and secured into their new position.
Scars on the inside of the cheek are not visible. The other scar is hidden in the hairline, so it’s unlikely anyone will see it.
Heed your doctor’s advice. Some over-the-counter pain relievers and supplements thin the blood and must be avoided before and after your surgery. These include aspirin, garlic supplements, ibuprofen, vitamin E, and a few herbal remedies.
If you smoke, now is a good time to quit. You will not be allowed to smoke for a few weeks before and after your surgery. Smoking constricts blood vessels and impedes the natural healing process.
Most patients are fully recovered from a lip lift procedure after 5 -7 days. Patients must remember to use sun protection regularly and lead a healthy lifestyle if they want the outcome of their procedure to be preserved.
Every case is different. Your doctor gives you instructions on how long to avoid bending, lifting, and other strenuous activities. Make sure you follow this advice to keep from pulling your stitches. It can take weeks or months for the swelling to completely disappear. Expect scars to fade after six months
Complications from a midface lift are rare. There is the risk of allergic reaction to the anesthesia. If you’ve had issues during past surgeries, make sure you tell your plastic surgeon. During the surgery, it is possible for blood to collect under the skin and cause a hematoma. Make sure you follow your doctor’s advice about avoiding medications and supplements that thin the blood to help prevent this rare issue. Following the surgery, it is possible to develop an infection, especially if you do not follow the doctor’s orders. If you develop a fever or notice pus coming from the incision sites, contact your doctor.
Because a midface lift is generally an aesthetic plastic surgery, most insurance providers do not offer coverage.