In 1998 I was analyzing the face of a woman who had undergone two prior facelifts. 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. 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.
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 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.