Understanding the Different Types of Facelift Procedures

Understanding the Different Types of Facelift Procedures

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Last Updated on April 10, 2024 by Steal the Style

There are many options when it comes to facelifts. Choosing the right choice is personal and should be made after consultation with an experienced facial surgeon.

A full or traditional facelift elevates and tightens the skin and underlying muscles. Fat may be removed or redistributed. The surgeon will then close and bandage the wound.


Many patients who want to improve the appearance of their face may be intimidated by the lengthy recovery time and extended incisions associated with traditional facelift techniques. Fortunately, several non-invasive facelift options are available to help restore youthfulness without the significant surgery risks and downtime.

The mini facelift is also called the weekend facelift. Mini facelifts have smaller incisions and don’t extend to the hairline behind or in front of your ears. These shorter incisions allow the surgeon to perform a more limited amount of muscle tightening and skin removal. This procedure typically takes two weeks to heal, but you can return to work or other strenuous activities much earlier.

Men and women beginning to show signs of early aging in the jawline and chin area would undergo a facelift procedure. The person may be aware of jowls or have lost definition around the chin area and jawline but is comfortable with the rest of the face. They must be non-smokers in good health with enough skin laxity for a minimal facial lift but not ready for a rhytidectomy.

This procedure’s most common side effects are pain, swelling and bruising. These symptoms should disappear within a couple of days. Wear an ice pack and limit your activity as you heal.


The S-Lift, a mini facelift, is a great option for patients who want to rejuvenate the lower two-thirds of their faces. It is less invasive than a traditional facelift and uses a smaller incision. It is often performed in conjunction with a skin resurfacing procedure, which improves the appearance of skin texture and tone to enhance the refreshed results. The S lift is also often combined with a brow or eyelift. A youthful lower face can accentuate aged forehead lines or tired-looking eyes, so other procedures may be needed to create a balanced appearance.

Over time, gravity causes soft tissue layers (fascia, fat, muscle) to lose elasticity. This results in a sagging facial and neck profile that can create jowls, prominent nasolabial folds, and hollowed cheeks. The facelift is a surgical procedure that reverses the effects of gravity by suspending and tightening these loose tissues. It is typically performed for physically healthy patients unhappy with their facial and neck profiles.

The facelift can be performed using various techniques, depending on the surgeon’s preference and the patient’s expectations. The main differences between facelift techniques lie in the depth of surgical dissection, management of the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS), and incision placement. For example, most modern facelift techniques entail pulling on the SMAS for a deeper pull than earlier facelift approaches.

Traditional Facelift

As you age, your face naturally loses key components that help keep the skin supple and tight. Eventually, this can lead to loose and drooping skin, fine lines, wrinkles, and excess fat in certain face or neck areas.

A full facelift can correct all these issues, providing a more defined neckline, sculpted jawline, and a younger-looking appearance. With a traditional facelift, cosmetic surgeons make surgical incisions around the ears and hairline and an additional incision below your chin to correct bands in the neck area. Excess fat is removed or redistributed, and underlying muscles are tightened and lifted. Skin is then re-draped, and the incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures or skin glue.

Many people who undergo a traditional facelift also get a brow lift or eyelid surgery to achieve their desired overall appearance. Combined, these procedures can create natural-looking results that your family, friends, and co-workers will wonder about but not notice.

A nonsurgical facelift can be performed in our office while you are sedated, allowing you to return home with minimal downtime and discomfort. After the procedure, you will likely feel some swelling and bruising, but this will go away in about a week. For safety reasons, we recommend that someone drive you to and from your doctor’s office and back home after the procedure.

Brow Lift

Over time, age, too much sun exposure and genetics can cause the skin around the eyebrows, forehead and eyes to lose elasticity, causing sagging brows and hooded upper eyelids. This can give the face an angry or sad appearance that’s unattractive and can even cause people to feel self-conscious about how they look. A brow lift can tighten excess loose skin, smooth forehead wrinkling, and modify drooping brows to restore the youthful appearance of the eyes.

A brow lift is a surgical procedure performed at your doctor’s office or a hospital-type outpatient surgery facility. You’ll be given sedation or general anesthesia to stay comfortable during the operation. Before the procedure, your surgeon will review your medical history and ask about any medications you take. They will also take photographs of the area to be treated for your records.

Typically, you can expect some swelling and bruising after a brow lift. You may need to sleep propped up or wear a support bandage during recovery, depending on the type of surgery you get. After the procedure, your doctor will use sutures or skin adhesives to close incisions before adding wound dressings and bandages. You’ll be given instructions about how to care for your wounds at home, and you may need to return to the office for a follow-up visit.