Ask a dozen friends what cosmetic surgery you require and it would not be surprising to get a dozen different answers –some will say just a Mid face, some Mini face and some whole face and some.…”oh you need your Neck done too”.
You’ll find a lot of people with opinions that may or may not be based on real science. Surgeons, however, have some solid and well-founded approaches based on years of experience and a clear understanding of your underlying needs. Even for a surgeon the terms are not standardised and often mean quite different things to different surgeons.
To even complicate matters further different marketing terms are used to describe a Facelift and this makes it confusing for patients
The term facelift is actually a generic term that applies to all operations that lift the skin of the face and neck. Additionally, the various other terms applied to facelifts are not necessarily technically precise in that each term can mean different things especially as there are many different facelift techniques.
As a guide however;
A Mini-Facelift: (such as S-lift, Lifestyle lift, Quick lift) is usually reserved for someone that has minimal neck laxity, usually someone younger or someone who has had a previous facelift. It is a more a limited technique of lifting the face with shorter incisions and less skin removal. A Mini lift improves the same area as a facelift does but to a lesser degree.
A Midface lift
Repositions the cheek skin and muscle vertically towards the eyes. This is used for someone who has lost fullness in the upper cheek area due to the descent of the tissues. It primarily addresses ageing around the cheekbones. It will revitalise the cheeks due falling tissues. Using minimal incisions, the droopy cheek tissue can be lifted up back over the cheekbone thus restoring the more prominent youthful cheek contours. A Mid face lift only addresses the mid-portion of the face and does not address the lower part and neck region.
A Full Facelift addresses the midface, neck and jawline in the most comprehensive manner. Beware that a full facelift varies significantly from surgeon to surgeon, with some surgeon’s full facelifts less powerful than some surgeon’s mini-facelifts! The science and the respective surgeon’s approach to the lift is critical to one’s result.
A full surgical facelift can help refresh the neck, jawline, and cheeks through removing excess fat and skin and tightening underlying facial muscles in order to bring more definition to facial structure.
Quite simply the terms and needs make it very confusing for patients. Our advice is that rather than focusing on these terms, focus on what is most concerning to you and specify these concerns with your surgeon. Discuss your aspiration so as your surgeon can consider the depth of surgery, the length of the flap that is raised and thus the recovery time.