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Understanding the Different Types of Facelifts

A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a form of cosmetic surgery used to address facial imperfections that typically occur as we get older. Aging can have a drastic effect on the facial appearance, resulting in changes to texture, tone, and even the overall shape and symmetry. The West County Plastic Surgeons of Washington University team often sees patients who are curious about what they can achieve from a facelift. The St. Louis practice provides several options for patients, and Drs. Terry Myckatyn and Marissa Tenenbaum explain that each variation has specific applications.

Jowls, a “turkey wattle,” sagging skin, deep creases, and hollows around the cheeks and temples are primarily caused by the force of gravity pulling lax facial tissues downward thanks to age-related changes to the skin’s internal structure. As a result of these shifts, many people feel that they no longer look like themselves.

During traditional facelift surgery, the flaps on the sides of the face are lifted upward and backward. Some amount of unwanted fat and skin is removed, and the underlying supportive connective tissue may be adjusted.

A mini-facelift is a less dramatic form of surgery applied to the central and lower thirds of the face. This variation is ideal for correcting less severe symptoms of aging and can also be used as a preventative measure to avoid more involved surgeries later in life.

Another version of the surgery, known as a short-scar facelift, concentrates solely on the middle and lower thirds of the face. As the incision does not extend below the front of the ear, there is less visible scarring, and healing is accelerated.

If you’re concerned about laxity in the neck area, a neck lift can address the appearance of skin, fat, and muscles.

No facelift addresses changes higher on the face, so anyone seeking to do something about brows that have sagged and fallen to a lower position may consider a brow lift. As sagging can create a permanently sad, angry, or tired facial expression, brow lifts refresh the appearance by securing this skin and tissue in a more elevated position.

Neck lifts and brow lifts may be combined with facelifts for enhanced facial rejuvenation results—especially since aging does not impact just one part of the face. Changes in one area are connected to changes in another, so the entire face should be taken into account prior to deciding on any procedure.

Interested in a facelift? St. Louis’ West County Plastic Surgeons of Washington University team is ready to guide you through each step of the journey. For more details, submit a contact form online or call (314) 996-8800.