Basically, cheeklifts fall into several categories
1. Lower eyelid procedures. Full and minimal incision versions. Give the best results for the lower eyelid. Highest risk for lower eyelid problems unless they avoid the orbital septum (i.e. USIC, ultrashort incision cheeklift). Direction of pull tends to be straight up. Can be subperiosteal (more risky) or suborbicularis (less risky).
2. Through the mouth/temple. Direction of pull tends to be up and out. Often combined with Endotine device. Does little for the lower eyelid.
3. Fixation devices Primarily Endotine fixation devices. Can be done through incisions to the side of the eye (often visible), temple (can leave hair loss). Direction of pull tends to be straight up for side of the eye; up and out for temple approach.
4. Combined browlift / cheeklift technique, often through the mouth and through the temple, often with fixation device. Combinations of above procedures. Direction of pull up and out.
5. Through the facelift. If deep tissue restructuring is done (NOT conventional SMAS procedure), cheek tissue can be elevated. Many methods of this as well- subcutaneous vs. deep (i.e. Owsley, Hamra). A vital element of our facelifts. This aspect of the surgery cannot be performed any other way other than through facelift incisions.
Dr. Rand gives good advice on looking for the result, not the technique.
Every cheeklift is tailored to the patient's needs and anatomy.
The cheeklift is one of the most difficult procedures, so choose wisely. The rewards are great, avoiding change in eye shape while tightening the lower eyelids skin, avoiding redraping look of a facelift, very nice lower eyelid results, but risks also great if not properly done.
Your prospective doctor should be fluent with all these methods.
Below is a book chapter we published on the different types of cheeklifts in the textbook Mathes.