What is the difference between a regular facelift and an endoscopic face lift? Which type of face lift is best for sagging cheeks and jowls?
What is an Endoscopic Face Lift?
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Endoscopic Facelift uses small incisions for inserting endoscopes
Endoscopic facelift implies that small incisions are used to insert endoscopes to visualize the surgical field then small instruments are inserted to perform the surgery. Although lower endoscopic facelifting has been described, typically endoscopic facelifts imply a mid-facelift procedure or a browlift procedure. So, lifting the brow position or elevating the midface can be performed with endoscopes but lifting the lower face with endscopes is very difficult and not mainstream.
Web reference: http://www.sluplift.com
Endoscopic Facelift does not equal Facelift
An endoscopic facelift is where an endoscope it introduced through the hairline and helps guide the surgeon to help reposition tissue. Generally speaking an endoscopic facelift is another term for an endoscopic browlift or an endoscopic midface lift. An endoscopic lift will have very limited effects on the neck and jowl region. A facelift is intended to lift the tissues of the face and neck in an effort to improve the jawline, neck and descended tissues of the face. An endoscopic lift can be performed independent of a facelift or in conjunction with a facelift.
Web reference: http://www.shahfacialplastics.com/index-11.html
A 'regular facelift' is a term often used for facelift using an incision that starts in the temple region, goes around the ear and ends behind the ear to address sagging tissues for the middle (cheeks) and lower part (jowls and neck) of the face. While this technique is still utilitzed widely by facial plastic surgeons, this type of incision does NOT address the brow and the midface (cheeks) well.
The newer endoscopic facelift on the otherhand uses 4-5 mm incisions in the scalp and temple region and uses an endoscope (small camera with light source attached) and performs all the necessary surgery. The biggest benefit is minimal or no scarring with minimal chance of any permanent numbness. Also, because it focuses on the specific parts of the face, the surgeon is able to better perform the surgery.
It is important to remember, however, that endoscopic facelift addresses only the upper 2/3 of the face and has limited role in the lower face and neck region.
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Endoscopic? Appropriate for Brows, not for the Jowls and neck
Since the components of facial aging consist of volume loss, descent of facial soft tissues, and skin laxity/ excess, it does not make sense to perform a Facelift without an incision that allows for skin removal. An endoscopic approach is a minimal incision approach which works very well in the brow and mid-facial regions. It plays no role in repositioning of the jowls, addressing platysmal bands or SMAS elevation unless a surgeon wants to spend more time in the operating room than is necessary. A technique is only beneficial if it matches the needs of the procedure. Since the needs of a Facelift are soft tissue repositioning and skin removal, an endoscopic technique is an inappropriate tool to achieve this end.
Regular facelifts are better than endoscopic ones
An endoscopic facelift is done to minimize the scars from a facelift. It might be reasonable for a patient who has very little extra skin or laxity but if you have sagging skin, jowls and looseness and extra fat in the neck, you will get a much better and more dramatic result from a well performed traditional facelift.
Endoscopic vs regular facelift
An endoscopic facelift uses endoscopes to dissect, elevate and re-position tissues. The advantage is smaller scars. A regular facelift uses more traditional incisions and opens the tissues more extensively. For the upper face the endoscopic method gets fairly nice results especially the forehead area. The lower face , jowls, and neck are treated much better with a traditional facelift. Endoscopic results in these areas are poor and do not last nearly as long as compared to traditional face-lifting. Traditional facelifts can also be individualized for each patient much better that endoscopic work.
I always recommend a full facelift. Best to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon. Best of luck.
A traditional facelift is performed with incisions around the ears and into the back of the hairline. The skin is draped with the excess removed. This corrects sagging of the cheeks and jowls. An Endoscopic lift is done with the incisions in the scalp and endotines are used for the lift. This will lift the cheek area but won't do much for the lower face.
An endoscopic facelift is truly a misnomer. An endoscopic browlift works well, but an endoscopic facelift is technically not feasible. It does not work well for the lower face. It is considered a marketing hype.
Endoscopic Facelift vs. "Regular" Facelift
Generally speaking, an endoscopic facelift is a procedure where small incisions are made behind the hairline and used to provide visualization (with an endoscope) and minimally-invasive access for dissection. This technique is excellent for the forehead/brow region and midface/cheek region. It is not designed to tackle heavy jowls or hanging neck tissue. As such, endoscopic facelifts are often selected by somewhat younger patients. Best of luck!
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.
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