Confusion About Types of Facelifts



“Mini”, “SMAS”, “MACS”, “Lunchtime”, “LifeStyle”, “Vampire”, etc…. How many facelifts are there and are they really that different? Let’s break this down to a few simple concepts that will make this herd of procedures a bit more understandable.

First anatomy: for the purposes of this blog we will define the anatomic limits of facelifts confined to the face and neck beginning at the lower eyelids and extending to the clavicle. Facelifts of different types may not address the entire area (they may focus on a small part only) but are limited to it.

Conceptually what is a facelift? A facelift restores youth to the face by repositioning anatomic structures that have descended and removes surplus skin that has accumulated as a result of gravity and age. The cheek and midface fat as well as the platysma muscle of the neck fall with age and can be repositioned. Excess skin accumulates from the cheek all the way down to the bottom of the neck.

There are really just 2 major categories into which almost all the various types of facelifts can be assigned: 1) full facelift 2)miniaturized facelift.

A full facelift exposes all the anatomic structures that descend and prepares them for repositioning. The operation is designed to remove all of the surplus skin.

Miniaturized facelifts expose less of the anatomic sturctures in question and are restricted as to how much surplus skin can be removed because of limitations of incision length.

In the end, any facelift can be the right choice if it is properly married to the anatomic needs of a particular patient. I’ll discuss what makes an harmonious union of procedure and patient in further blogs.

More on this topic to follow.


Article by
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon