What is the difference between a cheek lift and a facelift?

Doctor Answers 21

What is the difference between a cheek lift and a facelift?

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There is no set terminology for these terms and may be somewhat different surgeon to surgeon.  In general, a properly performed deep plane, High-SMAS facelift improves the jowls, neck, and cheeks, although commonly volume augmentation is required to fully provide youth to the cheeks.

I hope this helps. 

Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

What is the difference between a cheek lift and a facelift

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A facelift encompasses a cheek and a neck lift together. In the case of an isolated cheek lift, there will be minimal to no improvement of the neck, whereas the facelift would correct both the cheeks and  the neck.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Difference Between Cheek Lift and Facelift

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Yours is an excellent question but impossible to answer.  These procedures are not well defined because every surgeon will do these procedures differently and every experienced surgeon will modify their techniques  depending on specific needs of each patient. It is best to describe the facial features you don't like and then discuss exactly what will be done to achieve the desired rejuvenation. What the procedure is called is not important.  

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Every Surgeon Has a Unique Approach

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Most versions of facelift surgery — and there are many — lift the cheeks to some extent, because this is a common site of sagging and lost volume. A procedure that strictly lifts the cheeks is possible, but it's not a common request among patients (in my experience, anyway). Each surgeon has preferred techniques when it comes to facial rejuvenation. The same "cheek lift" effect may also be achieved by fat grafting or facial implants, which can be preferable because they create only minimal scarring. If you'd like to pursue a procedure that focuses solely on your cheeks, I recommend seeing a board-certified plastic surgeon who has ample experience with the nuances of facial rejuvenation.

Different Types of Facelifts

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This is a common questions and one that can take some time to answer. I recently wrote an article on this topic and thought you may find it useful. A facelift can be a complicated discussion, so I did my best to go over the basics as well. Take a look if you get a chance. 

Dr Bonaparte

James Bonaparte, MD, MSc, FRCSC
Ottawa Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Cheek Lift vs. Facelift

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As the name implies, a cheek lift focus the treatment on the cheek and the upper nasolabial folds. A facelift (S-lift) will treat the lower cheeks, jowls and neck. The decision of which is best for you would depend on the area you want treated. They can also be performed at the same time to treat the upper cheek down to the base of the neck. Most people would choose the S-Lift and then fat grafting to enhance the cheek area.


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Thank you for your question. A facelift is a more comprehensive approach to improving any signs of aging where as cheek lift addresses the cheeks alone. I suggest that you consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon.

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Difference between a cheek lift and a facelift

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Hello.  The answer to your question may vary, depending on the individual surgeon and the facial rejuvenation techniques that they use.  I think of a cheek lift as a mid-face lift, which is typically performed endoscopically from the temporal hairline, but can also be performed through a lower eyelid incision.  This procedure is intended to elevate the fat pad of the cheek vertically, resulting in increased projection of the cheek and softening of the nasolabial folds and marionette lines.  This procedure has some risks of complications and prolonged healing time, which has caused it to fall out of favor for some facial plastic surgeons.  There are other more commonly employed ways to increase cheek projection and soften the nasolabial folds and marionette lines, by providing volume restoration to the mid-face using fillers, fat, or implants.
A facelift is utilized to tighten the jawline and neck, by elevating the skin and soft tissues to a more youthful position, allowing removal of excess skin.  The improves the jowls, tightens a sagging neck, and provides some softening of the nasolabial folds and marionette lines.  Some surgeons employ a deep plane or composite facelift that may provide some elevation of the cheek, as well. 
Every patient must be approached individually, and the surgical techniques that are utilized should be tailored to the specific needs of each patient.  I would recommend that you seek a consultation with a board-certified Facial Plastic Surgeon with extensive experience in facial rejuvenation and allow them to assess your anatomy, concerns, and goals, in order to determine the best treatment plan for you.  Best of luck to you in achieving your aesthetic goals.

Michael Boggess, MD
Nashville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

cheek lift vs facelift

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 In our practice, we do not perform a cheek lift, also known as a midface lift due to complications that can occur. When patients lose volume in the mid face, we replace the volume of the cheek implants which lift the cheeks outwards and augment them, not vertically lift the cheeks.  A lower face lift accomplishes tightening loose facial and neck muscles, tightening loose facial and neck skin, with removal of fatty deposits in the neck, and lifting the jowls. For more information and many examples of both procedures, please see the link and the video below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Cheek lift and face lift - what's the difference?

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Great question. They are not defined terms so you need at ask your surgeon what specifically s/he has in mind

To me - not to all surgeons - a cheek lift is either a mid-face lift or an extended face lift

The face lift to me is a SMAS level lifting of the face from just below the cheekbone down to the mandible (jaw bone)

The terms are confusing. So when reading popular writing by non-surgeons, the writer often does not understand the details of what they are writing about - so check with a plastic surgeon so you don't end up confused.

best wishes

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.