Does a Cheek Lift Tighten the Underlying Muscles, or Only the Skin?

I am 42yrs old and have been recommended a cheek lift (mini face lift?). Dr said this would be performed by tightening only the skin - no adjustment to the underlying muscle or stitches to the tissue under the skin. Does this sound right? Or will everything end up sagging pretty soon after if only the skin is tightened?

Doctor Answers 8

Cheek lift options.

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There are many approaches to a cheek lift. Some are performed below the skin, others by suspending various fat pads (SOOF or malar), muscle, and/or the periosteum(covering of the bone). Skin lifts only are unlikely to provide long term correction.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Mid face lift

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In any type of face lift the most important and state of the art approach is to lift the underlying structure, called the SMAS.

Tightening skin only does not last, itis 1960 technology


Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Sounds Like a Mini "Skin Only" Lift

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Without understanding visually the aging changes that you have at age 42, it is very difficult to give specific advice. However, it sounds as if you are having a "skin only" form of mini lift. "Skin Only" procedures rely on elevation of skin, removal of redundant skin, and placement of tension on the skin. For a variety of reasons, such procedures are no longer commonly performed. A second opinion is what I would recommend.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

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Cheek lift, skin only?

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  Most doctors who do this surgery, myself included, believe that it is very important to tighten the muscles below the skin to achieve excellent, long term results.  Consider getting a second opinion.

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

A cheek lift should elevate the cheek below the the eye.

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This is usually done by elevating the muscle and skin. This would depend on what your problem is and the skill of the surgeon. It is not a facelift. See an experienced facelift surgeon to find out which is right for you.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Skin lifts relax from stretching. Muscle tightening is better but midface lifts are not a good option

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This is in my opinion. Traditional procedures tend to change the way you look and they tend to not return your face into the position it once used to be. The aging process is due, in large part, to a volume loss.  The tissues in the face then retract inward and downward. Traditional procedures tended to pull back this tissue keeping it inward but upward and backward, no outward and forward.  So you end up no where near where you used to be. Fat injections are the way to go or some other type of volumizing like cheek implants, fillers, sculptra, restylane, juvederm, radiesse, etc.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

A Mini-lift of the skin can work

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Does a mini-lift of the skin last?

Depending upon the facial anatomy, mini-lifts that are skin only, can be the right procedure and provide pleasing and lasting results. Generally, very thin faces, with some early skin laxity, or repeat facelifts benefit most from these "skin only" procedures. If the underlying muscle support is reasonably good, pleasing and lasting results can be achieved with skin only mini-lift. However, for heavier faces, older patients and patients with significant deep muscle and support tissue laxity, the need for muscle support procedures (removing or tightening) becomes even more important in the aesthetic outcome.

Always seek a live consultation with a board certified plastic or facial plastic surgeon with experience in facelifting before deciding upon a course of action.

R. Stephen Mulholland, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Technique for Cheek Lift

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A cheek lift treats aging tissue in the triangle under the eyes; it is different than a facelift. The terms can be confusing. See an experienced surgeon to determine what is best for you and exactly what will be changed. Today most surgeons will lift or reposition the underlying muscles in most cases.

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

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.