What is an Endoscopic Face Lift?

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?

Doctor Answers 24

Endoscopic Facelift does not equal Facelift

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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.

Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 181 reviews

Endoscopic Facelift

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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.

Kyle S. Choe, MD
Virginia Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Endoscopic? Appropriate for Brows, not for the Jowls and neck

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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.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Regular facelifts are better than endoscopic ones

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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.

What is an Endoscopic Face Lift?

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Thank you for your question. 

As we age the forehead, eyebrow, upper as wells lower lids, cheeks and related soft tissues of face  drops producing deep nasolabial grooves (grooves between the nose and mouth), and sunken eyes with eyeballs and doubled cheeks. The face goes from being heart shaped with the volume of the cheeks over the cheek bones, to being more square shaped and jowly. All of these are part of face aging. If you have only some of them or only one of them then you are a good candidate for endoscopic mid face lifting. These are as follows: forehead, eyebrow, upper and lower lids with or without eyeballs and cheek. On the other hand if your problematic area are jowls and or neck than you might be a candidate for endoscopic mid face lifting but definitely you are a good candidate for SMAS lifting. 

An endoscopic midface lifting 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. 

I hope this helps

Best wishes

Ercan Karacaoglu, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Facelift for Lower Face, Endoscopic for Upper

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When a procedure is described as being "endoscopic," it means that the surgeon performs it with the use of a thin, lighted probe called an endoscope. An endoscope helps the surgeon visualize the treatment area without making a large incision, minimizing scarring and recuperation time. However, this method isn't typically used for traditional facelift surgery. Because of the anatomical limitations of the face, the endoscopic technique is typically used when a patient wishes to treat the mid- to upper face. A traditional facelift treats the lower two-thirds of the face, which is where most people see the most significant signs of physical aging. Hope this helped!

James N. Romanelli, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Endoscopic facelift?

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Endoscopes are sometimes used for brow lifts, but not facelifts. For brow lifts, smaller incisions are utilized and internal work is done with help of an endoscope to elevate the brows. Although the use of smaller incisions sounds like a 'better' technique, keep in mind that the techniques need to be individualized to the patients goals and anatomy - not everyone is an appropriate candidate for an endoscopic browlift. I definitely recommend a formal consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon so your goals can be discussed, an exam performed, and individualized recommendations be made to achieve your goals. Good luck!

Bryan Correa, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon

Endoscopic Facelift: Limited Incisions

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An endoscopic facelift is performed through small incisions in the scalp with the assistance of an endoscope.  The procedure is very effective for browlifts, but has limited applications for facelift surgery.

The major advantage of this procedure is limited incisions.  In most cases, this procedure doesn’t adequately treat excess skin.  For this reason, the procedure has limited applications for facial rejuvenation and most patients therefore require a traditional facelift. 

Endoscopic vs regular facelift

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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.

Endoscopic facelift

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I always recommend a full facelift.  Best to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon.  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.