How Does a Midface Lift Work?

Doctor Answers 11

Midface lift works by restoring cheek fullness

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Midface lift

Using minimally invasive techniques with limited incisions, the droopy cheek tissue can be lifted up over the cheekbone restoring the more prominent youthful contour, improving the tear trough and bagginess of the lower lids, and softening the undesirable cheek fold. Incisions are typically hidden inside the mouth, between the gums and the lips, and in the temple. At times, when a lower eyelift is performed at the same time, the same incision may be used to perform a midface lift.

Subperiosteal midface lift

This is a deep technique of cheek lifting where all the tissue are lifted from the cheekbones and re-suspended in a higher place. Incisions are made inside the mouth and in the temple. It gives the most dramatic and long-lasting improvement, but there is also typically more swelling with this technique.

SOOF lift

The SOOF (sub-orbicularis oculi fat) is an acronym for the fatty tissue of the uppermost part of the cheek, next to the fatty tissue of the lower eyelid. SOOF lift can be performed through the same incisions used for a lower blepharoplasty (lower eye lift) surgery.

Endotine midface suspension

This technique involves use of an absorbable implanted device that aids in maintaining the cheek lift. The device is typically used with the subperiosteal technique of cheek lifting. The device keeps the cheek in the lifted position for a longer period of time, allowing for a better long-term result.

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Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 229 reviews

Dr. Sam P. Most discusses different midface lift...

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Dr. Sam P. Most discusses different midface lift techniques and describes who is a good candidate for the procedure.

Sam Most, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Midface lift procedure

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The mid face procedure attempts to vertically lift the cheek area. We have not seen good results with this procedure. The aging process  In the mid face does not move in a vertical direction. Volumetric loss of fat and tissue creates a  hollowness and shrinkage effect in the cheek area. A volumetric augmentation with cheek implants is how we handle this problem in our office. Cheek implants are manufactured in a variety of sizes and shapes, are inserted through an intra-oral incision to lift  and augment the mid face.  When jowls are present, a facelift must be performed. For many  examples, please see the link below .

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Cheek Lift options in Los Angeles

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There are many options for cheek lifts; including cheek implants, cheek volume fillers, Ultherapy, and facelift options. An examination can delineate options.

Raffy Karamanoukian MD FACS

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Mid facelift details

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a mid-facelift repositions the cheek fat pad back on to the cheek bone.  This is usually done from an incision in the lower eyelid and an incision in the mouth.  A 3-D video animation of the procedure can be seen on my website


How a Mid-Face Lift works

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The following is my opinion. I have lectured on this very point to plastic surgeons at international conferences. The Mid-Face Cheek lift is my favorite procedure due to its elegance and power in transforming the facial shape from aged deflation to curved youth. As we age,almost all of us lose facial fat. The pockets of fat in the face are not united, but rather separated by thin walls of collagen. As they go horizontally across our face in our youth, deflation results in the more vertical folds we see in age. High mid facial curves with a short lower eyelid vertical height is the characteristic of youth. The tightened flat cheeks and elongated lower eyelids of a face-lift that ignores the cheek lift is a sad sight to be hold!

So, the options for effective rejuvenation number 2:

1. Re-inflate each pocket of fat with a substance such as Sculptra, OR

2. If there is enough remaining fat in the fallen face, elevate the fat pads back to their original position through a Mid-Face lift.

Your question regards #2. I make incisions in the temporal (temple area) scalp and an incision inside the upper lip on either side of the mouth. Staying just on top of the mid face bones, the overlying soft tissue is re-suspended upward with sutures that dissolve in 6 months. The tissues heal to the bone in the elevated position and stay there until many years more of fat deflation occur.

My patients find this procedure to be not painful and extremely effective. The "downside" if there is one is that the cheeks swell creating a mildly "alien" appearance for a variable amount of time... usually less than 2 weeks. It may take up to a couple months before the patient feels comfortable with the results. By 3 months post-operatively, about 95% of my patients tell me it was the best procedure they have ever seen!

Mark E. Richards, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon

Midface aging and the midface lift

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The midface is the area of your face from the lower eyelid to the jawline. Generally this entire area ages as a single unit causing flattening of the "cheekbones," lowering of the thin eyelid skin exposing lower lid and cheek fat bags, deepening of the nasolabial folds, formation of lines connecting the drooping corner of mouth to the jawline (affectionately known as marionette lines), and finally the unattractive "bubble" of tissue that slips over the jaw presenting in the neck and obscuring the natural jawline.

The modern Midface Lift is designed to reverse this process by elevating these tissues that have descended under the force of gravity back to a more youthful position restoring the cheek area to a youthful fullness, elevating the lower eyelid skin, flattening but not eliminating the nasolabial folds, removing the marionette lines and elevating the "bubble" above the jawline into its youthful location above the jaw into the cheek. This sounds like an extensive procedure but it is actually performed through small incisions hidden in front and within the ear. More importantly, it is done without pulling the skin so tight as to distort the normal facial features.

Paul S. Howard, MD, FACS
Hoover Plastic Surgeon

Goals of Midface Lift

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With aging gravity causes most parts of the body to sag. In the midface this results in decreased cheek projection, increased heaviness of the tissues below the cheekbones, and increased depth of the grooves between the nose and the corner of the mouth. Discuss the alternative techniques of a midface lift to reverse these signs of the aging process with your surgeon.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

How Does a Midface Lift Work?

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Thank you for your question. The mid-face region roughly correlates with the area between the lower eyelid and the corner of the mouth. A mid-face lift, sometimes referred to as a cheek lift, can help to restore fullness to the mid-face by vertically repositioning the soft tissue of the cheek to a higher, more youthful position on the cheek bone. At the same time, lower eyelid appearance is often improved as the repositioned cheek tissue is more favorably redraped over the lower orbital rim, minimizing the unfavorable hollow appearance of the lower eye region. A well performed mid-face lift can be a powerful method for facial rejuvenation. There are multiple approaches to this procedure, which have been described here. Learn more about this procedure on our site. I hope that helps.

James M. Pearson, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 135 reviews

A midface lift puts the cheek back where it "used to be"

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As we age the cheek descends with gravity, and a "lift" brings it back up higher onto the cheekbone. As the volume of the ckeek and the bone itself shrinks as we age, often volume enhancement is also needed for "full" correction.

Debra Irizarry, MD
Crestone Plastic Surgeon

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.