What is a traditional facelift?

Doctor Answers 21

Traditional facelift

A traditional facelift lifts the skin, smas and plicates the neck muscles. Now fat grafting is added in many cases. This is the usual formula.Every surgeon has his own redition

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

“Traditional Facelift” Definition

There is no definition for a “traditional” facelift.  Most surgeons agree that it involves incisions in front of the ear and behind the ear.  From those incisions, the SMAS layer in the cheek is elevated in order to address the sagging jowls and the neck muscles are tightened.   Other procedures can be added such as fat grafting, eyelid surgery, brow surgery and more aggressive neck tightening and they can be done at the same time as the facelift.  

Louis C. Cutolo, Jr., MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Facelift Overview

A traditional facelift can reveal dramatic improvements in the face and neck. A lift improves an aging face and can reduce nasolabial fold (smile lines) and improve the appearance of the jaw line/jowl area. Brow and eyelid surgeries smoothes lower lid bags and eliminates the forehead wrinkles.

Jay Burns, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Traditional facelift

A traditional facelift has described surgical rejuvenation of neck, cheeks, and temples. A lot of surgeons now use the terms lower facelift for treatment of neck and cheeks, and browlift for treatment of the temples.

William Sando, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Facelifts Have Many Names

It can be confusing for patients considering facelift surgery to sift through the different types of procedures available. What we often call a "traditional facelift" uses modern surgical techniques to lift and reposition the tissue and muscle underlying the skin to create a more youthful appearance, without looking unnatural or stretched. Some surgeons call this a SMAS facelift, named for the combination of tissue and muscle (superficial muscular aponeurotic system).

James N. Romanelli, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Traditional facelift

This would be a facelift where skin flaps are elevated in front and behind the ear and then into the neck, communicating to the other side.  The SMAS is either plicated or excised and closed and a platysmaplasty is performed.  This is still an excellent procedure though the use of a high SMAS flap technique has supplanted this.  Best wishes, Dr. T. 

John Michael Thomassen, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Traditional facelift

That's an excellent question.  Your basic facelift involves tightening of the skin and muscle of the face and neck through incisions around the ear and hairline. From there, each surgeon puts his or her own signature on how they perform it, what is involved and what may be added.  When choosing a surgeon for a facelift, you should ask a lot of questions about what makes that surgeon's facelift unique or better.  You will find there are many variations on what is basically the same operation, and then you will be in a better position to make an educated choice on which surgeon you think is the one for you.  Good luck!

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Traditional Faelift?

Facelifts have been around for over a century, and techniques have changed to achieve better results, less obvious scarring, fewer signs of a "plastic" look, and more durability.  The trends in facelift today involve accurate and anatomic incisional design, mobilization of the SMAS, use of the SMAS as the sole tension bearing layer, and natural results.  Often, what people will describe as a "traditional" facelift is one that they don't like or consider obvious. It is always best to see a Facial Plastic Surgeon or Plastic Surgeon with a special interest in facial rejuvenation.  You may receive a variety of different opinions from individual Surgeons who get great results with their experience and philosophy. 

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Traditional facelift

There are many terms used to describe either a mini-facelift or facelift.
  • A Mini-facelift can be called a lifestyle lift, quick lift, or short scar facelift. Typically, these techniques just address the cheek and jowl but not the neck area.
  • A Facelift can be called a full facelift (does not include brow lift), traditional facelift, lower face lift, SMAS lift, deep plane lift, or composite lift.  These techniques address the jowls, cheek, somewhat the nasolabial fold, and the neck.

Pramit Malhotra, MD
Ann Arbor Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

What is a traditional facelift?

Hi there. An interesting question that does not have a straight answer. Facelift techniques have evolved dramatically over time paralleled by evolution in cultural tastes (just think of the windblown look of the 80s/90s). The modern facelift patient is a professional who wants to maintain youth rather than an identity changing procedure with minimal downtime and a natural overall look. That said, there are a few constants - incision in front and behind the ear, manipulation of the deep facial tissues (SMAS in the face, platysma in the neck) and removal of skin (contemporary techniques involve minimal skin excision). Good luck!

William Townley, MD, FRCS(Plast)
London Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 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.