Types of Facelift – Upper, Mid and Lower Facelifts

Different Types of Facelift – Comparing Upper Facelift, Mid Facelift, and Lower Facelift

If you’ve considered a facelift, odds are you did your web research and now you are feeling confused about the many Types of Facelifts. Most patients think that a facelift is an all-encompassing procedure that fixes every area of the face. But, there is more to it than meets the eye.

There are a couple of different facelift techniques that achieve unique results. When trying to reach a specific cosmetic goal, it’s important to know exactly what are the different types of facelifts. Including the impact, they can offer.

Let’s take a closer look at upper facelift, mid facelift, and lower facelift procedures. You will learn their differences and the impact they have on the overall structure of the face. Find out which procedure would be more appropriate to achieve your desired facial outcomes and more.


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What Can a Facelift Do?

A facelift or rhytidectomy is a general term used for any surgical treatment tailored towards tackling ageing signs of the neck and face. It can remove or reposition fat, muscle, and skin. Patients are opting for procedures such as these to restore their former facial youthfulness.

A Facelift or Rhytidectomy can help fix:

  • Lacking or fallen facial fat
  • Extra fat and loose skin in the neck (double chin)
  • Drooping skin on the jaw and cheeks (jowls)
  • Profound crease lines
  • Saggy skin on the face

Rhytidectomy is a cosmetic restorative procedure that can’t radically alter the look of the face or put a stop to the aging process. But, it can treat superficial imperfections and irregularities, such as wrinkles. To achieve a specific outcome, the surgery can be individualized to every patient’s face. This is where the different facelift techniques come into play. (1)

Types of Facelifts in Sydney - Dr Sackelariou - Facelift Expert

Upper Facelift

Patients who want to address the aesthetic problems of the upper region of the face choose an upper facelift. The upper face is everything above the eyes, mainly the forehead and brow line. If you’ve had saggy skin, hooded eyelids or heavy brow in this particular area, or moderate-to-severe wrinkles, then an upper facelift can help.

This type of procedure focuses on sculpting and stretching the desired area. Followed by adequate suturing below the skin. During treatment, an eyebrow lift and forehead lift can be performed based on the patient’s desired outcome.

Easier and smaller procedures could also be carried out if necessary, during an upper facelift. Such as blepharoplasty (eyelid lifting), micro-lifting, and endoscopic (open) forehead lifting. These techniques can help remove the extra fat and skin from the targeted tissue.

Even if an upper facelift surgery can offer permanent results, it won’t stop the biological process of ageing. After a full recovery, the stretched area of the upper region of the face should look great and appear more youthful. (2)

Mid Facelift

With age, visible changes begin to happen within the structure of the face. The malar fat pads (the fat pad that rests on the cheek) begin to thin and descend. The skin loses its elasticity, and people can develop jowls.

A mid-facelift is designed to tackle the center of the cheek for individuals with noticeable aesthetic problems and mid-face laxity. The treatment is meant to amplify youthful contouring right under the eyes and above the mouth. When you take a look at the mid-facelift before and after results, you will notice that this treatment creates a more refreshed look. (3)

If you have cheeks that sag or volume loss in the middle section of the face, which has led to a droopy appearance, then your plastic surgeon might suggest a mid-facelift. In most cases, this treatment can help patients who’ve recently started developing jowls and deep nasolabial folds.

There is a wide range of techniques that can be used to get the mid-face area addressed. But, overall, surgeons elevate the cheek fat pads to give the cheekbones a more elevated look and curb the sagginess.

The procedure can create a notable impact and offer patients with more prominent cheekbones and a defined look that will slowly settle into its natural position. The mid-facelift is not meant to treat the neck or lower face. To address any problems in this particular area, patients would have to opt for a lower facelift or a combination procedure. (4)

The mid Facelift is one of Dr Sackelariou’s best signature procedures.

Lower facelift

When dealing with problems right under the corners of the mouth, a lower facelift can help. Patients with jawline sagginess, heavy jowls and nasolabial folds tend to choose a lower facelift. Including those with loose neck skin. Some also want to address an excess of fat under the chin.

The treatment improves the look of the chin/jaw profile. It’s a form of targeted lifting, all in an effort to recreate a younger-looking jawline and neck. Depending on the type of problem you are trying to address, Dr Sackelariou might also suggest additional procedures Such as chin or cheek implants, liposuction, skin resurfacing, or fat transfer. These procedures, however, are not usually part of a typical lower facelift. They are meant to fix various aesthetic problems that can’t be otherwise addressed just with a facelift.

The more serious issues you want to correct, the less likely you are going to benefit from a partial facelift. For more serious cosmetic adjustments and a larger treatment area, you can opt for a full facelift.

Lower Facelift Vs Full Facelift

So, what is the difference between a lower facelift and a full facelift? The primary difference is in the treatment area. A full facelift, also known as traditional facelift surgery, is recommended for aggressive aging signs. Mainly hangs, droops, and a lot of excess skin.

It is a comprehensive treatment tactic that can help those who struggle with their entire facial appearance. Whereas a lower facelift is meant to treat the aging signs under the mouth. Those who opt for this kind of procedure have saggy jawline skin and nasolabial folds that are quite easy to spot. Talk to a certified specialist if you want to address both the neck and midface or the entire face.

What Is the Best Age for a Facelift?

Facelifts can rejuvenate your look. But, these procedures, whether that is an upper, lower, midface, or full facelift, are generally not meant for patients younger than 30. That’s because when you are in your late 20s and early 30s, your face still has that youthfulness.

Most facelift patients are in their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70’s. They have many signs of ageing and want to fix any discrepancies. Such as saggy skin, wrinkles, fine lines, or profound deep lines. Even if a facelift can’t turn back time, it can correct some of the aesthetic problems that require a surgical solution.

But, there is no exact age as to when you should seek treatment. If you do have something bothering you, then talk to a specialist surgeon. They can advise you whether you should be going for any kind of facial surgery to gain the results you want.

What Types of Facelift could be Best for Me?

The best form of treatment will differ from patient to patient. Some might have lost a lot of weight, which could lead to excess facial skin. Others want to address the ageing signs and restore that youthful vigor. Best candidates for a partial facelift are those who don’t have too much excess skin or skin laxity. (5)

Ideally, you should consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to determine the best course of action. Based on your individual needs, you might be better suited for one or more of the previously mentioned procedures.

Patients with notable ageing signs across their faces can benefit from using combination treatment. Combining surgeries can give a more defined and dramatic look. But also comes with higher operating fees and longer recovery time.

With an in-person consult, your surgeon can do a facial evaluation and suggest the best treatment plan that can help you achieve your goals. These experts are dedicated to providing patients with natural-looking and optimal outcomes.

Facelift Scars for Different Facelifts

Many patients ask about scars from a facelift. Different types of facelift and combination procedures have their own degree of invasiveness. And this will vary based on the results you need. An incision for a facelift is often made in areas that are hidden and difficult to spot.

Like behind the ear, hairline, in the ear canal or inside the eyelid. Scars appear where the incision is made. Although the scarring won’t fully disappear, it can fade to a point where it won’t affect you as much. That’s why many patients find the scars to be a good trade-off for the improved results they are getting. 

So, how painful is a facelift? It’s normal to feel some discomfort right after treatment. But, the right medications can help curb the tenderness. The swelling and bruising will reach their peak in 2 days and can last for a couple of days. Muscle stiffness and numbness are also prevalent, yet they tend to subside. Overall, the face might feel heavy and restricted due to the bandage.

FAQs about Types of Facelifts

What is involved in a lower facelift vs mid-facelift?

  • To figure out the difference between mid-face lift vs lower facelift, it’s important to understand the terms “lower face” and “midface”. The lower face encompasses everything under the corners of the mouth, such as the jawline and laugh lines (nasolabial folds). In some patients, the lower facelift can also treat the neck and the sections below the chin. The midface, on the other hand, encompasses the area over the upper lip, cheeks, and nose. From the corners of the mouth to the corners of the eyes. (6)

Should I choose an upper facelift or lower facelift?

  • Wondering which is better – upper facelift vs lower facelift? When dealing with problems like a downturned mouth, drooping jowls, or a constant frown, then a lower facelift can come in handy. Patients who pursue a lower facelift often do it to fix their permanent frown and get a happier overall look. But, if the ageing signs are more focused on your forehead and bowline, then an upper facelift might be a better alternative.

Does a lower facelift include the neck?

  • In many patients, a lower facelift can treat the neck and sections below the chin. This type of procedure does focus on all segments of the face that are just under the corners of the mouth. Such as the under-chin (submental area), marionette lines, nasolabial folds, jowls, and neck.

What is the best age to get a facelift?

  • Most patients who book a facelift are in their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. They have started developing significant signs of ageing and want to correct them with a surgical technique. But, there is no specific age requirement. Some patients in their 30s can also get a partial or mini facelift. That’s because everyone will age at their own pace depending on genetics and lifestyle factors.

Is there a non-surgical face lift?

  • Dermal fillers are the most common form of non-surgical facelifts. They are meant to restore volume to the lips, temples, cheeks, and the area below the eyes. These injectables can be a practical approach for patients who want to skip surgery, but still want to regain that youthful vibrancy.
  • Fillers typically last 4 to 8 months, whereas a Facelift is a more permanent solution that doesn’t leave your faced “overinflated”.

How much younger do you look after a facelift?

  • The concept of ageing and physical appearance is subjective and varies from person to person. So, it’s difficult to know exactly how much younger you would look after having an upper, lower, or mid-facelift. Many patients look up to 10 years younger.

Can I get a facelift at 50?

  • Even if there is no “right” age for a facelift, many patients in their 50s or over are interested in fixing different areas of their face. They want to look younger, which is why they can opt for one or multiple facial procedures. Talk to a specialist to know if you are a good candidate for treatment.

Medical References about Types of Facelift

  1. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/11023-facelift
  2. https://www.apexclinic.com.tr/en/upper-facelift/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK563237/
  4. https://marottamd.com/blog/facial-rejuvenation/what-are-the-differences-between-a-mid-facelift-a-mini-facelift-and-a-full-facelift/
  5. https://healthcare.utah.edu/the-scope/shows.php?shows=0_n0hnyzq6
  6. https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/blog/comparing-upper-facelift-mid-facelift-and-lower-facelift

About Dr Richard Sackelariou Plastic Surgeon

Dr Richard Sackelariou MBBS FRACS(Plas) is a Specialist Plastic, Cosmetic and Reconstructive  Surgeon in Melbourne, Victoria and Sydney, Australia.

Dr Sackelariou is a highly sought-after Plastic Surgeon for precision procedures like nose reshaping, tummy tucks, breast surgery including transaxillary incision methods, implant removal/replacement and Breast Lift procedures.

He is particularly known for his signature surgeries – neck lift, facelift and eyelid rejuvenation procedures. He also performs expert cosmetic injections for facial rejuvenation.

Patients love his caring manner, his dedication to excellence and his extensive expertise in surgical planning for a natural-looking, harmonious result.

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