Facelift Techniques

Choose the topic:

• Defining facelift
• Traditional facelift
• Mini-facelift
• MACS facelift
• SMAS facelift
• Deep plane facelift
• Subperiosteal facelift
• Mid-facelift
• S-facelift
• Threadlift, non-surgical facelift

Defining facelift

Facelift also known as rhytidectomy is a surgical procedure during which excessive skin of the face and (or) neck is removed in order to smooth the wrinkles or lift the saggy zones of the face.

There are many different types of facelift techniques. Most of them are simply modifications of the traditional facelift. The main difference between the facelift techniques is the corrective area which can include the skin of the whole face and neck or just some specific sections.

Traditional facelift

Traditional facelift includes the correction of the face and neck skin. First, the surgeon makes incisions. The main incision begins in the temporal area and curves within the hairline, continuing down the natural contours in front of the ear, and then turns to the back side of the ear, circling around the ear lobe. An extra incision is made under the chin. Once the incisions are done, the skin is separated from the muscles and other underlying deeper tissue using a scalpel. Then the surgeon tightens the underlying muscles. After that, the separated skin is pulled and re-draped. The excess skin is removed. Finally, the incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures.


The only difference between the traditional facelift and the mini-facelift is that the latter does not include lifting of the neck skin. This type of procedure is commonly recommended for those who have:

  • deep nasolabial folds – the crease between the nose and the outer corner of the mouth;
  • jowls – the excess of the skin which hangs under the lower jaw;
  • other sagging structures of the face skin;
  • when the skin of the neck is still well-contoured.
MACS facelift

MACS facelift – or Minimal Access Cranial Suspension lift – corrects the sagging facial features through a short, minimal incision, elevating them vertically. The incision is limited to the skin fold in front of the ear and follows the hairline under the sideburn. The zig-zag pattern incision makes the scar blend with the hairline. Depending on the patients’ needs, two or three sutures are woven into the deep facial tissues in order to obtain suspension of the 

SMAS facelift

The name SMAS stands for the Superficial Musculo Aponeurotic System. The SMAS is a continuous fibromuscular layer which interlinks the muscles responsible for facial expression. This system holds cheeks and facial muscles in their normal position. However, natural aging processes weakens the SMAS and the facial structures sag. Therefore, the main difference between the traditional facelift and the SMAS facelift is that during the SMAS the whole layer of muscles and ligaments is elevated and secured while in the traditional procedure only the skin and some underlying tissues are corrected.

Deep plane facelift

This type is similar to the SMAS lift. On the other hand, in this type of the facelift the surgeon dissects to a deeper plane of the face. Deeper muscle layers are separated before the reposition. This technique provides a more natural, long-lasting result but it is more risky and technically more complicated than the traditional or SMAS facelift techniques.

Subperiosteal facelift

In this technique face muscles are detached from the face bones before reposition. Many surgeons dispute that this technique provides significant advantages. Obviously, this technique is extremely risky and related to a high rate of complications.


This type of facelift is perfect for those who only have deep nasolabial folds and (or) sagging cheeks. Sometimes it is called a cheek-lift. This type is less drastic than the traditional facelift. The incisions are smaller and made in the mouth or through the lower eyelid.


If the person is unsatisfied with his or her neck skin, this type of facelift is perfect. The neck skin is pulled towards the ear lobes. After that, the excess of the skin is removed through the S-shaped incision in front of the ear.

Threadlift, non-surgical facelift

This technique is great for those people who have facial skin with minimal signs of aging. In this technique the skin is lifted and secured with non-absorbable sutures. They are threaded under the skin through tiny incisions situated on the hairline. It is a rather new technique representing a minimal invasive surgery. If there is not much of redundant facial skin, the results can be highly remarkable. However, if there is a lot of excess skin, the traditional method is recommended.

There are many similar types of facelift because with the growing popularity of this procedure more and more modifications of the basic techniques have evolved.