Midface lifts – what’s the deal?

Midface lifts are surgical procedures that lift the “midface.” Duh!! But what is the midface? The midface is defined differently by different surgeons. I define the midface as the area within an upside down triangle with the base of the triangle along resting along the bottom of the lower eyelid and the top lying just about at the corner of the mouth. It’s the front part of the cheek.

So why does it need to be lifted? During the aging process we generally lose volume in our faces. This causes hollowing, or grooving, within the lower eyelid and a more sunken or saggy appearance of the face and cheeks. Also, the actual bone structure changes and contributes to the loss of support of the cheek. Lifting the midface restores the volume and puts things back to where they are supposed to be. It works to restore the smooth transition between the lower eyelid and cheek. This smooth transition is one of the key elements of a youthful face.

Doesn’t a facelift  fix this problem? In my opinion “no.” Facelifts are great for improving the lower and side areas of the cheek. There are certainly some techniques, like a vertical oriented SMAS lift that come close to the midface, but in general none of the facelift procedures do a good job for this area. In fact, the tighter the facelift result the worse the face can look because of failure to correct the midface. This is called a “lateral sweep”  and creates the stereotyped bad facelift look. The midface lift works together with a facelift to provide the most balance for the face.

Does everyone need a midface lift? No. Everyone does not need a midface lift. That’s what makes choosing the right operation for the right person the most important decision. Not every Plastic surgeon performs midface lifts. It is generally an advanced technique and requires a great deal of knowledge and skill in dealing with this area. If not performed well it can also lead to healing problems with the lower eyelids. There are actually several different types of midface lifts, some of which work and some of which don’t. I believe that the technique I use is the best because it directly lifts and moves the affected tissues. Also it holds them there with a great deal of security and is not just relying on a suspension suture to pull it up.

When performed correctly on the right person the Midface Lift  is the best way to achieve the most balanced, natural appearance for the improvement of the aging face.