Midface Lift Overview
While our brows sag with the passing years, our cheeks not only sag, but they also flatten. This is mainly due to the body’s declining production of collagen as we age. Collagen supplies a latticework support structure under our surface skin, but the body produces one additional percentage point less collagen every year after we turn 20. By the age of 45, we are now producing one quarter less collagen. That’s why our skin starts to sag and develop lines and creases.
The cheeks and the surrounding area are among the first to show aging. But traditional facelifts don’t usually involve the upper cheeks and lower eyelids; they target the mid to lower face and jaw.
At Central Valley Eye Medical, Dr. Kimberly Cockerham performs mid-face lifts that target the cheeks and lower eyes. Sometimes referred to as a cheek lift, these procedures elevate the fat pad in the cheeks, returning fullness to the eyes and cheeks, and giving the patient a younger appearance.
What is a Mid-Face Lift?
Mid-face lift surgery with Dr. Cockerham targets the area around the nose, eyes, and corners of the mouth. During a mid-face lift, the goal is to elevate the middle of the face to smooth and tighten the skin. The mid-face lift corrects under eye bags, hollowness in the upper cheeks, and prominent nasolabial folds.
Benefits of a Mid-Face Lift
The cheeks and skin under our eyes are very susceptible to aging and volume loss. Some patients opt for the temporary solution of using dermal fillers to replace volume. For instance, Juvederm Voluma is formulated specifically to replace lost cheek volume. But this is a temporary solution.
For patients who want more permanent results, a mid-face lift is an excellent procedure. The goal is to specifically target aging beneath the eyes, the cheeks, and the nasolabial folds running from the nose down to the mouth. By elevating the fat pad in these areas, it’s possible to fill flattened cheeks and remove wrinkles. These changes make the patient look dramatically younger, yet it does so with a completely natural looking result. Most of us over the age of 45 could use some of that!
Who is a Good Candidate for a Mid-Face Lift?
Everyone’s aging is unique. But the cheeks and under eye skin is almost universally prone to sagging, flattening, and forming creases under the eyes. Here are some common characteristics for people who can benefit from a mid-face lift.
If you have:
- Heaviness and sagging below the cheeks
- Hollowness beneath your eyes
- Lengthened areas under your eyes
- Creases and depressions under your eyes
- Prominent nasolabial folds
You may also be a candidate for a Brow Lift. Click here to learn more.
Mid-Face Lift Procedure
There is variation in the methods used depending on the individual patient needs, but this is a general description of these surgeries. Dr. Cockerham first makes small, deep incisions in the muscle tissue around the temples and in front of the ears. She places these incisions within the hairline, if possible. Next she inserts an endoscope that provides her with complete visualization of the area being targeted. The muscles around the nose and in the cheeks are pulled upward and stitched into the structures below the eye sockets. The goal is to elevate the sagging cheek tissue (the malar fat pad) back to its former, higher position.
Mid-Face Lift vs Full Facelift?
These procedures have more limited goals than full facelifts. The target with our mid-face lifts at Central Valley is the area beneath the eyes down to the mouth. In contrast, a full facelift usually doesn’t include the under eye areas, but it does cover the jowls and the upper neck. Mid-face lifts do not address those areas.
Recovery After Mid-Face Lift
Because Dr. Cockerham uses endoscopic methods for your mid-face lift, recovery is not difficult. There is less bruising, swelling, and tissue trauma because the endoscope allows much more focused work. Most patients generally only need a week or less for recovery.
Another benefit of the endoscopic method is minimal scarring. Plus, with incisions hidden in the hairline wherever possible, what small scars there are usually are hidden.
Does a Mid-Face Lift Leave Visible Scarring?
In contrast to the extensive incisions necessary for full facelifts, endoscopic methods are able to minimize incision size with our mid-face lifts. Plus, these small scars are located within the hairline to effectively hide them. You’ll be surprised at the lack of visible scarring.