Different Types of Facelifts

One of the most common specialty areas of cosmetic surgery is facial rejuvenation. Much research has been conducted over the last ten years to improve the technologies and techniques used to counteract the effects of facial aging. In addition to the conventional facelift procedure, plastic surgeons may make their patients seem youthful using various treatment options.

What is Facelift Surgery?

Rhytidectomy, another name for facelift surgery, is a surgical procedure that firms and lifts sagging facial tissues to provide the appearance of a more youthful face. It is a common misconception that a facelift can “turn back the clock,” making a patient appear younger. A rhytidectomy can make a patient appear younger and “better” by eliminating extra, sagging skin, smoothing deep lines, and tightening and lifting deep facial tissues.

Why Consider a Facelift?

The elasticity of our skin and the volume of our face tissues decrease with age. The eventual results are deep wrinkles, loose skin on the neck, and “jowls” on the lower face. Although these are inevitable aspects of age, a facelift may be a viable option for people who find these signs of aging distressing. Consider rhytidectomy if you can relate to any of the following:

  • Your sagging skin makes you feel anxious about the appearance of your face and neck.
  • You cover up your aged neck with scarves and turtlenecks, not because you’d like to.
  • You believe your face makes you appear much older than you are when you glance in the mirror.
  • You believe your job or personal relationships suffer due to your aged appearance.

Patients often report feeling more confident after a facelift because their appearance accurately portrays their vibrant, healthy personality.

11 Types of Facelifts

Plastic surgeons have created various facelifts to give patients more individualized options over time. If you’ve been researching facelifts to see which one is ideal for you, you’ve undoubtedly encountered many conflicting terminologies. Continue reading to learn more about different types of facelifts.

Endoscopic Facelift

An endoscopic facelift aims to restore the middle and upper third of the face to its original, more youthful, and open appearance, replacing the “severe” or “tired” aspect.

Endoscopy is a surgical method used for many years in numerous disciplines. The intervention consists of inserting a mini-camera to track the gestures produced with the help of special instruments on a television screen without “opening.” In addition to significantly lowering scars, this frequently lessens surgical trauma.

Skin-only Facelift

The skin-only facelift, also known as a cutaneous facelift, elevates just the skin on your face. This superficial facelift treatment does not include elevation of the SMAS (superficial muscular aponeurotic system) or the facial muscles. This kind of facelift was popular in the 1990s, but as facelifting techniques have advanced, it is becoming less prevalent.

A cutaneous facelift misses the most essential part of a facelift—raising the superficial muscular aponeurotic system—by only lifting the skin. Because the true cause of decreased facial elasticity is the laxity and fragility of the SMAS, skin-only facelifts only offer temporary solutions that are not truly comparable to a full facelift.

A small incision, around 1-2 cm, is made in front of the ear during the procedure. The surgeon will trim off any extra skin after pulling the skin tight. Patients with excess skin as a concern are eligible for a skin-only Facelift, albeit this is not always the case.

It is imperative to acknowledge that personal results and experiences may differ, and seeking professional advice from the doctor is the best way to assess the procedure’s suitability.


  • The procedure takes about 30 minutes to finish.
  • A 1-2 cm scar in front of the ear.
  • Less downtime is needed compared to a full facelift.
  • Swelling may be substantially less than swelling following a more extensive facelift since the tissue underneath, and muscles are less disrupted.


  • Short-term results (6–12 months)
  • Limited aesthetic changes.

Remembering that each person may have different experiences and results is essential. Consulting a medical expert should be the first step in determining whether the surgical procedure is suitable.

S-Lift (sometimes referred to as a short scar Facelift or partial lift)

The S-Lift might be the best option for those with mild to moderate signs of facial aging, particularly in the middle and lower face. Patients with slack skin on their upper neck, jowls, and cheeks that have lost volume, elasticity, and wrinkles on their faces fall under this category. The S-Lift defines your jawline and lessens wrinkles and lines.

During an S-lift, your surgeon will make a small incision at the front of each ear and extend it behind and around the earlobe. Subsequently, the surgeon will pull up and elevate the SMAS (superficial muscular aponeurotic system). Once extra skin is removed, small sutures can repair the wounds. The S-lift has a smaller incision and a quicker healing process than a standard facelift, but the result might not be as noticeable as you would hope from a deep or full plane facelift.


  • Concealable scar
  • A possible solution for moderate to mild aging of the face and neck
  • Results could last longer.


  • It’s less extensive than a full facelift.
  • It does not deal with wrinkles on the upper face
  • It doesn’t deal with the lower neck

It is imperative to remember that personal results and experiences may differ, and seeking professional advice from a medical practitioner is the best way to assess the procedure’s suitability.

Mini Face Lift

The mini-lift, or the mini-facelift, is a less invasive surgical method that makes smaller incisions than traditional facelift techniques. Little incisions are created beneath the hairline during the process. The jowls and neck can look better thanks to the surgeon’s ability to tighten the skin and remove extra tissue through these incisions. Since patients can get mini-lifts on Friday and return to work (and regular activities) on Monday, the procedure is frequently called a “weekend facelift.” The mini-lift is best suited for people who are showing early signs of aging and aren’t ready for a full lift; generally speaking, it yields less dramatic effects than the traditional facelift.

Mid Facelift (Cheek Lift)

Those who only wish to treat lax cheeks (nasolabial folds) may find that the cheek lift is the right procedure. A mid-facelift does not address additional neck areas, including jowls or extra skin around the neck.

The treatment starts with two tiny vertical incisions behind the hairline on each side of the face. The plastic surgeon makes this incision, grasps the SMAS (superficial muscular aponeurotic system), pulls it upward, and threads it. They also remove any extra skin and stitch the wounds shut. The entire process takes about two hours to finish. The S-Lift and the cheek lift are similar procedures, although the latter provides more comprehensive results addressing the upper neck and jawline.


  • Less time spent in surgery than with other facelift procedures
  • Small incision
  • Focused on the cheeks


  • It doesn’t deal with the jawline or lower face
  • It does not deal with neck laxity
  • Less extensive than both mini and full facelift

Deep Plane Facelift

A qualified Newport Beach cosmetic surgeon performs the deep plane Facelift. The deeper layers of face tissue, known as deep planes, are accessed by incisions around the ears and the hairline.

After reaching the deep plane layer, it is carefully raised, moved, and tightened. This procedure offers complete rejuvenation by addressing muscle, skin, and tissue laxity. Carefully trimming away any extra skin achieves a smoother appearance.

A deep plane facelift may cause damage to the numerous nerves, blood vessels, and other structures that travel through the deeper layers of your face.

One of a deep plane facelift’s few benefits is that it provides a marginally greater cheek lift than the previously discussed traditional facelift. However, there is a far greater risk of problems and injuries. Because deep plane lifts don’t significantly outperform other facelift techniques, many surgeons avoid them.


  • Slightly greater lifting in the middle facial area.


  • Lengthy recovery time
  • There is a high risk of damage to the nerves or vessels
  • More postoperative bruising, pain, and swelling.

Traditional Facelift

Other terms for traditional facelifts are “full facelift” and “SMAS” (superficial muscular aponeurotic system) lift. Those with severe to moderate signs of neck and face aging are typically good candidates for treatment.

The goal of a traditional facelift is to lift the entire face and neck. It helps address aging signs, including looseness, extra skin, and relaxed muscles on the neck and face.

The entire process may take three to four hours. To reach the bottom layer of the SMAS (superficial muscular aponeurotic system)—a network of tissues that support the face and incisions must be made along the hairline, in the temples, and behind the ears. Once exposed, this layer is gently repositioned, lifted, and tightened to correct any laxity. This stage modifies the neck and face contours. A tighter appearance is achieved by trimming away any extra skin.


  • Comprehensive facelift technique
  • Typically, scars are subtly hidden by the skin’s natural creases and hairline.
  • Lifts the platysma and whole neck
  • Results may last longer.


  • Larger incisions (large scars)
  • Longer recovery time
  • It does not address the forehead

Liquid Facelift – A Non-Surgical Facelift

A liquid facelift is a non-surgical alternative that uses injectable dermal fillers. Your injector will inject dermal fillers beneath your facial skin to smooth out wrinkles and add volume.

Dermal fillers can add volume to your cheeks and shape your face to make you look fuller. In addition to delaying the signs of aging, a liquid facelift can smooth out creases around your eyes, lips, temples, cheeks, and jowls. Furthermore, dermal fillers can enhance and sculpt your chin, cheeks, and lips.

However, people with moderate to severe signs of aging should not have liquid facelifts. A liquid facelift will not likely result in noticeable improvements if you have extra skin.


  • Shorter procedure time (20–30 minutes)
  • Non-surgical facelift technique
  • Less financial outlay


  • It doesn’t address excess skin
  • Short-term results (6 – 8 months)
  • Repeat the procedure to maintain the results.
  • It is only suitable for people who show minimal signs of aging.

Thread Lift: Non-Surgical Face Rejuvenation using PDO Threads

Many people choose thread lifts as an additional non-surgical option to the traditional facelift. Patients having mild to moderate signs of aging (jowls, hollow cheeks, slight skin laxity) may benefit from the procedure. Your face may look larger and tighter after a thread lift, which will smooth up fine lines and wrinkles.

Suture lines in various brands and a specific set are used to do a thread lift. A biocompatible thread is fastened to the end of a needle inserted through the skin, down into the deep fat planes, and then out. The thread is pulled tight to raise the underlying tissue and straighten the skin. These threads collapse after a few months since they were specifically made to maintain their position. But to replenish more collagen in your face, they will activate your body’s natural healing process during this period.


  • Procedure time (20 to 30 mins)
  • Non-invasive surgery with no surgical incisions.
  • Ideal for people who have mild to moderate signs of aging


  • Less comprehensive compared to plastic surgery
  • It doesn’t address excess skin
  • Short-term results (12–18 months)

Forehead Lift or Brow Lift

A brow lift is a facelift that raises a key area of your face – your forehead. Some people may benefit from a brow lift because the various facelift treatments do not treat the forehead or eyelids. A brow lift elevates your top eyelids, removing the appearance of folds and wrinkles on your forehead and maybe giving you more awake eyes.

Although there are other brow lift techniques, the “coronal lift” is the most frequently used. Your forehead hairline is the location of a horizontal skin incision. Sutures are used to draw up and stabilize the subcutaneous tissue. After removing any extra skin, the incision closes with small stitches. The skin is pushed tight.

Full Neck Lift

Those with mild to moderate signs of aging in their necks may benefit from a full neck lift.

A neck lift incision compromises a part of the entire facelift incision. It often begins vertically in front of the ear, wraps around the earlobe, and then goes backward and upward along the hairline. To make the neckbands flatten and provide the appearance of a tight neck, the plastic surgeon will pull the tissue underneath and fix it higher up. After that, any extra skin is cut off, and the wounds are sealed.

Different Types of Facelifts

What Happens During a Facelift?

The precise method a plastic surgeon uses during a rhytidectomy depends on several factors, such as the anatomy and personal goals of the patient, the kind of facelift (mini vs. standard), and the presence or absence of concurrent procedures. General anesthesia is usually utilized for facelifts, while in some less involved cases, local anesthesia and sedation can be used.

Once the initial incisions are made, the skin separates from its underlying muscles and connective tissue. It allows the plastic surgeon to remove the jowls, realign the deeper face tissues, and establish a stronger base for the skin. After that, extra skin is cut away, and the skin that is left over is carefully repositioned over the freshly restored facial tissues to give the face a smoother, younger-looking contour without being too tight.

Can My Eyelids Get Better with a Facelift Too?

When discussing any kind of plastic surgery, the term “facelift” is frequently used. Understandably, many people believe that a facelift entails operating on the eyes, cheeks, brow, and chin. That makes sense because your forehead and eyes are also components of your face. But a facelift alone only treats the cheekbones and jawline, the lowest two-thirds of a face.

Why is that the case? The primary cause is the differences in anatomy. A different set of procedures than those employed during a facelift is needed for cosmetic surgery on the brow and the surrounding eyelids due to the unique differences in the skin, muscles, and other tissues.

Patients frequently prefer a facelift with a brow lift, eyelid lift, or neck contouring; however, in these instances, a cosmetic surgeon will perform two different treatments in a single operation. Similarly, those seeking to address aging near their eyes or neck can generally attain their goals through an eyelid or neck lift alone without resorting to a facelift.

Can I Get A Non-surgical Facelift?

There are some useful, minimally invasive solutions to consider if you would prefer not to have a traditional surgical facelift or if you have previously had one and are looking for a means to preserve your results. These non-surgical procedures can effectively eliminate years of how you look in other ways, but they cannot restructure tissues or remove sagging skin. Additionally, they are an excellent way to improve the process because they bring supplementary benefits that a surgical facelift cannot. Currently, common non-surgical facelift options include:

  • Laser skin resurfacing. In addition to improving skin tone and quality, laser skin resurfacing can remove wrinkles, fine lines, acne scars, age spots, and discoloration. Laser treatments can be ablative or non-ablative based on the desired skin depth. 
  • RF microneedling. By now, you’re probably aware of the basics of microneedling: small needles are inserted into the skin’s outermost layers to produce “micro-injuries” that encourage the skin to mend itself. By using radiofrequency (RF) energy to heat the deep dermis of the skin on the face and neck, radiofrequency (RF) microneedling goes beyond traditional microneedling. The result is visibly tighter, softer skin that improves over the months after your treatment. Morpheus8 and Genius are two well-known brands of RF microneedling products.
  • Dermal fillers. For decades, injectable fillers have been a widely used non-surgical method for face rejuvenation, helping patients look years younger. Fillers are carefully injected beneath the skin to improve facial symmetry and restore lost volume in the lips, temples, cheeks, under-eyes, and nasolabial folds. Trained professionals use different fillers to enhance different parts of the face. For example, Juvéderm Vollure is a popular choice for filling in unsightly smile lines, Sculptra Aesthetic is great for gradually restoring facial fullness and eliminating deep wrinkles and folds for up to two years, and Juvéderm Voluma is great for lifting the cheeks and adding volume to the mid-face. In addition to defining the jawline and giving the appearance of a thinner face, fillers may temporarily restore rhinoplasty’s effects by augmenting the chin. Results from fillers usually last six to twelve months, but those from Sculptra and Bellafill can last up to two years.
  • Botox is the best option for temporarily lessening the appearance of dynamic wrinkles or those brought on by facial movements. Botox is injected into the face to smooth glabellar lines, frown lines, crow’s feet, horizontal forehead creases, and vertical lip lines. It may also be injected into the masseter muscle to create a more defined, slender jawline. For a complete non-surgical makeover, dermal filler injections are frequently combined with Botox. In general, results last three to four months.
  • Fat injection. To restore volume to the face and give patients long-lasting results, a trained surgeon might use liposuction to remove undesired body fat from the thighs, belly, or flanks and inject it through the cheekbones, temples, or beneath the eyes. Fat injection, also known as fat transfer, is the best option for patients who would prefer to avoid facelift surgery but still want a more permanent outcome than dermal fillers may offer because it produces semi-permanent effects that can endure for many years.

For the best results in tissue tightening and skin rejuvenation, several of these procedures can be coupled with one another or with different facial surgical procedures, like eyelid lift or brow lift surgery.

Let’s Discuss Lifts

Many have questions about what goes into a facelift and how it is done. Dr. George Brennan – Cosmetic Surgeon Newport Beach offers local and general anesthesia for facelift procedures. If you’ve been putting off getting your ideal facelift because you’re afraid of going under general anesthesia, Dr. Brennan is your surgeon. She’s one of the few who conducts facelifts using local anesthesia and sedation. 

Contact our experts for additional information about your options when deciding which facelift in Orange County is best for you. Make an appointment for a consultation to discuss the costs and kinds of facelifts openly and honestly. With the love and attention you deserve, we are here to assist you in achieving your ideal look!