Today, there are many types of facelifts: Liquid Facelift, Fat Injection Facelift, Short-Scar Facelift, Mini Facelift, and the Modern Facelift. Other options exist—such as the Lunchtime Facelift, the Weekend Facelift, and the Lifestyle Lift—although these names are more marketing terms than anything else. They fall into the categories of Mini or Short-Scar Facelifts.
“Liquid Facelift” is a term used to describe injections of products to fill various facial areas and create more fullness. A patient’s fat is commonly used, but products such as Sculptra® Aesthetic, Radiesse®, and JUVÉDERM VOLUMA® can be utilized as well. A Liquid Facelift can often be a great option for patients who do not need or desire surgery to address their aesthetic concerns. Depending on the specific injectable(s) administered, periodic retreatment will be necessary to maintain lasting results. This is not a facelift but a volume enhancer, which expands the skin—much like inflating a balloon—and provides a lifting effect.
Fat Injection Facelift
A Fat Injection Facelift refers to the transfer of fat to the face to increase volume and achieve a rejuvenated appearance. With the Coleman Technique—which was developed by Dr. Sydney Coleman of New York City—fat is selectively grafted from regions such as the abdomen or legs with the assistance of liposuction. Once harvested, the fat is processed via centrifugation, which separates fat into several layers: an upper oil layer, a central purified and concentrated fat layer, and a bottom level consisting of blood.
The Short-Scar Facelift was introduced around the year 2000. The demand for this procedure is strong because the lift can be significant, and the incision is limited to the front of the ears. The keystone of the Short-Scar Facelift method is that it lifts the deep structure called the Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System (SMAS). This firm and fibrous network runs under the skin but over the facial muscles and forms the framework of the face. When the SMAS is tightened, it can yield significant and long-lasting results. This is a powerful facelift for the length of the incision. Since the SMAS connects to the neck region, that area can also be improved.
The Modern Facelift has evolved over many years, starting with the discovery of the SMAS (Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System). Surgeons have dissected and pulled the SMAS every which way as they learned how to utilize this tissue plane best. The Modern Facelift technique often includes an incision in front of and behind the ear and into the hairline, which is needed if a significant amount of redundant skin is present, especially in the neck. The SMAS is more extensively supported with this technique than in any of the other facial rejuvenation surgeries. As a result, it is considered the gold standard for face-lifting and will typically be long-lasting.
Composite SMAS Facelift
This is a great technique for elevating the SMAS (Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System), and it is one of Dr. Delgado’s favorites. With this technique, the SMAS is raised with the skin attached—unlike the other SMAS method in which the SMAS and the skin are separated. The final result can be a very smooth and one-piece, natural look. It is important to note that the Composite SMAS Facelift does not work well with patients who have an abundance of loose skin. In this situation, the face has much more skin to remove than SMAS. Therefore, by separating the two layers, the skin can be pulled and trimmed independently.
Dr. Delgado has a special facelift procedure centered around less conspicuous incisions (or scar locations) known as the Hollywood Facelift. Many of the previously discussed facelift techniques can be performed for appropriate candidates using this method, even the Modern Facelift. The beauty of the Hollywood Facelift is that there are no incisions beyond the ear—the incision is confined to the ear anatomy so that one can wear their hair up, for example, and no scars will be seen. This is a great technique for men, especially bald men (and even women) who have lost their hair for various reasons. The best patient is one who does not have a significant amount of neck skin.