Different Types of Facelifts Procedures and Benefits of an Upper Facelift, Mid Facelift and Lower Facelift
Different types of facelifts have one common goal: reverse the signs of facial ageing. However, choosing the optimal facelift can be confusing. Is an upper facelift the right option? A middle facelift? Or a lower facelift? Which one do you need? The main difference between upper, middle, and lower facelift is the part of the face each procedure targets. An upper facelift, also called a brow lift, lifts the forehead and flattens bulky skin folds. A mid-facelift focuses on your cheeks and nasolabial folds. A lower facelift emphasises the jaw by getting rid of jowls and wrinkles in the lower one-third of the face.
Choosing the right kind of facelift, therefore, depends on where exactly the facial wrinkles, volume loss and droopiness are located. If you have extensive signs of ageing, with deep wrinkles, lax deflated cheeks, large droopy jowls, and a double chin, then a Full facelift might be the right choice.
Specialist Plastic Surgeons Dr Hunt and Dr Maryam offer their patients in Sydney and Wollongong the full spectrum of facial rejuvenation surgery. They will thoroughly explain the difference between lower, middle, and upper facelift, and help you choose the right procedure to meet your cosmetic aspirations.
Why Get a Facelift?
Getting a facelift is a big decision. You should take your time to plan for your facelift and choose an experienced plastic surgeon with a proven track record and outstanding credentials to do your operation. You should consider getting a facelift if you’re unsatisfied with how old your face looks. If you feel like you look older than you would want to, then a facelift can help.
Before embarking on this journey, you need to do some research. See how different types of facelifts compare. Read about the difference between upper, lower, and middle facelifts so that you can understand them better when your plastic surgeon explains them.
Guide to Facial Rejuvenation
Why Are There Different Types of Facelift?
As you grow older, you gain more experience. You learn more. You become wiser. But it doesn’t stop there. Ageing takes a very visible toll on our bodies. Specifically on our face. You can easily estimate how old a person is by just looking at their face. The wrinkles and droopy skin gives it out, in some people more than in others. We can’t pause the ageing process on our faces. Luckily, however, we can help reverse it with facial rejuvenation surgery – like a facelift!
Signs of facial ageing vary from one person to another. In some people, the wrinkles and droopiness might be less severe and appear at a later age. They might be localised to a specific part of the face. Maybe just around the jaw and cheeks. In others, however, signs of ageing can appear as early as in their 40s. The wrinkles, skin folds, and droopiness can affect the whole face and not just a part of it.
This is why facelift is highly customised to meet each patient’s specific cosmetic needs. And this is why there are several different types of facelifts to choose from.
Upper Facelift vs Mid Facelift vs Lower Facelift
The main difference between upper, middle, and lower facelift is the part of the face each procedure targets. As mentioned above, facial ageing is not the same for everyone. If, for instance, you only have droopy jowls, and you’re satisfied with the rest of your facial appearance, then a full facelift might be unnecessary. A lower facelift alone can do the job.
Upper Facelift (Brow Lift)
An upper facelift is also called a brow lift or forehead lift. As the name implies, it is surgery to tighten the forehead and flatten wrinkles and skin folds in the area.
An upper facelift could help you if the signs of ageing are localised to the upper one-third of the face (the forehead). These can include:
- Forehead skin folds
- Deep forehead wrinkles
- Droopy forehead
- Deflated temples
- Droopy eyebrows
Lax forehead skin can make your eyebrows appear weak and droop over your eyes. This makes you look sleepy and tired.
An upper facelift can help reverse this. With a brow lift, the whole forehead can be tightened and flattened. The eyebrows will be surgically pulled upward to give you a more alert and energetic appearance. The advantages of an upper facelift can be summarized as follows:
- Flattens the forehead
- Gets rid of forehead wrinkles
- Gets rid of forehead skin folds
- Lifts the eyebrows up
- Makes the eyes look more alert and energetic
Our surgeons usually perform the upper facelift using endoscopic surgery. Through 4 small incisions along the hairline, and with the help of an endoscope, the deep forehead tissue is pulled up and tightened. If a lot of excess skin needs to be removed, then a larger incision along the hairline might be needed.
A mid facelift, also called a cheek lift, targets the middle one-third of the face. That’s the area extending from the corner of your eyes to the corner of your mouth. This is a very important area when it comes to facial rejuvenation. The cosmetic problems that a middle facelift targets are:
- Deflated cheeks
- Droopy cheeks
- Deep nasolabial folds (the line between the corner of the nose and the corner of the mouth on both sides)
- Droopy skin in the mid-face region
- Wrinkles around the mouth
Droopy cheeks and faded out cheekbones can make you look a lot older than you actually are. It’s one of the most annoying signs of ageing that many people would like to reverse. This is why surgery to lift the cheeks and make them look perkier is popular.
The advantages of a middle facelift include:
- Makes the cheeks perkier
- Emphasizes your cheekbones
- Tightens the middle face area
- Flattens deep wrinkles
- Reduces nasolabial folds and pulls them back to their normal position
In comparison with an upper facelift, the mid facelift incisions are done on the sides of the face. Each incision starts a little above the ear and extends downward to the earlobe. The deeper facial layers are pulled up to restore the normal facial structure. The skin is tightened and any excess skin is cut. The result is tighter and fuller cheeks and a face full of energy.
Compared to the upper and middle facelifts, a lower facelift targets only the lower one-third of the face. That’s the area extending from your earlobes and down to your chin, and it includes the mouth and jaw.
The lower face is probably the most important area when it comes to facial aesthetics. A faded jawline and droopy jowl are flagrant signs of ageing. The beautiful sharp demarcation between the jaw and face blends together and looks all droopy and weak. The annoying signs of ageing that affect the lower face include:
- Droopy jowls
- Faded and irregular jawline
- Wrinkles around the mouth, chin, and jaw
- Marionette lines (straight vertical skin lines going from the corner of the mouth to the chin)
Lifting the lower face can dramatically change the way you look. By re-emphasizing your jawline and enhancing its contour, the sharp edges of the lower face can be restored. Your jawline will look stronger and not blended in with your neck. The lower facelift can:
- Enhance your jawline and contour it
- Bring out the clear angle between your jaw and neck
- Get rid of droopy facial jowls
- Get rid of marionette lines
- Get rid of wrinkles around the corners of the mouth
- Flatten wrinkles on the chin
- Give the chin a stronger and tighter contour
A lower facelift is done with an incision similar to that of a mid-facelift. However, the incision might be slightly lower and extend a little behind the ear. Through this incision, your surgeon will pull up the droopy deep facial tissue (including muscles and connective tissue). They will then fix them in a higher position to straighten out any deep wrinkles and folds and flatten the jowls. Any excess skin is removed, and the remaining skin is tightened to give you a smooth and strong jaw contour.
When Is A Full Facelift Needed?
If you have more extensive and non-localised signs of facial ageing, then a full facelift might be a better option for you. You don’t want to rejuvenate just half of your face and leave the other half undone. The results might look unusual.
So, a full SMAS facelift or deep plane facelift is the better option if you’re not satisfied with other parts of your face. If you have droopy jowls, deflated cheeks, and a double chin, then getting only a mid-facelift will give you less-than-ideal results. A full facelift can, in such cases, be an all-in-one solution.
Choosing the Right Type of Facelift for You
Like other cosmetic procedures – the right procedure is the one you’re most comfortable with. It’s the one that promises to give you the results that you specifically want. Your surgeon will explain the differences between upper, middle, and lower facelifts and compare the expected results with you. Together, you can choose the right type of facelift to meet your cosmetic goals.
Further Reading about Facelift Surgery
- Read Dr Hunt’s Deep Plane Facelift Surgery page
- Read Dr Hunt’s Facelift Surgery page
- Read Dr Hunt’s Lower Facelift Surgery page
- See Dr Hunt’s Real Patient Facelift Surgery Before and After Photos
- Read Dr Hunt’s blog about 6 Questions to Ask before a Facelift
- Read Dr Hunt’s blog about Midface Lift surgery
- Read Dr Hunt’s blog about Facial Asymmetry Problems – What are your options for a Lopsided face?
- Advances in Face-lift Techniques, 2013-2018: A Systematic Review
- Mid Face Facelift – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf
- Techniques of Eyebrow Lifting: A Narrative Review
- Facelift Part II: Surgical Techniques and Complications
About Dr Jeremy Hunt – Specialist Plastic Surgeon
Dr Jeremy Hunt is a specialist plastic surgeon performing breast, body, face and nose surgery in Australia. He is a member of FRACS & ASPS and has over 20 years of experience providing plastic surgery in Sydney.
Careful, considerate and honest, Dr Jeremy Hunt works with you to find a solution that is optimal for your body and your lifestyle.
Dr Hunt’s personal, one-on-one service and attention to detail has given thousands of women and men from the Sydney & Wollongong NSW area and across Australia the aesthetic results they desire.
Dr Hunt’s qualifications and education
Dr Jeremy A Hunt MBBS FRACS graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine degree from Sydney University in 1990 and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and member of ASPS – the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. He completed a Fellowship at the prestigious University of Texas in the United States, where he learnt from some of the world’s very best plastic surgeons.
Next Step – Make an Enquiry or Request a consultation with Dr Hunt
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Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health professional.