How many different ways are there to perform a facelift? How are doctors able to match a certain technique with an individual patient?
The answer to your first question is too many to count. Facelifts differ by incision type and the amount or way the SMAS (submuscular aponeurotic system) is handled. In general though the most important differentiating item is how the SMAS is handled. It can be by suture suspension only, eg. MACS lift, placation where it is overlapped and sutured, imbrications where it is incised and the sutured over, or incised and undermined for a varying distance. In our practice we make the incision around the ears always and in about half the cases also under the chin also where the lift is combined with neck liposuction and a midline muscle tightening called a platysmaplasty. Then we decide how much undermining of the SMAS we are going to do based upon how heavy the face is and how much lift is required which answers your second question about matching the technique. We look at the degree of aging the patient has and match the appropriate degree of intervention to each patient.
Posted by Dr. Buckingham