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Which Type of Facelift Do I Need?

Posted January 12, 2023 in Facelift Surgery, Facial Rejuvenation

7 Minute Read:

Aesthetic issues of the face can be extremely frustrating since our faces are the most visible parts of our bodies. But we are not alone — changes in how our face looks and age-related cosmetic concerns are pretty much a guarantee for everyone at some point. 

Whether you have wrinkles, fine lines, or sagging skin, the reality is that these age-related changes can cause you to feel self-conscious about your appearance. 

While some may choose to conceal their concerns with makeup or clothing (or refrain from social situations entirely), many individuals find it helpful to simply correct the issue to avoid the need for feeling self-conscious.

Beautiful middle-aged woman looking at the camera while touching her face with a finger.

Plastic surgery procedures for the face help many individuals achieve improvement in facial contour and assist with helping an individual look as young as they feel; however, many people don’t realize that there are more options available than just standard facelift surgery. 

Below, we will discuss some of the most effective cosmetic facial procedures to help correct age-related changes that impact many men and women.

Traditional Facelift 

Facelift surgery is one of the most effective plastic surgery procedures available, making it one of the most popular. 

In fact, facelifts were the third most performed cosmetic surgical procedure in 2020, and when you see the visible and potentially dramatic results that can be achieved from this surgery, there’s little wondering why it is so trusted. 

This procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia. Once the anesthesia has been administered, your board-certified plastic surgeon will make incisions in the hairline, beginning at the temples. These incisions will then continue down the sides of the face, around the ears, and end in the lower scalp. 

Your plastic surgeon will then reposition underlying fat and tissue to give your skin a more lifted and volumized appearance. Additionally, excess skin will be surgically removed, and the remaining skin will be tightened before the incisions are closed. 

After your facelift, you can look forward to a more youthful appearance with smoother skin and reduced wrinkles.

Mini Facelift

For men and women with moderate signs of aging who do not want to undergo a full facelift, mini facelift surgery (also known as the limited-incision facelift) can help achieve a more youthful facial appearance with shorter incisions (which also means less scarring). 

While a traditional facelift addresses the entire lower and midface, from the cheeks to the neck, a mini facelift focuses more directly on the lower-third of the face and is largely more appropriate for individuals who do not need extensive management or alteration of their neck contour and have their concerns focused along the central and lower face. 

This procedure is performed in the same manner as a traditional facelift; however, the incisions are smaller and correction along the neck region may be more limited. 

Neck Lift 

Many patients choose to include neck lift surgery to their facelift, since the two areas are so closely connected. However, you can choose to have a neck lift as a standalone procedure, as well. This surgery tightens skin and reduces submental fullness to address age-related concerns on the neck, such as wrinkles and sagging skin (including “turkey neck” and jowls). 

For this procedure, your cosmetic surgeon will make incisions underneath the chin and behind (or around) the ears. Fat is then redistributed and/or removed from the neck (sometimes with the use of liposuction surgery). 

Routinely with a neck lift, Dr. Cohn will tighten the neck muscles and remove excess redundant skin, if needed. Once you have recovered from your neck lift, you can look forward to seeing improvement along your jawline and crisper angle beneath your chin along the neck region.

Comprehensive Facial Rejuvenation 

While facelift surgery can correct many age-related issues of the face, it is important to understand that this procedure only addresses concerns largely in the lower two-thirds of the face. It is not uncommon to consider incorporation of additional ancillary procedures to address the upper and central face, which may be impactful if change is desired along these regions that are incompletely addressed by facelift-type procedures alone. 

To optimize comprehensive correction of facial aging concerns, many patients choose to combine eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) and/or brow lift surgery with their facelift.

Eyelid Surgery

Upper blepharoplasty can be performed to correct sagging skin along your upper eyelids, which can have the effect of making your eyes appear older, heavier and weighted down in a way that many individuals do not desire. 

For this procedure, a small incision will be made in the natural crease of the upper eyelid. Tissue and fat will be repositioned, and excess skin will be surgically removed.

Lower blepharoplasty addresses puffy skin (bags) under the eyes as well as any skin laxity that may be present. 

The incision for lower blepharoplasty will be made just below the eyelashes of the lower eyelid or within the eyelid itself. Fat beneath the lower eyelid can be removed or redistributed to give you a smoother and more youthful appearance. 

Many patients choose to combine both upper and lower eyelid surgery to achieve a more comprehensive transformation.

Brow Lift

A brow lift (also known as a forehead lift) addresses sagging skin in the eyebrows as well as wrinkles and lines on the forehead. This procedure can be accomplished in one of several ways. 

Open brow lift surgery uses an incision made at the ear level, which continues up to your hairline; endoscopic brow lift surgery uses an endoscope (a small device with a camera attached to the end of it); a browpexy uses an incision in the eyelid; and a direct brow lift uses an incision in the forehead (to focus on the eyebrow, specifically). 

Regardless of the method and incision used, Dr. Cohn will remove and/or redistribute fat and tissue while managing impact of the muscle activity in the area. Excess skin may be removed before your incisions are closed. 

After your procedure, you can look forward to a smoother, more youthful appearance along your upper face, and when combined with a facelift, your results can be transformative while remaining natural-appearing

Lip Lift

As we age, the upper cutaneous lip (the distance between the bottom of the nose and the start of the red lip) lengthens. This can result in the upper lip turning under, i.e. less show of the red lip, as well as less show of the upper incisor teeth with the lips in repose. 

One way to shorten the upper cutaneous lip length and the aid in the upper lip turning back upwards is to perform a lip lift. This is a fairly simple procedure that can be performed under local anesthetic if performed alone or can be combined with other procedures under sedation or full anesthesia. A small incision is made below the nose, and the excess intervening skin and tissue is removed. The resulting scar is small and well-hidden in the shadow below the nose. 

Fat Grafting

It is a well studied concept that our faces lose volume from the facial fat compartments as we age. This volume depletion occurs in specific areas of the face, like the cheeks, temples, etc., that when examined can be used to predict age. One solution for this volume loss is the addition of volume through the use of fillers, which are typically hyaluronic acid based. 

A more permanent solution is to replace the lost volume with fat. Fat is collected from an area of the body, like the lower abdomen, is carefully processed to preserve the fat cells, and then is injected in small aliquots to replace the volume loss. Typically about 60 to 80% of injected fat will “take” or survive in its grafted location. 


One of the reasons why we experience signs of aging is that the production of natural proteins in our skin begins to slow down. Collagen and elastin are proteins that are responsible for the health, strength, and elasticity of our skin. This means that wrinkles and sagging skin develop as less of these proteins are found in the tissues. 

FaceTite® is a minimally invasive treatment that helps to stimulate collagen and elastin production in the skin and is frequently used to augment surgical results.

For this treatment, radiofrequency energy is used to heat the skin and tissue of the face. The radiofrequency waves heat the subcutaneous tissue causing a controlled thermal injury that increases collagen and elastin, resulting in skin with improved tone and texture.

Not only can you look forward to a more contoured facial appearance after your FaceTite® procedure, but you can also expect tighter and smoother skin that can make you smile with pride.

Interested in Learning More About Facelift or Other Facial Procedures in Birmingham, AL?

If you are interested in addressing signs of age on your face or you have questions about any of the other procedures we offer, make sure to contact Dr. Cohn today. You can call us at (205) 590-9900 or use our online form here.