Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Reference Articles – Open Cheek Lift “Mini” Procedure
An Alternative to the Full Face Lift
By: Dr. Randall Weil
The open cheek lift is an excellent “mini” procedure under certain specific circumstances. Frequently people will say, “I do not need or want a face lift”. They are often exactly right if what they see in the mirror are sagging jowls and often deep crease lines between the nose and mouth (nasolabial fold lines).
Mostly people notice that the jaw line is no longer as straight as it was. Disappearance of the jaw line makes one look older and wearied. A person such as this would be a great candidate for the cheek lift “mini” procedure if the neck is not particularly loose or fat. The cheek lift will only partially help the neck skin. Again, to be wonderfully suitable for the cheek lift mini procedure the lower portion of the face, specifically the jowls and deep nasolabial fold lines are the culprits and the neck is reasonably good.
Certainly neck liposuction can be and often is added if the neck is fatty, thus keeping the procedure in the “mini” category.
Surgery is usually done under a “twilight” or “conscious” sedation and takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours. Required incisions are less extensive than required for a full face lift. During the procedure the skin itself is not only tightened, but just as importantly the lower layers (called the SMAS or Sub Muscular Aponeurotic System) is also tightened. Patients will remain in the recovery area for approximately 2 hours and can then be driven home.
The postoperative course is usually painless and the expected swelling (with often some bruising near the jowls) is significantly resolved after one week. Most people will return to social activity or work by this time.
Potential risks and complications include bleeding and infection, but these are usually less than 1%.
In summary, the open cheek lift “mini” procedure can rejuvenate the face to a youthful contour without the need for a full face lift.