If you have further questions about midface lifts, check the list below to find answers. While some information presented here is also contained in the above text, these short responses should complete your introduction to midface lifts. We also encourage you to consult with Dr. Donath for individualized answers to all of your questions.
Am I a good candidate for midface lifting?
The best midface lift patient is in good health, a non-smoker, and is able to avoid blood thinning medications for two weeks before surgery. He or she is unhappy with the loss of fullness in the cheek regions, and the presence of deep smile lines.
How does a midface lift differ from a facelift?
A midface lift is intended to treat the middle 1/3 of the face – the region between the lower eyelids and the level of the mouth. In contrast, a facelift improves the lower 1/3 of the face, from the corners of the mouth down to the jawline. In many patients, these two procedures are performed at the same surgery, for a more complete facial rejuvenation.
Are there other ways to improve my smile lines?
Aside from midface lift surgery, the best treatment for smile lines (or “nasolabial folds”) is the injection or implantation of a filler below them. Injectible fillers include collagen, hyaluronic acid (Restylane, Juvaderm), or hydroxylapatite (Radiesse). All of these products give an effective, but temporary, remedy for deep smile lines. Permanent solutions include the injection of fillers such as Artecoll or silicone, or the implantation of a solid filler like Alloderm or gelfoam. Remember that filling the nasolabial folds will not elevate or replace soft tissue in the cheek.
Are there injections that can improve my cheeks?
If injected correctly, several products can replace soft tissue in the cheeks. Temporary fillers such as collagen, Restylane, Juvaderm, or Radiesse are effective, but need to be re-injected every one to two years. But, these fillers only improve cheek fullness; they do not lift soft tissue that has fallen with time.
Do cheek implants create the same improvement as a midface lift?
Cheek implants are effective at replacing lost volume of the cheeks. They are permanent, but can be removed at any time if needed. They do not lift the cheeks, but they do create full cheeks with a similar appearance to that generated by a midface lift. Dr. Donath does perform cheek implants, and occasionally a patient will have cheek implants and a midface lift together.
Are the results of a midface lift natural appearing?
With the correct amount of elevation, the results of a midface lift are very natural, and generate a young, healthy appearance. Immediately after surgery, the cheeks often look unnaturally high, but this resolves during the healing process.
Can I have other procedures done at the same time as a midface lift?
You can, and often patients decide to have other rejuvenating procedures done at the same surgery. These can include facelifting, eyelid lifting (blepharoplasty), brow lifting, and neck lifting. Doing multiple procedures on the same day does not lengthen the recovery time, and it allows the patient to accomplish many goals with one surgery.
How many doctors should I consult with?
As many as you need to feel completely comfortable with the doctor you choose. Some patients are able to settle on their surgeon after only one consultation, while others require several to best compare their rapport with each doctor.
Are “before and after” pictures helpful?
They are, and our doctors will show you many. However, the best prediction for the outcome will be determined during your consultation, as your doctor examines your face carefully.
Do you use computers to change my pre-operative photos?
Yes, we do, and we use the latest software available to provide realistic projections. Keep in mind that these “morphed” images are not guarantees of an actual result, but will help you as you plan your procedure.
Do I need to see my own doctor before a midface lift?
All patients require basic lab tests, and typically patients over the age of 45 require a written clearance from their personal physicians. All specific requirements are described in the attached Midface Lift Instructions .
What do I need to do the day before surgery?
The day before a midface lift, you should eat normally but avoid excessively heavy meals, or foods that can lead to acid reflux. Prepare your affairs so that you completely relax and rest after surgery. Most importantly, do not eat or drink anything after midnight before your procedure. See the attached Midface Lift Instructions for all suggestions.
Where does the surgery take place?
Procedures are done at the Cincinnati Facial Plastic Surgery, our fully accredited surgery center.
What kind of anesthetic will be used?
For almost all cases, a deep sedation will be used, which means you will be completely asleep and pain-free during the entire case. No breathing tube will be needed in these cases. Some other patients, having shorter procedures, can have lighter sedation. However, everyone will be completely comfortable during the procedure.
How long does the procedure take?
Midface lifts take about two hours to complete.
How much pain will I have after surgery?
Midface lifts do not generate excessive pain during recovery. You will mainly experience a sensation of tightness in your skin, which comes from swelling. Discomfort is well controlled with medications, which we will prescribe.
What are the risks of surgery?
Adverse events are rare. One possible but uncommon risk is infection, which can be easily treated with antibiotics. In fact, we prescribe antibiotics to all patients immediately after a midface lift if an oral incision is used. Another potential risk is slipping of the sutures used to secure the soft tissues. Although very rare, this condition is disconcerting and can be corrected with a brief surgical procedure. Other possible risks include bleeding and nerve damage. During your consultation with Dr. Donath, you will be able to discuss all risks and complications.
Will I have scars?
The scars of a midface lift are well hidden in the hair of the temple, or by a natural crease just below the lower eyelid lashes.
How much time off should I take from work and exercising?
You should plan to take one to two weeks off of work, so swelling and bruising can resolve. Exercise should be avoided for about three weeks after surgery.
Do patients ever need another midface lift?
A revision midface lift is rarely needed. Your face will always look younger and more refreshed after surgery, and even with continued aging your cheeks should maintain much of their fullness.