Skin-Only Facelift Technique

There are many ways a plastic surgeon can reduce a person's signs of aging. By far, one of the most popular options is the facelift (rhytidectomy). During a facelift, a surgeon makes incisions around the ear area and lower portions of the hairline, hiding any surgical scarring. It is through these incisions that the surgeon can adjust underlying structures of the face, remove excess skin, and tighten the remaining skin to achieve a more youthful appearance.

When performed at our Philadelphia, PA plastic surgery center, a facelift can leave a patient looking years younger and much more refreshed. Sagging around the upper cheek area is eliminated and the lines around the eyes are no longer as visible or prominent. Sometimes a surgeon needs to only tighten the facial skin itself to achieve these outcomes. Let's explore the skin-only technique for performing facelifts.

The Skin-Only Facelift Technique

While many facelift surgeries involve adjustments to the underlying muscle as well as the skin of the patient, there are variations on the facelift that target just the skin. In these cases, surgeons simply remove excess skin and then pull the remaining skin tighter in order to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. In essence, the principle is still the same, but the way it is performed means fewer underlying facial structures are altered.

Why the Skin-Only Facelift Can Be Helpful

If patients suffer from very minor lines and wrinkles of the face that affect overall appearance, a skin-only facelift may be an ideal option to consider. It is less invasive than other surgical techniques, and the results can be quite remarkable. The same is true for minor sagging of the facial skin around the cheek area. A skin-only facelift may be all a patient needs to achieve optimal results.

How Common Is a Skin-Only Facelift?

While the above description of a skin-only facelift seems like it would be ideal for many patients, this surgical technique is actually quite rare. In fact, in cases of minor wrinkling or sagging, a non-surgical treatment may be recommended instead of a skin-only facelift. Cosmetic injectables or some form of light/laser skin care therapy are typically more common.

The vast majority of facelifts performed involve some revision of the muscle structure as well as the skin. This is known as an SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system) facelift. The SMAS facelift allows for a more comprehensive revision of facial appearance and better long-term results.

Assessing Your Situation and Creating a Treatment Plan

As you have seen, a skin-only facelift is not always an ideal option for patients to consider. In many instances, the ideal method of treatment involves some revision of the muscle as well as the skin. This is why an in-person consultation is so important.

During your visit to the practice, a plastic surgeon can note the condition of your skin, the prevalence of sagging and wrinkles, and other factors that might impact treatment. Taking all of this into account, the plastic surgeon can then recommend the most ideal surgical and non-surgical procedures that can address you needs.

Learn More about Facial Plastic Surgery

If you would like to learn more about the latest techniques available in facial rejuvenation and wrinkle reduction, we encourage you to contact an experienced facial plastic surgeon today. The team at our cosmetic surgery practice will work with you to develop the best possible treatment plan.

Questions? Email us today.

To make or reschedule an appointment please complete the form below or call:  (215) 625-6630.

CALL US TODAY: (215)625-6630


Jefferson Plastic Surgery is located on the corner of 9th and Walnut streets in Center City, Philadelphia on the 15th floor of the Wills Eye Hospital Building.

Jefferson Plastic Surgery
840 Walnut Street - 15th Floor
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
Phone: (215) 625-6630
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