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How does a facelift work

An individual's identity is often primarily determined by the face-its structure, overall appearance and expressions.

As such, age-related changes that can alter the appearance of the face may make an individual feel as if their identity has changed over time.

This article on facelift is written by Dr Foued Hamza, a cosmetic surgeon practising in Paris, France. View Dr Hamza's website.


Changes can occur in the upper, mid, and lower portions of the face; however, changes to the middle region of the face can often occur earlier than changes to the lower face. These changes may include loss of volume and sagging of the cheeks, as well as the development of deep wrinkles and hollow areas below the lower eyelids.

Often appropriate for individuals who have not yet experienced sagging in the lower face, a mid-facelift can help to reduce these signs of ageing, restoring a firmer, more youthful appearance.

During the consultation process I help patients to determine which procedure is best for them and whether an additional procedure such as eyelid surgery or lipofilling would produce more global facial rejuvenation.

How does a facelift work?

There are several different types of facelift - each specialized to treat different regions of the face. Age-related changes in the upper and middle region of the face are usually corrected with a forehead lift and mid-facelift.

During a lower facelift, the underlying connective and muscle tissues known as the SMAS are lifted, facial skin is tightened, and excess skin is removed. During a mid-facelift, the underlying tissues are tightened, and fat pads that give the face shape and volume are shifted upward to restore a firmer, more youthful appearance.

The mid-facelift

This is a new procedure to rejuvenate the face with less scarring. The procedure is intended to lift the cheeks back to their youthful position which decreases the depth of the nasolabial folds (skin around the nose and mouth), as well as improving hollowing under the eyes.

The operation takes approximately three hours under general anaesthetic and the incision is completely hidden and placed under the lower eyelid.

Total recovery from bruising and swelling takes between two to four weeks and strenuous activity should be avoided for four to six weeks. The results are long-lasting and patients should enjoy the results for at least ten years.

Profile of the author

Dr Foued Hamza completed his medical studies in Tunisia and then moved to Paris in France to specialize in plastic and cosmetic surgery. From 1988 to 1997, Dr Hamza worked in the greatest Parisian hospitals such as Foch hospital, Henri Mondor and Saint Louis. He is a member of the French Board of Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery and, with a new clinic in London's medical district, is registered to practice in the UK.

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