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What is the difference in facelift results when comparing traditional facelift procedures to an endoscopic facelift?
Some years back several publications tried to answer this very question. Very well-known plastic surgeons demonstrated their techniques on twins, including traditional, deep plane and endoscopic facelifts. They then followed the patients for at least 10 years. I believe the results were presented at the annual meeting of the Aesthetic Society (ASAPS) at one, five, and ten years after surgery. The conclusion was that there was no difference in the results. Each surgeon had mastered the techniques they preferred and had good long-term results. My advice is for you to learn about the different options available to you and find a board certified plastic surgeon with the right skills and the right experience. Look at the number of facelifts performed in each practice per year and at plenty of before and after photos. Then make your decision.
Endoscopic vs Traditional Facelift
There is significant difference between these two facelifts. The Traditional Facelift concentrates on the cheeks, jowl, and neck. By extending it, you get some mid-face correction. The Endoscopic Facelift really concentrates on the mid-face. To get correction of the neck and cheeks, one needs to extend the procedure. There are also some significant risks with the endoscopic lift not present with traditional procedures. If you do this, make sure that your surgeon has significant experience. My personal preference is a modification of the MACS Lift. It gives a true vertical lift and corrects the mid-face like the endoscopic lift, but also provides an excellent correction of the cheeks and neck.
I don't think this should be viewed as an either, or question.
I choose the operation according to the patient's unique anatomy, and perform "traditional" and endoscopic facelift procedures or a combination of both on that basis.
Traditional facelifts, like the endoscopic facelifts, have evolved into a number of variations over the past two decades There is a famous twin study that seems to show no difference in the results.
This study leads to the conclusion that it is the individual surgeon's judgment and skill with his technique of choice for that patient that are the primary determinants of the results and not the surgical technique itself.
Good facelift surgeons get good results, almost regardless of their chosen technique. That being said, I think it makes the most sense to correct aging changes of the face in the anatomic zone where they are occurring, namely the skin and subcutaneous tissues, rather than the periosteum. I prefer an extended SMAS facelift to do this; other surgeons will have different opinions.
Really though, the main thing for you is to have a consultation, and for a surgeon to examine your face, and evaluate the anatomic changes that are happening. Then, he or she can develop a plan of treatment ...which is individualized for you.
All the best,
A traditional facelift is currently the gold-standard. It is a predictable operation that gives a nice predictable result with a high-degree of safety. The facelift (and its many variations such as the S-lift, Mini-Lift, MACS lift, LifeStyle Lift, etc.) relies on incisions in front of and behind the ears to tighten the muscle layers and remove excess skin.
An endoscopic lift is meant to pull the deeper tissues and minimize outward incisions. In scientific studies, there is more likely to be prolonged swelling in an endoscopic facelift as opposed to a standard facelift. Results may not be as dramatic with an endoscopic lift. Ultimately, the safety, reliability, predictability of the procedures rely on the experience of the surgeon do the lift as well as the individual characteristics of the patient.
Patient selection and the experience of your plastic surgeon can guide you on which method of facelift is most appropriate for you.