Cheeklift: Five-Year Perspective

DALLAS, Tex (May 14, 1999) — Rejuvenating the sagging soft tissues of the cheek and lower eyelid areas in younger patients whose aging is limited to this midface region can be achieved by a cheeklift performed through incisions placed in the lash line of the lower eyelids—the same incisions that are used to remove fat and excess skin from the lower eyelids. The cheeklift has the benefits of avoiding the standard facelift incisions in front of the ear and in the temporal hairline as well as allowing the plastic surgeon to reposition the soft tissues of the midface in a vertical direction. For some patients, this makes the cheeklift more beneficial than either a lower eyelid surgery or a standard facelift procedure.

But not all patients are good candidates for a cheeklift, and among those who are, there is a wide range of possible approaches to the procedure. Plastic surgeons presenting the results of 450 cheeklift procedures at the annual meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) in Dallas say that the surgical approach with the shortest recovery and least risk of trauma to the facial nerves is the "mini-cheeklift."

According to board-certified plastic surgeon Roderick Hester, MD, a member of the team of investigators from Atlanta, the best candidates for a "mini-cheeklift" are patients with a hollow appearance beneath their lower eyelids usually caused by a downward shift of fat and other soft tissues of the eye and cheek areas.

"The mini-cheeklift provides aesthetic advantages over a standard lower eyelid surgery because it actually fills in the hollow areas by moving soft tissue in a vertical direction, says Dr. Hester. Adjunctive procedures, such as autologous fat injections, may be necessary in some instances to enhance results.

A high level of surgical skill and an extensive knowledge of anatomy are required to avoid complications in performing cheeklifts. The investigators reported on multiple criteria for patient selection that, if applied consistently, can greatly reduce the incidence of problems from the mini-cheeklift and related procedures.

"Cheeklift procedures solve a lot of difficult aesthetic problems for which there is no other surgical solution," says Dr. Hester. "As plastic surgeons become more experienced in patient selection, they will significantly improve their results." Co-authors: Mark A. Codner, MD, T. Roderick Hester, MD, Clinton D. McCord, MD, and Foad Nahai, MD, of Atlanta, Ga.

About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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