Question: I’ve met with one doctor to address my jowls. He said that I need a midface lift. I’m very apprehensive about this because I really feel that I only need the jowls addressed and I worry that a mid-face lift won’t even touch the lower face. Is this a valid concern?
Answer: This may be a valid concern, but it is important that the areas in question are examined by and discussed with an experienced plastic surgeon. Having a few additional opinions on the best strategy for facial rejuvenation would be reasonable. Typically the best way to address significant jowling is with a traditional facelift procedure (sometimes referred to as a “lower facelift”). This procedure tightens loose tissue around the jawline and neck (i.e. jowls) and utilizes an incision that courses around the ear. A mid-face lift, on the other hand, re-suspends the cheek tissue to a more youthful position higher on the face. This corrects the nasolabial fold deformity, which are the deep lines extending from the nostrils to the lips. It is possible to get some improvement in jowling from a midface lift, but this is not the primary objective of this procedure. With so many features of the aging face and so many facial rejuvenation procedures available, it is important that the patient and surgeon both understand what are the areas of concern and the plan to address them.