As we age, we lose facial fat. In the area of the face referred to as the mid-face—the cheeks and the region just beneath the lower eyelids—furrows can develop and the cheek tissue can become lax and appear irregular. In addition, the nasolabial folds, the crease going from the nose down to the corner of the mouth, can become quite deep. In this case we can consider doing a cheek or a “mid-face lift,” a procedure designed to elevate the cheeks.
By lifting the cheek, we soften the crease of the nasolabial folds and bring tissue up under the eye; this shortens and better supports the eyelids. This approach contrasts with more traditional techniques that pull the eyelid down. For a Mid-Face Lift, we make a series of small incisions, going under all layers, along the bone, under all the tissue. We use an absorbable device to attach to the tissue. It looks like plastic, but it’s very safe and is completely absorbed by the body. We then elevate the tissues, muscles and all, to their new position, and suture. Fairly quickly, the insert completely dissolves, and the tissues naturally fuse themselves to the bone in their new positions. The effects typically last a long time. We perform surgery here in Santa Fe at our private operating room under general anesthesia.
Patients typically recover in two to three weeks. Patients cannot drive themselves home and should be out of work for a few days. They are given oral pain medication to ease any discomfort. Costs vary from patient to patient and can depend on how much work is done—particularly if there is the need for injectables fillers to replace volume in the cheeks lost by the aging process.
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