What type of Facelift should I get? Mini-lift, S-lift, Thread lift, XYZ-lift?

A drawing of a woman's shoulders, neck and head.

It seems nowadays that more and more plastic surgery savvy patients come to my office asking for a specific procedure.

Do you do the mini-lift? Do you do the S-lift? I want a Thread lift!… and on and on…

Patients are asking for specific procedures because they have been reached by the marketing efforts of Plastic Surgeons. Since surgeons are trained to do procedures, they market procedures as their product. In order to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, they come up with these catchy names to create a “unique” presence for themselves in the marketplace. Alternately, if there is a particular buzzword or catchphrase that is getting media attention, the surgeon will use it in his marketing pitch, to benefit from the attention generated by that particular “product-lift”.

The patient then comes to me with a request for a procedure which is supposed to be the latest not aware that the procedure may not be that new, or that great, or that different from other time tested techniques. If the surgeon says he hasn’t heard of the procedure, he risks being perceived as ‘not up to the latest’. But in many cases, it only means he hasn’t been keeping up with the marketing efforts of his peers. That is why, in order to, keep up with my patients knowledge base, I scan influential medical journals such as Cosmopolitan and Vogue ;).

But what exactly does a patient want? Is it the latest XYZ-lift?, or to improve her look?
I doubt you would ask for the XYZ-lift if you knew it would give you problems, even if it was at a good price, with minimal downtime. This is why you go to a well trained, board certified plastic surgeon.

An experienced , well trained plastic surgeon will provide you with his judgement as to which procedure fits you best . When talking to your surgeon, be specific in explaining what exactly it is that you want to change. Do not be afraid to ask the surgeon to explain to you his surgical plan in terms you can understand. Ask to see pre and postoperative pictures, so you can see what kind of work he does. Beware of surgeons who ‘specialize’ in one type of procedure, as he may talk you into it whether you are a good candidate or not.

So, which kind of Facelift should you get? The one that fits you best, even if it doesn’t have a catchy name!

By Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez MD
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Cosmeticsurg Baltimore, Maryland
Ricardo L Rodriguez on American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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4 thoughts on “What type of Facelift should I get? Mini-lift, S-lift, Thread lift, XYZ-lift?”

  • way2logical says:

    I want to know your opinion on giving a threadlft to a patient with a thin face and skin. My plastic surgeon who is well known in the Pikesville area will not do it, even on his wife because of lack of fatty tissue in face. I believe the reason is whatever holds the thread intact has a good chance of showing, What have you seen as a MD as to results or is your recommendation different also? mid line lifts and the like
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Lauren: I really would have to see the patient to make a judgement on this. I do use threadlifts a lot when I'm doing a midface lift, but at a deeper layer. On an ageing thin face, what you have is an excess of skin relative to subcutaneous fat. For that reason, my first inclination would be a tissue filler or fat injections to key areas, then decide what, if anything else needs to be done. Threadlifts are a great option, but not superficially. The reason is not that they show, because when done well they don't show. The reason is that it doesn't last long, unless you put in a lot of threads. If you live in the area, we'd love to hear from you!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Rose-Marie: An S lift is a particular type of facelift scar where part of the incision goes in front of the sideburn hairline. For that reason along I don't like it. Secondly, I believe you can get a much better lift of the cheek tissues working through an incision hidden in the temple skin. As for the sculpt lift, I don't know what it is. I googled sculpt lift and frankly I saw a bunch of marketing stuff, none of which sounded particularly appealing. Remember, this is not emergency surgery, you have time to find out what works best for you.