A Facelift, also known as rhytidectomy, is one of the most popular and sought-after procedures plastic surgery. However, some women and men don’t need a traditional or a deep plane rhytidectomy. They just want to make their cheeks tighter and fuller. They want to deal with wrinkles and excess skin in the mid-region of the face. For those patients, a midface rhytidectomy, sometimes called a malar rhytidectomy or cheek lift, can help. It is less invasive than a full rhytidectomy and it targets the middle area of your face, between the upper lip and the eyes.
What is a Midface Lift (Rhytidectomy)?
A midface lift, also known as a cheek lift or malar rhytidectomy is a less invasive variant of the full rhytidectomy. It specifically targets the middle face region – the area extending from the upper lip to the eyes. The procedure involves an incision that starts in front of the ear, and goes around the earlobe and slightly backward. It’s a similar, but smaller incision compared to the traditional facelift (rhytidectomy).
A middle facelift (malar rhytidectomy) can suit those who have moderate signs of facial ageing in the middle part of the face. This could be wrinkles around the eyes, descent of the cheeks, faded cheek lines, deep nasolabial folds (the lines between the nose and lips). Candidates are those who don’t need work done above the eyes (e.g. brow lift cornoplasty) or around the jaw and upper neck.
Consider a Midface lift (malar rhytidectomy) with fat transfer
If your concern with your midface is the lack of volume and descent of tissue, the combination of a midface lift (malar rhytidectomy) with fat transfer is often the solution. Fat transfer can address a lack of cheek volume and the descent of tissue around the cheeks.
The outcomes shown are only relevant for this patient and do not necessarily reflect the results other patients may experience, as results may vary due to many factors including the individual’s genetics, diet and exercise.
The combination of midface lift (malar rhytidectomy) and fat transfer increased facial and cheek volume while lessending the the nasolabial fold and softening the lower eyelid cheek junction.
Midface Lift (malar rhytidectomy) vs. Traditional Rhytidectomy
A traditional facelift (rhytidectomy) involves a larger incision that starts from the hairline in front of the ears and goes around the earlobe and backward. It is also more invasive compared to a midface lift (malar rhytidectomy). Dr Hunt will cut out more skin, and extensively manipulate the deeper layers of the face.
A full rhytidectomy targets the whole face. It deals with jowls and excess skin, and can alter the appearance of the cheeks, upper neck, and forehead.
On the other hand, a malar rhytidectomy involves a smaller incision and less tissue manipulation. It targets the middle region of your face.
Who Needs a Cheek Lift (Malar Rhytidectomy)?
You might consider getting a midface rhytidectomy if:
- You have deep nasolabial folds (the vertical skin folds between nose and lips)
- You have wrinkles around the eyes or upper lip
- You have soft or descended cheeks
- You have excess skin in the middle third of the face
- You don’t need work done around the jawline or on the forehead (your problems are localised in the mid-face area)
If you have these concerns, then getting a surgical cheek lift (malar rhytidectomy) can be your next step, if it’s in line with your goals.
If you need additional work done on other parts of your face, then a full facelift (rhytidectomy) might be the surgery for you.
- A Neck lift or platysmaplasty can be added to any type of facelift rhytidectomy surgery
- A Blepharoplasty or Eyelid lift with skin laxity around the eyelids
Benefits of Midface or Malar Rhytidectomy
There are numerous advantages of cheek lift (malar rhytidectomy), but they will depend on the individual patient. Since everyone’s needs are different, the benefits may apply to some people and not others. But in general, for mid-face rhytidectomy candidates, the benefits can include:
- Less invasive compared to a full rhytidectomy
- Less surgical time
- Less costly
- Fewer post-op symptoms compared to other procedures
- Can target the cheeks specifically
If you desire to alter your jawline, lift the neck, or lift your upper face, then a full facelift (rhytidectomy) with or without a neck lift (platysmaplasty) might be the way to go.
How Is Midface Lift Rhytidectomy Performed?
A cheek lift (malar rhytidectomy) is usually done under general anaesthesia. This means that you will be asleep during the whole procedure. A mid-facial lift (malar rhytidectomy) usually takes 2 hours to perform. It’s a one-day surgery, so you aren’t likely to spend the night at the hospital.
Dr Hunt starts by performing an incision in front of the ear. The midface lift (malar rhytidectomy) incision continues down around the earlobe, and a few centimetres upward behind the ear. Through the incision, Dr Hunt will separate the skin from the deeper facial tissue. The deep facial tissue, muscles, and aponeurosis (called SMAS) are pulled upward and outward toward the ears.
This pulls the cheeks up and tightens them and outlines your cheekbone. It also flattens the nasolabial folds and tightens them. The skin is then tightened to flatten any wrinkles. Extra skin is cut and removed. Your surgeon will then close the wounds with fine sutures.
A malar rhytidectomy can also be combined with a neck lift, also called platysmaplasty. A small incision under the chin will be made.
Risk and Potential Complications of Midface Lift (Malar Rhytidectomy)
A cheek lift rhytidectomy comes with risks, like any other surgical procedure. These can include:
- Wound infection
- Fluid collection (seroma)
- Blood collection (hematoma)
- Nerve injury
To minimise the surgical risks, even more, you should choose a plastic surgeon that’s experienced in facial surgery.
Cost of a Cheek Lift (Malar Rhytidectomy) Sydney
The cost of a cheek lift rhytidectomy varies depending on many factors. The anaesthetist fees, surgeon fees, and hospital fees all play a role. Moreover, any additional procedures, like a neck lift platysmaplasty, also add up to the bill.
A midface lift (malar rhytidectomy) for cosmetic purposes is NOT covered by Health insurance or Medicare in Australia. Read our blog Will Medicare Cover my Plastic Surgery.
Please phone Dr Hunt’s team for an estimate. Dr Hunt’s team will give you an estimate of the malar rhytidectomy costs after your consultation.
- Do you have any chronic medical conditions?
- Do you take blood thinners?
- What would you like to change about your face?
- Have you had facial surgery before?
After that, Dr Hunt will examine your face and suggest a suitable surgery to meet your needs.
If the signs of ageing are localised in the mid-face area, then a cheek lift (malar rhytidectomy) might be the way to go.
Midface or Malar Rhytidectomy Surgery FAQs
How long does a midface lift (malar rhytidectomy) last?
- A cheek lift (malar rhytidectomy) is not permanent, you will continue to grow old. The results last around 7-10 years. Your face will age as time passes, and after a decade you might choose to opt for another facelift rhytidectomy.
How long does a midface lift (malar rhytidectomy) take?
- The duration of cheek lift (malar rhytidectomy) surgery is 2 hours on average. This might take less time if you don’t need too much lifting. However, it can take longer if you need other parts of the face done as well.
What is the perfect age to get a midface lift or malar rhytidectomy?
- There’s no perfect age to get your face lifted. In general, a cheek lift (malar rhytidectomy) is better done between 40 and 50 years of age.
Is a midface lift rhytidectomy painful?
- A cheek lift (malar rhytidectomy) is not very painful. Like any other surgery, the wounds will hurt for a few days. However, routine painkillers are usually enough to dampen the pain.
How long is recovery after midface lift rhytidectomy?
- Total recovery time is 3-4 weeks. You can usually go back to work as of the second week after your cheek lift (malar rhytidectomy).
What is the optimal type of facelift rhytidectomy?
- There’s no one optimal type of facelift rhytidectomy. The surgery type depends on what signs of ageing you have, where they’re located, and what your cosmetic goals are. If the signs of ageing are localised in the middle facial region, then a cheek lift (malar rhytidectomy) might be an option for you. If you have heavy jowls, a fading jawline, and excess facial skin, then a lower face rhytidectomy or necklift (platysmaplasty) may be a better choice. If you have heavy wrinkles, deep nasolabial fold and excess skin on your whole face, then a full traditional rhytidectomy might be better for you.
What’s the difference between a mini facelift rhytidectomy and a cheek lift rhytidectomy?
- Both the middle rhytidectomy and mini rhytidectomy target the middle face region specifically. Nevertheless, a midface rhytidectomy is more invasive than a mini rhytidectomy. Deeper facial tissue is targeted, lifted, and tightened. Compared to a mini surgery, a cheek lift rhytidectomy leads to more dramatic cosmetic result.
What is the way to make cheeks elevated again?
- The way to tighten the cheeks and make them more defined is through a midface lift, also called a cheek lift or malar rhytidectomy. The surgery targets the cheek area.
How can I make my cheeks elevated without surgery?
- If you want to avoid surgery altogether, then a non-surgical facelift (rhytidectomy) might be the answer. In a non-surgical rhytidectomy, your injector will use injectable fillers to tighten and contour your face. The disadvantages of non-surgical rhytidectomy methods are that the results are temporary and relatively expensive. Facial Fillers may last around 4 to 6 months and can cost thousands.
Which is better, a facelift rhytidectomy or fillers?
- A facelift (rhytidectomy) produces more dramatic and long-lasting results. It’s better if you want to see significant cosmetic changes in your facial appearance. It lasts up to 10 years before needing revision. Fillers, on the other hand, produce less dramatic changes, and need to be repeated every 4-6 months.
Medical Sources and Further Reading about a Midface Rhytidectomy:
- Mid Face Facelift (Rhytidectomy) – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf
- Erase Aging With a ‘Mid-Facelift’ (Rhytidectomy)?
- Mid-Face Rhytidectomy Or Cheek Lift (Genioplasty): Plastic Surgery | Cleveland Clinic
- The evolution of the midface lift (rhytidectomy) in aesthetic plastic surgery
- Midface lift (rhytidectomy): panel discussion
- Midface lift (rhytidectomy) using a minimally invasive technique and a novel absorbable suture
Further Reading about Facelift (Rhytidectomy) Surgery
- Read Dr Hunt’s Deep Plane Facelift (Rhytidectomy) Surgery page
- Read Dr Hunt’s Facelift (Rhytidectomy) Surgery page
- See Dr Hunt’s Real Patient Facelift (Rhytidectomy) Surgery Before and After Photos
Further Reading on Facial Surgery
- Read Patient Case Study of Ear Surgery Otoplasty
- Read Blepharoplasty Options – Treatments & Surgical Procedures for Eyes
- Read Patient Case Study of Chin Surgery (Genioplasty) – Advanced Genioplasty
- Read High Cheekbones vs Low Cheekbones: Causes and Solutions
About Dr Jeremy Hunt – Specialist Plastic Surgeon
Dr Jeremy Hunt is a specialist plastic surgeon performing breast, body, face and nose surgery in Australia. He is a member of FRACS & ASPS and has over 20 years of experience providing plastic surgery in Sydney.
Careful, considerate and honest, Dr Jeremy Hunt works with you to find a solution that is suitable for your body and your lifestyle. Every patient is unique and requires a personalised approach to reach their goals.
Dr Hunt has provided his one-on-one service and attention to detail to thousands of women and men from the Sydney & Wollongong NSW area and across Australia.
Dr Hunt’s qualifications and education
Dr Jeremy A. Hunt MBBS FRACS graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine degree from Sydney University in 1990 and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and member of ASPS – the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. He completed a Fellowship at the University of Texas in the United States, where he learnt from well-established and experienced plastic surgeons.
Next Step – Make an Enquiry or Request a consultation with Dr Hunt
Want more information before scheduling your consultation?
- Find out more about pricing, medical payment plans and paying for your surgery
- Request more information about the procedure – call on 1300 157 200 or contact us
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- Make an Enquiry or Request a consultation with Dr Hunt
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health professional.