A mid-face lift aims to rejuvenate the area from
the lower eyelid down to the folds that go from the corner of the
nose down the side of the mouth (nasolabial folds). It lifts this
whole area to restore a more youthful face, cheek and lower lid. It
is performed whilst you are asleep either as an isolated procedure
or in combination with other facial rejuvenation procedures.
What does it involve?
An incision is made just below the eyelashes of the
lower eyelid, to ensure that the resultant scar is very discrete.
The surgery releases the mid-face at a level just on top of the
bone to free it up from its tetherings. Once mobilised, the
mid-face it securely stitched internally to a higher position (one
that it would have occupied in youth). Excess lower eyelid skin can
then be trimmed, any bulging lower eyelid fat can be dealt with and
the skin is the stitched with fine stitches.
What are the benefits?
A mid-face lift rejuvenates the middle of the face,
softens any heaviness and sagging that has developed at the
nasolabial fold and also improves the appearance of the lower
How long does the surgery take?
The surgery takes around 3 hours.
What is the recovery period?
You will have some swelling and bruising
afterwards, which will fade after around 2-weeks following surgery.
The scars themselves heal quickly. The stitches are removed at 5-7
days. If you have also had upper eyelid surgery, Mr Pacifico often
puts a temporary dissolvable stitch in to prevent your eyes from
opening too much and to ensure they are well-lubricated with tears.
This comes out at 2-5 days. Your eyes may feel dry and gritty
initially, but this usually resolves after a short time. Therefore
lubricating ointment will be prescribed and should be used
How long before daily activities may be
Rest is advised initially, and it is recommended
that you sleep with 2 or 3 pillows so your head is elevated - this
will help the swelling resolve. Most people are ready to go out and
return to work after 2-weels or so. Strenuous activity should be
avoided for at least 4-weeks. Contact lenses should be avoided for
3 weeks after surgery, as these will dry the eyes out. Reading,
television and computer usage may also dry out the eyes, so should
be kept to a minimum.
What are the success rates?
Mid-face lift surgery has a high success rate.
Potential complications are outlined below. Problems with dragging
down of the lower lid is a possibility which is why Mr Pacifico
will also perform a canthopexy as part of the procedure. This is an
internal stitch at the outside corner of the eye that helps support
the eyelid in its new position. Initially it will slightly pull the
eye outwards and upwards, but this settles down after a week or so.
You will look your best at 6-12 months after the surgery.
What are the possible complications?
You should expect some temporary numbness to the
cheek and upper lip after surgery that will gradually improve as
the swelling resolves. Permanent nerve injury is rare.
Small amounts of bleeding may occur after the
operation - usually this settles with light pressure on the eyelid
and cooling packs. Rarely, it may be necessary to return to the
operating theatre to stop any bleeding. The most serious, but
fortunately extremely rare, complication relates to bleeding that
occurs behind the eyeball. This is a surgical emergency, which
would require medicine and an urgent return to the operating
theatre - if not attended to as an emergency, it may rarely lead to
blindness (the risk of this complication has fortunately been
estimated to be as rare as 1 in 40,000).
Scars can occasionally take time to settle down and
may benefit from regular massage post-operatively, something Mr
Pacifico will discuss with you at your post-operative visit.
Infection occurs infrequently, as do small whiteheads around the
scar, which may be treated in the outpatient clinic.
Inflammation of the eye can occasionally occur, which may need
treatment with drops or ointments. Rarely, a muscle that moves the
eyeball may be bruised or damaged leading to double vision (this
rare complication usually only causes temporary symptoms).