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Original Article
Jul/Aug 2009

The “Midface-Lift” as a Misnomer for Correctly Identifying Procedures Designed to Lift and Rejuvenate the Cheeks and Malar Regions of the Face

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: McCollough Plastic Surgery Clinic, Gulf Shores, Alabama (Dr McCollough); PENTA Facial Plastic Surgery Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (Dr Scurry); and DermaVita Aesthetic Center, Woodstock, Illinois (Dr Shirazi).

Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2009;11(4):257-262. doi:10.1001/archfacial.2009.50

Objective  To demonstrate that a classic temporal cheek rhytidectomy results in substantial and acceptable rejuvenation of the so-called midface and that additional surgery is not necessary to improve a sagging cheek, the melolabial fold, and the position of the corner of the mouth and the lateral corner of the eye.

Design  A retrospective observational study of 53 patients seen at the McCollough Plastic Surgery Clinic between 2005 and 2007. Each patient underwent temporal and cheek face-lifting surgery for various indications. All procedures were performed by the same surgeon, and the surgical technique was identical in all cases. Patient photographs were evaluated by 3 unbiased plastic surgeons who were asked to compare preoperative and postoperative elevation of the cheek mound, melolabial fold, oral commissure, and lateral canthus. Each anatomic area was appraised for improvement by each reviewer using a 4-point scale.

Results  The average patient age was 57 years, and the average patient follow-up was 11 months. Patients achieved excellent or significant improvement in a sagging cheek, melolabial fold, oral commissure, and lateral canthus in 79% (n = 42), 70% (n = 37), 72% (n = 38), and 65% (n = 34) of cases, respectively.

Conclusions  It has been written often that standard face-lifting techniques fail to address many of the aging changes seen in the cheeks. Many authors argue that a separate, unique procedure is required to effectively rejuvenate the cheek, nasolabial fold, and corner of the mouth. Our experience is contrary to this notion. The middle third facial rejuvenation can be achieved by our standard temporal cheek face-lift, and the term midface-lift may be a misnomer.