Choosing the Right Facelift for You

You’ve recently been thinking about getting a facelift, but you aren’t sure what type of facelift or what facelift technique would work best for you. Before receiving any type of surgery, it is important to consider all of the available options. Here’s a quick look at the different types of facelifts and facelift techniques that you have to choose from.

Types of Facelifts

  • Traditional full facelift—a full or traditional facelift will address your entire face, including your neck and eyebrows. A full facelift may be performed with a neck lift, for more comprehensive results. This type of facelift can address sagging skin in your cheeks, chin, and jaw; reduce creases between your mouth and nose; reduce deep wrinkles under your eyes; and reduce displaced fat deposits. Because it targets a larger area, the treatment requires a longer incision (usually running along the temple, around the ear, and down to the neck. Full facelifts can address more dramatic signs of aging, therefore making them popular among patients in their 50’s and 60’s.
  • Mini facelift—a mini facelift primarily addresses the middle of the face, and is typically recommended for younger patients and for patients who desire only moderate change. This procedure requires smaller incisions (usually made just below the earlobes) as it addresses a smaller portion of the face. This type of facelift is also referred to as a weekend facelift due to its much shorter recovery time.
  • Mid-face lift—a mid-face lift works to restore a smooth, youthful look to the lower eyelids and cheeks, getting rid of that tired and haggard look. During this procedure, your doctor will create incisions similar to a traditional facelift, only deeper. This will allow for your doctor to lift the muscles that are normally untouched during a traditional facelift. Since this procedure only addresses some of the signs of aging, it is more suitable for patients in their 30s and 40s. Dr. Binder commonly performs what is known as a mid-face lift, which you can learn more about here.
  • Thread facelift—during this type of facelift, special threads are use to discreetly hold repositioned skin and facial tissue in place after surgery. This treatment tends to be most suitable for patients in their 30’s and 40’s who want to make minor adjustments to their appearance. How noticeable the results are depends from patient to patient, and it was one type of facelift surgery not utilized that often by Dr. Binder. You can find out more as to why here.

Facelift Techniques

The different types of facelifts can be performed using several different surgical tools and incision patterns. Each technique has its advantages and disadvantages, and will work differently for each person. The different facelift techniques include:

  • Endoscopic facelift—this technique can be used on all types of facelifts, and uses an endoscope (a microscopic camera attached to a small, handheld wand) to obtain a clear view of the underlying facial structure. This technique is usually best for patients who want to address drooping muscles and misplaced fat, but don’t have a large amount of excess skin. The same method can be used to achieve an endoscopic forehead lift.
  • Cutaneous facelift—this is the oldest facelift technique for addressing only sagging and excess skin. This technique carries a reduced risk of nerve damage and other complications, but the results don’t last as long, and may not look as natural.
  • Slift—this technique is most suitable for treating the jaw and lower face, as it doesn’t offer as dramatic of a result as traditional facelift techniques.
  • Deep plane lift—this technique is especially effective in treating the mid face, including deep nasolabial folds. However, this technique does involve more risks, especially to the facial nerves.
  • Subperiosteal facelift—this technique goes even deeper than the deep plane lift in order to address sagging in the mid face by targeting tissues just over the facial bone.

Make an Appointment

Before choosing which type of facelift and technique will work best for you, you should consult with a qualified doctor. Book a consultation with Dr. Binder today, so that he can answer any questions or concerns that you might have about getting a facelift.


Face and Neck Lifts: An Overview

As we age, the face and neck begin to sag and crease, giving the neck, cheeks, and under eyes a droopy appearance; creating the illusion of a double chin, causing the neck muscles to band, and wrinkling under the eyes and from the corners of the mouth to the nose. This happens to all of us, but the rate and age at which it happens varies from person to person based on genetics, gravity, environment, and stress. Rejuvenation procedures like facelifts and neck lifts can help to reverse this process.

There are many misconceptions about facelifts and neck lifts that cause people to be wary of them, the most common of which is that patients who undergo facelifts and neck lifts end up with a tight, “stretched,” and unnatural looking appearance. It is true that on occasion, old facelift and neck lift techniques could give these kinds of results, but these results were extremely rare. Now, with new more effective techniques, artificial looking results are virtually unheard of, especially when the procedure is conducted by a highly skilled plastic surgeon.

About Facelift and Neck Lift Surgeries

Facelift surgery is used to correct signs of aging in the lower portion of the face, in the areas roughly level with the nose and mouth. In order to do so, a plastic surgeon begins incisions at the temple and continues down in front in the ear, below it, and then back behind the ear. The skin is then gently moved to tighten up sags and wrinkles. Excess skin and fat may be removed to create a smoother, more youthful final result. Incisions are closed with fine sutures or metal clips, allowing the surgeon to avoid shaving the incision site.

Neck lift surgery uses a similar process to tighten up sagging and correct muscle banding in the neck. Incisions for neck lifts begin similarly to those used for facelifts, going from the temple down in front of the ear, then curling below and behind the ear. For some neck lift procedures, these incisions may be all that’s needed and the skin can be repositioned. For others, additional incisions may be made below the jaw-line for further repositioning of the skin. Like with facelift surgery, excess skin and fat may also be removed. Incisions are closed with sutures.

Both procedures are performed under a combination of sedatives, general or mild intravenous anesthesia (“twilight sleep”), and local anesthesia. Incisions for both procedures are placed in natural contours of the face so that they are almost invisible.

Which Lift is Right for Me?

Though facelifts and neck lifts can be performed individually if patients are happy with the appearance of their lower face or neck, they can also be performed together. In fact, having both performed gives better results. This is especially true if the procedures are conducted simultaneously as it allows the surgeon to take a more holistic approach and create a more unified appearance.

Many patients interested in facelift and neck lift surgeries claim that their physical appearance does not match their mental age. Good candidates for either a facelift or neck lift are unhappy with the aging appearance of the area in question, have no health issues that could impede healing or cause complications during surgery, do not smoke (or can abstain from smoking for an agreed period of time), and have optimistic and realistic expectations for what their surgery can achieve. While these procedures can reverse signs of aging, they do not stop the aging process altogether. Patients will continue to develop symptoms of aging.

Additional Procedures

Because facelifts don’t modify the entire face, other procedures are often performed in conjunction with face and neck lifts in order to tighten up the brow and eye areas, in addition to giving more dramatic and comprehensive results in general.

If the upper area of the face only needs minimal improvement, dermal fillers and skin resurfacing treatments like chemical peels and microdermabrasion can be used to correct minor wrinkles, scarring, under eye bags and dark circles, and discoloration. However, the effects of these treatments are temporary and they can’t rival the results of surgical treatments, though they can prolong the need for them. Non-surgical procedures can also serve as alternatives for patients whose health does not allow them to undergo surgery.

Additional surgeries can also be performed in conjunction with facelifts and neck lifts. For more significant revision of the upper part of the face, patients may want to consider blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), brow and forehead lifts, or a combination of these. Surgeries can also be used to enhance the results of facelifts and neck lifts. Facial liposuction and fat grafting can be used, especially on the neck, to remove fatty deposits and bags. Facial implants and rhinoplasty can be used to provide additional augmentation to create a more pleasant appearance in general, or as reconstructive procedures following illness or an accident.

The Right Plastic Surgeon for Your Face or Neck Lift

Dr. William J. Binder is a double board certified facial and reconstructive plastic surgery specialist and one of the world’s leading plastic surgeons, with an office in Beverly Hills. If you want your lift procedure performed by one of the best, contact Dr. Binder’s office today to schedule your consultation.

Misconceptions about Face Lifts


5 of the Most Common Misconceptions About Face Lifts

Face lifts are one of the most common plastic surgery procedures, especially among older patients. In fact, 125,711 patients received face lift surgeries in 2015. This procedure lifts and shapes the face by removing excess skin, and may also involve the tightening or removal of the tissues under the skin, like fat and muscles. Like with any procedure this common, there are a lot of widespread misconceptions about face lifts. Here are five of the most common misconceptions about face lifts and why they aren’t true.

1. Face Lift Results Don’t Look Natural

While in the past face lifts could occasionally give a stretched or unnatural looking appearance, the vast majority did not. These unnatural looking results are even less common now with the use of new techniques and technology, such as lasers, endoscopy, and liposuction. The risk of poor results is even further minimized when the face lift procedure is performed by a skilled plastic surgeon. A good plastic surgeon will tailor the procedure to your facial structure and aesthetic goals to give you the best, most natural looking results possible.

2. Face Lifts Reshape the Whole Face

Face lifts only shape the lower third of the face, around the chin and mouth. For this reason, face lifts are often combined with other lift procedures like forehead lifts, brow lifts, eye lifts, and neck lifts. These procedures can be performed at the same time or over time in different surgeries, but most patients choose to undergo a single surgery to minimize recovery time and achieve more significant results at once. Face lifts can also be performed alongside other, more dramatic plastic surgeries like chin or cheek augmentations to give a more significant improvement in appearance.

3. Dermal Fillers Give the Same Results as a Face Lift

Yes, both injectable dermal fillers and face lifts can be used to remove patients’ wrinkles, but dermal fillers can’t compete with the results of more comprehensive lift surgeries. For one, the results of dermal fillers are temporary, only lasting, depending on the variety of filler, from a few months to a year. The results of dermal fillers aren’t as thorough as a face lift either, as fillers aren’t able to remove excess skin and other tissues. However, though injectable dermal fillers can’t replace face lifts, they can put off the need for a face lift for a few years.

4. Face Lift Results Last Forever

As much as we may wish our new, youthful look after our face lift procedure was permanent, the procedure can’t stop aging. For this reason, some patients who get a face lift at a younger age may choose to undergo a second procedure later on. While this second procedure is still invasive, it requires less modification than the first procedure. This second procedure also can’t replicate the results of the first, but each can shed 10 or more years off the appearance of your face.

Of course, a second surgery isn’t necessary, either. 68.5 percent of face lift patients rated their current results after their first procedure as good or exceeding expectations, even at an average follow up period of 12.6 years. The results of your first procedure can also be extended by proper skin care including moisturizing and sun protective ingredients, lifestyle factors like a proper diet and exercise regimens, and limiting alcohol consumption and smoking.

5. All Plastic Surgeons are the Same

Face lifts are invasive surgical procedures that require a skilled and experienced surgeon to get the best possible results. A passionate and well-trained surgeon is able to give far better results than a novice doctor. Dr. William J. Binder is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon who has decades of experience satisfying plastic surgery patients in the Los Angeles area.

At the same time, Dr. Binder has also conducted research and given informational lectures to plastic surgeons around the world. If you want a face lift performed by one of the world’s leading facial plastic surgeons, contact our office today to schedule your consultation.


Recovery Tips After Facial Reconstruction

Facial reconstruction equals big changes in your life. Post-surgery can be a big adjustment. Not only does your face look different, but you also feel different. Taking steps and preparing in advance to have a smooth recovery can help ease the adjustment period. Preparation can also help your face heal better so that you achieve the best possible results when you’re done healing. The length of time needed to recover from facial reconstruction differs from person to person depending on the condition of each individual’s overall health, the specific facial reconstruction procedure they elect to undergo, and the specifics of their procedure:



Generally by 3 months after a rhinoplasty procedure, most of the swelling has subsided, the new shape and size of the nose is apparent, and patients can go back to their normal routines, including exercise. They should, however, avoid high-impact, high-risk activities for at least 6 months after surgery.



For most patients undergoing a facelift procedure, most of the swelling and bruising subsides after about three weeks, and it may be hard for anyone else to tell that they have even had a facelift, other than their more youthful appearance. Patients can return to their normal routine after about two weeks.


Eyelid Surgery

While no two patients are alike, some patients experience a full recovery from eyelid surgery in as few as four or five days, although in other cases a complete recovery may take as long as three to four weeks.

Whatever kind of facial cosmetic surgery you elect to undergo, here are a few helpful tips to ensure that your recovery is as easy, successful, and painless as possible:


Enlist An Assistant

Facial reconstruction affects the whole face, and sometimes the bandages can make it hard to see. During the first couple of days, you may need someone to provide you with transportation, changing bandages, preparing your meals, and other everyday tasks. Enlist a close friend or relative to help with those things for the first few days after surgery.


Invest in a Food Processor

One of the biggest concerns following facial reconstruction surgery is diet. It’s still okay to eat all of your favorite foods, but they have to be chopped into small pieces that do not require chewing. This way, you can easily eat all of your favorite foods until your no-chew diet restrictions are lifted.


Take Your Pain Medication!

Facial reconstruction surgery can affect the nerves throughout your face. This can cause severe discomfort in addition to the pain already experienced from the incisions and other corrective measures. Staying ahead of the pain curve will keep you calm and comfortable. It will also reduce the amount of stress on your body, ensuring that you heal quickly and properly.


Dust Off the Recliner

Sleeping with your head elevated is important after facial reconstruction. It will reduce the amount of swelling and stabilize circulation. It is also recommended to sleep in a reclined or a seated position. You can also prop two or three pillows under your head and shoulders while lying in bed to keep your body elevated.


Buy Some Frozen Veggies

Ice is another important factor in reducing swelling after surgery. Medical ice packs can be helpful, but frozen veggies, especially corn or peas, make for pliable ice packs.


Use Squirt-Top Water Bottles

Staying hydrated is required after any type of surgical treatment. Facial reconstruction patients must also be sure to keep their mouth clean after surgery. A water bottle with a squirt top is helpful because it makes it easy to stay hydrated while also aiding in rinsing out your mouth with very little head movement.

Bonus Tip: Use a child’s toothbrush to help brush in between meals, as it is smaller and easier to fit into the mouth without opening too widely.


Stock Up On Food & Supplies

Having a fully stocked house can make recovery time less stressful. Be sure that you have all of the bandages, antibiotic ointments, and over-the-counter pain medications as recommended by your doctor. Also make sure that you have foods that can be cut into bite-sized pieces or are soft enough to eat after treatment. Don’t forget to also make sure you have the essentials, such as laundry detergent and toilet paper.


Talk To Your Doctor

The most important recovery tip is this: attend all of your follow-up appointments and don’t hesitate to call your doctor with questions or concerns. Dr. Binder would rather you bring up a concern than have it go unaddressed and that lead to bigger problems later. Rest easy and know that your facial reconstruction by Dr. Binder will help you achieve the best possible aesthetic results.

The History of Facial Reconstruction can be Traced Back to the Civil War


The term facial reconstruction surgery conjures up images of pristine exam rooms and sterile equipment. While these perceptions are accurately evocative of the modern field of American plastic surgery, the procedures we know today actually go all the way back to the Civil War. While a myriad of advancements have been made in recent years, the earliest facial reconstructions occurred during a truly bleak time in our history, laying the framework for modern plastic surgery.

War Is Hell, Disease Is Death

While historians often focus on the impact of bullets and cannons when they tally the death toll of the Civil War, disease played a shocking role in making that number skyrocket. For every soldier killed on the field of battle, another two died from afflictions that couldn’t be treated by the medicines of the time. These diseases included typhoid, measles, diphtheria, and pneumonia.

Pneumonia was the malady that claimed 18-year-old Private Carleton Burgan. A foot soldier for the Union Army, Burgan had a persistent cold that got progressively worse. His doctor attempted to alleviate the condition by treating him with calomel, a formula that contained mercury intended to flush Burgan’s system. Instead, the toxins in his medication ate away the soft tissue in the young man’s mouth, nose, and jaw.

Burgan’s life was forever changed by the prescription of the mercury pills. His deteriorated flesh succumbed to facial gangrene, which spread from his tongue to his soft palate and cheek. Eventually, the infection spread to his right eye, leading to the removal of his right cheekbone to halt the life-threatening spread of gangrene.

The First Photo Documented Facial Reconstruction Patient

Burgan joined the ranks of thousands of Civil War veterans who were left disfigured and seemingly hopeless. But history would shine brightly on Private Burgan; he would not be yet another statistic. He would become the first documented facial reconstruction patient, a true benchmark in medical breakthroughs.

Traumatized and unrecognizable after the surgery to remove his gangrenous tissue, Burgan turned to City Hospital surgeon Dr. Gurdon Buck, now considered the father of facial reconstruction surgery.

Buck was the first to document “before and after” photographs of a reconstruction surgery, and it is through him that we have an idea of the capabilities of surgeons of this era. Because of the doctor’s intervention, Private Burgan, after several surgeries, was able to go on to enjoy a relatively normal life.

In fact, Burgan thrived beyond the war years. He got married, had several children, and lived to be 71 years old. He passed away in the year 1915, just as another quantum leap in facial reconstruction innovation would revolutionize the field of plastic surgery.

Advancing Modern Facial Reconstruction: The World War I Years

The techniques used to save Carleton Burgan formed the building blocks of the surgical techniques used in modern day facial reconstruction surgery. The 20th century actually saw many advancements in facial reconstruction techniques, and just as with the case of Dr. Buck and Carleton Burgan, war necessitated this new round of breakthroughs.

Dr. Harold Gillies established a visionary health practice in London during the First World War. He hired a team of nurses, surgeons and… artists? Dr. Gillies believed it would require a new set of aesthetics to repair the broken soldiers who had survived the horrors of the battlefield, so he brought in a sculptor named Kathleen Scott to join his efforts.

Ms. Scott made casts of the injured young men’s faces to work from. Then, using flaps of grafted skin and sections of rib bones, the surgical squad rebuilt the fallen soldiers’ faces by working from the aforementioned casts. Together, the team made significant strides in jaw reconstruction and replacement that would ripple forward through time.

Another World War, Another Round of Healing

The vanguard work of Dr. Gillies made waves around the globe, and news of his accomplishments soon made their way to New Zealand. A young med student named Archibald McIndoe sought out the tutelage of Dr. Gillies, who was, in fact, a distant relative of his. McIndoe joined forces with Gillies and became a leader in the burgeoning field of plastic surgery in London during the 1930’s… just before the world was on the brink of another disastrous war.

Just as technology advanced, so too did the weapons of battle. During World War II, many fighter pilots suffered from a phenomenon called “Hurricane Burn” – this was the result of jet fuel that had ignited during the heat of warfare. The traditional remedy for such disfigurements was tannic acid, which dried out the affected skin and caused additional pain and scarring to the already devastated victims.

Dr. McIndoe saw a better solution. He noted that pilots who had been shot down at sea suffered less severe trauma, so he decided to treat his patients with saline rather than tannic acid. This resulted in speedier recovery, less pain, and overall more successful rehabilitation.

But McIndoe wasn’t just a pioneer in the operating room (his work included the reconstruction of many soldiers’ hands in addition to his treatment of facial tissue damaged by burns); he also focused on his patients’ mental health post surgery. McIndoe encouraged those he had treated to form their own “Guinea Pig Club” – it was a support group intended to aid in the men’s reintegration into society following their harrowing experiences during the war.

To honor his place in world history, McIndoe earned a knighthood in 1947. He then went on to help found the British Association of Plastic Surgeons (BAPS), an organization that later elected him its president.

Various advancements over the years, and from all parts of the world, have led to the facial reconstruction techniques available today, and certainly, we can now do things at which Doctors Buck, Gillies, and McIndoe would be astounded by.

3-D Computer Imaging for Facial Reconstruction

Continuing with the trend of evolving technology, Dr. William J. Binder, considered as one of the founders of modern facial contouring, was the first to use 3-D computer imaging to develop facial implants for both aesthetic and reconstructive procedures. With the use of this technology, Dr. Binder can capture the minute details of a patient’s face and transpose those details into the implants, creating natural-looking and subtle results. In fact, these techniques are currently implemented by plastic surgeons around the world.

As a leading surgeon who thinks in terms of 3-Dimensional concepts, Dr. Binder is always on the forefront of technology. Stay up to date with his blog for intriguing insight into the field of plastic surgery and facial reconstruction.

1 2