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Facelift in Houston, TX

We all have to get older – but we don’t have to necessarily look older. Premier Plastic Surgery provides natural looking facelifts with or without surgery. Dr. Christopher Hankins is a well-known expert in improving the appearance of sagging skin on the face, neck and below the lower eyelids for residents in and around South Houston, including Houston, Pearland, and throughout Lake Jackson, and has lectured about facelift surgery at the IMCAS meeting held annually in Paris, France and at the first International Plastic Surgery Meeting held in Venice, Italy.

Facelift in Houston, TXYou may be one of many women or men who would like to look as young as you feel. You desire your face to reflect a more youthful and refreshed you! At Premier Plastic Surgery, Dr. Hankins offers his patients many surgical and non-surgical options to renew their facial and neck compositions, bringing them closer to their original beauty and symmetry. One of the most popular is facelift surgery.

What is a Facelift?

As we age, our facial characteristics change due to the effects of gravity, skin’s elasticity, and environmental exposure and lifestyle choices, such as smoking and substantial changes in weight. In addition, all elements of the face experience atrophy, including the bone, fat, and skin, resulting in an overall deflation of the face and the appearance of loose skin on a shrunken bony frame.

A facelift is a popular form of plastic surgery that can restore a more youthful looking face, reduce wrinkles, lines and folds, and tighten skin.

Am I a Candidate for Facelift Surgery?

Dr. Hankins stresses that the primary objective of facial rejuvenation is restoration of the Ogee curve of the face that is seen in youth.

In youth, the face has the overall shape of an inverted triangle, with the base of the triangle being the malar eminence supported by the malar fat pad. With aging, the inverted triangle of youth slowly changes to an upright triangle due to deflation and descent of the fatty tissue of the face, as well as the notably the malar fat pad. The results are:

  • Exposure of the outline of the lower orbit and the appearance of lengthening of the lower eyelid
  • Formation of the nasolabial folds or parentheses lines (as advertised in Juvéderm® commercials).
  • Lack of fullness in the malar area and the appearance of jowls

The three primary procedures employed for the purpose of facial rejuvenation are forehead lift (coronal, endoscopic or hairline), facelift or rhytidectomy (nose job) and, lastly, neck lift or platysmaplasty.

Types of Facelifts

Dr. Hankins advises his patients that there are a number of different facelift procedures. The detailed descriptions below will help you with the terminology and give you a basic understanding of the surgical approaches and techniques. Due to the complex nature of this surgical procedure, it is best to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hankins so that he can evaluate your facial aesthetic goals, examine your skin, and review your medical history. Dr. Hankins will spend the necessary time to discuss the options, advantages, and disadvantages of each approach and provide you with a recommendation that will address your facial renewal goals and produce natural a looking result.

Subcutaneous Facelift

A subcutaneous facelift is performed either under a general anesthetic or with twilight sedation. The first step is a careful incision that is carried down from either behind or in front of the sideburn area to in front of or behind the tragus and afterward, carried around the ear to the posterior hairline.

Next, a skin flap is elevated from the face and neck, pulled in an intermediate vector, and tightened as appropriate. (Note: the skin flap is not raised to the level of the SMAS in a SQ facelift.)

Any redundant skin is trimmed and the skin edges are carefully approximated with a fine nylon suture. A soft dressing and a drain are applied, and the patient is discharged following a 23-hour period of observation. This procedure is rarely performed in our practice, as the durability of the lift is limited by the elasticity of the skin that tends to stretch with time. As a result, the effects can be short-lived and result in a “wind swept” appearance, especially after the skin tension relaxes.

SMAS Plication

In this technique, the skin flaps are elevated in a manner analogous to the procedure described above with the exception of the Minimal Access Cranial Suspension (MACS) lift, in which there is no incision in the hairline behind the ear.

Because the SMAS retaining ligaments are not released, there is limited movement of the SMAS layer, which limits the results that can be obtained.

The Lifestyle Lift™

As you are probably aware, this branded facelift procedure was heavily advertised as a procedure with little down time and one that can be performed within an hour. Important considerations involve a few assumptions to meet this promised hour long procedure.

Assuming that the hour stated as the operative time is exclusive of the establishment of anesthesia, prepping, draping, marking, and injections, any dissection performed on both sides of the face within that time frame would be limited in scope, as the time for suturing would be deducted from the total operative time.

In summary, the term was a marketing term as opposed to referring to a specific surgical procedure.


In this procedure, skin flaps are elevated as discussed above. A section of the SMAS in front of the ear and overlying the parotid gland is removed; the far cut edge of the SMAS is advanced to the cut edge adjacent to the front of the ear, and the incision is closed.

Similar to the SMAS Plication, the results are limited by the fact that the SMAS retaining ligaments are not released. Furthermore, the SMAS is not anchored to a fixed point.

High Lamellar SMAS Lift

This technique, originally described by Dr. Bruce Connell MD, is an extensive dissection that mobilizes the SMAS by division of the SMAS retaining ligaments, division of the SMAS at a level superior to the zygoma and fixation to the deep temporal fascia. Dr. Hankins believes that no other method can offer superior longevity of the results to this technique.

What are the downsides to this procedure from other facelift techniques aforementioned? The area of transection of the SMAS crosses the path of the temporal branch of the facial nerve. This is the nerve that motors the frontalis muscle or the muscle that results in elevation of the brow. However, at the point that the nerve crosses the zygoma, the nerve is closely approximated to the bone and is covered by a thin sheet of fatty tissue.

Facelift Recovery

Mild swelling of the face can occur and persist for up to two weeks after surgery. This can be minimized by elevation of the head by two to three pillows at night. In the case that the dressing becomes too tight due to swelling of the face, the dressing is removed and replaced with a looser, more comfortable dressing.

Dr. Hankins keeps his facelift patients in the hospital for 23 hours for observation and then discharges them to home. The sutures are removed within seven days post-op. There is a follow-up visit three months after surgery.

The surgical scars of a facelift are well-camouflaged and usually heal with unnoticeable scars, as these are strategically placed at the borders of the aesthetic subunits of the face and neck.

How much does facelift surgery cost? Premier Plastic Surgery proudly offers financing options for our patients – call our office for pricing information.

Don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have questions or want to know more about our facelift procedures. Our knowledgeable staff will be glad to set up a free consultation with Dr. Hankins so you can discuss all the options available to you. Our offices serve Houston, Pearland, Lake Jackson and the neighborhoods surrounding South Houston.

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