In today’s world, there is a great deal of time, energy, and money being spent to promote certain kinds of Cheeklifts as “the latest and greatest.” Dr. Moelleken says it is important for you to know that there is no single type of surgery right for everyone because one size does not fit all. He offers the most advanced, yet reliable, techniques and as a specially trained surgeon, his skill and expertise will help you achieve beautiful results. Dr. Moelleken’s technique is published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the premiere plastic surgery publication, and he has appeared on numerous local, national, and international television segments.
Dr. Moelleken performs three types of Cheeklift procedures:
Dr. Moelleken recommends procedures based on his patient’s individual needs. He introduces a special technique to correct a cheek with the superficial Cheeklift method. Raising up the midface under your eye is performed in the operation setting and no implants or plastic are ever used. The unique feature of this operation is the cheek pad, which is tied with invisible stitches to the very tough tissue beside your eye. The superficial Cheeklift is performed using an incision hidden below your lower eyelashes and the remaining stitches are buried underneath your skin.
Cheeklift and Midface Techniques
Basically cheeklifts fall into several categories:
Lower Eyelid Procedure: Full and minimal incision versions. This procedure gives you the best results for your lower eyelid. This is the highest risk for lower eyelid problems unless they avoid the orbital septum (i.e. USIC, Ultrashort incision Cheeklift). Direction of pull tends to be straight up and can be subperiosteal (more risky) or suborbicularis (less risky).
Through the Mouth/Temple: The direction of pull tends to be up and out with this procedure. Often combined with the Endotine device, this does little for your lower eyelid.
Fixation Devices: Primarily Endotine fixation devices can be performed through incisions to the side of your eye (often visible) or temple, which can leave hair loss. The direction of pull tends to be straight up for the side of the eye and up and out for the temple approach.
Combined Browlift/Cheeklift Technique: Often performed through your mouth and temple with a fixation device. This is a combination of the above procedures and the direction of pull is up and out.
Through the Facelift: If deep tissue restructuring is performed (NOT conventional SMAS procedure), cheek tissue can be elevated. There are many methods of this as well- subcutaneous vs. deep. A vital element of the facelift, this aspect of the surgery cannot be performed any other way other than through facelift incisions.
Every Cheeklift performed by Dr. Moelleken is tailored to your needs and anatomy. The Cheeklift is one of the most difficult procedures, to perform but the rewards are great if a change in your eye shape and the re-draping look of a facelift is avoided while tightening your lower eyelid skin. Since this is a common problem, Dr. Moelleken advises that you find a qualified doctor fluent in the most up-to-date Cheeklift methods. Dr. Moelleken is an Attending Surgeon and Associate Clinical Professor in the Division of Plastic Surgery at UCLA, where he often performs surgeries and teaches residents, so if call if you have questions or would like more information about the USIC® procedure
When people have their eyes corrected through cosmetic surgery, they frequently develop a frightened, “deer in the headlights” look. This may result from the fact that the lower eyelid is very weak and cannot support weight so when a doctor attempts to remove skin from below the eye, the lower eyelid can pull down or develop a rounded appearance. Patients of conventional lower eyelid surgery often complain that they do not look the same. Dr. Moelleken has found that the superficial Cheeklift can correct this problem on patients who have already had eye surgery and feel that their eyes were pulled down and appear somewhat hollow.
As with any surgery, there are risks although the risks involved in the superficial Cheeklift are very low. Of course, the first requirement is that you must be in good health to undergo this procedure. The Cheeklift is typically performed under a “light” general anesthetic (patient is lightly asleep), however it can readily be performed under local anesthesia or under IV sedation.. This technique provides excellent operating conditions while affording maximal patient comfort and safety. In Dr. Moelleken’s practice, all anesthetics are administered by a board certified anesthesiologist (physician) who remains in attendance throughout your operation to monitor your condition. Further information, including any questions you may have, will be explained and discussed fully by your anesthesiologist prior to your surgery.
It is imperative that you not smoke at least two weeks prior and two weeks after your surgery as this greatly impedes your healing process. Also, do not take aspirin or aspirin-containing products as this can effect bleeding. You should also arrange for transportation to and from Dr. Moelleken’s office. There is a minimal amount of pain associated with this type of surgery and Dr. Moelleken will prescribe medication if necessary to control any discomfort. Thin, skin color steri-strip tapes will be applied to your incisions and the scars left by this procedure generally fade with time although they are permanent. It is helpful to remember that it is impossible to judge the final result of your surgery until all of your swelling has subsided and the operative area has smoothed out. Most patients are able to return to their normal routine after a week or less.