Welcome to the Vinyard Institute of Plastic Surgery's Blog, where your journey of aesthetic exploration and education takes center stage. We deeply value empowering our patients through knowledge, providing insights, tips, and in-depth information to guide and enhance your aesthetic journey. Dive into our posts, where expertise meets understanding, and discover a space where your curiosity and dreams are nurtured and illuminated.

As in many other fields, the exponential growth of the Internet has made plastic surgery more and more available to the public. Nowadays, potential patients are one click away from researching their desired cosmetic procedures, which is fantastic! From price estimates to before-and-after photos, the Internet has brought patients and plastic surgeons closer.

While, in some cases, the information that we find on the Internet is clear and perspicuous, in other cases, however, it can be confusing or misleading. In the plastic surgery field, the latter particularly applies to the language of the facelift – the myriad of different terms, together with poor explanations, have left potential patients more confused than before.

Here at the Vinyard Institute of Plastic Surgery, we want to provide cosmetic help to whoever needs it. With today’s blog post, our aim is precise – to provide a comprehensive explanation of the language of the facelift, dispelling any ambiguity or obscurity surrounding this subject. With that in mind, let us dive deeper into the world of the facelift and learn more about how this procedure can help you!

What Do the Different Terms Mean? 

One of the most confusing aspects of the facelift is how we define it. When researching the facelift procedure, its definition mostly comprises the benefits that it provides without necessarily tackling anatomical issues. By reading confusing blog posts, potential patients find themselves unable to make the difference between a facelift and a neck lift or a cheek lift, etc. So, how do they actually differ from one another?

The word lift has to do with the anatomical aspect of lifting the tissue. That is what all the terms we have enumerated before (sc., neck lift, cheek lift) have in common. However, we want to make it clear that they are not different procedures but different techniques that make use of different portions of the face. For example, a cheek and neck lift together make a full facelift.

These techniques, however, have received more than just one name, adding more to the confusion. For example, a cheek lift is also called a mini facelift or a short scar facelift. Furthermore, some plastic surgeons will call the procedure a neck lift even though it deals with both the neck and the cheek at the same time. Finally, some plastic surgeons added their own names to the technique, making it even more confusing.

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Lifting the Cheeks

Different Approaches to the Cheek Lift

As we have seen earlier, the terminology can be less confusing as long as the difference between a procedure and a technique is clear. However, even techniques have received different names, rendering them more confusing.

When it comes to the cheek lift technique, most of the information that we find online has to do with the following “lifting procedures:”

  •         Deep plane lift,
  •         SMAS lift, or
  •         Midface lift

Aside from the differences in terminology-related, these “lifting procedures” are all slightly different techniques that share a common aim – lift and tighten midface tissue by cutting into and pulling the muscle tissue around the nose and in the cheeks up.

Why the Confusing Terminology?

All these names refer to similar techniques concerned with the same portion of the face. If we approached the terminology from an anatomical point of view, naming these techniques “cheek lift” would dispel the confusion. In that case, why would there be a need for such complex terminology?

The nature of these different names is mostly connected to each plastic surgeon’s approach to the cheek lift. Therefore, by using this terminology, plastic surgeons describe to fellow plastic surgeons how they perform the procedure. In other cases, to make their approach unique, plastic surgeons include their names into the technique name, further complicating the terminology.

At the Vinyard Institute of Plastic Surgery, we use a simpler approach. Depending on the patient’s needs, Dr. William J. Vinyard, MD, FACS will perform a cheek or a cheek and neck lift. If the patient’s needs, however, are focused on the neck, Dr. Vinyard will focus on both the cheek and the neck.

Time to smooth out those wrinkles and tighten your skin!

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Lifting the Neck and How to Approach It

Platysma Muscle 

Approaching the subject of the neck lift is strongly connected to a thin, broad muscle sheet positioned on each side of the neck, called platysma muscle. We use the platysma muscle to create facial expressions and open the mouth by depressing the mandible. As the natural aging process takes place, the tissue connecting the platysma to the overlying skin begins to weaken, resulting in sagging skin.


Plastic surgery came up with an effective response to prevent the unwanted side effects of the weakened platysma muscle – the platysmaplasty. Using this technique, Dr. Vinyard can tighten the platysma muscle, rejuvenating both the neck area and under the chin.

As straightforward as that sounds, however, platysmaplasty does not necessarily extend to the whole platysma muscle – this technique is usually limited to the middle portion of the muscle. In other instances, lateral tightening of the platysma muscle is more appropriate. As we can see, the name of the technique does not always make the treated area clear. 

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Tips for a Superior Neck Lift

Are you considering a procedure to improve the appearance of your neck? Fantastic! Now, let us look at how to obtain superior results from your neck lift.

The first procedure that Dr. Vinyard recommends is removing a portion of the submandibular glands responsible for mouth fluid production. This approach ensures that the glands along the jawline do not create an undesirable effect below your jawline, protecting your neck lift results. If you are worried about a significant lack of saliva or “dry mouth,” it is essential to know that this approach targets only the submandibular gland, which produces small quantities of saliva by itself.

The second procedure we recommend is neck liposuction, which provides a tighter appearance in the jowl and neck area through the removal of excess fat. Neck liposuction will help you achieve a better-defined, more graceful neckline while improving the results of your neck lift.

With a clearer understanding of the language of the facelift, you will be more than ready to begin your own rejuvenation journey at the Vinyard Institute of Plastic Surgery! Contact us and book your complimentary consultation with Dr. Vinyard today!

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As you consider your skin rejuvenation goals, Dr. Vinyard and his team of experts wield many options for improving the aesthetic of your skin. A Morpheus8 treatment can be an incredible addition to your treatment plan, and Dr. Vinyard and his team of experts are ready to support you in achieving your aesthetic goals. Contact us to schedule a personal consultation, or call  (772) 362-3357 to find out the next steps in your skin rejuvenation journey! Our office at 291 NW Peacock Blvd, Suite 103, Port St. Lucie, FL 34986, proudly serves the South Florida area! We also invite you to check out our blog pageFacebook, and Instagram to learn more about the treatment options available at our office!

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