Is the Ponytail Facelift a Better Facelift?

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The Ponytail Facelift - Is it worth the cost?

“Is the Ponytail Lift the new facelift?” asked Allure Magazine.  What is it?  According to Allure, “the ponytail lift is a colloquial term for a cosmetic procedure that delivers similar results to a regular facelift — but is much less invasive.”  It’s understandable why a less-invasive procedure that promises results similar to a regular facelift would be popular.  The question is, what is the “ponytail facelift” procedure?  Does it really get great results for most people?  Is it a better facelift?  Should you consider getting one?

What exactly is a Ponytail Facelift?

ponytail facelift, ponytail lift, ponytail facelift Inland EmpireWhen I was teaching Facial Plastic Surgery at USC’s Keck School of Medicine, there was no “ponytail facelift” in the curriculum.  That’s because “ponytail facelift” is a marketing term, not a surgical term.  What most plastic and facial plastic surgeons call a Ponytail Lift is actually a Limited Endoscopic Facelift.  Patients are attracted to this surgical procedure because it uses small incisions hidden in the hairline instead of the incisions around the ear typically used in SMAS and Deep Plane facelifts.

Using an endoscope permits the surgeon to insert a fiber optic camera under your facial skin and view a magnified image.  The surgeon will tighten muscles and move excess fat in the midface, firming sagging cheeks.  Combining this procedure with a lower blepharoplasty can eliminate bags under the eyes and rejuvenate the midface.

jowls inland empire, jowls cleveland, jowls San Diego, jowls Sacramento, double chin Inland Empire, double chin Cleveland, double chin San Diego, double Chin SacramentoEven with an endoscope, surgeons can only reach so far using small incisions in the hairline.  So, if you have jowls, sagging skin around your mouth and jawline, a “turkey neck,” or a double chin a Ponytail Lift won’t do much if anything to correct those problems.  The Allure article admits:

Because no skin is removed during the process, people who might opt for a ponytail lift rather than a regular facelift are those who want to make small improvements, rather than an entire procedure. “The best candidates are those with minimal signs of aging and little to no excess skin along the jawline and upper neck,” Dr. DeRosa [facial plastic surgeon Jaime DeRosa, MD] explains.

Who would benefit from a Ponytail Facelift and who would not?

I agree with Dr. DeRosa and Allure that the best patients for the Ponytail Lift have “minimal signs of aging” and need only “small improvements.”  That’s all this procedure, by itself, is likely to provide.  This would be great for 30-40-year-olds who are just beginning to see the effects of facial aging.

It’s important to note that the surgeons quoted in Allure accurately stated what I know to be true.  Incisions in your hairline can result in hair loss around the incision.  As I mentioned in “Facelift Scars – Will People See Yours?” board-certified facial plastic surgeons are trained to hide facelift incisions where it will be very hard to see any scars that form.  Few of my patients in Inland Empire California near Los Angeles even ask about this issue because it’s well-known here that with highly experienced facial plastic surgeons noticeable facelift scars are rare.

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Before and After facelift by Dr. Brian Machida

What does a Ponytail Facelift cost?    CONTACT Dr. Machida Inland Empire, CA 

Clearly, some surgeons do a great job marketing their procedures.  There’s no question that doing endoscopic surgery well requires additional training.  But it’s hard to ignore what the “small improvements” from a Ponytail Facelift may cost.  The Allure article states about this procedure:

Dr. [Hardik] Doshi (a board-certified plastic surgeon) says in New York City it can run you anywhere between $35,000 to $70,000 due to the amount of training and experience needed to execute it.  On average, though, you should expect to pay at least $20,000.

A minimum of $20,000 is a lot to pay for the “small improvements” promised by a Ponytail Facelift.

I typically charge $15,000 to $19,000 for a full, state-of-the-art Deep Plane facelift.  The Deep Plane facelift lifts sagging cheeks, eliminates jowls and marionette lines, and substantially improves your aging neck.  It gets rid of even deep lines and wrinkles.  It can also significantly soften your nasolabial folds.

Rather than small improvements, the Deep Plane facelift can provide dramatic results like no other procedure.  And, of course, this facelift can focus on rejuvenating the areas in your mid and lower face that need it the most.  Unlike the Ponytail Facelift, the Deep Plane procedure removes excess skin while avoiding the wind-swept look that can result from a poorly executed SMAS facelift.

Outstanding surgical procedures beat great marketing

I don’t mean to take anything away from what a highly skilled facial plastic surgeon may be able to accomplish with a limited procedure.  And anyone who gets $35,000 to $70,000 for a limited endoscopic facelift is clearly doing some great marketing.

But in this age of inflation, it makes little sense to pay a lot for a procedure that usually only delivers a little.  As I showed in “How to Make a $27,000 Beverly Hills-Quality Facelift Cost Much Less,” skilled facial plastic surgeons can dramatically lower your costs without compromising the quality of your results.  A good Deep Plane facelift often provides a great new look that last 10 years or more.

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Before and one week After Deep Plane Facelift by Dr. Brian Machida, MD, FACS. Dramatic improvement, including in nasolabial folds, is seen while patient is still healing.

A highly experienced board-certified facial plastic surgeon can also perform additional procedures like upper and/or lower blepharoplasties (eyelid surgery) along with your Deep Plane facelift to fully rejuvenate your face.

Why would anyone want to pay more and receive less just to have “the new facelift?”  If you’d like to find out which procedure would give you the results you want and need, why not consult with a highly experienced board-certified facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon who specializes in the face and neck?  They can tailor your procedure to your specific needs.  If you’re in Inland Empire, California feel free to come see me at STC Plastic Surgery in Ontario.

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About Dr. Brian Machida, MD, FACS

Dr. Brian K. Machida, MD, FACS is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon. He has an exceptional level of experience, having performed ( read more )

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