What is a mid-face lift/cheek lift?

A mid-face lift (also known as a cheek lift) addresses sagging cheeks, smile lines and wrinkles in the eyebrow area (areas that can make you look sad or tired). There are several ways of performing this procedure. A mid-face lift can be done through a lower eyelid incision, endoscopically through small incisions in your scalp, or through a cheek lift incision in front of your ear — similar to a facelift incision. Or it can be done by elevating the cheek fat (malar fat pad) and lateral eyebrow and laugh line area. A surgeon often performs this procedure with a blepharoplasty or eyelift and/or forehead lift.

Why choose us?

When considering mid-face lift, choose a surgeon with significant experience performing the procedure. Friends, family members or an internist or primary care doctor are often helpful in suggesting the best surgeon. 

For the best results, choose a cosmetic surgeon who’s affiliated with a major medical center, such as Cleveland Clinic. Make sure to ask your cosmetic surgeon about their credentials, training and how many procedures they’ve performed.

Learn more about Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center.

How to Prepare

How to Prepare

Am I a candidate for a mid-face lift/cheek lift?

A mid-face lift (cheek lift) is a highly individualized procedure. Good candidates for a mid-face lift include: 

  • People with hollowness beneath their eyes (“cheek ptosis”).
  • People with heaviness below their cheeks.
  • Healthy people who don’t have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of surgery.
  • People with a positive outlook and specific but realistic goals in mind for the improvement of their appearance.

How do I prepare for a mid-face lift/cheek lift?

Preparing for your mid-face lift procedure at Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center will include:

  • An in-depth discussion of your aging concerns and the specific areas of concerns.
  • An in-depth physical examination of your face, including your forehead, cheeks, eyes, chin and neck.
  • A review of your medical history and underlying medical problems.
  • A review of medicines you’re taking.
  • A review of medicines you should stop taking two weeks before surgery, including aspirin, NSAIDS (anti-inflammatory drugs) and multivitamins.
What to Expect

What to Expect

How is a mid-face lift/cheek lift performed?

The mid-face lift is performed in an outpatient setting (there’s no overnight stay). You’ll need to take time off work as part of your recovery. 

A soft dressing is placed around your head, like bandages used for facelift patients. The mid-face lift (however it’s performed) leads to early bruising and swelling, which resolves over several weeks (bruising occurs predominantly around your eyes because the skin is thin). You can take certain medications to manage any discomfort. You’ll have a follow-up appointment within a week after surgery.

What are the different types of mid-face lift/cheek lift procedures?

A surgeon can perform a mid-face lift in several different ways (depending on the aging problem). They can do this procedure, which is similar to an extended lower lid blepharoplasty (eye lift), through an incision under your lower eyelid. Through the incision, your surgeon will reposition the cheek pad and lower lid skin and fat to correct sagging of your cheek skin and fat.

Alternatively, a surgeon can do this endoscopically using small incisions in your hairline, like an extended endoscopic brow lift. Or they can perform a mid-face lift through an incision in front of your ear, like a facelift.

Is a mid-face lift/cheek lift safe?

All surgical procedures carry some risks. Possible complications of a mid-face lift include:

  • Swelling and bruising.
  • Temporary numbness under the eyes.
  • Temporary or even permanent weakness or movement of the eyebrow (rare).
  • Blood clots (rare).
  • Hematoma (blood under the skin) or seroma (fluid under the skin).
  • Infection.
  • Hair loss along the incision.
  • Healing problems.


What results can I expect?

A mid-face lift can dramatically change your appearance. While your results will be immediate, the cheek pad may look “overcorrected.” But over time, your cheek settles into a natural position. To maintain your results, it’s important to follow up with your Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center cosmetic surgeon and to be mindful of lifelong sun protection. View our mid-face lift/cheek lift before and after photos to see results from actual patients. 

What is involved in recovery?

Because your surgery will be completed in an outpatient setting, please make sure someone drives you home and stays with you for at least 24 hours after surgery.

Insurance & Financing

Insurance & Financing

Insurance rarely covers the cost of elective cosmetic surgery and procedures. Please call 216.444.4004 and ask to speak with one of our financial representatives who can explain payment options, including CareCredit financing.