The midface sling: a new technique to rejuvenate the midface

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2002 Nov;110(6):1541-53; discussion 1554-7. doi: 10.1097/01.PRS.0000029808.57592.71.


In the early 1990s, the midface became the focus of facial rejuvenation, and various techniques effected elevation by plicating, or on, the midface. Recent analyses of facial aging demonstrate that selective ptosis of the midfacial tissues lateral to the nasolabial fold results in an infraorbital hollow and deepening of the nasolabial fold. Therefore, the authors propose that the midface, from the lower portion of the cheek mass, will result in superior midface positioning. Since 1996, the authors have elevated the midface in select patients by placing a sling of prosthetic (Gore-Tex) or autogenous (tendon or fascia) material through the cheek mass. The sling is secured medially to the infraorbital rim using a nonabsorbable periosteal suture or a mechanical anchor. As variable tension is applied laterally toward the superficial temporal fascia, the sling functions as a fulcrum to return the cheek mass to a more youthful anatomical position. Elevating the cheek mass in this fashion fills the infraorbital hollow and results in amelioration of deep nasolabial folds and jowling. With a mean follow-up of 18 months, 50 patients treated with the midface sling report satisfaction with the procedure. There have been no instances of nerve damage, infection, or hematoma in the midface. None of the slings have required removal and ectropion has not occurred. Because of postoperative asymmetry in one patient, additional elevation of the ipsilateral cheek mass was performed by increasing the tension on the lateral cheek portion of the midface sling. Mathematical models demonstrate the biomechanical superiority of lift through the use of multiple vectors as compared with linear pull techniques. In this fashion, the midface sling supports the cheek mass, providing rapid, simple, and secure elevation. Because of the limited subcutaneous dissection, there is a reduced risk of facial nerve damage and cutaneous vascular compromise. Unlike with other techniques, the lateral portion of the sling may be easily identified through a small incision in the temporal scalp, facilitating subsequent postoperative adjustment of the midface suspension. Furthermore, because the entire cheek mass is permanently supported with an inelastic sling, the results may last longer than those with techniques that rely on sutures to plicate or lift portions of the superficial musculoaponeurotic system.

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Face / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene / therapeutic use*
  • Rhytidoplasty / methods*
  • Tendons / transplantation*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Polytetrafluoroethylene