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European MACS lift or Minimal Access Cranial Suspension facelift

The MACS lift - Minimal Access Cranial Suspension lift - was designed as a simple way of lifting the lower two-thirds of the face with minimal inconvenience for the patient. The surgeon separates a very limited area of skin, just in front of the ear, and then suspends the weakened tissues (muscles and fat) in their original position. In this way the skin of the cheeks, lower chin and neck, which had been sagging as a result of age, is re-tightened. A small amount of surplus skin is removed. The only sign of the procedure is an inconspicuous scar in the ear-fold.

Difference between traditional facelift and MACS lift

Traditional facelift techniques reverse changes due to aging in the lower two-thirds of the face. They can effectively turn back the clock without leaving a windswept look. The healing process takes at least three weeks before people are comfortable appearing in public with confidence that the surgery is not noticeable.

MACS lift on the other hand is a facelift carried out by vertically suspending sagging tissues, producing a small scar. The European MACS lift is not a mini-lift. The results from this procedure are comparable to or better than the more aggressive and risky full facelift techniques.

Compared to standard facelift techniques, the European MACS lift is quicker to perform, has a shorter incision and a much shorter recovery period (1 to 2 weeks versus 3 weeks for standard techniques). The European MACS lift yields excellent, natural-looking results that persist for more than 5 years.

Unlike other face lifts, the MACS facelift may be repeated multiple times without sacrificing natural results as the direction of pull is vertical, not posterior.

Developed in Belgium, the MACS lift is a pure anti-gravitational procedure with the "lift" directed vertically rather than sweeping back towards the ears. It tightens the neck and jawline and elevates the cheek tissues upwards, restoring a more youthful transition between the cheek and lower eyelid.

Candidate for MACS lift

MACS lift can be performed on anyone - man or woman - who qualifies for a standard facelift, and who has never had a facelift before or who has had one or more facelifts or other cosmetic procedures in the past. The operation can be combined with eyelid surgery, endoscopic brow/forehead lift, laser resurfacing, and lip augmentation with the patient's own tissues.

Procedure description

The European MACS lift is an outpatient procedure that takes about 2-1/2 to 3 hours. If other procedures are added (for example, brow lift or lip augmentation), the length of time will be increased, but it will remain an outpatient procedure.

The procedure is done using local anesthesia and light sedation (twilight sleep) or with a formal general anesthetic. With either method, the patient remains comfortable throughout the procedure and awakens quickly after its completion.

The skin is freed via an incision in the crease in front of the ear. As soon as the skin has been freed, the deeper tissues are tightened by means of two or three internal stitches, restoring the tautness of youth. After checking for bleeding, a small amount of excess skin is trimmed away and the incision is closed under minimal tension with fine sutures. A thin tube is then placed under the skin to drain wound fluid to the dressing. The procedure is repeated on the other side.

At the end of the procedure your face will be cleansed and your head will be loosely wrapped in bandages. Ice will be applied to reduce the swelling. You can be taken home about half an hour later.


Aftercare generally requires only cool compresses to the eyes, mild head elevation, and pain medication, as needed. Pain is generally mild and easily controlled.

You should not experience a severe swelling of the cheek, combined with a feeling of tightness and increasing pain. This might indicate post-surgical bleeding. If this happens, you might need to undergo a further operation to remove the accumulated blood. But this only happens in less than one per cent of cases. If you notice these symptoms, you must immediately contact your surgeon.

You will come for a check-up the day after your operation. The plastic tubes leading under your skin will be removed during this check-up. From now on you can leave the dressing off and can have a shower and wash your hair. All the stitches will be removed after a week.

Most patients can return to work at 7 days postoperatively with the use of camouflage makeup. Normal activities can be resumed at two weeks without makeup.

Cost of MACS lift

Healthbase connects you to plastic surgeons worldwide (cosmetic tourism) offering affordable MACS lift procedure. Login to find out and compare the cost of MACS lift in the United States and abroad.

To find a cosmetic surgeon offering the European MACS lift, contact Healthbase.

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