Patients can achieve the wrinkle-eliminating, anti-aging results of a facelift, without going through the extensive surgery and recovery process. A short incision facelift, or MACS lift, offers much shorter procedure and recovery times, without sacrificing results. A MACS lift is the front portion of a full-facelift where lifting and tightening is focused on the face and neck areas.

Contact Korman Plastic Surgery’s offices in Mountain View, San Jose or Carmel for more information on this procedure and if you are a good candidate.

What is a MACS Lift?

MACS is an acronym for Minimal Access Cranial Suspension. A MACS Lift may be thought of as a “lighter” less-surgically-intensive version of a complete facelift. The procedure’s main intent is to address sagging and aging symptoms of the lower and mid-face region.

The MACS Lift procedure begins by making an incision in front of the ear; however, it will not carry behind the ear or to the scalp. The tissue is then separated from the skin, allowing the surgeon to remove excess skin and tighten the muscle layer. Once the skin has been tightened, it is realigned, and the incision is closed.

The incisions are made within the natural creases of your face, so scarring is minimal and well-hidden. The entire procedure lasts about 2 hours. The MACS lift is sometimes combined with SmartLipo of the neck for even better facial contouring and other facial procedures such as blepharoplasties (eyelid).

Benefits of a MACS Lift

Are you looking for a way to restore the youthful appearance of your face and neck? A MACS Lift will:

  • Tighten the skin from the mid-face to the lower section of a patient’s face and underneath their chin. This will effectively erase the appearance of jowls, and other wrinkles, like those around the nose and mouth.
  • Tighten the muscular structure beneath patient’s’ skin, guaranteeing the results are effective and long-lasting.
  • Combat the effects of gravity on the laxity of the skin on patients’ face and neck.
  • Require a shorter recovery for the patient. Because a MACS Lift can be completed with smaller, minimal incisions, patients experience less swelling after their procedure, which allows them to return to their usual schedules sooner than a traditional facelift.
  • Leave little to no scarring.
  • Give patients a more alert, naturally-youthful appearance.


Candidates for a MACS lift experience signs of facial aging because of the deteriorating strength of their facial muscles, a loss of volume, or a loss of youthful tightness in the skin on their face and neck. You may be a good candidate for a MACS lift if you are noticing skin laxity, resulting in the development of mild to moderate wrinkles. Candidates who will see the best results from a MACS lift are those who naturally have better skin elasticity and do not have larger necks. Jowls, marionette lines, and nasolabial folds are also age-related skin developments that may be best treated with a MACS lift.

Patients who feel like their wrinkles or skin laxity give them a tired or sad appearance can also turn to a MACS lift to smooth and brighten their face.

Ideal candidates for a MACS lift do not have any pre-existing conditions that would interfere with the healing process. Candidates should be non-smokers, or should discontinue their smoking for at least three weeks before their MACS lift.


Your consultation is your opportunity to ask Dr. Joshua Korman any questions you may have about MACS Lifts, or any other skin rejuvenation option you are interested in learning more about. To determine your candidacy for a MACS lift, Dr. Korman will examine your face and neck in order to assess the degree of your wrinkles, muscle strength, and and overall skin laxity. Dr. Korman will also want to discuss your medical history, medication use, and overall lifestyle with you in order to create a skin rejuvenation solution that is right and safest for you.

Due to the straightforward and effective nature of a MACS lift, many patients decide to undergo multiple procedures during one surgical session.

A MACS lift is often successfully combined with an eyelid lift, chin enlargement, nose reshaping, or laser skin resurfacing treatment. Dr. Korman also will discuss the use of Smartlipo on patient’s necks who may have extra tissue that is adding unwanted volume to their chin and necks.

Preparation for Your MACS Lift

Patients will receive guidelines concerning their eating and drinking habits before their MACS lift, as well as what medications they should or should not continue using before their procedure.

Due to the fact that it can inhibit the body’s healing process, smoking should be discontinued at least three weeks before a MACS lift procedure. It is also important to refrain from smoking for at least two weeks following a MACS lift.

Try to avoid excessive sun exposure in the week before your MACS lift.

It is advised to schedule a friend or family member to drive you home after your MACS lift, due to the fact that you will likely still be recovering from your anesthetic, and not be able to drive.

It is important to follow the provided instructions regarding preparation before a MACS lift in order to experience your best recovery and results. If you have any questions regarding your MACS lift, or any other procedure, please do not hesitate to call.

Your MACS Lift Procedure

Most patients receive their MACS lift under local anesthetic and a sedative, such as Valium. Patients may also request to receive their MACS lift under conscious sedation or even general anesthesia. Your MACS lift will target the outcomes for your appearance that you outlined during your consultation. Unlike a traditional facelift, to perform a MACS lift only requires small incisions, made hidden within the curves in the front of the ears.

Your facial muscles will be pulled gently into a more tight position and held in place by suspension sutures made in the deep tissue. Your skin will next be pulled up and back delicately, in order to smooth wrinkles and fix skin laxity in your cheeks, chin, nose, mouth, and neck. Excess skin will be removed at the incision site.

The treatment can also include SmartLipo to remove excess fat from patient’s necks . The incision will remain small. Care is taken to make the incision and stitches in a discrete position in front of the ear, but scarring after a MACS lift is rare.

Patients often take this opportunity to receive an additional cosmetic procedure to achieve a complete rejuvenation of their face. They may combine their MACS lift with an eyelid lift or rhinoplasty, for example.

What to Expect Following a MACS Lift?

After this procedure, there may be slight swelling or bruising. This goes away fairly quickly, and most patients are able to return to normal activity in a week. The patient’s entire look will not be changed; however, it will appear rejuvenated, lifted and many years younger. Oral pain-relieving medication will be made available to alleviate any discomfort.

Patients are usually able to attend social events confidently often with just a few days. Any scabbing or indication of the incision will be healed within the first few weeks. Results will continue to improve over the next few months.

Patients are advised to ask for a friend or family member to drive them home following their MACS Lift, as patients may still be feeling the effects of their anesthesia.

Results of a MACS Lift

After the first week of recovery, most patients see the initial results of their MACS lift. The final outcome of a MACS lift will improve over the months following the procedure.

A MACS Lift will smooth and tighten the skin on patients’ cheeks, chin, nose, mouth, and neck. The lift will greatly improve skin laxity, which will smooth and diminish the appearance of nasolabial folds and marionette lines around the mouth. Patients who were worried about sagging or wrinkled skin in the neck will instead leave their MACS lift with a smoother, younger-looking chin and neck. Patients who received SmartLipo will especially notice a slimmer, more attractive contour of their neck. The MACS lift can even give the area below the eyes a more rejuvenated look.

A MACS Lift not only creates a more awake, youthful appearance, it also leaves little to no scarring. The results are long-lasting: patients can enjoy their rejuvenated appearance for years!

What is the Cost of a MACS Lift?

The cost of this procedure can vary based on the extent of surgery required for optimum results. Dr. Korman will be happy to assess a price at your initial consultation. Patient financing is an option.