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What is a Temporal Lift?

Mary McMahon
Updated: Feb 15, 2024

A temporal lift is a cosmetic surgery procedure designed to address signs of aging around the eye. This procedure can be combined with a forehead lift, eyebrow lift, and other cosmetic procedures. Recovery from a temporal lift alone takes around a week, and when combined with other procedures the recovery time may be increased. Patients who select this procedure are usually middle-aged.

In a temporal lift, the patient is given local anesthesia and placed under sedation for comfort. The surgeon makes an incision behind the hair line at the temples and uses the incision to introduce endoscopic tools. Excess tissue around the eye can be removed and tightened to create a cleaner, smoother look. Once the surgeon is finished, the incision is closed and pressure dressings are applied to reduce inflammation. On the following day, the dressings are removed, and the patient returns in approximately one week for removal of the stitches.

A temporal lift is usually recommended for patients with sagging or drooping eyes and brows, wrinkles around the eye, and other signs of aging. Plastic surgeons claim that the mini mid-face lift, as it is known, addresses aging of the face without creating an obviously altered look. This procedure may be chosen by patients who only want minor work to address some of the obvious aging that appears on the face, and by patients who have not started aging extensively but still feel uncomfortable with their look.

Patients may also choose facial cosmetic surgery if they have experienced damage to the face. Strokes, for example, can cause drooping around the eyes and eyebrows. People may feel like they are being stared at, especially if the drooping is not symmetrical, and a temporal lift can address these obvious signs and make the face appear more even. Certain congenital conditions can also cause physical variations in the face that may be addressed with a temporal lift.

A cosmetic surgeon needs to perform this procedure. Patients may want to consider booking consultations with several surgeons so that they can choose from a number of options. During the consultation, the surgeon should show the patient a portfolio of images, talk with the patient about the goal of the procedure, and discuss the specifics of what will be done during the procedure. Working with a highly qualified surgeon and support team will increase the chances of good results and reduce the risks of complications, such as infections.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By Azuza — On Sep 24, 2011

@starrynight - I wouldn't believe everything you read on the Internet. I think the safest bet would be to find someone you know who has had this procedure. Then ask them who their surgeon was and what they thought of them! That seems like the best way to find a good cosmetic surgeon to me.

As far as this procedure, I kind of don't see the point unless you get the rest of your face done, too. What's the point of making your eyes look youthful if the rest of your face looks old?

By starrynight — On Sep 23, 2011

I can totally understand why people get this done. I know aging is inevitable, but those saggy, droopy eyelids just look awful. Sometimes I wonder how people can even see when their eyelids droop so badly.

I think it's important to get a good cosmetic surgeon if you decide to get this done though. I mean, it's your face! Like the article said, I would definitely want to look at the surgeons portfolio and see the results of others who have had this procedure.

I wouldn't stop there though. No surgeon is going to show you pictures if he's messed up! I would search the Internet for reviews to see what's really up with the cosmetic surgeon.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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