The mini-facelift is an operation designed to lift and tighten the jowl region with the least possible interruption of normal daily activities. It is usually done under local anesthesia but sedation by an anesthesiologist is available for those who desire it. Most patients can return to work the next day.
There are probably as many different kinds of “mini-facelifts” as there are surgeons performing them. What they all have in common are a scar and recovery period shorter than in a standard facelift. Many mini-facelifts rely on suspension sutures or purse string sutures to lift the jowls. Some only use the skin pull to bring up the jowls. I consider these methods inadequate because long sutures will “cheese wire” through the tissues and skin will stretch when put on tension. The mini-facelift I offer makes an incision under the sideburn, right along the front edge of the ear and a tiny bit around and behind the earlobe. The skin in front of the ear is lifted and a strip of the tough tissue over the parotid gland is removed. The edges of the tough tissue are then carefully sewn together and this upward pull is what lifts the jowls and holds them up. Extra skin is then measured, marked and removed. The skin is repaired with no tension on the scar. This helps to minimize the width and thickness of the scar. Sutures are removed five days after surgery. If a patient has high blood pressure, then it must be well controlled prior to the operation otherwise the risk of bleeding after surgery is very high.
Understanding what a mini-facelift can do and what in cannot do is key to its success. The mini-facelift does a great job of lifting the jowls and the results should last three to five years. This operation does NOT lift the neck and minimally improves the naso-labial folds. Patients are increasingly seeking facial improvements earlier in life with an eye towards maintaining rather than correcting. My patients have been thrilled with the results of the mini-facelift both from a viewpoint of the minimal change they sought as well as negligible interference with usual daily activities. This procedure has had one of the highest satisfaction rates of any that I do.
I want to thank all of you for being so thoughtful and kind during my procedure and the visits before and after. The warmth of the staff and the environment there is what made me choose your practice. -DA, Roanoke, VA