Are you interested in facelift surgery but don’t know whether a standard facelift or mini facelift is right for you?… Read More
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.
Mini Facelift Candidates
The ideal candidate for a mini facelift is someone who has moderate signs of facial aging but who is not overly concerned with improving the appearance of his or her neck. Many mini facelift patients tend to be younger in age and seek to maintain a youthful aesthetic as opposed to extensively rejuvenating or correcting various facial concerns. Despite this, older patients can also be excellent candidates, as long as they are comfortable with not addressing the neck region.
Benefits of a Mini Facelift
For qualified individuals, the mini facelift procedure offers several unique benefits, some of which may include:
- Lifting and/or tightening of the jowls
- Mild improvement of smiles lines and nasolabial folds
- A shorter scar compared to standard facelift surgery
- Less recovery and downtime than a standard facelift
- A very high rate of patient satisfaction
The Mini Facelift Procedure
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 that extends from under the sideburn, continues along the front edge of the ear and ends just 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, minimizing 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.
Mini Facelift Recovery
Some minor swelling and/or bruising can often be expected after mini facelift surgery, but these symptoms should subside shortly. Postoperative pain is not typically an issue for most patients, though medication can be prescribed should any discomfort be experienced. The majority of individuals are able to return to non-strenuous jobs and regular daily routines within one to two days, but I generally recommend that all exercise and vigorous activity be avoided for at least a few weeks to ensure proper healing. I encourage walking (not power walking) as a substitute during this time.
Understanding what a mini-facelift can do and what it 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 (though some passive toning is often seen) and minimally improves the upper 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