For patients in their 30s and 40s who do not have an extreme amount of excess skin around their jaw and neckline, a mini facelift, or short scar facelift, is a valuable alternative to having a full facelift. It will take years off of your appearance while providing you with a more youthful and energetic look. The ideal candidates for the mini facelift are patients who show ageing in the mid-face area. While no procedure can reverse or stop the ageing process, a mini facelift can improve the most visible signs of ageing that make a person look older than their years. The procedure can be done alone or with other complementary cosmetic surgery procedures.
What is a Mini Facelift?
A mini facelift is a procedure that lifts the mid-face or the neck through several small incisions. It is less complicated than a traditional facelift and offers patients a shorter recovery time. Another difference is that it is less invasive than a traditional facelift, and is less stressful and carries fewer risks to the patient as well.
Benefits of a Mini Facelift
A mini facelift offers many benefits that provide patients with a more youthful and revitalised appearance. The surgery restores and reshapes the facial contour, giving the face a more rested and youthful appeal. Benefits of the procedure include:
- Less complicated than a traditional facelift
- Shorter recovery time
- Ability to target key areas of the face and neck
- A more defined jawline
- Fast and natural looking outcome
- More economical than a traditional facelift
Because of limited incisions and dissection of the skin in a mini facelift, postoperative swelling and bruising will be reduced. Patients have less discomfort following surgery, and can usually return to work much faster as well.
Am I a Candidate for a Mini Facelift?
The best candidates for a mini facelift procedure are patients who do not have significant sagging of the jowl and neck skin, and who want to be proactive to prevent sagging skin from becoming quite evident. Patients who have excess facial ageing will be better served with a full facelift, rather than with a mini facelift. Because a mini facelift uses smaller incisions and is less invasive than a full facelift, it is limited in what it can do.
You may consider a full facelift if you:
- Have moderate to severely loose skin along your jawline.
- Have moderate to severely loose skin of the neck (turkey neck.)
- Have good skin elasticity.
- Have excessive wrinkles.
You should also be in good health, as this is key for proper healing and recovery after your procedure. Overall, mini facelift candidates are younger and require less dramatic correction. The mini facelift tightens up your lower face while maintaining your features. Your surgeon will determine the best procedure for your specific situation.
Complementary Procedure: Eyelid Blepharoplasty Surgery
Eyelid surgery is the most common procedure done with a facelift, and because a mini facelift only addresses the mid-face or neck, eyelid surgery is used to address other issues that may affect your appearance.
Reasons for having eyelid surgery in conjunction with a mini facelift include:
- Puffiness around the eyes that make you look older than you actually are.
- Hooded eyelids that make you look permanently fatigued, even if you are full of energy.
- Hooded eyelids that are affecting your eyesight and your ability to see
- Sagging skin and wrinkles under the eyes.
By addressing these problems at the same time as a mini facelift, a greater portion of the face can be rejuvenated, providing a more enhanced appearance. A forehead lift, or brow lift, is another option to consider, as it helps to minimise the visible effects of ageing. The best way to determine if this procedure is appropriate in conjunction with a mini facelift is to discuss it with your surgeon during your consultation.
What Can You Expect With A Mini Facelift
The best way to determine if a mini facelift (and any complementary procedures) is right for you is to have an initial consultation with the surgeon. You will have an opportunity to discuss your goals and expectations about the surgery with the doctor, and ask any relevant questions you may have. During your initial consultation, your surgeon will:
- Review your medical history and any medications you are taking
- Discuss the procedure and any related procedures
- Provide recommendations based on your needs and goals
Your surgeon will listen to your needs, expectations and your desired outcome from the mini facelift surgery. The surgeon will review the surgical options available to you, and answer any questions you may have. Most often the surgery is performed under local anaesthesia with sedation. Your surgeon will determine the best type of anaesthesia based on your procedure and examination. The mini facelift includes repositioning of all the portions of the face that are showing signs of ageing. The difference between a mini facelift and a traditional one is that the incision is much smaller, and there are no incisions behind the ears. The surgeon will determine the placement of the incision based on your facial structure. During the surgery, the surgeon will separate the skin from the fat and muscle below. Fat may be trimmed or liposuctioned from the neck and chin area to improve the overall contour. The surgeon will tighten the underlying muscle, pull the skin back and trim any excess. Sutures will be used to secure the layers of tissue and close the incision. If you have any additional procedures, such as eyelid or brow lift surgery, it will be done once the mini facelift is completed. For patients with additional procedures, additional recovery instructions will be given.
The Recovery Process
Once the mini facelift is completed, a loose-fitting dressing is applied. Some discolouration and swelling around the face and neck are normal and will improve over the next week or so. There typically isn’t excessive discomfort after the surgery, but if there is, it is easily controlled with the pain medication prescribed by your surgeon. Many patients only require over-the-counter pain medication after the surgery. You will need to keep your head elevated as much as possible and avoid any strenuous activities for 2 to 3 weeks. After the surgery, you can spend the night at our luxury partner hotel, and you will be seen the following morning before being released to go home. This makes for a safer recovery and more convenient for your post-surgical appointment – in your room. Having our staff visit you in your hotel room the next day is comforting and less stressful than driving back to the clinic to be seen. Your surgeon will see you at regularly scheduled intervals during the weeks following the surgery. This is done so the doctor can personally monitor your recovery process, and to ensure that you have the best results possible. Following a mini facelift procedure, you may find that your features are distorted from the swelling. Some of the bruising may linger for 2 to 3 weeks, and you will probably tire easily. By the third week, you will look and feel much better. Most patients return to work about 7 to 10 days after the surgery. There will be some scars, but they are usually hidden by your hair or in the natural creases of your face and ears. In time they will heal and be barely visible. A mini facelift can’t stop the ageing process. Some patients elect to repeat the procedure in five or ten years. But you will continue to look better than if you never had a mini facelift in the first place.
Generally, patients in their 30s and 40s who have specific areas of their face that they would like to enhance, such as drooping cheeks, jowls and neck areas, are good candidates for a mini facelift. Because of the short recovery times, many patients prefer this procedure over a traditional facelift.
A full facelift is a more extensive procedure aimed at patients with moderate to severe signs of ageing (significant loss of volume, sagging skin, wrinkles) while a mini facelift, being a less extensive procedure is better suited to younger patients requiring minimal correction of signs of ageing. The mini facelift targets specific areas, and can’t improve on areas like the forehead or eyes. That’s why some patients have complementary procedures performed at the same time as their mini facelift.
Because a mini facelift is designed to address the cheek, jawline and neck areas, many patients combine a mini facelift with eyelid surgery to correct drooping upper eyelids and puffy bags below the eyes. A brow lift is also often employed to smooth wrinkles on the forehead.
Generally, a mini facelift takes from 45 to 90 minutes. If any complementary procedures are performed at the same time, the surgery will last from 2 to 3 hours.
There is some discomfort, which is easily controlled by mild pain medication. Some patients find that over-the-country pain medication works to eliminate the discomfort following surgery.
You should stop smoking at least two weeks prior to surgery, as smoking can seriously impede the healing process. Avoid aspirin and aspirin products in the weeks leading up to your surgery. In addition, your surgeon will review your medications with you during your initial consultation, and may recommend stopping certain medications before your surgery.
If the surgery is healing properly, sutures will be removed in five to six days. There will be some swelling and bruising, but that should dissipate after 10 days. Most patients are able to return to work within 7 to 10 days.
You will need to avoid strenuous activities for 2 to 3 weeks following your surgery.
There are many factors that will determine how long the effects of a mini facelift last. Typically, mini facelifts will last for many years, but gravity and ageing will play a role in how long the appearance lasts.
As with all cosmetic surgeries, there are some risks involved. These risks include bleeding, infection, swelling, scar irregularities and blood clots, but they are rare. Our operating suite is state-of-the-art, and we do everything we can to minimise the risks associated with surgery.
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