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Mini Facelift (or Mini-Lift)

As one ages, skin loses its elasticity and many people develop loose skin folds creating a heavy, jowly, and tired appearance. 

The mini facelift has an age-diminishing effect, making patient look younger, rested, and more energized. Facial rejuvenation is achieved by repositioning the skin on the lower face to eliminate sagging and droopiness.  The mini facelift is safer than a full facelift and does not require general anesthesia (although general anesthesia is available upon request).  Patients who undergo a mini facelift see rapid, natural-looking results with very little recovery time.

Initial Visit

The best candidates for a mini facelift are those in good health with mild to moderate lower facial and/or neck laxity.  It is also effective as a follow-up for patients who previously had full facelifts, but desire additional rejuvenation of the face and/or neck area.  Likewise, it does not preclude undergoing a full facelift in the future.

During a patient’s complimentary first visit, a full medical history will be taken.  Physical examination will focus on age, genetics, skin type and elasticity.  It is important for a patient to discuss any pre-existing conditions, allergies, and previous surgeries.  The surgeon will ask what you like and dislike about your face.  Once your surgeon understands your expectations, mutual, realistic goals can be set.

Anterior Mini Facelift

An anterior mini facelift addresses looseness in the mid-face (around the cheekbone area)  and to some extent in jaw line area. First, an anesthetic solution is injected into the area in front of the ears.  This solution will numb the lower face and inhibit bleeding.  Once the area is numb, small incisions are made beginning just in front of the ear and proceeding up into the hairline.  Incisions within the hair require no shaving. The fascial plane is gently lifted, pulled and supported with deep sutures.  Excess skin is tailored, and incisions are closed with fine sutures. 

Posterior Mini Facelift

A posterior mini facelift is for persons concerned primarily about the neck and jowl area. First, an anesthetic solution is injected behind the ears.  This solution will numb the lower face and neck and inhibit bleeding in the area.  Once the area is numb, small incisions are made behind the ear and proceed up into the hairline. The skin is gently draped and then re-positioned. Deep sutures are made in the fascial plane and excess skin is tailored.  Fine sutures close the incision.

Short-Flap Mini (SFM) Facelift

The short-flap mini facelift, an extended procedure which is a combination of the anterior and posterior mini facelifts, addresses the mid-face, jaw line and neck areas.  Incisions start up in the hairline, follow down the natural crease in front of the ear, and go behind the earlobe into the neck area.

Pre-Operative Instructions

For at least two weeks before surgery, patients are required to refrain from smoking, alcohol and all aspirin products.  Smoking interferes with circulation and healing, and products containing aspirin or ibuprofen thin the blood and increase the risk of bleeding.

Post-Operative Instructions

Mini-facelift patients can go home the same day.  Immediately after the procedure, an ace bandage will be wrapped under the chin and around the top of the head.  This should be worn continually for the first three days after surgery.  For post-operative days 4 – 7,  it should be worn only at night.  It can be removed briefly to bathe and wash your hair. 

Antibiotics and painkillers may be prescribed.  There will be some degree of swelling and bruising, which can be kept to a minimum by the application of cold packs, and by sleeping with your head elevated.  Strenuous activity should be avoided for two weeks after surgery.

Some patients may experience bruising which can be camouflaged with makeup immediately after the procedure. 

Surgical Risks

As a minimally invasive procedure, mini facelifts have a short recovery period. There may be some post-operative bleeding which usually resolves itself.  Scars from the incisions usually disappear with time. Other risks include infection, nerve injury and hematoma (accumulations of blood under the skin).

The Mini-Facelift, performed under local anesthesia, is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that can restore a more youthful appearance, firm the lower facial area, improve jaw-line definition, and restore the neck-chin angle.