If you’re reading this, you’re probably familiar with a facelift to some degree. But, just to make sure we’re all on the same page, here’s a short description: It’s a cosmetic surgical procedure that lifts and tightens sagging skin on the face and neck to create a more youthful appearance.
The recovery can be relatively intense. A bandage may be placed around your face to minimize swelling and bruising. And small tubes are sometimes used to draw off any excess blood or fluid. You should be able to return to work within a couple of weeks, but it could take up to a year for the all of the residual swelling and bruising and changes to skin sensation to completely subside.
A mini facelift, as you may have already suspected, is a less invasive surgery with a comparatively easier recovery. Essentially, it entails a couple of smaller incisions and less cutting of the underlying tissue. The incisions are typically located along the hairline above each ear or in the natural creases that surround the ears. Through them, the tissue around the cheeks—as opposed to the entire face—is lifted and tightened, improving sagging jowls and refining the jawline.
In some cases, local anesthesia with sedation may even be a better option than general anesthesia. And the recovery time with a mini facelift is much shorter. Most are back to work within a week, some in as little as a long weekend. Thanks to the shorter incisions, there’s also less pain and swelling than there is with a full facelift.
Who’s a good candidate?
The results are obviously milder with a mini facelift because it’s a far less extensive surgery than the facelift. It won’t remedy prominent jowls, nor will it do more for the neck than provide it with a subtle lift. It’s only really able to treat mildly to moderately sagging skin. For those reasons, it’s utilized, largely, as a means to address the early signs of aging before they become too pronounced.
An appropriate candidate is someone in their forties or early fifties who are exhibiting some subtle facial sagging that’s centered in the middle of their face. Once we enter our fifties, skin laxity becomes more significant all around the face and neck—and more difficult to correct. But there are exceptions, such as someone who’s never been overweight. Skin laxity is directly tied to age-related collagen loss. But thin people have less fat on their faces, which places less stress on the skin. So, those of us in good health may be a candidate for a mini facelift into our early fifties.
One step further
It’s not uncommon for mini facelifts to be paired with a nonsurgical procedure, like Botox. It won’t add to your recovery time, and it’ll enhance the parts of your face—the forehead in the case of Botox—that the mini facelift will not, contributing to an outcome that’s bound to exceed expectations. After all, who among us, given the opportunity, would pass on trading a few days to look a few years younger?