Cosmetic Surgery: The Mini Facelift
The mini facelift, also known as the 'weekend facelift,' has recently gained popularity largely due to its favored status among celebrities undergoing cosmetic surgery. The mini face lift offers a less invasive plastic surgery technique, resulting in a less radical change than that of traditional cosmetic surgery facelifts.
This facelift surgery also has the potential for gradual improvement over time, should you opt for additional or multiple cosmetic surgeries. But plastic surgery is not for everyone. Like all surgery, this beauty procedure comes at a cost, both financially and in some cases, physically and emotionally.
What is a Mini Face Lift?
A mini facelift is often referred to as a short scar facelift, or an S lift. The procedure aims to restore a youthful appearance by improving features in the lower half of the face or the skin in the neck region. The mini facelift is best suited for younger plastic surgery patients in their thirties or forties, since its results are less drastic and can offer an anti aging lift for individuals with minor concerns. These typically include minor sagging of the cheeks, jawline, as well as improvements to the folds of the nose.
The Mini Facelift Procedure
In contrast to the invasive traditional facelift surgery, a mini facelift uses fewer and smaller incisions. Once a local anesthetic is injected behind the areas (to numb the lower half of the face), a plastic surgeon will make incisions either in front or behind the ears, which will then continue along the hairline. A patient may also be mildly sedated, or put under general anesthesia upon request.
The plastic surgeon will then lift, reposition, and remove facial tissue and reconstruct facial muscles. While these procedures are often performed during a complete facelift surgery, when it comes to a mini facelift, the incisions and alterations are much smaller.
A plastic surgeon may use an endoscopic or a non-endoscopic approach to a mini facelift. During an endoscopic facelift, a cosmetic surgeon will insert surgical instruments into at least three incisions around the areas to be treated, along with a small camera inserted beneath the skin. The plastic surgeon will then watch the procedure through the camera as she removes excess fat and reshapes facial muscles.
A non-endoscopic procedure involves incisions made in certain areas of the skin, which are then turned over and exposed. This exposed area is then treated accordingly. The mini face lift surgery will typically take between one to two hours to complete, and recovery may take from one to two days following surgery.
Mini Facelift vs Standard Facelift
The use of smaller incisions and alterations in the mini facelift allows for minimal cutting of the skin, which reduces scarring, the risk of complications, recovery time, and financial cost.
Unlike a traditional facelift, a mini facelift cannot reduce some of the effects of aging on the skin, such as wrinkles. While a complete face lift is aimed at providing results throughout the face, a mini facelift addresses specific target regions only in the lower half of the face and the neck region, and only offers minor improvements.
The average cost of a mini facelift is $3,500-$6,000.
Recovery and Risks of Mini Facelifts
While a mini facelift is generally associated with less health complications and plastic surgery risks, like all cosmetic procedures, even this facelift carries with it some potential side effects. The potential risks and side effects of a mini facelift surgery include the following:
- Hematoma. This is a common plastic surgery risk involving bleeding under the skin which may require further surgery to reduce swelling and remove the blood
- Infection. This will typically occur in a specific area and may be prevented by prescribed antibiotics following surgery
- Nerve Injury. This will affect the nerves that control facial muscles and correct itself within 2-6 months
- Longer Recovery. This typically affects patients who smoke
- Scarring, though this is usually minimal during mini facelifts
- Temporary hardening or crusting over the incision
- Numbness around the incisions
- Skin or hair loss and skin discoloration. In these rare occasions, hair will grow back and skin should heal within several months
- Broken Capillaries along the cheeks and neck. This condition can be treated with a laser
A patient will usually be able to return home several hours following a mini facelift. Typically, a patient can return to work within two to three days (hence the term 'weekend facelift'). Speak to your doctor and a certified plastic surgeon for information about your particular case, including your medical history as well as your expectations of plastic surgery.