As we age, our skin transforms, developing fine lines, wrinkles, creases, and sagging skin, especially around the neck and jowls.From dermal fillers and Botox® to minimally invasive treatments like laser resurfacing and microdermabrasion, there are several ways to turn back the clock on your appearance.
Face-lifts, where the surgeon removes the sags and bags and tightens the underlying muscles, date back to the early 1900s. While the technique and technology have changed, the procedure has always been aimed at improving the lower half to two-thirds of the face.
The “mini” face-lift is a modified version of the traditional procedure. It’s also a product of the modern age, following the trend toward smaller incisions and a resulting shorter recovery time. The new techniques are also geared toward creating a more natural-looking appearance than had been possible before.
At Arizona Ocular & Facial Plastic Surgery, oculofacial and cosmetic plastic surgeon Dr. Dustin Heringer and our team offer mini face-lifts to people in Scottsdale and Peoria, Arizona, who want the benefits of a traditional face-lift, but who don’t want the scars and the long recovery time.
Here’s what you need to know about the mini face-lift and how to tell if you’re a good candidate.
At what age should you consider a face-lift or mini face-lift?
It all comes down to collagen. This fibrous, structural protein helps give your skin strength and tone; when you’re young, you have lots of it. Unfortunately, production starts to decrease around age 25. The lack of underlying skin support then leads to wrinkles and sags. That means you may start to look older than you feel sooner than you would have hoped.
Even knowing this, the common perception of face-lifts has been a cosmetic procedure only for people 60 and older. However, perceptions are changing, and in 2019, nearly 6,000 procedures were performed in the US on patients under 54. That accounts for 34% of all face-lifts done that year.
And surgeons are beginning to see more people in their 40s and 50s, especially for the mini face-lift, in large part because it produces such natural-looking results.
You’re a good candidate for a mini face-lift if you have:
- Sagging skin at the jowls
- Loosening (but not drooping) neck skin
- Moderate facial volume loss
- A desire for a more sculpted jawline
- A desire for a more youthful appearance
- Sufficient elasticity in skin tissue
A mini face-lift is also a good choice if you want a shorter recovery time than a traditional face-lift.
What is the procedure like for a mini face-lift?
A mini face-lift uses shorter incisions than a traditional one, but it’s still a surgical procedure, so you’ll require either a local anesthetic with sedation or general anesthesia.
Dr. Heringer makes several small incisions in the creases and folds around your ear through which he works. When healed, the folds will hide the scars.
Next, he separates the outer skin from the underlying connective tissue and muscles, repositions the deeper facial tissues, and creates a firm foundation for the skin.
Finally, he removes the excess skin from the face and jowls and gently lays the remaining skin over the newly rejuvenated tissues, suturing the incisions closed.
And what’s recovery like?
Following a traditional face-lift, most patients generally resume their normal activities after about two weeks, with strenuous exercise re-introduced only after about four weeks. But a mini face-lift only requires about half of that downtime, as it carries a lower risk of infection and other complications. Because every patient heals in their own time, Dr. Heringer gives you detailed instructions for aftercare and activity.
It’s normal to experience bruising and swelling after a mini face-lift, which peaks about two days after the procedure. They should subside after 10-14 days.
You must wear sunscreen for several weeks to protect your healing skin and keep yourself shaded, if at all possible. Once you’ve completely healed, you can present your younger-looking self to the world, knowing no one will be able to tell you’ve had work done.
Interested in a mini face-lift? To learn more, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Heringer, give us a call at either of our locations or book online with us today.