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Am I Too Young for a Mini Face-Lift?

 Am I Too Young for a Mini Face-Lift?

Our skin ages with us as we age, producing fine lines, wrinkles, creases, and sags, especially around the neck and jowls. At this early stage, we have minimally invasive treatments like dermal fillers, Botox®, laser resurfacing, and microdermabrasion to turn back the clock on your appearance.

 For a face-lift, a surgical procedure, the doctor removes the sags and bags and tightens the underlying muscles. It’s a process that dates back to the early 1900s. While the technique and technology have changed into today’s less-invasive approach, the procedure has always been targeted at tightening the lower half to two-thirds of the face.

The “mini” face-lift is a modification of the traditional procedure and a product of the modern age, following the trend toward smaller incisions that result in a shorter recovery time. The new techniques are also focused on 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 our patients in Scottsdale and Peoria, Arizona, who want the benefits of a traditional face-lift but who don’t want the deficits of 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.

Am I too young for a mini face-lift?

Maybe, maybe not. It all comes down to collagen, a fibrous protein that strengthens and tones your skin. When you’re young, you have plenty of it. Unfortunately, around age 25, production starts to decrease, and as levels drop, the lack of underlying support leads to wrinkles and sags. That means you may start to look older than you feel a lot sooner than you want.

The common perception of face-lifts, though, has been a cosmetic procedure only for those 60 and older. However, perceptions are changing, and nearly 6,000 procedures were performed in the US on patients under 54 in 2019, 34% of all face-lifts done that year.

And the numbers are increasing, with surgeons seeing more people in their 40s and 50s, especially for the mini face-lift. That’s because the modified procedure produces such natural-looking results.

You’re a good candidate for a mini face-lift if you have:

And with the mini face-lift comes a shorter recovery time than a traditional face-lift.

It’s important to keep in mind, though, that while face-lifts produce long-lasting results, your skin will start aging again at some point; you’ll either have to have another procedure or live with the face nature gave you. For that reason, you may want to try lesser-invasive treatments for aging skin first, reserving surgery until you’re older and have exhausted other options.

What is the procedure like for a mini face-lift?

While a mini face-lift is a trimmed-down version of the traditional face-lift, it’s still a surgical procedure, so we’ll need to give you either a local anesthetic with sedation or general anesthesia.

Once you’re asleep, Dr. Heringer makes several small incisions in the folds and creases around your ear through which he works. Those same folds will hide the scars once you’ve healed. 

Next, he separates the outer skin from the connective tissue and muscles beneath it, repositions the deeper facial tissues, and creates a firm foundation for the overlying skin. 

Finally, he removes any excess skin from the face and jowls and places the remaining skin gently over the newly rejuvenated tissues, using a few small sutures for the incisions.

And what’s recovery like?

For patients having a traditional face-lift, most resume their normal activities after about two weeks and strenuous exercise only after about four weeks. With a mini face-lift, though, you can expect about half of that downtime because it carries a lower risk of infection and other complications. Dr. Heringer gives you detailed instructions for aftercare and activity.

Bruising and swelling are common after a mini face-lift, and they peak about two days after the procedure. They should subside completely after 10-14 days.

You’ll have to wear sunscreen for several weeks to protect your healing skin and try to keep yourself shaded, if at all possible. Once you’ve completely healed, you can show off your younger-looking self to the world, with no one the wiser that you’ve had work done.

If you’re not happy with the aging face that looks back from the mirror but don’t want to commit to a full face-lift, a mini face-lift might be just the thing for you. To learn more or schedule a consultation with Dr. Heringer, call us at either of our locations or book online today.

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