As we age, our skin loses its youthful elasticity, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles, creases, and sagging skin, especially around the neck and jowls. From dermal fillers and Botox® to minimally invasive procedures like laser resurfacing and microdermabrasion, there are a variety of ways to turn back time on your appearance.
Facelifts, where the surgeon removes excess skin and tightens the underlying muscles, date back to the early 1900s. While the procedure has changed, it’s always been aimed at improving the lower half to two-thirds of the face.
The “mini” facelift, a modified version of the traditional procedure, is a product of the modern age, where surgeons use smaller incisions, there’s a shorter recovery time, and the technique is geared toward creating a more natural-looking appearance than had previously been possible.
At Arizona Ocular & Facial Plastic Surgery, with locations in Scottsdale and Peoria, Arizona, Dr. Dustin Heringer and our team offer mini facelifts to people who want the benefits of a traditional facelift, but with less scarring and a shorter recovery period.
Here’s the scoop on the mini facelift and how to know if you’re a good candidate.
When should you consider a facelift or mini facelift?
Collagen is a fibrous, structural protein that helps give your skin strength and tone, and when you’re young, you have a lot of it. Unfortunately, production starts to decrease around age 25, leading to wrinkles and sags as time goes on. That means you may start to look older than you feel sooner than you thought.
Even so, facelifts have been commonly seen as a cosmetic procedure only for people 60 and older. However, the age has been dropping, with nearly 6,000 procedures performed in the US in 2019 in patients under 54. That accounts for 34% of all the facelifts done that year.
And surgeons are seeing more people in their 40s and 50s, especially for the mini facelift, in large part because of the more natural-looking results.
A mini facelift would be ideal 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
A mini facelift is appropriate if you’re looking for a shorter recovery time than a facelift, too.
What’s the procedure like for a mini facelift?
While a mini facelift uses shorter incisions than a traditional one, it’s still a surgery, so you’ll require either a local anaesthetic with sedation or general anaesthesia.
Dr. Heringer starts by making several small incisions in the folds and creases around your ear, through which he’ll work. When healed, the scars will be hidden in the ear folds.
Next, he separates the skin from the underlying connective tissue and muscles, then repositions the deeper facial tissues, gets rid of the jowls, and creates a firmer foundation for the skin.
Finally, he removes the excess skin, and gently lays the remaining skin over the newly rejuvenated facial tissues.
And what’s recovery like?
Patients generally resume their normal activities after about two weeks (strenuous exercise after about four weeks) following a standard facelift. But a mini facelift only requires about half of that downtime, with a lower risk of infection and other complications. Every patient heals on their own clock, though, so Dr. Heringer gives you detailed instructions for aftercare and activity.
Bruising and swelling are normal after a facelift and peak about two days after surgery. They should be difficult to notice after 10-14 days.
You’ll need to wear sunscreen for several weeks to protect your healing skin, and you should keep yourself shaded during that time, if at all possible. Once you’ve healed, you can present your younger-looking self to the world with confidence.
If you’re noticing moderate signs of aging on the lower part of your face, you may want to consider a mini facelift. Give Arizona Ocular & Facial Plastic Surgery a call at either of our offices to schedule a consultation with Dr. Heringer, or you can book online with us today.