As we age, our skin loses its plentiful stores of collagen and elastin, two fibrous proteins that give the organ strength and resilience. This results in the development of fine lines, wrinkles, and deep creases like nasolabial folds, the trough reaching from the bottom of the nose to the corner of the mouth.
In the earliest stages, you can de-age your face with treatments like dermal fillers, Botox®, and minimally invasive procedures like laser resurfacing and microdermabrasion. As aging progresses, you may look to facelifts to rejuvenate the lower two-thirds of your face. But which type of face-lift can best address the nasolabial folds?
At Arizona Ocular & Facial Plastic Surgery, Dr. Dustin Heringer and our team offer different kinds of facelifts, including mini facelifts, to our patients in Scottsdale and Peoria, Arizona, who are looking to turn back the clock on facial aging.
Here’s the scoop on the different types of facelifts and which might be best for your nasolabial folds.
The types of facelifts
Facelifts date back to the early 1900s. They’re a procedure where the surgeon removes excess skin around the jowls and neck and tightens the underlying muscles. It can be performed as an “open” surgery or as a minimally invasive one. You may be hesitant to undergo such an invasive procedure if you have deep nasolabial folds but don’t have sagging jowls and neck.
In such cases, you might want to consider the “mini” facelift. This modified version of the traditional procedure is a product of the modern age; surgeons use smaller incisions, there’s a shorter recovery time, and the technique is geared toward creating more of a natural-looking appearance than had previously been possible.
Facelifts are generally considered a cosmetic procedure only for people 60 and older. However, that age has been dropping. In 2019, surgeons performed nearly 6,000 facelifts on patients under 54, accounting for 34% of all the facelifts done that year.
And surgeons are seeing more people in their 40s and 50s eager to forestall the signs of aging. This is especially true for the mini face-lift because of its more natural-looking results.
What is the procedure like for a mini facelift?
A mini facelift uses smaller and shorter incisions than a traditional one, but it’s still surgery, so you’ll need either a local anesthetic with sedation or general anesthesia.
Dr. Heringer starts by making several small incisions in the natural folds and creases around your ear, and he’ll do all the work through these. The scars will be hidden in the ear folds when the incisions heal.
Next, he uses ultrathin tools to separate the skin from the underlying connective tissue and muscles, repositions the deeper facial tissues, and create a more youthful foundation for the skin.
Finally, he removes any excess skin around the fold, then gently lays the remaining skin over the rejuvenated facial tissues, ensuring it’s taut and wrinkle-free.
And what is recovery like?
When they have a standard facelift, patients generally resume their normal activities after about two weeks, with strenuous exercise only after about four weeks. A mini facelift, though, only requires about half that downtime and comes with a lower risk of infection and other complications. Because every patient heals on their own schedule, Dr. Heringer gives you detailed instructions for your aftercare and activity so you’ll know what to do when.
You can expect bruising and swelling, which peak about two days after surgery. They should be just about gone after 10-14 days.
And it’s important to wear sunscreen and keep your face shaded for several weeks post-surgery to protect your healing skin. Once you’re fully healed, you can present your younger-looking self to the world with confidence.
Tired of nasolabial folds that just seem to get deeper with time? A mini facelift might be right for you. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Heringer, contact Arizona Ocular & Facial Plastic Surgery by calling our nearest office.