As the name implies, this is virtually just a smaller version of the full facelift. Typically this is a procedure which we recommend for the 35 to 50 year old patient who is concerned mostly about loose skin along the jawline and less about skin laxity involving the mid to lower portion of the neck. It allows Dr. Waldman to lift the lower 1/3 to ½ of the face significantly with very little down time. During the procedure, Dr. Waldman makes a short incision in front of the ear allowing him to re-suspend the tissues under the skin. He then removes the excess and re drapes the overlying skin to smooth out the wrinkles and redefine the jaw line. At times we also will combine the mini-lift procedure with neck liposuction under the chin (submentum) or under the jaw line in the upper portion of the neck. Use of a silastic chin implant is also another option in some cases. The result of this surgery is a younger, fresher looking face with less recovery time than the traditional lower face and neck lift.
Dr. Waldman believes that facelifts should be individualized accommodating to each patient’s personal needs. Younger patients usually do not need as extensive a correction and can most often be treated with a more limited procedure with shorter incisions and a quicker recovery time. These incisions are limited to the front of the ear. Bruising, swelling and post operation recovery are more limited.
No, it is actually one of the least uncomfortable procedures that we do. Of course, we do allow use of pain medication for a brief period of time.
While facelifts can be performed under either general or local anesthesia Dr. Waldman prefers to use local anesthesia (with monitored anesthesia care intravenous sedation) whenever possible. Some people refer to this as “twilight” anesthesia and it is expertly administered by one of our certified nurse anesthetist (CRNA).
Most of the time patients will go home with a dressing, which Dr. Waldman will usually remove the next day. Sutures are removed within 7-10 days and bruising and swelling decrease to “socially acceptable” levels in 10-20 days. Final results are evident in 4-6 weeks or sooner with continued improvement over several months. Most patients are able to return to work in two to three weeks or so. You should allow more time prior to major social engagements. The recovery period for “minilifts” is slightly shorter.
Dr. Waldman or his skin care specialist will discuss camouflage techniques that both men and women can use to disguise the temporary bruising and swelling that occurs following a facelift.
Additional procedures that would help to enhance the result of the facelift are:
Use of chin or pre-jowl silastic (clear rubber) implants are often (30% of the time) a part of our facelift procedure. There is often some bone or soft tissue (fat) resorption from the chin or the area just in front of the jowl associated with aging. Implants in this area can be easily inserted through the same incision we have already made beneath the chin for treatment of the neck. Sculpting of this type will lead to a better more defined jaw line and improvement in the appearance of the neck as well.
Often liposuction is necessary and leads to improved results. Dr. Waldman is very careful in avoiding removal of too much fat, however! We utilize a small incision under the chin and may even tighten the muscles of the upper neck at the same time.
As with any surgical procedure there are risks and potential complications. In the hands of a competent plastic surgeon, major complications are infrequent after facelifts and most patients are satisfied with their result. A careful consideration of the risks and benefits of any surgical procedure is an important part of the consultative process.