(Mini)mal Downtime… Maximum Results

Published: November 27, 2019
Category: Facelift

The Top 5 Questions about the “Mini” Facelift

The dramatic rise in the popularity of cosmetic injectables like Botox Cosmetic® and the Juvéderm™ family of dermal fillers over the past two decades has changed the face of aging (pun fully intended). Not only have these innovative products given patients more versatile solutions to address the visible signs of aging like wrinkles and volume loss, but many go as far as to prevent some of the future signs of aging. Yet, even with these remarkable advancements in facial fillers, there comes a time, or age, for many patients when only a surgical solution will deliver the degree of lifting and tightening they desire. When the youthful results you’re looking for can no longer be achieved by facial fillers, and you find that you simply aren’t ready to commit to, or in need of a full surgical facelift, the “mini” facelift may be the perfect stepping stone.

“Imagine the layers of your skin like a box spring and a mattress,” suggests Dr. Michael Philbin, a board-certified Plastic Surgeon with Edina Plastic Surgery. “The box spring is comprised of the deeper layers of our skin like collagen, elastin, fat, muscle, and bone,” he explains. “These layers give the surface of our skin, the mattress, a supportive and full foundation upon which to lay upon,” he continues. “When we are young, and our box springs are healthy and full, the surface of our skin appears full, smooth, firm, tight and hydrated, but as we age and the box spring wears down, we notice a loss of volume, wrinkles, sagging, and an overall thinning of the skin. Facial fillers can do wonders in restoring lost volume and support to your skin, but at some point, you will need to shift your focus from filling to lifting. “Mini” facelift surgery provides a sound segue to this next chapter in facial aging.”

#1 What exactly IS a “Mini” Facelift?

Although it may be defined differently by every plastic surgeon, a mini-facelift is generally described as a less invasive procedure than a full facelift that aims to lift and reposition sagging skin in the lower part of the face, especially the jowls and upper portion of the neck to address fullness and/or tissue laxity.

While it is still performed under general anesthesia, like full facelift surgery, a mini facelift has a shorter incision near each ear, making recovery time quicker and frequently, more comfortable.

#2 How do I know if I’m a good candidate for a mini facelift?

The mini facelift is ideal for healthy women and men who have mild to moderate facial sagging and heaviness in the lower portion of their faces. During consultation, mini facelift patients commonly site loose skin under their chin and jawline, heaviness and sagging in their cheek area, and lax skin in front of their ears as their chief concerns. If you find yourself touching the sides of your face each morning in the mirror and pulling the skin back towards your ears to visualize a more youthful you, you may be a great candidate for a mini facelift!

“The majority of my mini facelift patients fall between 40 – 55 years old,” shares Dr. Philbin. “Many are women who have been using dermal fillers for years and are looking for results with more longevity and lift,” he continues. “It’s important to note that if you have excessive sagging throughout your entire neckline, the mini facelift is not the ideal surgery for you. Although you will get tightening along your jawline and some degree in the upper neck, a full surgical facelift or neck lift may be more suitable if neckline rejuvenation is your main concern.”

#3 What are the key advantages of a mini facelift?

The main advantages of a mini facelift are shorter recovery time, less discomfort, less bruising, and shorter surgical scars. For many patients, these benefits make the mini facelift much easier to schedule around their busy lives and work schedules.

#4 What is the recovery like with a mini facelift?

“Recovery from your mini facelift will be faster and easier than traditional facelift surgery,” says Dr. Philbin. “Most patients experience only mild discomfort that is well controlled with oral pain medication for a few days post-procedure, and then Tylenol” he continues. “I tell my mini facelift patients to plan on at least seven days of downtime due to the potential swelling and bruising that may arise, but many feel and look well enough to return to work even sooner than this.”

#5 What kind of results can I expect with my mini facelift?

It is essential to have realistic expectations of what a mini facelift can and cannot achieve, as it is NOT a surgical neck lift or full facelift. The ideal outcome of your procedure is a tighter, smoother, more lifted, and youthful appearance to the lower half of your face and upper portion of your neck.

“We are very honest with our patients during the consultation process if we believe they are better suited for a full facelift and vice versus,” says Dr. Philbin. “Our goal is to create natural-looking results that last and address your specific concerns and match your overall lifestyle. A mini facelift is simply a fantastic option for those who find themselves in the “in-between” stage of Botox and fillers and full facelift surgery.”

Expect the results of your mini facelift to last just as long as a full surgical facelift, anywhere from 8 to 15 years. The longevity of your results is heavily influenced by how diligently you care for your skin. Many patients maintain and prolong their results with the quarterly use of Botox and Fillers throughout the year, and monthly skincare treatments with a Licensed Esthetician such as chemical peels, laser, and microneedling.

“I want my patients to know that there are less invasive procedures available to them than a full surgical facelift,” states Dr. Philbin. “I also want them to know that if they are no longer getting the results they want from fillers and are looking for longer-lasting results, that a mini facelift is an effective treatment to inquire about,” he continues. “The beauty of plastic surgery is that it can truly be tailored to the unique needs and desires of every individual. Sometimes the smallest changes lead to the most dramatic results in both life AND surgery!”

Are you interested in a tighter, firmer and more lifted looking lower face but don’t feel ready for a full facelift yet? Are you frustrated that you aren’t achieving the same results you used to with dermal fillers? You may be a candidate for a mini facelift. Schedule a consultation by calling (952) 925-1765 to find out!

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