MINI – FACELIFT
The following is information regarding face lift surgery which is important to review, understand and discuss with family or friends before choosing to proceed with this surgery.
GOALS OF FACE LIFT SURGERY: The goal of face lift surgery is to partially reverse the signs of aging which are due to skin laxity, fat accumulation, and loss of facial contour due to skin sagging. Some wrinkles will be “effaced” or smoothed out by the procedure, but deep crevices and creases, particularly around the nose and lips, may be only partially improved. If the bony contour of the face has become blunted due to loose skin or excess fat, this will be improved through the face lift procedure. In any given patient, these goals may only be partially met.
LIMITATIONS OF THE PROCEDURE: The face lift procedure does not affect the forehead, eyes, or upper lip. In addition deep wrinkles, skin blemishes, and scars will not be improved. The procedure cannot create younger skin nor can it alter developmental asymmetries or prevent continued aging. It is important to realize that this procedure does not make you “look younger” but gives you a refreshed, more youthful look for your age. The effects of the face lift may be present for up to 5-10 years, but eventually the aging process will cause a recurrence of the original condition.
ALTERNATIVES TO THE PROCEDURE: Face lift surgery is an elective procedure designed to help reverse some signs of facial aging. Without the surgery, the face will continue to age as expected. In certain instances, a full face lift procedure may be required to affect significant improvement. Conversely, chemical peels, laser treatments, or suction lipectomy without face lift surgery may be alternatives in some patients.
SURGICAL TECHNIQUE/ ANESTHESIA/ RECOVERY: Mini face lift surgery is generally performed through incisions in front and behind the ear. Through these incisions, the skin of the cheek, jaw line, and neck is elevated from the underlying supporting layers are then pulled upward and fixed in place with sutures. This results in a tightening of the skin and facial structures. In addition, obvious fat pockets overlying the jaw line and underneath the chin are frequently tightened in the midline to sharpen the chin and jaw angle. Excess skin is then removed and the incisions in front of and behind the ear are closed with sutures. The procedure can be combined with upper face procedures such as forehead lift or eyelid surgery. The procedure may be performed in the hospital or the surgery center. The procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia with heavy intravenous sedation. An overnight stay may be recommended to observe the extensive areas of dissection for possible bleeding. The facial sutures are usually removed around one week after surgery. There is considerable swelling and bruising of the facial tissues resulting in black and blue marks and facial distortion. The swelling will greatly subside within 10 to 14 days. There may be some residual swelling for several months following the surgery. It is generally recommended that at least a 2 week absence from work to be expected. In addition, physical activity, particularly bending and vigorous exercise be curtailed for 3-6 weeks following surgery. It is possible to wash one’s hair 48 hours after surgery. Makeup can be worn starting 8-10 days following surgery. The entire surgical procedure takes approximately 4 hours. Blood loss is generally minimal and a transfusion is rarely required.