Your face can say a lot about you. When you’re happy, your smile lets the world know, when you’re sad, your tears can let the world know. As you get older, your face might start to betray you. You might feel happy, but loose skin and wrinkles can make you look angry or sad. You might feel youthful, but your face is telling the world a different story.
Fortunately, today you have more options than ever before when it comes to dealing with the signs of aging that are making your face work against you. You’re no longer limited to a full surgical facelift, for example. You can choose a completely non-invasive procedure or a less involved surgery, such as a mini facelift. The option most appropriate for you depends on the final result you are expecting.
What You Can Expect During Surgery
One way to look at a minifacelift is as a slightly more involved neck lift. While a neck lift can be ideal for a person who has some extra or loose skin in the neck area, but not elsewhere, a mini facelift is ideal for someone who has loose skin in the neck and some looseness in the jaw or jowls. During the surgery, the skin of the neck and jowls are lifted. The incision runs under the neck and in front of the ears. People who have some extra fat in the neck or jowl area might also have liposuction performed during a mini facelift.
A facelift is a considerably more involved surgery. The surgeon will not only lift and reposition the skin, he will also reposition muscle and fat in the area. As with a mini facelift, he might perform liposuction to remove extra fat from the face or neck. Alternatively, he might perform fat transfer to add volume and fullness to the mid-cheek area, if needed. The incisions made during a facelift are usually hidden in the hairline and behind the ears.
The Degree of Aging
If you know that you want to have surgery but aren’t sure which one is right for you, the degree of aging on your face is usually the determining factor. The fewer signs of aging you have, the less involved your surgery needs to be. For example, if you have just a small amount of sagging or you are just beginning to develop jowls, a mini facelift can help reverse the process and keep you from needing a more extensive procedure for years to come.
But, if you already have a considerable amount of aging, such as pronounced jowls, a double chin or a turkey neck, going the mini facelift route might not be sufficient. You’ll see some results from the mini procedure, but they won’t be as extensive as they would if you had chosen a full facelift .
How Long Will Recovery Take?
Another factor when deciding which surgery is right for you is the recovery and healing time . .
Typically, you can go back to your regular life about two weeks after a mini facelift, compared to about three weeks after a full facelift. In both cases it is extremely important to avoid smoking for at least twos after surgery to ensure proper healing.
How Long Will Results Last?
Another big thing to consider is how long your results will last after each type of surgery. The answer really depends on a number of factors. If you have a mini facelift early enough, don’t smoke, avoid excess sun exposure and stick to a healthy diet, you can see results that last for years and years. The same is true of a full facelift — your results might last for up to a decade afterwards, as long as you avoid activities that can age you. In either case, you can decide to have an additional procedure years later, in order to maintain your results.
If you are still unsure whether a full or mini facelift procedure is right for you, Dr. GeorgeBitar at the Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute near Washington, DC, can help you narrow down your choices and decide which option best suits you. To schedule a consultation, call (703) 206-0506 today.
George Bitar, MD, FACS is an award-winning, board-certified cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon, the Founder and Medical Director of Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Virginia. He specializes in the latest surgical and minimally invasive techniques to scar management and reduction. Dr. Bitar is involved in groundbreaking research and education in plastic surgery and has authored numerous articles, abstracts, and chapters.