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A mini facelift corrects signs of aging in the lower face and may also be known by a variety of other names such as weekend facelift, S-lift, or limited incision facelift. Although specific details of these procedures may vary, they are variations of a mini facelift, which is so-named because of the decreased length of surgery and recovery time compared to conventional facelifts and the short s-shaped incision placed in front of the ear. Signs of aging in the face occur for many reasons, such as heredity, skin type, sun exposure and lifestyle choices. An aging face can give you a tired appearance or falsely express feelings. A mini facelift restores the youthful appearance of the lower face by correcting sagging skin and eliminating areas of excess fatty deposits along the jaw line. The best candidates for a mini facelift are typically between the ages of 40 and 55, with mild to moderate amounts of loose skin in the lower face. Individuals with significant amounts of loose skin may be better candidates for a conventional facelift.
How a Mini Lift Works
Much like a rubber band that has been over-stretched, the tissues in your face weaken over time, losing their resiliency and ability to maintain a firm, youthful position. Additionally, fat deposits, which normally give the face a soft, rounded appearance, migrate downward and are depleted, creating hollow areas. These changes create deep wrinkles, jowls, and loose skin in the lower portion of the face. During a mini facelift, a layer of tissue under the skin is repositioned and facial muscles are tightened.
Prior to the start of your procedure, you will be given one of three types of anesthesia to make you as comfortable as possible. General anesthesia causes you to sleep through the procedure; IV sedation causes you to relax, but you may not be entirely asleep; or the procedure may be done with local anesthesia, in which tiny injections numb the area surrounding the surgical site. A special type of fluid, called tumescent fluid, may be injected into the area in front of the ear. Tumescent fluid is a sterile saline solution that helps lift the skin from underlying tissues, and contains agents that prevent the sensation of pain and minimize bleeding.
Your surgeon will carefully draw a guideline starting from the hairline above the ear, descending in front of the ear and ending behind the earlobe. The narrow S-shaped section is cut away and then the skin is elevated. Sutures are used to pull the underlying fat and muscle toward the cheek bone, lifting the sagging jowls. The skin is gently pulled toward the ear and the incision is closed with fine sutures to conceal scars. The procedure is repeated on the opposite side of the face and the entire mini facelift procedure typically takes less than 2 hours.
Recovery and Results
You may be advised to wear a small bandage for two to three days and external sutures are removed in about one week. You can expect minor bruising and swelling following the procedure, and can usually resume normal activities within four to five days, or sooner. With this relatively quick procedure, and minimal recovery time, your appearance can be rejuvenated, giving you the youthful look that you desire.