Mini Lift Procedure (before & after). To see more results photos, click here.
At The Blackledge Face Center, we offer a mini face lift option, a more minimally invasive procedure involving lesser degrees of lifting and facial restoration. This enables you to refresh the regions that appear worn while maintaining your natural features everywhere else. A mini face lift provides you with a more subtle rejuvenation that helps you look as young as you feel. The mini facelift tightens the skin of the neck and lower face, restoring the clean jawline that you had in your youth. The only difference is that you have much less “downtime” compared to a traditional face lift. In fact, this procedure is often referred to as a “weekend facelift” due to its extremely short recovery period.
Am I A Candidate for a Mini Face lift?
Ideal candidates for a mini face lift are in the early stages of the aging process and do not want to wait or undergo more extensive facial plastic surgery down the road. Most mini face lift patients are in their 40s or 50s, have good skin elasticity, and wish to correct minor sagging around the cheeks and/or jowls. However, many patients who are older may want desire a mini facelift just to avoid the downtime of a facelift.
Mini Face lift Procedure
Dr. Blackledge will place the incision around the edge of the hairline and alongside the front edge of the ear. Your skin is elevated for a smooth distance, enough to gasp and tighten the cheek muscles. Excess skin is removed and the wound is closed. Filling agents are used to restore youthful shape and volume where the cheek is flattened by early age fat.
Recovery and Follow-Up Care
The primary benefit of choosing a mini face lift over a more extensive facial procedure is that you will experience a very short recovery period. Your results will be apparent almost immediately. You should be up and about in just a few short days. Most patients can resume light daily activities within 1-2 days. We recommend that you avoid strenuous exercise for 1-2 weeks. Slight swelling and bruising are normal and usually subside in 7-10 days.
Will There Be Visible Scars?
All of the incisions, closed with tiny stitches, are made in the natural skin folds inside and behind the ear. Any temporary bruising may be camouflaged with makeup. With time, scars typically fade and may become almost imperceptible.
How Is A Mini Face Lift Different Than a Traditional Face Lift?
Performed under local anesthesia, a Mini Face Lift offers patients a much quicker recovery time. Also, a mini face lift is designed to address just the areas around the mouth and neck (the jowls.)
What to Expect During the Recovery
Even though the recovery period technically starts immediately after surgery, there are several things that you can do before your surgery day to make the recovery period smoother. During your consultation, we will talk to you about the importance of being physically and mentally prepared for surgery to ensure that we get the best results possible. Now back to the recovery period. Immediately after surgery, compression dressing is placed around your face and head to reduce swelling and removed the following morning. You have the option of either staying over night or going home. This decision will be discussed with you at the time of consultation. Most patients sleep the remainder of the day and night after surgery. The following morning the dressing will be removed and at this point you will be taught how to keep the incisions around your ears clean with peroxide swabs and then moist with ointments. All of these measures allow for a more pleasing scar. The first day after surgery is strictly a “bed rest” day. Most patients feel better than expected, so the temptation is to “over do” it on this first day. However, patients have less bruising and swelling if they rest with their head elevated on the first day. Swelling is typically mild to moderate reaching its maximum on the third postoperative day, and then it starts to decline. We allow you to resume limited activities and also apply makeup by day four. Stitches are removed on day seven, and most people are presentable to the general public (with camouflage makeup) by day ten. Of course, this varies with the individual healing process. All of the “do’s and don’ts” for facelift surgery will be given to you separately.
Bruising is expected after any kind of surgery. The amount that you bruise is extremely individualized – some people will bruise more than others. However, with every patient, we can expect a reduction in the amount that you bruise by taking Bromelain during the preoperative and postoperative period. We encourage you to drink at least 8 glasses of water each day during your recovery period to flush the bruising out of your system. Our experience with neck lift surgery is that the combination of Bromelain and water intake will reduce the amount of bruising that you normally would have had.
During the recovery period, you will notice that your bruising changes colors. All bruises initially appear red and change to a purplish hue. By day five, the majority of your bruises will have changed to a green and then yellow color. Once you have reached the yellow stage, you are almost “bruise free.”
Just like bruising, expect swelling. The day after surgery, once the dressing is removed, swelling will actually increase over the next day. Typically, swelling begins to decrease on the third day after surgery. We often get the question, “what can I do to reduce swelling?” You will be scheduled during the recovery process for a procedure called lymphatic massage, which works to reduce swelling. Our estheticians are trained to manually massage the swelling out of your face and into the neck area. Lymphatic massage has been proven to significantly reduce postoperative swelling. I usually do not recommend ice packs. Remember that there will be areas on your face that are numb initially after surgery. You can actually “freezer-burn” your skin if you have an ice pack over an area that is numb.
It is best to sleep in an upright position with your head at least above the level of your heart for the first two weeks after surgery. This helps to reduce swelling and also bruising. The best beds are usually either a recliner or an incline pillow. Both of these keep the head and shoulders in a natural position. If you try to sleep with your head elevated with pillows, you wind up sleeping in an unnatural position and develop muscle spasms in your shoulders.
You may begin light walking on the fourth day after surgery. In fact, we usually encourage this because it helps to improve your circulation, which in turn gets rid of bruising and swelling quicker. You can gradually increase the intensity of your walking over the next few days as your body tolerates it. Your body will tell you how much exercise is enough. We usually recommend that you refrain from any competitive sports such as tennis or golf for at least two weeks. When it comes to exercise, don’t pull against any tight sensations that you may have.
A popular question is “how much pain will I have after a mini lift?” Most patients will tell you that they had little to no pain after surgery. The common response is that everything felt “tight.” This is usually due to swelling and the tight sensation begins to subside after about 2 – 3 weeks. Patients are given prescriptions prior to surgery for pain medicine and are encouraged to take theme as directed for discomfort. However, most patients switch to Tylenol soon after surgery.
Because of the tight sensation in the cheek and neck after surgery, you will be advised to stay on a soft diet for at least the first week after surgery. Any foods that do not require aggressive chewing (such as soups) will make the first week a comfortable experience.
When Will I Look Presentable?
Obviously, this is a very individualized answer. The average patient is able to go back in public without being obviously swollen or bruised by about 3 – 5 days.