Looking at a Mini-Lift
There are many terms for less extensive plastic surgery facelifts and they go by various names including S lift, mini-lift, as well as numerous trademark names such as QuickLift™, Lifestyle Lift™, and others. The S lift refers to an incision that is carried from the hairline above the ear extending behind the tragus (the cartilage in front of the opening of your ear canal) and gently sweeping in an S fashion to the ear lobe area. The S lift incision may minimally extend toward the hairline. After all, it’s not just about the incision but what’s done to the underlying tissue. These less extensive plastic surgery procedures fulfill a need for quicker recovery time for patients. Recovery time is important, however, in the end you, the patient, desire a natural result.
A mini-lift, is a less extensive procedure that can be performed on patients with early aging of the face. These patients are usually in their 40’s or 50’s. When you come in for a plastic surgery consultation, we will determine the best procedure for you, which is decided by the features you would like to improve and rejuvenate. The mini-lift may have to be combined with other procedures such as neck contouring to achieve your goal. Facial rejuvenation is not just about “tightening things up”, which is what used to be the goal. Now it is more about restoring youthful vitality to the face, which is why in some patients volume must be added with fat transplants to give them the results they seek.
Autologous fat transplant (meaning fat from your own body) is a procedure to restore volume to the aging face. The procedure has been around for a long time, but was abandoned since most or all of the fat reabsorbed into the body. In the 90’s it came back into practice since it was found that if very small quantities of fat could be deposited in an area that has good blood supply, the fat transplant would survive. In the past, large amounts of fat were injected into an area and the surrounding blood supply could not nourish this larger amount of fat and so the body reabsorbed it.
The fat is usually harvested from the abdominal or thigh area. It’s a relatively small amount of fat compared to body liposuction so there won’t be any change in the donor site. A successful transplant usually results in only about 30% of the fat surviving so there will initially be an overcorrection to allow for this amount of loss. The fat is used to fill in contours of the face and is not for fine lines. It works especially well for the cheek area and is less successful for the lips (an area of the face with a lot of movement). The important thing to remember is that aging results in loss of volume and fat transplants restore that volume.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MINI-LIFTS
How long is the recovery time?
It varies for each individual, but most patients return to normal function within a week.
How noticeable is a Mini-Lift?
Results vary, but a mini-lift can dramatically improve your look while maintaining your natural appearance.
How much does a Mini-Lift cost?
A mini-lift can be done without general anesthesia and can cost much less than more extensive procedures.