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Neck Lift Articles

01.26.09

Facelift or Mini-Facelift?

As we get older, our skin doesn’t quite look like it used to. Our skin loses its elasticity and firmness, and eventually develops wrinkles and loose skin, which can make us look old and tired. While some people don’t mind the aging process, others prefer to undergo Facelift or Mini-Facelift to improve their appearance.

Aging is inevitable and is most noticeable on the face. As the skin loosens on the face and neck, fine lines and crow’s feet begin to develop on the creases of the eyes. Fine lines eventually turn into deeper folds as the years of sun exposure and pull of gravity take effect.

A facelift, also known as rhytidectomy, works to improve the appearance of the entire face and neck, so you will be left with dramatic results. Facelift removes excess facial and neck skin and tightens the facial muscles. The result? Fewer wrinkles and a smoother, younger looking appearance. When combined with eyelid surgery, brow lift or chin or lip augmentation, facelift results are even more uniform and remarkable.

Unlike a facelift procedure, a mini-facelift does not target the entire face and neck. Instead, the goal of a mini-facelift is to target only the areas that a patient chooses. Patients that opt to have a mini-facelift may choose it as a preventative measure, when they notice small signs of aging. Other patients may have mini-facelift to correct the deeper lines on the side of their mouth or the sagging skin on their neck. No matter what their concern, mini-facelift can be focused to meet the needs of a patient’s concerns.

The facelift is performed on an outpatient basis. General anesthesia is administered, after which small incisions are made on parts of the face strategically to reduce the visibility of scarring. Excess skin is removed and facial muscles are tightened. A mini-facelift procedure is performed similarly, however, surgeons make fewer incisions and the surgery time is reduced.

Recovering from a facelift often involves bruising and swelling. Surgeons typically leave tubes in for a few days to ensure drainage. To remove the tubes and the stitches, patients return to their surgeon’s office after four to seven days of surgery. Patients are advised to rest and avoid strenuous activities so they can heal successfully. Results of surgery are generally noticed after a couple of months. Mini-facelift surgery patients experience a similar recovery period.

If you are trying to decide between a facelift or a mini-facelift surgery, ask yourself what you hope to gain from the procedure. Are you looking for subtle change or would you like a more dramatic look? Do you have a couple areas you would like to improve or would you prefer an overall improvement? If you want a subtle look with only a few areas, a mini-facelift could be the right procedure. If, however, you are looking for a more dramatic change to all areas of your face and neck, a facelift could be just what you need.

If you still feel confused – don’t worry. One great resource for helping you with your decision is speaking a board-certified plastic surgeon. Your plastic surgeon can give you all the answers you need, review the procedures with you, show you before and after photos of previous patients and advise you about which procedure will work best for your needs. It is important to make a confident, informed decision. Start by finding a board-certified plastic surgeon that you can schedule a consultation with today.


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