By Annette Brooks
Have you ever looked into the mirror, gently pulled your lower face up and back, and wondered what you’d look like with a facelift?
If you have mild to moderate sagging skin in the lower face, jowling, and nasal labial folds (laugh lines), nothing compares to the dramatic and longer-lasting results a facelift can deliver, not even the latest high-tech medspa services. The question is, what type of facelift should you get? There are a few options to consider, ranging in scope and recovery time from less invasive procedures like a mini facelift to a deep plane facelift — the most comprehensive and transformative solution.
Less invasive facelifts go by various names, including the mini, the weekend, the short-scar, and the limited incision facelift. Don’t get hung up on marketing and branding. Instead, begin your journey with an open mind and schedule consultations with experienced plastic surgeons that offer both nonsurgical and surgical solutions. Having a full suite of options available helps ensure they can recommend the procedure designed to best meet your personal needs and goals. Ask them to compare and contrast options and what kind of results you can realistically expect.
The Procedure, Recovery, and Expected Results
Mini facelifts are typically performed in two hours or less and under local anesthesia if you prefer. Incisions start in the temporal lobe hair and stop at the front of the earlobe. Excess skin is removed to correct sagging and wrinkling, and in some cases, limited muscle tightening is performed. Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon to explain what will and won’t be done during your mini facelift and why.
Comparatively, traditional facelift incisions start in temporal lobe hair, extend down in front of and around the earlobe, and continue up the crease behind the ear before extending back into the lower scalp. During the procedure, the muscle layer beneath the skin is tightened, and excess skin is removed. Often, liposuction is used to help create a more youthful jawline.
Mini facelift patients usually heal quicker and experience less swelling and bruising than those who’ve had a traditional facelift. Expect to return to work and resume normal activities within a week but be prepared for swelling and bruising to take up to two weeks to disappear. We all respond to surgery differently and heal at different paces, so be patient. As with any procedure, carefully follow your plastic surgeon’s recovery and after-care instructions.
After healing, you will enjoy a revitalized and refreshed appearance. It will be as if your face stepped back in time and the aging clock reset. Results can last up to 10 years and sometimes longer, although remember that the natural aging process will continue.
What About a Thread Lift?
The thread lift is somewhere in between noninvasive facial rejuvenation services, dermal fillers, and a mini facelift. This minimally invasive, nonsurgical procedure lifts the skin of the lower face with dissolvable, medical-grade PDO (polydioxanone) “threads.” Carefully injected into dermal or subdermal tissues, the threads gently lift, reposition, tighten, and smooth sagging skin. Downtime is generally minimal, but you can experience some swelling and bruising up to five days after the procedure. Results are immediate and ongoing as the threads trigger new collagen and elastin production and can last one to three years. Repeat treatment is required after this to help maintain a more youthful-looking appearance.
The number of threads required to create the best results depends on your unique situation and goals. Thread placement and angle matter, so choosing an experienced, well-trained PDO thread lift provider is essential. Results can last one to three years before retreatment is required to help maintain a more youthful-looking appearance.