We will be the first to point out that word “mini” can be misconstrued when paired with “facelift.” There’s plenty of confusion in the marketplace about modern facial plastic surgery procedures like the mini facelift.
- Does it mean the procedure itself is “mini,” or less invasive than full facelifts of the past?
- Does the term imply that only a “mini” part of the face will undergo surgery?
- Can I request a mini lift for minimal results and downtime or a maxi lift for more serious signs of aging?
Dr. Brent J. Smith, a nationally renowned, board-certified, fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon, and his exceptional team at Smith Cosmetic Surgery are here to clear up these misconceptions—and put prospective patients at ease. There’s no doubt that the phrase “mini facelift” means different things to different people and is used in a variety of ways by surgical practices and patients.
What’s most important for those considering a facelift of any kind is to understand how your chosen surgeon defines and executes the mini lift. At Smith Cosmetic Surgery, we use the term more generally to describe how Dr. Smith’s artistic eye and microscopic incisions lead to more youthful-looking results with less downtime than a traditional full facelift.
The problems with full facelifts of the past
The problem with earlier, full facelift procedures is they were more rudimentary and less customizable to each face. This less-refined procedure often came with more swelling and a longer healing process.
It also meant that patients could end up with more pulled- and taught-looking results, because the surgery addressed signs of aging through tissues ranging from the neck to the forehead. Because the whole facial tissue structure was lifted upward rather than sculpted and contoured around muscles for your individual features, you could end up with a “look” similar to your neighbor’s.
But times have changed. Technology has advanced. And reputable plastic surgeons like Dr. Smith are using top-of-the-line skills that allow for professional sculpting and address only what a patient needs to look like his or her most natural self.
Mini facelifts address only what you need
A mini facelift at Smith Cosmetic Surgery means fewer and tinier incisions yet more natural, long-term results. The easiest way to think about a mini lift is as a “minimally invasive” facelift, because to achieve outstanding results Dr. Smith typically only needs to address the cheek and neck areas.
Because the muscles in these areas are so crucial to facial structure, manipulating complementary cheeks and neck can have a profound impact on the entire appearance of the face. Rather than elevating only the skin, as many people think a facelift does, a modern mini facelift works through the underlying support of the face: the muscles.
“Skin doesn’t like to be under tension, and if we only addressed the skin you wouldn’t be happy with your results 6 or 12 months down the line,” explains Dr. Smith. “Instead we need to elevate the muscles in the cheeks, which are continuous with the neck area, to achieve the kind of long-lasting results that people tell their friends about.”
Why just the lower half of the face?
Gravity plays a big part. As we age, our muscles, tissues and overlying skin begin to sag downward with gravitational pull—and time. We also lose volume, which leaves the face looking sunken or hollow. The mini facelift is ideal because everyone can improve the lower features of the face. No one is immune to gravity, and surgery is the only way to address its aging effects.
That said, just like the full facelifts of the past didn’t provide a universal fix, neither will a mini facelift if we don’t consult about each patient’s special needs and concerns. That’s why Dr. Smith speaks with every prospective patient before booking a mini facelift or other facial plastic surgery. “We have to listen to their concerns and counsel them on what’s going to give them the best result,” he says.
During a consultation, people often ask if they are the right age for a mini facelift. Our answer to that common question is always the same: There is no “right” age for plastic surgery, because people age differently based on their heredity, backgrounds, lifestyles and environmental exposure.
“There’s nothing magical about waiting until you are, say, 65,” Dr. Smith says. “We have performed mini facelifts on people ranging in age from 28 to 88 at Smith Cosmetic Surgery. The right time for a facelift is when you start to focus on something specific, like the squaring off of your face or the bands in your neck, every time you look in the mirror in the morning.”
However, even when a patient has made the decision to move forward with a facelift consultation, there’s one concern that stands out the most: Will I still look like myself?
Dr. Smith puts that fear to rest daily. “A lot of these fears stem from TV and Hollywood, where people have been ‘overdone’ with plastic surgery,” Dr. Smith says. “Our philosophy is we’d rather err on being conservative. I want to complement the nice features you already have.”
If you are curious about how you’d look after a mini facelift, please call us to request a complimentary consultation at 888-218-4479 or contact us online.
During your consultation, Smith Cosmetic Surgery’s individual computer imaging will give you a preview of your personal surgical results.