Before You Go
Questions to ask your doctor:
- Should I get a mini facelift or a full facelift?
- What about injectables instead?
Pre-procedure prep for mini facelift: Smoking can lengthen the recovery, so patients are instructed to stop smoking a week or two before the lift. Anti-inflammatory medications should also be avoided, as these can thin the blood and increase bruising.
What To Expect
There are several ways the incision can be made by the surgeon. Endoscopic mini face lifts, which require a high level of skill, involve the placement of a tiny, remotely controlled scalpel and camera into half-inch incisions made in the temple and inside the mouth.
Another method involves incisions made behind and inside the ear. Non-endoscopic mini facelift incisions are made along the hairline and are continuous - that is, the incisions (and the resulting scars) tend to be longer.
If the patient has excess or loose skin, however, the nonendoscopic procedure has an added bonus, as the skin can be tightened at the same time. The incisions are closed with sutures, staples, or surgical glue. You'll be sent home on the same day with bandages protecting your wounds.
Who should do it: A mini facelift can be completed by a board certified plastic surgeon. Facial plastic surgeons should be certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgery.
Duration: The minifacelift typically takes about 90 minutes to complete, giving it the somewhat facetious name of the "lunch hour facelift." The procedure is far too invasive to actually return to the workplace directly afterwards.
How Painful Is It?
Despite its name, there is nothing mini about the pain after this procedure. Though painkillers can help alleviate some of the aches, you'll likely feel sore for two to three weeks after a mini facelift.
Options for anesthesia: Mini facelifts can be done using either general or twilight anesthesia. (The latter is a mild dose of general anesthetic that leaves a patient sedated but not unconscious).