As a Santa Barbara cosmetic surgeon, I am often asked, “What is the most ‘popular’ cosmetic surgery procedure?” and it interestingly varies by the season of the year. However, one procedure that is popular all year long is a minimally-invasive Facelift (or mini-lift) because it can give most patients a lot of benefit but has less cost and downtime than a full facelift procedure. It can be done on both men and women and is often suggested when patients have early signs of aging or some recurrence of sagging / laxity following a facelift procedure done many years ago.
What is a minimally-invasive Facelift?
A mini-lift addresses sagging and some wrinkling in the lower two-thirds of the face. Some of the deeper fat, muscle, and connective tissues are able to be lifted and tightened. Skin is also removed and tightened. The approach I prefer has many of the benefits of a regular facelift and tends to “last” longer compared to a “suture lift” or purely endoscopic surgeries where tissue is merely “shifted”. Since there are smaller incisions and less extensive dissection, the result may be less dramatic than a full facelift but it will still be very noticeable and will always be “natural” looking.
Who is a good candidate for a Mini-Facelift?
The majority of mini-lift patients are in their late 30’s, 40’s or older. Patients should be in good general health but are bothered by signs of aging that are improved when one uses their finger tips to lift the skin in front of the ear canal. As a mini-lift does not deal with the eyes or forehead, those areas remain the same. However, patients may treat problems in the upper one-third of the face at the same time, if desired.
Is general anesthesia needed for a minimally-invasive Facelift?
Patients are always happy to hear that the minimally-invasive facelift, eye lift or forehead surgery can be very comfortably done using a combination of local anesthesia and oral or IV sedation. This method provides a nice relaxation and lack of awareness throughout the procedure and patients have no “hangover” feeling as is often seen after general anesthesia.
How would you describe the results of the mini-Facelift?
The goal of mini-lift surgery (as with any cosmetic procedure) is to have the patient look rejuvenated, rested, and “younger” but not “operated”. Specifically the cheek contour is restored and the jawline is more defined. We always want to have the patient look natural and not “done” … like a younger version of themselves. As we can’t stop the aging process, some relaxation will eventually occur, but the patient should always look better, even as time passes.
Contact my office, Cosmetic Surgery Center in Santa Barbara (805-563-0000), to schedule a minimally-invasive facelift consultation.