With the passing of time, it’s only natural that your face will show signs of ageing. However, genetic disposition, previous exposure to the sun and your general lifestyle all contribute to how soon, how severely, and in which places your skin will start to age.

Some people show stronger signs of ageing sooner than others, and this can have a negative impact on self-esteem. Crows feet, deep folds, creases and lines, along with loosening skin and sagging cheeks and jowls along the jaw line can combine to make someone look much older than they actually are.

Many women are happy to age naturally, but others wish to prolong a more youthful look, and consider various options, including facelift cosmetic surgery, to help them achieve this.

This article on mini face lift cosmetic surgery is written by Jackie Griffiths, a freelance journalist who writes health, medical, biological, and pharmaceutical articles for national and international journals, newsletters and web sites.

What is it?

A mini facelift (sometimes called an ‘S lift', ‘soft facelift’ or ‘short scar facelift’) is less invasive than a full facelift. It doesn’t always require a general anaesthetic and the scars are smaller and less numerous. Recovery time is shorter, and it is not as expensive as a full facelift. A mini facelift affects the skin of the neck and lower third of the face.

The effects of a mini facelift can last for up to ten years, and tend to make people look eight to ten years younger. The natural ageing process continues as before but is “set back” ten years.

What does it involve?

The main aim of a mini facelift is to create a more youthful appearance, and is often performed in conjunction with forehead or eyelid surgery to address the upper areas of the face. Results can be dramatic and very pleasing, making a big difference to your self-esteem. You will look refreshed and more youthful but there will be no obvious evidence that a surgeon has been at work.

There are two major procedures for a mini facelift; the first addresses the area of the lower face, such as the mouth and lower cheeks (anterior mini facelift); the second concentrates on the upper neck and lower jowls (posterior mini facelift).

Anterior mini facelift – local anaesthetic is administered to numb the area and an incision is made in front of the ear, in the sideburns and the natural curve lines just before the ear. The skin is then detached from the underlying tissues so that fat can be removed and muscles tightened. To close the incision, the surgeon pulls the skin to tighten it gently, removing any excess, and sealing the cut with sutures. The result gives a well-balanced effect with scars that heal quickly, blend into the hairline, and are not visible without minute examination. Hair can be worn off the face and cut short without revealing any surgical evidence of having had a mini facelift.

Posterior mini facelift – this technique concentrates on the upper neck and lower jowl areas. As with the anterior method, local anaesthetic is administered to numb the area before the surgeon makes an incision behind the ears and into the hairline. The skin is gently pulled upwards and backwards to lift any sagging neck skin and jowls, and sealed with sutures. Excess skin is removed and again the scars heal quickly and well, and are completely hidden within the hair, even if it’s worn in a short style away from the face.

Both procedures last about an hour.

The advantages

  • Limited scarring
  • Immediate youthful appearance without the dramatic ‘full facelift’ look
  • A boost to self-esteem
  • Defined jaw line
  • Limited downtime
  • May not need a general anaesthetic
  • Cheaper than a full facelift
  • Natural-looking results
  • Neck-chin angle restoration (removal of jowls or double chin etc)

For whom is it suitable?

Mini facelift cosmetic surgery produces best results when performed on people (men or women) aged between forty and sixty years old, where skin still has reasonable tone but elasticity and laxity is fading from around the lower face and jaw. Patients often complain of looking tired, heavy, and sad, even when they feel happy and full of energy. A mini facelift is ideal for people who want to remove minor sagging or drooping around the lower face and upper neck regions.

Best viewed as a ‘maintenance procedure,’ mini face lift is more subtle than a full facelift but gives good results that can last for up to ten years, without it being obvious you’ve had any work done.

Other reasons for having a mini facelift include:

  • You want to avoid the more complex operation of the full facelift
  • You have recently lost a lot of weight and want to tighten loose skin
  • You have already had a full facelift and want a ‘touch-up

You should be generally healthy and fit, and ideally not smoke, or drink large amounts of alcohol. It’s also beneficial if you have a strong jaw and cheek bone structure underneath any sagging as this will provide a very good foundation.

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