The mini facelift is an anti-aging procedure used for facial rejuvenation. The mini facelift procedure embodies a fundamental principle of plastic surgery – the solution (treatment, operative procedure, surgical technique) is adapted to the patient’s problem. The latter is characterized by the degree of facial aging, the specific anatomic changes required for successful facial rejuvenation, the biologic (not chronologic) age of the patient, his or her willingness to accept specific risk profiles inherent in different cosmetic surgery procedures, the acceptable length of the recovery period and not least by financial considerations (how much is the patient willing to invest for what type of result ?).
Nowadays numerous names exist for different facelift variations. These buzz words originate uniformly from a marketing strategy and not from an actual novelty of the operative technique. All and any facelifts belong to one of two groups: “classic” facelift procedures completely elevate the skin envelope in the entire front of the neck whereas mini facelift procedures do not. Mini facelift type procedures are currently the more popular variants and marketed very intensely under labels such as short scar facelift, Quicklift, lifestyle lift or MACS (minimum access cranial suspension) lift. From a patient’s perspective there is little or no difference. A mini facelift is a reduced version of the classic facelift, where the incision to access the lower parts of the face and remove excess skin is made in front of the ear only resulting in lifting of the jowls along the lower jaw. Contouring of the neck is performed with liposuction if warranted. The recovery period is relatively short – less than a week – and the two to two and a half hour procedure can frequently be performed in twilight anesthesia as an outpatient foregoing the need for a general anesthetic in classic facelifts.
Ideally, a mini facelift is used in two situations: younger clients with less pronounced facial aging concerned about visible but not excessive jowls and loss of the crisply defined transition between lower jaw and neck and older clients with more advanced facial aging, in whom the optimum result would be achieved with a classic facelift but who desire a less extensive procedure for a variety of reasons (limited financial resources, cannot take time off for longer recovery, do not accept the risk profile, do not want to undergo a general anesthetic). In other words, a mini facelift is an ideal procedure for somebody accepting the more limited correction of facial aging in exchange for a shorter recovery period, lower operative risk and less expensive procedure.
A mini facelift is also a truly ideal procedure for facial rejuvenation in Caribbean ethnicities. The onset of facial aging is more delayed and less pronounced, so a classic facelift is not even as often indicated objectively as in clients from Europe or North America. Facial aging in the Caribbean is manifested more as a descent and laxity of the deeper soft tissues of the face e. g. jowling, and not as skin problems such as wrinkling. There is thus less skin redundancy, which can easily be removed with a mini facelift. In my opinion the skeleton of the face also ages slower in Caribbean ethnicities than Caucasians and there is thus more durable support by the bony framework to provide fullness and a youthful facial appearance. Scars are of course a much bigger issue in clients with dark skin. Short scar procedures such as a mini facelift definitely do lower the risk of problems with unfavorable scarring. The incision remains in front of the ear, where the risk of bad scarring is very low, even in dark Afro-Caribbeans.
Regardless of the ethnicity of the client, a mini facelift can always be combined with blepharoplasty and chemical peeling to optimize the results and address issues in facial rejuvenation outside the scope of facelifting.
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