Facial Plastic Surgery, Ear, Nose and Throat

Facial Plastic Surgery

including Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery, Injectables, Chemical and Laser Peels, IPL, and Cosmetic Dermatology

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Is a Mini-Face Lift a Good Option for Those Who Don’t Want a Full Face Lift?

John M. Roesler, M.D.
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon

The mini-facelift is an old concept really – an idea that will always sound good, except that, unfortunately, it does not result in superior, or even good, lasting results.

The procedure differs from a traditional SMAS or deep-plane facelift in the following ways:

  • It is performed under local anesthesia, usually with oral sedation
  • The dissection (the ‘lift’ part of the procedure) is superficial, usually below the skin only
  • Surgeons performing mini-facelifts usually have not undergone the training required to perform more complex facelift procedures
  • Note, however, that the length and position of the resulting scar is actually nearly identical to a traditional facelift!

Patients should be aware that dermatologists, ophthalmologists, oral surgeons, and “cosmetic surgeons” (this is not even a recognized specialty by the American College of Graduate Medical Education [ACGME]) may not have the extensive training required to safely or properly perform a traditional facelift.

Back to why I do not recommend or perform mini-facelifts; most patients who are good candidates for a facelift need significant skin and underlying soft tissue repositioning. The superficial nature of the mini-facelift dissection places significant tension on the skin, rather than on the stronger underlying fascial layer as in a traditional facelift, and the skin rapidly stretches and sags back to its original state.

I strongly advise patients who are uncomfortable with the idea of a traditional surgical facelift to consider a series of skin rejuvenation prodecures (light chemical peels with microdermabrasion) in combination with injectables, such as Botox, Juvederm, and Radiesse. These procedures are truly minimally invasive and can deliver fantastic, albeit temporary, results.

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