What is a mini-facelift?

The problem with the question is that for each of us, what constitutes a mini facelift or full face lift is different. For some surgeons the difference between a mini and full facelift have to do with the length of the scar, for some the difference has to do with whether or not the deep tissue (SMAS) is supported. There is a trend in plastic surgery for surgeons to “invent” surgeries. This is no where more apparent than in facelifting. So here’s the truth about what is going on. Surgeon X decides to name “his” facelift a “superspeedy lift”, or whatever. Other adjectives including “quick”, “lifestyle”, “swift” and basically anything else that can imply a quick and easy procedure have been used. Surgeon X now claims they are the only surgeon experienced in that specific technique. In actuality true, every surgeon does any procedure in their own unique way. But in reality, the important parts of the procedure are actually not unique at all. These are all variants of the “S” lift or “MACS” lift. The trick is in the marketing. Why would anyone NOT want a procedure that sounds so simple?

For me, what I call a mini face lift , is a procedure that is appropriate for about 80% of people. The other 20% need a more aggressive lift. My mini-facelift involves an incision from the hairline to just behind the earlobe (hiding well within the creases of the ear and side burn) with elevation of the skin for approximately 5-6 cm (about half of the cheek down to the jawline). Liposuction (PAL) is done on the neck. Sutures are used to reshape and lift the deep tissues (the most important part of the procedure). The skin is lifted mostly vertically (opposite the direction of sagging with aging) and removed and closed without tension. Similar to a MACS lift. I guess I could name it a ”no pain face lift” and probably have people lining up to get it but for now I will continue to keep things above board and hopefully at least my patients can see through the smoke and mirrors.

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