Patients often want the results of a facelift at my Albany, NY, practice without undergoing a traditional facelift procedure. They hear the name “weekend facelift,” also called a mini facelift, and think it’s a quick and easy solution to all signs of facial aging.
Unfortunately, this is a common misconception. I’ll use this post to distinguish the different types of facelift procedures.
Most people in good overall health are good facelift candidates. Any health conditions that make it more difficult to heal are the primary concern. A traditional facelift corrects signs of aging in the middle and lower face, such as jowls, hollowed out cheeks, and wrinkled neck skin. Many patients ask if they’re the “right age” for a facelift. Even though the majority of facelift patients are in their 50s and 60s, someone in their early 40s or late 70s may still benefit from facelift surgery.
The surgery can be performed while you are under general anesthesia. I make incisions along the hairline and near the ears, which fade and are inconspicuous once they are healed. In some cases, I also make a short incision under the chin to tighten the skin on the neck. During the procedure, I tighten and adjust the underlying muscles and often remove small fat deposits. For some individuals, I may add small fat deposits using fat grafting to fill out wrinkles and add volume to areas that need it, such as the cheeks or under-eye area. Then I re-drape the skin and close the incisions.
Most patients experience some soreness for the first few days, but this can be remedied with prescribed pain medications. Plan to return to work and other light daily activities after about 2 weeks, but strenuous activities and workouts take more time. If you exercise at a gym, wait several weeks before resuming full weightlifting and high-intensity training sessions.
The same general criteria I’ve described for traditional facelift candidates holds true for patients considering mini facelifts. You must be in overall good health—in both body and mind. Having realistic expectations for surgery and understanding that this procedure is not as extensive as a traditional facelift is important. I typically only recommend “weekend facelifts” for people with early signs of aging. These signs typically reveal themselves in the cheeks. If you’re also concerned about sagging neck skin, you’ll need a full facelift.
Many patients choose to have their procedure done in my office under local anesthesia. The surgery time is shorter and less invasive, general anesthesia isn’t necessary. Mini facelift incisions are a bit smaller, and are usually hidden behind the ears.
Most patients return to work in a week or less. There is slightly less bruising and swelling than there would be for a full facelift, so patients often feel comfortable returning to the normal daily activities sooner.
If you want to learn more about facelifts or weekend facelifts, or think you may be a good candidate for one of the two, request a consultation or give us a call at (518) 328-3330.