Mini Facelift

The weekend facelift

Commonly called the "weekend facelift," the mini facelift is an attractive alternative to surgical correction of aging facial skin. The procedure rejuvenates the face for a fraction of the cost of surgery, with far less risk and recovery time. A relative newcomer to the world of cosmetic surgery, the weekend facelift is quickly becoming very popular with both sexes.

The Cost of a Mini Facelift

Mini facelift pricing varies from surgeon to surgeon and region to region, but it is invariably far less than a full facelift. This because mini facelift surgery is much less invasive, takes much less time and uses fewer anesthetics. You also don't need to remain in the hospital or clinic for long once the procedure is complete, which helps keep costs dramatically lower.

Patient Evaluation

Generally speaking, mini facelift surgery is most effective on patients who are just beginning to experience the initial signs of aging. Because the procedure is less invasive, it is also used only to treat relatively minor age-related symptoms. If you have minor droops or sags in your skin, this procedure may be right for you, if you are in good overall health and don't suffer from any circulatory system disorders.

Mini Facelift Surgery Procedures

What separates the mini facelift from other cosmetic surgery procedures is that incisions are kept to an absolute minimum. Broadly speaking, there are two techniques used in mini facelifts: endoscopic and non-endoscopic.

  • An endoscopic weekend facelift uses three or more tiny incisions and a small camera, which the surgeon uses to find his or her way around the area under treatment. The doctor is then able to reshape muscles and trim away fat with the help of a monitor.
  • Non-endoscopic procedures require longer incisions, which are used to fold back the skin to reveal the muscle structures underneath. Even so, these incisions are tiny compared to those used in full facelifts, and they carry a greatly reduced risk of scarring and infection.

Many variants based on these two techniques exist. The European mini facelift, for example, focuses on skin and muscle dissection and a natural re-draping of the skin. An anterior mini facelift can be used if you want to improve the appearance of the lower part of your face, and a two stitch mini facelift is a noninvasive solution for treating nasolabial folds and saggy cheek lines.

Risks of Mini Facelifts

Though the risks involved with this procedure are not nearly as worrisome as those presented by full facelift surgery, all surgical procedures carry a degree of uncertainty. The most common risks of weekend facelifts are:

  • Bruising
  • Allergies to the anesthesia
  • Swelling
  • Scarring
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection
  • Clotted blood at the incision site(s)

In addition, the following complications have been observed in a small minority of patients:

  • Broken capillaries, which may require subsequent laser surgery to correct
  • Skin discoloration, which may or may not resolve spontaneously
  • Facial stiffness
  • Nerve damage, which may or may not be temporary
  • Loss of skin or hair in the treated area

You should discuss all risks as well as benefits with your surgeon prior to signing any consent forms.

Recovering from a Weekend Facelift

Normal recovery time is just 48 to 72 hours, which is where the procedure gets its "weekend facelift" moniker. Your actual recovery time will vary, though, depending on whether or not you experience any infections or healing complications.

After the procedure, you should avoid overexposure to the sun and make sure you moisturize and care for your skin diligently. If you do, you should be able to enjoy the benefits of the procedure for five to seven years.