The ageing process stretches the ligaments that hold the skin of the face in position, and there is also a decrease in the natural fat that is present in the tissues. As a result of this process, the skin on the face, the brow and the neck begins to sag, and the overall challenge moves beyond the scope of cosmetic creams and potions. Patients try to avoid the visible signs of ageing including jowls, deep creases in the cheeks, wrinkles and bands in the neck. However, there is a wide range of severity for this condition, and some patients may not require a full facelift.
What are the patient preparations for a mini facelift?
Patients who smoke or take blood thinning medication such as aspirin and warfarin run a high risk of complications such as bleeding or wound infections and delayed wound healing. Nicotine should not be consumed in any form for six weeks before a facelift, and medication such as aspirin or warfarin should be suspended if this is not for an essential or life-threatening condition, at the appropriate time before surgery.
What does a mini facelift involve?
A “mini facelift” is usually carried out under general anaesthesia as a day case, or may involve one night in hospital. During surgery, there is a small tube drain placed beneath the skin to remove any blood or fluid that may collect following surgery, and a large padded bandage is placed around the neck and face. Before patient discharge, the drain is removed, and dressings are changed. Patients will usually be able to shower from the day following the operation. An outpatient appointment is arranged a week after surgery for removal of sutures.
How long does bruising and swelling last following the operation?
Bruising and swelling following surgery normally resolves within seven to ten days after the operation.
How much time do I need off work?
Most patients are able to return to work and to social activities within one to two weeks of the operation.
How long does the effect of a mini facelift last?
The beneficial effect of a mini facelift can last five to ten years following surgery; this procedure does not stop the ageing process, but can make the effects of ageing less obvious.
What are the complications of this procedure?
A mini facelift is a much less extensive procedure than a facelift, and thus subject to fewer complications.
Just as with any surgery, a small percentage of patients undergoing this procedure may experience complications – which include bleeding, haematoma (blood clot), infection, delayed healing of the wound, asymmetry and scars which are visible in the early postoperative period, but which normally fade in the first few months after surgery. Revisions are only very rarely required.