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Am I a Good Candidate for a Mini Facelift?

Facial rejuvenation continues to be extremely popular, as we continue to live longer and maintain active lifestyle and work longer.  Facelifts are always viewed with anxiety due to the common fear of surgery and prolonged healing people worry will occur.  Hence, the surge in popularity of non invasive or minimally invasive facelifts.  We all want to look younger, but not necessarily undergo the scary prospect of having our face cut open.  While facelifts are very safe and recovery surprisingly not difficult, many people still prefer to explore less invasive options.  There are many minimally invasive options to lift the face, but they don’t necessarily give the same results as surgery.  As these non surgical options become used more, we are seeing more data come out on their results.  Unfortunately, there continues to be a real high percentage of failure to deliver what the patient wants.  Roughly 20-40% failure rate is common.

With more patients experiencing disappointment with energy based devices, fillers, threading, etc, many people are now beginning to reconsider a surgical facelift.  However, these people are still uneasy about the risks of complications and downtime involved.  Hence, I’ve seen an increase in interest in a mini facelift.  This term suggests a facelift that is less involved than a traditional facelift, and has quicker recovery.  You have to be careful when you see the term “mini facelift.”  As a matter of fact, you should be aware there are lots of marketing ploys out there where various surgeons will market some “unique” facelift technique and call it some interesting name like S lift, MACS lift, etc.  All facelifts in today’s age address the skin and, critically, the SMAS tissue underneath your skin.  The SMAS, or superficial aponeurotic system, is the key flap that must be lifted to achieve a good facelift result.  But there are multiple variations of what you do to the SMAS.  One can cut and suture the SMAS to pull it up.  One can use sutures to just pull up the SMAS onto itself without resecting muscle.  Or one can elevate the SMAS flap in one unit.  There is no one technique that is superior to another, despite what you may hear a surgeon say.  I know of many world class surgeons who do facelifts differently and achieve great results.  If there truly was one gold standard or superior technique, then every surgeon would be doing the same thing.  A good analogy is a chef cooking a great delicious.  I’m sure everyone knows of different excellent restaurants.  Each of those restaurant’s chef cooks his or her dishes differently.  But the end result is same- a wonderful meal.

The most important thing about a minifacelift is the word “mini.”  Mini means small.  When I offer a minifacelift, this small idea refers to the actual incision I use.  In a traditional face and neck lift, my incision is large.  It extends from your temple, around your ears, and into your posterior neck.  There is also another incision under your chin to address your neck laxity.  A mini facelift in my office simply refers to a much smaller incision that runs just from the temple hairline, around the front of your ear and stops a bit behind your lobule.  The smaller incision means less access to your SMAS, and I can’t address your neck.  A mini facelift is a shorter surgery, has slightly quicker recovery since there is less dissection and manipulation done.  In addition, there are significantly less risks than a traditional facelift.  But it’s crucial you understand that not everyone is a candidate for a minifacelift.  Because a smaller incision is used and there is less access to the SMAS, that means the minifacelift is a good option only for those who have EARLY signs of aging—specifically jowling.  If you are bothered by early jowling, but otherwise have good neck skin and profile, then you may be a good candidate.  I see many patients with these criteria come in for minifacelifts.  The average age is mid 40’s to late 40’s- early 50’s.  Of course, we all age differently so these numbers are not the main determinant of getting a minifacelift.  But in my opinion, a minifacelift for a typical candidate is the best option to rejuvenate their face while keeping them look natural—without fear of being over filled or have unnatural pull.  Furthermore, a minifacelift should last about 8-10 years.  Many patients will tell me this duration makes a facelift a more cost effective option than getting threads and fillers every year.

The best way to determine if you are a candidate for a minifacelift, or maybe even a formal facelift is to see a board certified facial plastic or plastic surgeon.  An in office consultation allows the surgeon to carefully examine your face and neck and see whether you are a good candidate for surgery.

For more information about San Antonio facelift surgery, please visit our interactive website at Dr. Kenneth Yu Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is a qualified team of experts serving the San Antonio, Texas area. To schedule a consultation, please contact our Concierge Patient Coordinator at (866) 574-1719 or