in Seattle, WA
What is a Mini Facelift?
Don’t let the term “mini” fool you — a mini facelift with Dr. Tarbet delivers big results. Mini facelifts address wrinkles and sagging skin on the lower third of the face. The surgery involves only small incisions and returns definition to the jaw. Dr. Tarbet offers a mini facelift in addition to a full facelift and a midface/cheek lift, giving her patients options depending on their unique facial aging.
Mini facelifts are the most common type of facelift performed today. Their focus on the lower third of the face is where people commonly show the most aging. Limited incisions are made around the ears, making recovery and scarring far less involved than a full facelift. Dr. Tarbet pays special attention to the underlying muscular system in this procedure. This provides significant results that still look natural.
Candidates For A Mini Lift
Mini facelifts are a great option for patients who feel as if they have lost definition in their jaw and have sagging skin around the mouth and lower cheeks. If you feel this area of your face is making you look older than you would like, a mini facelift with Dr. Tarbet could be a good procedure for you.
What’s The Difference Between A Mini Facelift And A Full Facelift?
A full facelift, as you would expect, delivers the most dramatic results. In a full facelift, a variety of areas of aging can be addressed: sagging around the cheeks, lines around the mouth, deep creases below the eyes, excess fat and skin under the chin, jowls, and more. Because of its wider focus, a full facelift requires a longer incision. This usually runs from the temple, down and around the ear, and down to the neck. Full facelifts are popular among patients with more dramatic signs of aging, those in their 50s and 60s.
A mini facelift targets a much smaller area, primarily treating the jaw, lower cheeks, and neck. Incisions are made from the lower ear, wrapping behind the ear, and ending in the hairline. Through these limited incisions, Dr. Tarbet is able to lift the muscles, remove unwanted fat deposits, and trim excess skin. Mini facelifts are more common with somewhat younger patients who don’t have dramatic overall facial sagging, those in their late 30s and 40s. They can head off more dramatic improvements later.
Obviously, recovery from a full facelift is more involved than from the more limited mini facelift. Scarring is more of an issue, as well.
Mini Facelift Procedure
For a mini facelift, Dr. Tarbet locates her incisions in front of the patient’s ears. They extend from the bottom of the earlobe to the hairline behind the ear. Through these incisions, she pulls the tissues upward and outward toward the ears. This reduces sagging skin and jowls, along with wrinkles throughout the lower face.
This procedure doesn’t only involve the skin, but also focuses on the underlying muscular system, called the SMAS (superficial muscular aponeurotic system), and the fat tissues. By lifting these underlying tissues, in addition to the skin, a mini lift can enhance the patient’s natural facial contours with significant results that still look completely natural.
Once she feels the SMAS and skin are perfectly positioned, they are sutured into place with permanent sutures. The final step is to trim excess skin.
A mini facelift usually takes around two hours.
Incisions For A Mini Lift
In contrast to the long incisions with a full facelift, beginning at the temples and running all the way down around the ear and terminating in the hairline, a mini facelift uses incisions starting just in front of the earlobe and wrapping behind the ear.
Facelift Before and After Photos
Recovery From Mini Facelift Surgery
A mini facelift doesn’t have the recovery of a full facelift, but it isn’t an overnight thing, either. Dr. Tarbet usually performs her mini facelifts as outpatient procedures, sending the patient home with a compression garment to wear. There will be swelling and bruising; it will peak about two days after your surgery. From that point, the swelling and bruising will continue to improve. You’ll probably also have some temporary loss of sensation, and your skin will feel tight as your body adjusts to the newly repositioned tissues.
You’ll have to sleep sitting up for a few days to help your facial tissues drain. You should walk around the house every few hours to stimulate blood flow and prevent blood clots.
Scarring is minimal, thanks to the short incisions involved with this procedure.
When Can I Return To My Normal Activities After My Mini Facelift?
Some patients can return to work after one week, but others may need 10-14 days. This depends on your healing rate and is unique to you. Swelling can return at times, especially later in the day for a period of weeks. Strenuous exercise will need to be put on hold for probably around one month.
Results Of A Mini FaceLift
Mini facelifts deliver significant results, tightening the underlying muscle and fat tissues, along with the skin. These procedures return definition to your jaw and remove sagging and wrinkles on the lower cheeks and around the mouth. Your final results, when all occasional swelling and the like are resolved, will fully show themselves within 9-12 months after your procedure.
Of course, your skin and tissues will continue to age, but your results are permanent. The mini facelift is a great procedure for a patient who doesn’t like the signs of aging that are appearing but also doesn’t yet have dramatically visible aging.
What Our Patients Have to Say
“I recently saw Kristin Tarbet, MD and she did an amazing job on my face as well as on my daughter. We both are thrilled with our results”
Risks Of Mini Facelift Surgery
Mini facelifts have less risk than full facelifts, due to the more limited scope. Still, there are risks. The usual risks with any surgery apply:
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Possible nerve damage.
Some patients will experience temporary numbness and a loss of sensation. This is usually a passing side effect that resolves itself within a few weeks. Some patients may experience slower healing than others. There will be some minor scarring, but Dr. Tarbet hides the scars very effectively.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are interested in a Mini Facelift, contact our Bellevue office. Call 425-455-2131 to schedule a consultation with Kristin J. Tarbet, MD. Our practice serves Bellevue, Seattle, and surrounding areas in Washington.