When you first notice that your neck, cheeks and jowls aren’t as tight or youthful looking as they once were, it’s easy to panic and wonder what you can do about them. You might not have the time to set aside for a week or two of recovery after a full facelift. But, you might want results that will last longer than what you’d get from injectables.

Enter the mini facelift. It’s a targeted procedure that has a few benefits over a full facelift, but only for the right patient. While some people won’t get much from the procedure, it can be the ideal way to turn back the hands of time for others.

How Much Aging You Have

The mini facelift is usually recommended for people who don’t have a lot of looseness or sagging in the neck and jowl area. The incisions made during the surgery are too small to tighten and shape skin and muscles that are very loose. While you shouldn’t have a lot of aging yet, it’s worth noting that you do need to have some laxity in the neck and jowls for the surgery to be worthwhile.

The location of the signs of aging is important, too. Some people age in the eye and forehead area before they age in the lower third of the face. If the signs of aging are limited to the upper part of your face, a mini facelift won’t be the right option.

How Much Time You Have for Recovery

While the amount of time you need for recovery isn’t as important a consideration as the amount of aging you have, it’s still something to think about when choosing a mini or full facelift or  something less invasive, such as injections. After a full facelift, you can expect to need about a week off from work to recover, if not two weeks. You might need a full week off from work after a mini facelift, but many people feel comfortable going back to the office after just a few days.

You will have to make a few adjustments to your habits during the mini facelift recovery period. You’ll want to keep your head upright and elevated, to keep swelling down. When you go to bed, sleep on your back and put a few pillows under your shoulders, neck and head to keep them propped up.

Although you might feel fine and back to your old self the day after surgery, you’ll still want to take it easy for a few weeks. It’s OK to take walks or do some light chores around the house, but save the heavy lifting and strenuous exercise until you get the all clear from your surgeon, usually about two or three weeks after the surgery.

How Dramatic You Want Your Results to Be

One way to think of a mini facelift is as a preventative measure. By having the surgery when you have the earliest signs of aging, you are nipping any future issues in the bud. Instead of needing a full facelift in a few years, you might be able to have another mini procedure and enjoy similar results.

That said, if you are looking for a very dramatic change after your surgery, a mini facelift might not be the best option for you. The results are very subtle, as the surgery is intended for people with just a few signs of aging. If your neck is very loose or if you  have a lot of jowls, you won’t see much, if any, change after a mini facelift.

What Else Can You Do?

While some will get the results they want after a mini facelift, others find that combining the procedure with another procedure, either surgical or non-surgical, is particularly beneficial. If you are bothered not only by some degree of laxity in your lower face, but also changes to your skin’s texture or tone, combining the mini facelift with laser skin resurfacing can give you a better result overall. The laser treatment can help reduce any dark spots you have and can help remove fine lines or wrinkles.

If you have some signs of aging on the upper part of your face, such as frown lines between your eyebrows or crow’s feet by your eyes, you might consider having Botox injections at the same time as your mini facelift. Since the results from Botox only last about three months, you will need to repeat them if you hope to maintain the results.

Dr. Kyle Choe, a facial plastic surgeon near Virginia Beach, offers a wide range of surgical and non-surgical procedures. He can help you decide if a mini facelift on its own is the right option for you, or if you’re better off with a more involved surgery. He can also recommend additional treatments, such as laser treatments or injectables, that will help you get the youthful, refreshed appearance you’re looking for. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Choe, call 757.389.5850 today.