Mini facelift scars differ from patient to patient, although a good surgeon will make every effort to place them behind the hairline and within the ear’s contour, as suggested by Los Angeles plastic surgery experts.
In broad terms, a mini facelift uses shorter and/or fewer incisions than the traditional technique.
In traditional facelift, a continual incision that begins 2-3 inches above the ear in the temple area and goes in front and behind the ear is used. Sometimes, it is extended into the nape area still behind the hairline to hide the scars.
Mini facelifts, meanwhile, often use the same scar pattern although 3-4 inches shorter than the standard technique. Meanwhile, they are generally suitable for “younger” patients who just want to look refreshed, as opposed to a drastic change in their appearance.
Aside from the shorter mini facelift scars, they could also result in less bruising and swelling, and ultimately shorter [social] recovery.
Despite the use of shorter scars, it remains ideal to lift the deeper muscular layer, not just the skin alone, to make sure that the results will look natural and the scars will not spread or migrate because the skin receives very little tension. The consensus is that a properly executed mini facelift can last an average of 5-7 years.
Aside from better long-term results, going deeper also allows the incisions around the ear’s contour and behind the hairline to heal and fade into fine imperceptible scars after about a year.
Some studies have suggested that having facelifts while the skin has not yet sagged to a significant degree (late 40s and early 50s) may provide results that look more natural and last longer than surgeries at a more advanced age.
Mini lifts are also ideal for patients who want a “conservative” improvement and would only get minor corrections every 5-10 years to maintain their rejuvenated appearance.
Regardless of the facelift technique used, the surgery does not address all visible signs of aging, especially those related to facial volume loss or soft tissue atrophy (shrinkage). For this reason, a good number of patients will also benefit from adjunct procedures in the form of dermal filler injection and fat graft.
Dermal fillers such as Restylane and Radiesse are believed to favor patients with deep creases, while fat graft is more ideal for individuals with large hollowed areas such as the cheeks, according to some experts from Los Angeles plastic surgery.