There is a great saying that sometimes comes up in facial rejuvenation consultations: “A rose is a rose by any other name.” The analogy to facelifts is imperfect, however. There are as many definitions of “facelift” as there are surgeons performing them! Plus, in today’s marketplace procedures are often branded and advertised with surgeons names or catchy phrases. So how does a consumer really figure out what’s what?
First, a little about terminology. A “mini-facelift” or “mini-lift” generally implies faster recovery – but also, less surgery and therefore less change and shorter duration of results. These procedures are perfect for younger patients (40’s or 50’s) and even some older patients with favorable anatomy. An “S-lift” or “short-scar facelift” is a term used to describe a type of mini-facelift or a slightly more involved procedure which address the skin excess and the deeper connective tissues. The term “full facelift” is often used to describe a type of procedure rarely performed in modern plastic surgery, where a larger incision is made up into the hair in the temple region or connected across the top of the head behind the hairline. In most cases, mini-facelift or an “S-lift” can be performed under local anesthesia or with minimal sedation.
In my practice, I customize the facelift procedure for the needs of each specific patient. If a mini-facelift is appropriate, then that’s what we do! However, if a patient has significant jowls, loose neck muscles, and a lot of excess skin, more work is needed to achieve the desired results. For these patients, I perform a type of S-lift using a deep plane dissection. This helps me to give the patient a natural-looking and long-lasting result, by elevating the skin and the deeper connective tissues and muscles of the face and neck. This vertical-vector lift avoids the obvious “operated” look. When you are considering a facelift, make sure to ask your surgeon exactly what is being lifted – and how long they expect it to stay that way!
For more information about surgical and non-surgical rejuvenation, please visit SanFranciscoFacialPlasticSurgery.com or call 415-550-1077 today for a comprehensive consultation!