Mini vs. extended face lift: Which is right for me? January 11, 2013 Cole More women and men are requesting face lifts. The most common reason people give is because they are not happy with the changes in their face due to aging. Another motivator is wanting to look fresher in their careers. Randy B., a television sales rep, is an example of the trend in professionals for face lifts and other cosmetic procedures. She was quoted in Marie Claire magazine: “I was 40, working in this highly-competitive environment where I was making lots of cold calls – and most of the clients were men,” she says. “I did OK, but then I [got] a mini face-lift, a brow-lift, and my eyes [upper and lower blepharoplasty]. I don’t know if it was the work or how I felt about myself afterward, but my business took off. I’ve done better since the procedures than ever before – and that’s in a very tough business climate.” Read more: Plastic Surgery to Combat Age Discrimination What is a face lift? A face lift is a surgical procedure known as rhytidectomy, which can rejuvenate the lax muscles and sagging skin we develop with age. There are many variations of a face lift surgery — Dr. Cole specializes in the extended S-lift. We offer a Full Extended S-lift and a mini S-lift. The mini S-lift addresses only the lower third of the face, and works best for patients aged 30 to 60 who want a more youthful look without much recovery time. The extended S-lift is designed to remedy deeper, more serious furrows; it can also remedy a sagging neck and jaw line. Some patients may also choose to undergo liposuction of the neck at the same time for a more dramatic result. How does it work? Mini. The mini S-lift procedure usually takes two hours, and can be performed with the anesthetic of your choice: a local injection or light I.V. sedation. Dr. Cole makes an incision along the front of your ear, then gently lifts the facial skin, tightening the muscles underneath. After removing excess fat, he closes the incision with small, unobtrusive sutures. Extended. The extended S-lift takes place under general anesthesia. The incision follows the front of your ear (as with the mini face lift), then continues down around the earlobe till it meets the hairline behind it. The incision varies slightly for men to ensure a natural appearance for facial hair. Several sets of sutures are used: one underneath, to add muscle lift, and two sets on the surface to close the incision. Sometimes staples are used behind the ear as well, because the scalp tends to heal more slowly. What’s the recovery time? Mini. Expect to rest for about a week after your mini S-Lift, and don’t try to get fully back into your routine until at least two weeks have passed. Extended. Give yourself two weeks’ recovery for an extended S-lift, and three weeks before you’re back to normal. Before and After images from a Cole Aesthetic Center patient receiving an Extended Face Lift. Expect some bruising and swelling afterward for either procedure; you’ll also wear a compression wrap around your head for the first few weeks of recovery. You’ll want to refrain from using makeup until Dr. Cole gives the go-ahead; this reduces the chance of infection. If your face feels numb at first, that’s okay. The nerves have been partially separated, so they’ll need some time to heal – six months to a year. Four months to a year after either procedure, you should see the full results. How do I know which is right for me? During your consultation, you and Dr. Cole will decide which (if any) face lift is the right choice. You can also discuss other procedures which could be performed at the same time. For example, heavy eyelids and eyebrows could be improved with a brow lift. Parenthesis lines around the mouth, too, may be addressed. For some patients, liposuction of the neck and jaw can make a striking difference. Ask about a consultation. Fill out our contact form below or call us at 360.613.2600.