The Best Age for a Minilift
Article by Edward J. Gross, MD
Orlando Facial Plastic Surgeon
With so many advancements in facial plastic surgery over the past 20 years, it's easy to see how many people can become confused about the difference between the traditional facelift and the more recent emergence of the minilift.
A facelift should actually be called a lower facelift and necklift. This would give patients a clearer definition of what the actual procedure corrects. When the problems are confined to the jowls and neck, a lower facelift is exactly what is needed. A full facelift could include eyelid surgery and a browlift, and many patients do not need everything done.
It used to be that patients would wait until they were older, and then go in for one big procedure. Now, many people opt for procedures earlier, as they begin to notice areas of concern. It's basically a philosophy of maintenance, rather than renovation. The sooner you make a decision to start looking younger, the sooner you will look youthful and refreshed. Doing procedures individually at an earlier age, allows for smaller procedures, which means a faster recovery and less drastic changes.
As far as exactly when to do things, that's based highly on the patient's needs. A 40 year old would generally be considered a bit young for a traditional facelift, but it depends on what type of skin you have, how much sun damage you've had, and what your goals are.
A minilift is a good option for younger, healthy patients. A minilift involves a short incision around the ears, less healing time, and quicker recovery. This shorter procedure tightens the jaw line and lifts the neck too. It's ideal for 35 to 50 year olds who want a more youthful face and neck without the downtime. It is becoming very popular for men and women.
Best results are seen when lifting procedures are combined with volumizing injections such as Radiesse, Juvederm, or Sculptra. As the face ages, we see sagging, lines, bags, wrinkles and volume loss. I see the best results when patients have volume replacement in the cheeks and around the mouth following minilifts. Newer concepts in reversing aging signs are to treat these depleted areas with fillers to restore a more youthful look.