‘Weekend’ Facelift a safer, cheaper alternative for sagging jowls, neck


‘Weekend' Facelift a safer, cheaper alternative for sagging jowls, neck

If you've ever stood in front of a mirror and woefully hoisted up aging and sagging jowls up toward your ears, imagining the younger, tauter face you once had, here is some good news: Facelifts aren't just for the rich and famous anymore.

In fact, you can go no farther than Munster to get one starting under $4000.

The "mini" or "weekend" facelift, names for the duration of the typical recovery period, is less invasive, cheaper and safer alternative to the traditional full facelift, says Dr. Sreekant Cherukuri, an otolaryngologist and facial plastic surgeon who offers the one-hour procedure at CarePointe ENT / Facial Plastic Surgery in Munster and Merrillville.

The procedure is ideal for those with mild to moderate skin laxity of the lower third of the face and upper neck. And if you can handle a visit to the dentist, the doctor and his patients attest, you can handle a Weekend Lift.

A Patient's experience

As the years went on, sagging jowls had become increasingly bothersome for 63-year old Kay of Schererville.

After attending an informational seminar about the Weekend Lift, which specifically addresses the lower part of the face, Kay decided to dedicate one weekend in June to setting back the clock up to 10 years.

Dr. Cherukuri began by making some precise markings on Kay's face. Then, numbing the area around her ears with only local anesthesia, he made an incision that essentially outlined her ear. He then removed about a centimeter to a centimeter and a half of skin, pulled it upwards toward her ear, improving the definition or her jaw line, and reattached it in three layers. The first layer of stitches is permanent, the second dissolve over 60 days and the third, to close the incision, are removed in 5-7 days.

Afterwards, Kay reports, "I felt nothing." Bandaged and only slightly swollen, she was back at home in less than 2 hours. When it was time to take off the bandages and ice her face, she admits she was "afraid to look," but was pleasantly surprised.

She spent the weekend admiring her younger appearance, returned to work on Monday and waited to hear the feedback.

"Nobody could guess," she says, "They thought new hairdo, new makeup...." She reports she has since been mistakes for someone in their 40's.

"It's subtle," she says. "It looks like something different but you can't put your finger on it." That's exactly what Sandy, also 63, reported about the experience at a recent seminar about the procedure. She, too, returned to work and drew puzzled, approving stares.

She reported "no pain at all," and the participants marveled at her barely visible scars.

Minimally invasive

Dr. Cherukuri explained the reason the procedure is so well tolerated is largely because it is done under local anesthesia.

"The incisions are much smaller than and not nearly as invasive as the traditional facelift," he says. "Because it's a smaller procedure, there's much less risk of scarring and bruising and a much quicker recovery." Dr. Cherukuri points out that the procedure is also ideal for those who want to stay ahead of the aging process.

"Some people say, ‘I've started to notice things are drooping, but it's not too bad," he says. "This is a great procedure in that regard." While there are relatively few limitations as far as who is a candidate for a mini facelift, Dr. Cherukuri admits that the ideal candidate is generally calm and relaxed in the doctor's office. Dr. Cherukuri also points out that the Weekend Lift can be paired with neck-firming procedures depending on each patient's individual needs.

The availability of the mini facelift makes a younger, fresher appearance a possibility for a greater number of people.

A case study

This 72-year old female was unhappy with an increased formation of jowls and wrinkling of her neck skin. She didn't want the pulled tight look of a full facelift and didn't want people to notice she had a cosmetic procedure. The result, shown here one week after the procedure, is a tighter neck, softer jowls and a more youthful jaw line. Dr. Cherukuri said this patient reported no complications and only needed two pain pills during her recovery.

Article by
Munster Facial Plastic Surgeon