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What is the Difference Between a Mini Facelift & Neck Lift & a Regular Facelift and Neck Lift?

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    ”I got a question today which was a very good one and I wanted to get it addressed which is "What is the difference between some of these mini lift or mid-face-lifts and a regular face lift?" and it is extremely confusing, I'll tell you that, I speak in a number of meetings, I’m on panels about face-lifting and aging face all the time and even sitting at a table of expert panel list there's a lot of discussion and dissension about "What terms mean what in this field?”

    The original term facelift really described a lower facelift, the lower 2/3 of the face being addressed. Whether it was done with the skin technique or a skin and underlying connective tissue technique or a deep plane technique, really that was the area that was addressed.

    When we started getting into these, this area of mini-lifts, a lot of these is about marketing. The original mini facelift which is very similar to what's been described with an s-lift and a quick lift and a style lift and all these different lifts that are out there was described in 1908 by a French surgeon named Peso, who did a small incision in front of the ear, this is public and I have the paper from the original facelift procedure, a small incision was done right along the ear here, small amount of skin elevated and pulled back with or without tightening the underlying tissue and then there's a little stitch line there.

    In a very typical approach in some of these so-called one-hour lifts, that's exactly what's done. The outcomes are variable, it can help a little bit but it’s certainly not a long lasting result.

    Some mini lifts on the other hand are quality mini-lifts and when I divide them up, I divide them up into two basic categories. There's a mini lift of the face which addresses the cheek and jawline area and there's a mini lift of the neck, which addresses just the neck area and to some extent will improve the jawline.

    In my procedures, a minilift to the face is done with the underlying thick connective tissue. We're using the SMAS layer then, the subcutaneous musculoaponeurotic system, and I’m elevating the skin extensively in this area and may even go on the temporal region depending on what the patients want.

    I’m elevating the skin in this region, using a local anesthesia sometimes with sedation or deep sleep anesthesia if the patient desires, then I’m taking that SMAS layer, restoring the contour to this region of the face specially the jawline, the marionette line and the lower part of the nasolabial fold, and then I’m elevating and bringing the skin back in a gentle sort of ways so it doesn’t look fold or windswept, hiding the incisions behind the cartilage here called the tragus, behind the hairline, as long as the patients hairline is okay, and to stopping right behind the ear. That would be the strategy for minilift of the face.

    The mini lift of the neck is very similar that we're hiding the incisions back behind the ear and into the hairline, I do liposuction through a tiny little incision under the chin and if there are bonds here we'll address them, that's called platysmaplasty and then from that point I’m elevating this loose skin on each side and gently pulling back in and bringing the contour back to the neck. It's a lot like what you'd see with the neck lift if you stood in the mirror and pull this back slightly.

    So I encourage our patients if they want to know what a mini lift looks like to get in the mirror and pull back on the neck, that's a mini lift of the neck. If they want to know what a mini facelift looks like, gentile tension on the lower part of the face here shows them the results.

    So there's a lot of confusion out there amongst patients and doctors, and I think it's not an unusual question something that we certainly like to address over the long term is to be able to standardize this language so that everybody understands. Thank you for visiting and look to see you back. Send your questions!”