Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Buckingham personalizes each facelift at Buckingham Center in Austin, Texas, to match the needs of the patient. The Mini Facelift or Limited Incision Facelift is a modern procedure that Dr. Buckingham performs in place of the traditional facelift surgery procedure in the appropriate patient. He uses less invasive but technically advanced technique with years of experience to perform a mini facelift, which lifts and beautifies the lower face of men and women and provides outstanding results, including a minimal recovery period and limited, well-concealed incisions. The limited incision facelift is the answer that many individuals desire as they seek to achieve tighter, lifted skin with minimal scarring.
The Facelift Procedure
Dr. Buckingham’s personalized facelifts provide each patient with natural-looking results rather than the traditional, windswept appearance that was common in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Dr. Buckingham offers modern, proven techniques that provide his patients with outstanding results with a minimal recovery period and confined incisions that are easily hidden. For example, during a limited incision facelift, the anterior neck is not opened. The limited incision or mini facelift is an aesthetic procedure that beautifies the lower face, including the jaw line and the area running from the corner of the mouth to the upper ear.
Dr. Buckingham adjusts the facelift procedure to match the patient’s needs and desires, and he may recommend the limited incision facelift or mini facelift to patients who want minimal scarring and reduced recovery demands. All limited incision facelift incisions are limited to the area around the ears and hairline, and an incision on the anterior neck is not needed. The post-surgical swelling and bruising are confined to the lateral neck and around the ears, and patients with medium to long hair can completely hide the sutures, swelling and bruising.
The limited incision facelift procedure is recommended for patients with limited neck banding and thin necks. Dr. Buckingham tailors each procedure to match his patient’s needs. Even patients with moderate to severe jowling benefit from the limited incision facelift because even though the incision and dissection is limited, the Submuscular Aponeurotic System (SMAS) is being elevated as in a larger more invasive lift. However, patients with heavy faces and significant signs of aging achieve more substantial benefits if the SMAS is lifted and combined with anterior neck work including neck liposuction with platysmaplasty. In either procedure, Dr. Buckingham utilizes a “high SMAS” technique. With this technique, the SMAS is elevated in a completely superior vector and secured to deep tissue over the cheek bone providing a more significant, secure and long-lasting result. Dr. Buckingham examines each patient during their private consultation and recommends the best facelift options for their skin type and needs.
What to Expect During the Procedure
Facelift surgery is customized for each patient depending on the amount of sagging skin, muscle banding and deposits of fat. The limited incision facelift is usually performed in the office operating suite with light oral sedation, relaxing medication taken by mouth, and local, injectable, anesthesia. A hidden incision is then formed around the ears, exposing the Submuscular Aponeurotic System (SMAS), which is linked to the superficial platysma muscle that covers the lower face and neck. The SMAS is then incised using the “high SMAS technique” and then elevated off the deeper salivary gland to release the tissues allowing maximal lift. The SMAS is then secured in a vertical direction to the deep fixed tissue layers. Once the layers are tightened, Dr. Buckingham removes just enough of the excess skin to allow the edges to lie together without creating tension. Beautiful skin with minimal, postoperative scars is achieved with the mini facelift. The mini facelift surgical dissection and recovery are limited, yet the procedure produces remarkable results as the Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System (SMAS) is still undermined and tightened in this procedure.
Limited Incision Facelift Expectations
The limited incision or mini facelift refreshes and rejuvenates the lower face and involves only minimal scarring and a short recovery period. Additional cosmetic procedures are not required but may be used to enhance the refreshed look that is achieved with the mini facelift. Dr. Buckingham will provide you with before and after photos during your consultation and many photos are available in our photo gallery. The limited incision, mini facelift results will include the following:
- Elevated facial skin
- Reduced wrinkles
- Tightened and redefined jawline
- Lifted jowls
- Lifted neck skin
- Reduced neck banding and lines
- Tightened skin and removal of hanging skin from the lower face
Facelift Surgical Recovery
The mini facelift recovery is minimal. A light dressing is worn on the first night after the surgery and replaced on post-op day one. The patient removes the dressing on day three at home and may then shower and wash the hair. The sutures are removed in approximately one week, and bruising is typically resolved in the first week as well. Many patients resume social activities within just three to four days after the surgery. Improvements to the incisions and a reduction in swelling will continue to be experienced daily. Residual swelling and some areas of minor firmness, which are noticeable upon close inspection, could be experienced but will improve significantly within a short period.
Dr. Buckingham believes that a truly successful surgery is based on a good rapport with the patient that is established and maintained during the consultation and each subsequent visit. During your initial mini facelift consultation at the Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery, our patient care coordinator will introduce you to the practice and will explain the facelift process. Dr. Buckingham will review your medical history and will listen to your desires and concerns. Doctor Buckingham will share before and after photos that display former mini facelift patients who had similar goals and interests. After your consultation is completed, you will receive a written quote and treatment recommendations, along with an option to select a surgery date.
The Ideal Limited Incision Facelift Candidate
Ideal mini facelift candidates are in good mental and physical health and are nonsmokers with realistic and healthy surgical expectations. The procedure is best for individuals with minimal to moderate neck laxity, but without significant platysmal banding and thin necks. Jowling can be moderate in nature and the limited/mini facelift procedure is still indicated. Generally, Dr. Buckingham’s younger patients often undergo the mini facelift, while older patients with more significant signs of aging often benefit from a variation of a full or deep plane facelift. However, the ultimate decision is based more on anatomy than age, and a full range of ages may or may not be well suited. The determination will be made in your personal consultation with Dr. Buckingham.
The cost of a mini facelift depends on the details of the procedure because each treatment is personalized to match the unique needs of the patient. The Buckingham Center staff and Dr. Buckingham never pressure a patient to have a procedure completed, and we work with each patient’s budget to accomplish their desired results when possible. Financing packages are offered that fit most budgets and help to keep the limited incision facelift procedure affordable.
Limited Incision Facelift Questions and Answers
What is a Limited Incision Facelift?
There are variations to the lower facelift that are used to lift, smooth and remove excess skin. The mini facelift requires the shortest recovery period and uses incisions that are easily hidden to improve the appearance of aging skin. It is tailored to match each patient’s desired results. The limited incision facelift is a less invasive facelift that benefits patients who have limited banding or a thin neck.
Am I an Ideal Limited Incision Facelift Candidate?
If you are experiencing premature aging along your jawline and are a non-smoker who is in general good health, you may be an ideal candidate for a mini facelift.
What Should I Expect at My Facelift Consultation?
During your facelift consultation, you will meet with Dr. Buckingham. He will listen to your cosmetic goals and desires and will recommend the most efficient and affordable facelift procedure with the least downtime. Dr. Buckingham will share before and after photos with you and will provide you with an approved treatment plan that is customized just for you.
Where is the Limited Incision Facelift Performed?
Dr. Buckingham performs the mini facelift surgery at the Buckingham Center in Austin, Texas, using light oral sedation and local anesthesia. If other procedures are combined with the facelift, the procedure may be performed at an outpatient ambulatory surgery center.
What Type of Anesthesia is used During a Mini Facelift?
The mini facelift procedure is performed under a combination of light oral sedation and local anesthesia. Dr. Buckingham will explain the sedation that will be needed for your customized limited incision facelift.
How Long is the Facelift Surgery?
The mini lift takes 2 to 2.50 hours to complete.
Where are the Facelift Incisions?
The limited incision facelift incisions are hidden around the ears and in the hairline. Each incision is positioned to provide invisibility after the incision has healed. Patients are often able to wear their hair in any style without revealing the incisions. We encourage each patient to review before and after photos to visualize the incisions.
What must I Do to Prepare for a Limited Incision Facelift?
If you are currently smoking, you will need to stop smoking at least two weeks before your surgery. You will also be given a list of all prescription, over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbal products that you will need to stop taking before the surgery.
Is Mini Facelift Surgery Painful?
Anesthesia is used during the surgery, and the surgery itself is not painful at all. Some patients have mild recollection of the local anesthetic injections, but the discomfort is minimal. Most patients only experience mild postoperative pain that can be treated with extra-strength Tylenol for one or two days. Pain medication may be prescribed by Dr. Buckingham if it is needed.
Do Limited Incision Facelifts Result in Permanent Scarring?
Mini facelift incisions are hidden around the ear and within the hairline. Technically there are scars, but they are usually completely hidden and rarely perceptible except to very close inspection.
What is the Recovery Period for Mini Facelift Surgery?
Mini facelift recovery typically takes one week, and the bruising is usually resolved during this time. Patients often resume social activities within two to three days after a mini facelift. Improvement in the incision’s appearance and postoperative swelling will continue after the first week.
When are Patients Released to Return to Work?
Most patients return to working at least a partial day of non-physical work after only three to four days. Seven days will be the recommended timeframe if you desire to keep the surgery a secret from your coworkers.
Does a Mini Facelift have Risks?
All surgery has some risks. The mini facelift risks are minimal and rarely occur, but may include post-operative bleeding which may lead to more bruising and swelling, but is not life threatening, visible scarring, infection and sensory or motor nerve injury. Dr. Buckingham will review all possible risks with you during your consultation.
Is the Limited Incision Facelift Right for Me?
The mini facelift surgery provides substantial physical and emotional benefits, and the incisions are rarely perceptible once healed. There are minimal side effects, and the surgery tightens skin laxity and smooths wrinkles. Dr. Buckingham will provide you with a mini facelift recommendation if he feels that it is right for you.
Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Edward Buckingham is a renowned facial surgeon who provides excellent, artistic surgical results. To learn more about a mini facelift in Austin, Texas, with Dr. Buckingham, call 512.401.2500 to request a consultation.