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Mini Facelift

Many patients in the New York area who wish to rejuvenate the lower face and upper neck chooses to under a mini facelift procedure. Also known as an S-lift or a Weekend Lift, this procedure is able to correct some of the earliest signs of aging and is far less invasive than a traditional facelift. Many people who get a mini facelift are attracted to its short recovery time, allowing them to return to their usual activities much sooner than traditional facelift. However, because this procedure only lifts the skin and not deeper tissue, it may produce unnatural looking results that usually only lasts for six months. A great alternative that our doctor performs instead of the mini facelift is the mid facelift, and partial facelift and neck lift. Dr. Rizk’s mid facelift, and partial facelift and necklift can create natural, longer lasting results that can heal within seven to ten days.

Patients who undergo any type of face lift typically complain of sagging, loose skin along the lower face or upper neck. This may appear as jowls along the jawline, sagging under the chin, and skin that hangs around the neck. As we age and collagen production slows, our skin loses volume and elasticity, resulting in these common complaints. Dr. Rizk offers four partial facelift procedures that can improve the jowls and jaw line, target loose neck skin, correct nasolabial folds and drooping brows and crow’s feet on the eyes. He also performs mid facelift procedures, which is a minimally invasive procedure that targets nasolabial folds, and sagging cheeks and eyelids. Candidates for the mid facelift procedure should not have loose skin on the neck and not overuse fillers in the nasolabial folds and jowls. Our doctors mid facelift procedures address the volume and gravity loss of the midface due to aging, which usually results in hallow areas under the cheeks. He usually focuses on maintaining a patient’s natural youthful appearance. Dr. Rizk uses a modified deep plane surgery, which can help create more definition over the jawline. He uses small incisions which can be hidden in the hairline and inside or behind the ear.

A facelift procedure with Dr. Rizk is perfect for patients who seek rejuvenation and natural results and is seen by many as a preventative solution to slow the effects of aging. Our doctor’s facelift procedure is appropriate for patients who are in their 30s to 60s who want improvements in skin elasticity and muscle tone. A mid and partial facelift procedure is less invasive than a traditional procedure and only require local anesthesia. Dr. Rizk’s facelift procedures can also be combined with other targeted procedures, such as an eyelid or browlift, to provide more dramatic results.

Before you decide on getting a facelift, consult with our plastic surgeon to see which option is right for you. Our doctor does not perform mini facelifts, but he can give you his opinion about which facelift procedure can help you achieve the results you desire. Call our NYC office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rizk.


1. How long does a facelift last?

While procedures such as Botox and dermal fillers can effectively rejuvenate the skin for a month to a year, a facelift (rhytidectomy) offers more enduring results, lasting for 10 years or more. The longevity of the results will vary, depending on the surgical technique, the overall quality of the skin, environmental factors and an individual’s lifestyle choices. Sun exposure and weight fluctuation, for example, can have an impact. A facelift does not halt the aging process; rather, it dials back the clock by vastly improving skin laxity and visible signs of aging. It is commonly agreed among experts that for the longest-lasting results, a facelift is the gold standard cosmetic procedure. Patients who typically request this type of shorter recovery lift are typically younger with lesser degrees of sagging tissue in face and neck.

2. What is a SMAS facelift?

The superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) refers to the underlying muscle and tissue found in the face, which can be manipulated to create a more youthful, taut look. During a SMAS facelift, the skin is separated, the muscle layer tightened and the skin re-draped. The SMAS facelift is considered the ‘standard’ facelift and addresses the sagging jowls and portions of the neck area. To further improve jawline definition, deposits of fat beneath the chin may also be suctioned out during the procedure.

3. What is the deep-plane facelift technique?

The deep-plane technique is a modification of the standard facelift, focusing on the deeper facial structure. Unlike the SMAS facelift, which separates the skin and muscle tissue, the deep-plane facelift lifts skin, facial tissues, fat, and muscle as a continuous unit. Both techniques can create more definition around the jawline.

4. What is a short scar facelift?

A short scar facelift, also referred to as an S-lift and mini facelift, is a technique that can address mild laxity along the jawline and neck. Often an option for younger individuals (those in their late 30s-40s), a short scar facelift is effective in addressing early to moderate changes in the skin. Benefits of a short scar facelift include limited incision and scarring, reduced surgical time, and a shorter recovery period. A short scar facelift can be done in combination with other cosmetic surgery procedures such as a brow lift or eyelid surgery.

5. What is the difference between a full, mid and mini facelift?

Full, mid, and mini facelifts represent different surgical techniques that may be employed. When determining which technique is best suited for an individual, Dr. Rizk will consider the amount of sagging skin, the region of greatest concern, and the candidate’s age and medical history, including previous cosmetic surgeries.

  • Full facelift. Also referred to as a traditional facelift, a full facelift is the most comprehensive way to reverse the effects of aging. The incisions will begin at the temples, run along the hairline and around the front of the ear, and end behind the earlobes. A second incision beneath the chin may be made to address laxity in the neck area. A full facelift is most often performed on patients in their 50s and 60s.
  • Mid facelift. A mid facelift is a refinement to the traditional facelift and is used to create a more balanced appearance between the upper face and lower face. The incisions are the same as those used in a traditional facelift, but an added step is taken to address the mid-portion of the face (beneath the lower eyelids and in the cheek area). By a cutting more deeply into the muscle tissue, the surgeon can lift the muscles around the cheek and nose. The result is a more natural appearance. Gaining in popularity, the procedure remains a technically complex surgery, requiring a great deal of expertise.
  • Mini facelift. The most widely practiced facelift technique, the mini facelift requires only small incisions around the ears. The technique is popular among patients wishing to improve primarily the lower third of the face. In addition, a mini facelift may be an option for those who have had a facelift in the past and want a maintenance procedure to revitalize the face.

6. What is the typical recovery time for a facelift?

After a facelift procedure, it is normal for patients to experience some inflammation and bruising of the face. In general, the healing process will depend on how extensive the surgery is. For example, a patient recuperating from a mini facelift can expect a shorter downtime than one who underwent a full facelift. During the first few weeks, it is advised that patients avoid strenuous exercise. Although the recovery time can vary from patient to patient, swelling generally subsides within 10-14 days and most patients can return to their normal activities within 3 weeks.

7. What is the best age for a facelift?

The condition of the skin is highly individual. Genetics, environmental factors and smoking all have an impact on the resiliency and appearance of the skin. However, by the 40s, most of us will begin to see visible signs of aging. Typically, in the late 40s and early 50s the skin still has some elasticity, making it possible to achieve maximal results. Thus, on average, these years are often considered optimal for a facelift. A mini facelift can be appropriate for those who are on the younger side, while a full facelift might be best for those in their 50s.

8. Can a facelift be performed with a necklift?

Yes. A necklift, also called a platysmaplasty, can be done in conjunction with a facelift and other cosmetic surgeries. In fact, it is quite common to combine the procedures. The primary incisions used to perform a necklift can be the same as those used to perform a traditional facelift. A necklift can also be done with a limited incision facelift. A second incision under the chin is usually required so that fat can be removed via liposuction and the muscle can be tightened.

9. What should you look for in a facelift surgeon?

First and foremost, you should look for credentials and a proven track record. Your surgeon needs to be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. A board certified facial plastic surgeon will be the best person to perform your facelift, as he/ she is expertly trained in facial anatomy and proportion. In order to be board certified, a surgeon must undergo a rigorous qualification process that includes specific training, examinations, and periodic recertification. Ask about your potential surgeon’s education and medical training. A facial plastic surgeon works exclusively with the face, meaning he/ she frequently performs facial surgeries and therefore has more experience in facial procedures than a general plastic surgeon.

Look at before and after photos to see examples of the surgeon’s work. Do you feel confident with the results you see in others? Are you able to speak to your surgeon’s former patients? If your surgeon does not want you to speak to any former patients, ask yourself why.

10. Are stitches or staples better for a facelift?

When closing incisions, a surgeon can use staples, stitches, and, in some cases tissue glue. Staples are often used to close incisions at the hairline (but not around the ear). Although staples can be faster and effective in the hairline area, stitches are more precise overall. In general, stitches allow for better alignment of the skin, thus reducing the possibility of scarring. Patients often find them to be more comfortable.

11. What are some methods to promote scar healing and a speedy recovery?

To ensure the fastest recovery, you should follow your surgeon’s directions carefully. Here are some tips to help accelerate healing:

  • It is important to stay hydrated, so drink plenty of water.
  • To promote increased blood circulation and the healing of your skin, sleep in an elevated position.
  • Do not take hot showers for the first few days; use warm water instead. Avoid washing your hair for 2-3 days so that the incision sites can heal.
  • Engage in moderate activity, such as a walking, to encourage your body to heal. But avoid strenuous activity, such as a demanding workout at the gym.
  • Eat well and do not smoke.

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