What is a short-scar facelift? A short-scar facelift is a procedure designed to rejuvenate the central and lower face and, in some cases, the neck in both women and men through a short scar. A facelift can smoothen the nasolabial folds (the deep creases between the cheeks and the upper lip), reduce the jowls (the loose skin that develops between the cheek and the chin along the jawline), and define the lower jawline.
Short-scar facelift. A relatively short scar differentiates the short-scar facelift from the traditional facelift. In a short-scar facelift, the scar usually starts in the hair just above the ear and is then extended in the natural crease immediately in front of the ear, but then stops at the base of the ear rather than extending behind the ear. The skin and connective tissue layer of the face – or superficial myoaponeurotic system (SMAS) – are elevated and manipulated. To address fat pads underneath the jaw, neck liposuction frequently accompanies a short-scar facelift. A short-scar facelift is best for people primarily looking to refine features of the central and lower thirds of the face around the cheeks and jawline but who do not have large amounts of loose neck skin.
Mini-facelift. This procedure is performed through a short scar immediately in front of the ear with the patient under local anesthesia in the office. The skin is elevated and redraped to a more youthful position. The SMAS layer is also repositioned to provide a more long-lasting result. A mini-facelift is best for people who seek an office-based facial rejuvenation that will provide moderate improvements to the central and lower thirds of the face. Combined with fractionated laser resurfacing and other office-based procedures like upper-lid blepharoplasty and neck liposuction, a comprehensive facial rejuvenation can be performed in a comfortable office setting.
Click here to view a video on upper-eyelid blepharoplasty.
Although a short-scar facelift is a powerful technique to rejuvenate the lower two thirds of the face and jawline, it has a few limitations that can be addressed by other techniques. When performed together, these can provide a comprehensive approach to facial rejuvenation. They include:
Fractionated laser resurfacing. Fractionated laser resurfacing provides an effective, low-downtime solution for treating fine wrinkles and blotchy skin throughout the face, as well as the deeper wrinkles around the mouth and eyes.
Upper-lid blepharoplasty (upper-eyelid lift). A facelift does not affect the upper eyelids. An upper-lid blepharoplasty provides a more crisp contour to the upper eyelid, by removing redundant upper-eyelid skin.
Lower-eyelid blepharoplasty (lower-eyelid lift). Depending on the style performed and your specific concerns, a facelift has only moderate effects on the lower eyelids. Tightening extra skin, removing fat bulges, and smoothening the contour between the lower eyelid and the cheek with a lower-lid blepharoplasty, also known as a lower-eyelid lift, can rejuvenate the lower eyelids.
Brow lift (forehead lift). Whereas a facelift rejuvenates the lower two thirds of the face, a brow lift can be performed to help rejuvenate the entire face. This procedure will reduce forehead and frownline wrinkles and reposition the eyebrows in a more youthful position by using well-concealed incisions.
Fat grafting. Although a facelift may be required to reposition the soft tissues of the face, fat grafting can restore lost facial volume. Your own fat may be used to replace lost volume in the lower cheekbone area, the folds between the cheeks and the upper lips, and between the jowl and the chin.
Dermabrasion. This technique removes a superficial layer of skin over the upper lips. This skin then heals over the next few days with fewer wrinkles.
Anesthesia: Short-scar facelifts are usually performed with the patient under general anesthesia whereas mini-facelifts are usually performed in the office with the patient receiving local anesthesia.
Length of procedure: 1 to 3 hours.
Estimated recovery time: You can return to work after 5 to 14 days but should avoid vigorous activities for 2-3 weeks. Visible bruising or swelling should clear up within 7 to 10 days. To learn how to prepare for a short-scar facelift and what to expect afterwards, click here to download our patient instructions for facelift.
Side effects: Common side effects include bruising, swelling, a well-hidden scar and some cheek numbness. Muscles that raise your eyebrows or raise up the bottom corners of your lips may be weak for a few days to weeks after surgery. Click here to download a detailed consent form from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons that lists the risks and benefits of facelift surgery.
Before-and-after photos of facelift results: Click here
To schedule a consultation with one of our plastic surgeons, contact our St. Louis office by phoning 314-996-8800, requesting your consultation online, or emailing us today.