Beauty Tips Health

What a Facelift Can and Can’t Do

It’s tempting to think a facelift can provide a brand new look. Since the procedure is surgical, many people assume their facial features will look different. While it does change your appearance, plastic surgery does have its limitations.

What to Expect

Many patients have questions about the procedure itself in addition to the results. Realistic expectations are critical before undergoing a rhytidectomy.

The Procedure

The procedure itself does not hurt. This is because all patients are given anesthesia prior to surgery. Depending on the type, you may not even be awake.

Although the procedure part of a facelift is virtually painless, the after effects should be taken into consideration. Most people do experience swelling and a mild to moderate level of pain. Pain medications can be prescribed during the recovery process.

Bruising and numbness will fade in a matter of weeks. Many people can return to their regular activities within two weeks. If having a mini-facelift, the down time is even shorter.

It’s important to have another adult with you during the first day of recovery. This is beneficial for a number of reasons.

  1. Prescriptions. Another adult can help you get the necessary prescriptions post-surgery. Even after the anesthesia begins to wear off, driving is not recommended. A friend or family member should be there to at least drive you home.
  2. Daily chores. It’s also nice to have another person around to help with basic chores. The day after surgery you may only want to rest. Another adult can prepare meals or grab groceries you may need for the week.
  3. Medication maintenance. In addition to picking up prescriptions, a friend or family member can administer them at the right times. If multiple prescriptions are used it can be difficult to remember which ones to take and how much. Having help available is ideal.

What Can a Short Incision Facelift Do for Me?

A mini facelift is similar to a traditional facelift, but the recovery time is shorter. Instead of operating on the entire face, a short incision facelift focuses only on the lower portion.

A mini facelift is one of the most popular ways to dramatically change facial appearance. Although it is a surgical procedure, it will not create a new facial structure. This keeps the results looking natural.

What Is Noticeable?

The surgical technique for a mini facelift involves tightening a small amount of skin to smooth wrinkles and prevent sagging. It creates a more youthful appearance while contouring the jawline. For those with jowls, this is perfect.

The facial lines that are noticeable at the corners of your mouth are called marionette lines. These typically deepen with age and can cause makeup to crack. Around middle age, both men and women are less likely to reduce their appearance with Botox or fillers.

A mini facelift will smooth the marionette lines in addition to tightening the neck. The extra skin around the jawline can actually be removed through this procedure.

Unlike certain fillers, a mini facelift does not require you to wait months for a noticeable difference. The effects of a short incision facelift are immediate.

What Isn’t Noticeable

Both traditional and mini facelifts require incisions. Fortunately these incisions do not need to be noticeable.

By strategically placing the incisions toward the ear and hairline, they can easily be hidden without much effort. A typical procedure involves creating an incision at the bottom of the sideburn area and behind the ear.

Swelling does not last and can be minimized during the initial recovery time. This can be done by resting your head at an elevated angle while sleeping. Applying a frozen pack of vegetables or a cold press can also reduce puffiness.

A Facelift Can’t Do Everything

Facelifts are a very effective way to look younger. Changing your bone structure, however, will not work.

That being said, there are multiple ways for the face to appear thinner or more angular. A mini facelift can contour the jawline area by removing excess fat and tightening the skin. For those who want a more pronounced cheekbone, padding can be used.

The mini facelift procedure adjusts the muscle and fat to create a new facial position. It does not shape the nose or broaden facial features.

By lifting the skin to create a smoother appearance, many patients do notice their skin looks rejuvenated. This is not because of new collagen growth or skin replacement. Facelifts can alter the way your face looks, but will not change the biology.

The Limitations of a Mini Facelift

Typically patients will opt for a facelift when fillers or botox can no longer provide the same effect. This is called “filler fatigue”. There is no “right” age for a facelift, but usually men and women in their 50’s begin to show interest.

Since a mini facelift requires less downtime, this is a very popular procedure. Although the surgical technique is the same as a traditional facelift, only the lower portion of the face is altered.

This means if you’re expecting your forehead lines to disappear, you’re going to be disappointed. Lines around the eyes and above the eyebrows are not tightened to create a smooth look.

A mini facelift will help with marionette lines and the jaw and neck area. It is not designed to get rid of acne or discoloration.


Q: Can a mini facelift reduce puffiness around the eyes?

A: A mini facelift is designed for the lower portion of the face. Puffiness around the eyes can be reduced in other ways.

Q: Will my face look thinner after a facelift?

A: It can appear thinner depending on the wants of the patient. The lift can help contour the face for a youthful, but defined look.

Q: How long does it take to recover from a mini facelift?

A: A mini facelift will effectively minimize downtime. The average recovery time varies from one to three weeks.

Q: Does a facelift help patients with hollow cheeks?

A: Yes. By lifting the fat pads located in the cheeks, Dr. Jacono can reposition them to fill in any hollow areas. These results do look natural.

Book an Initial Consultation

To discuss all the options available, an initial consultation is necessary for prospective patients. To schedule an appointment, contact New York Plastic Surgery with Dr. Andrew Jacono.

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