The partial rhytidectomy, or mini facelift, is a modified version of the traditional facelift that focuses on the lower third of the face and neck. This face procedure is often a good option for those trying to stay ahead of aging with some skin laxity and wrinkling. As you get older, your skin loses elasticity and firmness because the production of the proteins collagen and elastin slows down, causing sagging skin, jowling and lines and wrinkles. The miniature facelift eliminates sagging skin and tightens tissues and muscles along the jawline, chin and neck for a tighter facial profile and smoother skin.
John Kim, MD, FACS, is a board-certified, plastic surgeon practicing in Chicago, Illinois. After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard University, Dr. Kim attended Stanford University, earning his Doctor of Medicine and Master of Arts in English. He is the attending surgeon at Prentice Women’s Hospital and Northwestern Memorial Hospital and has helped countless men and women achieve their cosmetic goals with a facelift and mini-facelift procedures.
Benefits of Lower Facelift
Partial rhytidectomy has a shorter procedure time and recovery period than the traditional facelift because it focuses on the lower face and neck. The procedure is customized to each patient’s needs and typically involves a smaller incision than its counterpart. These tiny incisions are hidden behind the ears, where they’re easily concealed no matter the hairstyle.
Mini facelift addresses wrinkled, loose skin in the lower face, as well as neck bands, double chin, “turkey wattle” and jowling. It is far less invasive than traditional facelift yet still produces dramatic results. Some patients combine mini facelift with injectables or other face procedures, such as eyelid surgery, for more comprehensive results that address multiple concerns at once.
Candidates for Mini Facelift
People unhappy with their appearance due to mild to moderate loose skin and wrinkles may be good candidates for partial rhytidectomy. The typical patient is looking for more dramatic and long-lasting results than injectables but isn’t ready for the full facelift procedure. Mini facelift may be right for you if you have significant loose skin along the jawline and under the chin but no concerns with your upper facial appearance. The full facelift may be the best approach if you have loose skin and volume loss in the cheeks.
Mini facelift is often a good option for people in their 30s and 40s who still have adequate skin elasticity and are in good health. Those who smoke or have medical conditions that complicate healing may not qualify for elective surgery. Patients need to have realistic expectations of their mini facelift results and a positive outlook.
Dr. Kim will review your medical history, facial structure, overall health and cosmetic concerns during your consultation at Northwestern Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. He will recommend a surgical approach to reach your goals, which may involve mini facelift or facelift.
Mini facelifts may be an option to “touch up” previous facelift results years after the initial surgery due to additional aging.
Mini Facelift Procedure
Mini facelift is customized to suit each patient’s needs. Muscle and fatty tissue in the lower face are repositioned, and the excess skin is trimmed. Dr. Kim focuses on lifting the neck muscles and removing excess muscle and skin. The remaining tissues are tightened and lifted. The tissues around the jawline are restructured to provide a more feminine or masculine appearance, and Dr. Kim may remove fat from the submental area and lower face.
Partial rhytidectomy may be performed with local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. How long the procedure lasts depends on the extent of correction needed and if other surgeries are being done simultaneously. Mini facelifts typically take around two hours; a short procedure compared to the traditional facelift, which may take up to four or five hours.
Most patients can resume working about one week after mini facelift, as opposed to up to two weeks after a full rhytidectomy. Most of the swelling and bruising resolve within this window, and patients can start wearing makeup again after a week. Follow Dr. Kim’s pre- and post-operative instructions to ensure a full recovery and optimal results.
While facial plastic surgery won’t stop the aging process, many patients enjoy their mini facelift results for up to 15 years with good skincare and sun protection.
If you’re interested in partial rhytidectomy, contact Dr. Kim in Chicago to schedule a one-on-one consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon. Call Northwestern Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at (312) 694-0879 or fill out our online contact form.