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It is becoming more and more common to see younger patients, or patients who have only experienced mild facial aging choosing to undergo a cheek lift/mini-facelift. A cheek lift is a simpler procedure than a full facelift, with a much shorter and easier recovery. Occasionally it may be referred to as a weekend facelift, implying the length of time needed for most patients to return to normal activities. It’s ideal for the patient who feels they are looking tired and not fresh no matter how much sleep they get. The cheek lift/mini-facelift is the ideal lesser procedure for those patients desiring to look both fresher and healthier, sometimes during a consultation for a facelift it becomes apparent that the patient merely wants to tweak the early signs of facial aging. That’s when the cheek lift/ mini-facelift is a good option. Family and friends won’t necessarily suspect you have had surgery but just that you are well-rested or have lost weight.
The ideal patient seeking a cheek lift/mini-facelift has moderate depth of the laugh line or a smaller jowl, with less loose skin of the neck. The incisions are shorter and well hidden. Many cheek lift patients are back in public within a few days, with less swelling and bruising than with more invasive procedures. Once again, this procedure is regularly combined with other procedures, or perhaps some injectable fillers or Botox™ to give a complete result.
The basic factors which lead to facial aging include sun damage, gravity, smoking, muscle activity, genetics and resorption of subcutaneous fillers such as fat. Each of these must be taken into consideration to assure a successful surgical experience. Dr. Murphy takes the time to consider all factors prior to formulating a surgical plan. This concept is the keystone to his success in establishing outstanding results in facial rejuvenation.
Gravity leads to drooping of the facial skin and brows. Sun exposure leads to fine facial wrinkling, pigmentary changes, loss of collagen, disorganization of elastic fibers and a predisposition to skin cancer. Eighty percent of the aging of the skin is related to sun exposure as itleads to an overall degradation of the skin, with thinning of the skin and increased depth of lip lines.
Crows feet and frown lines between the brows are classic signs of facial aging due to muscle activity. Loss of fillers such as collagen and fat beneath our skin is a cause of facial aging frequently ignored by surgeons. Reversal of these effects can make the difference between a good result and a great result. Family traits are present in all of us and patients must make the decision whether they like a hump in their nose or a little excess skin in the neck area. Is your chin too small? These are all discussed during your plastic surgery consultation.
The procedure may take little longer than an hour under local anesthesia with intravenous sedation. Patients are discharged home after a short period in recovery. They can shower and wash their hair the next morning. Other than some fairly minimal swelling and bruising of the cheeks, they can look quite good even within 48 hours. They are out and about after maybe only a long weekend.