What is A Mini-Facelift?

Q: Please tell me the procedure for the neck lift that is natural looking, no downtime and no bandages. I’ve done a lot of research into plastic surgery, worked with plastic surgery patients, so just want to know about the procedure and cost. I don’t want to make an appt to ask questions until I know what it is about and have done my research. Thanks so much.

A: Thank you for your inquiry. As you may know, there are a variety of limited neck and facial procedures for improving the signs of jowl and neck ptosis that occurs with age. In reality, these are all forms of more limited facelift type procedures although they are usually referred to by patients as ‘necklifts’. Many of these have branded and marketed names that imply rapid recoveries and minimal downtime. They are all based on the same structural premise which is neck liposuction (maybe with a little submental platysmal plication) and a preauricular-jowl skin flap with SMAS plication.

When the necklift procedure is done this way, there is virtually no downtime (very mild swelling and little bruising usually), no sutures to remove (all dissolveable sutures), no drains used, and no dressing. (sometimes only a head wrap for the first night only) This is quite a different early postoperative look than what one would be familiar with in the more traditional full facelift approach. The procedure generally takes about 90 minutes to do as an outpatient.

The success of this type of facial rejuvenation procedure is based on patient selection. It is not the best procedure for patients with substantial neck and jowl sagging where a fuller facelift version would be more appropriate. But for mild to moderate jowl and neck issues, and as a secondary tuck-up to freshen up an old facelift result, this approach can be very useful. Generally, the total costs of the procedure is going to be in the $4500 to $5500 range.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis Indiana