What is a Mini-lift?
To the layperson a mini-lift is a facelift without all the inconvenience of a major operation, a procedure with little if any downtime with fewer risks and more affordable than the gold standard facelift.
To the surgeon it is an operation which can be employed to manage an individual who has only modest signs of aging, usually someone in their forties or early fifties. The term "Minilift" is not used in the medical literature to describe any particular technique but it may be used when discussing procedures including the Skin-only facelift, the S-lift or the Short-Scar facelift. It is used to describe an operation which is less extensive than a major facelift.
In the younger patient who is only exhibiting the early stages of aging with modest neck laxity and jowling along the jawline then a facelift does not need to be very extensive. However an appropriate technique needs to be chosen otherwise surgery can result in an unsatisfactory outcome and a result which does not last very long. A skin-only facelift is hardly ever justified and most surgeons would agree that the SMAS layer, deep to the skin needs to be tightened.
An S-Lift ( or short-scar facelift )
The S-lift procedure originally described an S shaped incision which finishes just behind the earlobe. The skin is raised to expose the SMAS which is then pulled up with permanent purse-string stitches. The immediate result can produce some irregularities in the skin which even out over a few weeks. A potential complication is that the sutures can 'cheese-wire' through the SMAS and the face may sag. This complication can be avoided by performing a limited dissection of the SMAS through the same short S shaped incision and combine it with a suture looped through the fat over the cheek bone which helps to highlight the cheekbone as well as correct the jawline.
Modified S-lift combined with laser skin resurfacing and a rhinoplasty.