As you age, your body undergoes a series of natural changes that can impact your appearance. Declining collagen and elastin within your skin’s layers leads to wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging. These changes can start in your late 20s and early 30s, gradually becoming more pronounced as you get older. 

Minor age-related changes like fine lines can be addressed with non-surgical approaches, such as Botox injections, dermal fillers, and topical treatments. If you have deeper wrinkles and significant sagging, you may benefit from a more extensive approach like facelift surgery. Generally speaking, surgery is more for sagging and lasers/Botox/fillers are more for wrinkle problems.

There are two types of facelifts: mini facelifts and full facelifts. Read on to find out how the two differ from one another.

Lower Facelift

A lower facelift is a variant of traditional facelift surgery that involves only the lower portion of the face. Lower facelifts focus on raising and tightening the area around the jawline, neck, and cheeks to create a more contoured, youthful facial structure. 

How Is a Lower Facelift Performed?

During a lower facelift, incisions are made along the front of the ear, downwards around the bottom of the earlobe, and then back behind the ear. Access to the deeper tissues is now available where fat is contoured and/or removed, and the deep tissues are freed up and moved into a higher, more youthful location. Excess skin is removed, and the remaining skin is drawn back. This creates a sharper jawline, better neck and more youthful cheek position. 

Once the optimal results are achieved, tiny sutures are used to close the incisions. When you awaken from a lower facelift, you can return home to begin your recovery process. Most people are able to return to their normal activity within two weeks of surgery. 

At one week, your sutures will be removed. It can take three to four months to see the final results of your procedure, as there may be some swelling,

Who Is a Lower Facelift For?

Lower facelifts are intended for people with sagging of the neck, jawline (jowls), and cheeks. A lower facelift can also be used for people who have sagging jowls or hanging skin around the lower half of their cheeks and along the jaw.

A lower facelift alone is not a good option for anyone who has issues in the upper half of their face. If you have deep forehead creases, low brow position, frown lines, a lower facelift will not address these concerns. Lower facelifts alone are also not the best option for people who have sagging or severe volume loss in their upper cheeks or midface.

Full Facelift

A full facelift is designed to address age-related changes throughout the entirety of the face. It can tighten and lift skin from the hairline all the way down to the neck. Since a full facelift involves the whole face, it is a more extensive surgical procedure than a lower facelift.

How Is a Full Facelift Performed?

During a full facelift, an incision is made along the hairline or in the hairline (depending on the forehead size) that runs in front of the ears. This incision extends down along the bottom of the earlobe and runs behind the back of the ear on each side of the head. 

Loose or sagging skin is removed, and the remaining skin is lifted upwards into a higher, tighter position. The result is smoother skin on the forehead, on the cheeks, and surrounding and jawline. 

When a full facelift is complete, tiny sutures are used to close your entire incision. Both a lower facelift and full facelift are typically done outpatient where you would go home an hour or so after surgery.

The recovery process is slightly more extensive than that of a lower facelift. Many people take one to two weeks from work when recovering from a full facelift. About one week after your surgery, the sutures will be removed. Typically patients look nicely presentable at two weeks after surgery but it takes several months to be fully healed. 

Most patients can see the final result of their full facelift about four months after surgery.

Who Is a Full Facelift For?

Full facelifts are meant for people with pronounced signs of aging that affect the entirety of the face. This includes deep wrinkles along the forehead, crow’s feet around the eyes, loss of volume and sagging in the midface, and hanging skin around the mouth or jawline. 

Patients looking for a significant result that impacts their entire face should opt for full facelift surgery over the mini facelift counterpart. If your age-related changes are minimal and localized to the lower half of your face, a mini facelift may be the better option. 

Facelift Procedures with Dr. Apo

When you want a more youthful appearance, there are several different approaches you can take. For subtle fine lines and wrinkles, you may be interested in non-surgical options like Botox or dermal fillers. If you have deeper wrinkles and severe sagging, you may benefit from a facelift procedure. 

Dr. Apo, M.D., offers facelifts for patients looking to resolve deep wrinkles and sagging. To find out more, schedule a consultation today.