Mini Facelift (Rhytidectomy)

As people age, the effects of gravity, exposure to the sun, and the stresses of everyday life are seen on the face. Some of the effects include deep creases between the nose and mouth, jowl-like jawline, slack skin, and/or extra fat on the neck. A facelift can help turn back the clock on these effects by removing excess fat, tightening the underlying muscles, and re-draping the skin of the face and neck.

Mini Facelift Surgery – Rhytidectomy is the name for a group of operations to restore the effects of aging. Time and gravity take their tolls on our facial beauty. Tissues lose their youthful tone and sag. Sun and the environment set the lines of time into the surface of the face with wrinkles and lines. For some cultures, these effects represent the earned years of wisdom and respect. For other cultures, the aging process is a loss of youth and a possible competitive edge.

  • Avoid asprin or aspirin-containing medicine for 2 weeks prior to your operation as this can produce bleeding or bruising. Panadol is safe.
  • Avoid vitamin E two weeks prior to surgery as this may also increase bleeding tendency. Vitamin B and C are safe to use.
  • Stop smoking or at least cut back to only a few per day to avoid post operative tissues, necrosis.
  • Do not drink alcohol for at least two days prior to surgery as alcohol also increases the chances of bleeding and bruising.
  • Two days before surgery you may start taking the ARNICA and Vitamin C which we have prescribed for you. These have been shown to effectively minimise bruising and swelling. Avoid tea, coffee and peppermint as these products neutralise the beneficial effects of ARNICA.
  • Hair colouring may be used up to the week of surgery, but must be avoided for approximately two weeks after surgery. Prior to surgery you should consider hair styles that allow coverage of your ears and if possible the forehead to help conceal early bruising or incision lines.
  • Please note that only minimal hair will be shaved during the operation. The area shaved is behind the ears and confined to the scalp that is to be removed during surgery. At the end of your operation there is no hair loss. Despite there being sutures or metal clips in the scalp following any brow lift procedure these are rarely seen after the hair has been washed and dried.
  • If you develop any sign of infection such as cold, flu, or pimples on your face during the week prior to surgery – please notify surgeon’s office so that we can treat this effectively.
  • Bring to the hospital your normal toiletries and any regular normal medication that you use. Loose night clothes are recommended. Also bring a pair of sunglasses and a scarf to wear home.
  • If your operation is in the morning, you must have nothing to eat or drink after midnight. If your operation is in the afternoon, you must not take anything by mouth after 8am on the day of the surgery.

A facelift is frequently performed in conjunction with blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), forehead lift, chin augmentation, and/or liposuction, to create an overall rejuvenation of the face. The procedure can be repeated as gravity continues its effects after the first surgery.

Facelifts are performed in outpatient surgical centers or in an accredited physician’s office. Local anesthesia with intravenous sedation is most commonly used, with premedication to help you relax. General anesthesia is used if desired.

The surgeon will make incisions inside the hairline at the temple, in front of the ear. Excess skin is removed and sagging muscles and connective tissues are tightened. In some cases, fatty deposits are removed from beneath the chin and neck. Incisions are closed with small sutures.

The procedure may take up to 1-3 hours depending on whether any other procedures are performed at the same time.

Aftercare following surgery, a small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin behind your ear to drain any blood that might collect there. The surgeon may also wrap your head loosely in bandages to minimize bruising and swelling. The recovery takes one week.

AnesthesiaLocal with sedation, or general.
Surgery Length3 – 4 hours
Side EffectsTemporary bruising, swelling, numbness and tenderness of skin; tight feeling, dry skin. For men, permanent need to shave behind ears, where beard-growing skin is repositioned.
Recovery PeriodBack to work: 10 to 14 days. More strenuous activity: 4 weeks or more. Bruising: 2 to 3 weeks. Must limit exposure to sun for several months.
Stay in Hospital1 day
Stay in Thailand
  • It is necessary to have someone drive you home and stay with you for the first 24 hours. Stitches around the ears will be loosened or removed in a few days. The scalp sutures will be removed in 10-14 days.
  • To minimize scarring, we may remove the sutures in stages. Scarring fades quickly. Swelling and discoloration decrease within two weeks. Tightness in your face will be present for several weeks and there may be slight changes in your hair pattern around the incision.
  • We recommend that you avoid the sun for several weeks after surgery.
  • Complications following facelift are rare. These include bleeding, infection, loss of skin behind the ears, facial nerve injury, discoloration of the skin, numbness, asymmetry and scarring. Infection is rare due to the large blood supply to the face. As mentioned, the risk of bleeding is greater if you take aspirin or blood thinners within 2 weeks of the surgery.
  • The risk of wound complications increases in diabetics, persons with a history of radiation, autoimmune and collagen disease as well as in smokers.

Mini facelifts are generally appropriate for people who show aging in the mid-face and do not have a severe amount of excess skin around their jaw line and neck. Mini facelifts do not stop the aging process but merely “set the clock back.”

Minimal facelifts can be performed quickly and with little risk, but the degree of correction achieved by these lifts is also less. More extensive techniques can give better correction of the aging changes in the face, but at the cost of greater operating time, more risk, longer swelling, slower recovery, and greater cost. Make sure that you discuss your goals, budget, and risk tolerance with your surgeon to decide on the plan that is best for you.

Most patients are able to return to work in two to three weeks after short-scar face lift plastic surgery. Some people believe that the recovery and bruising after this type of operation is minor compared to that of a traditional face lift. However, this has not been proven in the literature. You should allow four to eight weeks before major social engagements.

A mini face lift has a shorter, more limited incision than that of a traditional face lift. The incision used for a mini face lift may sometimes be as little as one-half the length of a traditional face lift incision and eliminates most of the incisions behind the ears. Thus, it is more “pony-tail friendly.”