Written by Dr. Nerina Wilkinson – Expert Facial & Breast Plastic Surgeon
Now that we live longer and understand the power of embracing healthy lifestyles, looking as young as one feels has become the norm. As such, Rhytidectomy, better known as facelift surgery, is no longer the domain of the rich and famous, but people from all walks of life are opting for some kind of facelift procedure from a much younger age than 10 years ago, and for the “younger” patients, this often comes in the form of a short scar facelift (or the BELLA Lift at our practice). And quite rightly so. Why should the sad effects of gravity – sagging jowls, baggy eyelids, and deep wrinkles – keep you from looking the way you feel inside?
The “Zoom Effect”
Since going into lockdown when Covid struck, I have seen an increase in patients requesting more invasive facial procedures. Men and women are more aware of their facial features due to the many hours spent looking at themselves during virtual (Zoom) meetings. Never have we spent so much time analysing how facial expressions and emotions change during animation.
Usually, we only see our faces static when applying makeup in the morning and have a few seconds to critically analyse our faces at rest. The Zoom Effect is what has, in our experience, increased the number of younger patients choosing a short scar facelift (or BELLA Lift) procedure, as they too are now studying their faces in real-time, noticing what only others
The ideal time for a Short Scar Facelift
Many of my patients are finding that since Covid, they are able to work from home more, and have fewer social demands, making now the ideal time to embark on procedures they have always wanted to do, but never had the time for.
With “working from home” and no “social pressures”, one of my long-standing patients who regularly maintains her youthful appearance with muscle relaxing injections and facial filler treatments took the step to have her short scar facelift procedure.
Her motivation was: “Now that I am working from home, that barrier has been lifted, and I am ready for a more ‘aggressive’ approach to my facial rejuvenation”. A short scar facelift procedure seems less daunting as she now has the time to recover in “stealth “without her friends and work colleague knowing her secret to “eternal youth”.
How can a Short Scar Facelift improve my appearance?
A short scar facelift can enhance the overall mid-facial appearance and improve sagging jowls by tightening slack muscles, removing excess skin, replenishing facial volume, and thereby improving youthful facial contours. The resulting scar is shorter than a conventional facelift because a short scar facelift addresses only the sagging midface and not the neck which will require a more extensive scar. The ideal candidate is therefore a younger patient in her 40s to 50s with mild midface sagging and very minimal loose neck skin.
Today’s facelifts are not designed to change appearances radically but simply refresh the overall facial look.
What does a Short Scar Facelift involve?
A short scar facelift procedure addresses jowling which is one of the earliest signs of facial aging. The jowls are areas of skin, muscle, and fat that have fallen from the side of the face to hang along or below the jawline. The surgery works by using a well-hidden incision in front of the ears. The underlying muscles and deeper tissues are pulled up and back eliminating the jowls by supporting the loose jowl tissue. The procedure is then completed by carefully removing excess loose skin.
A short scar facelift can be performed as a stand-alone procedure, however, for the most natural results I combine a short scar facelift procedure with Lipofilling. Lipofilling is a fat grafting technique that restores the youthful fullness that is lost with aging. It is used to plump up and enhance all facial areas including the chin, nose, neck, jawline, nasolabial folds, marionette lines, brow, upper eyelids, temples, and lips.
What is the recovery from a short scar facelift?
Our short scar facelift procedures are performed at The Cosmetic Surgery Institute under a light anaesthetic. I encourage my patients to overnight in the clinic so that the qualified nursing staff can ensure a speedy recovery by applying ice, head elevation, and specialised LED lights during the first 24 hours after the procedure. You can expect swelling and bruising for 7 – 14 days post-procedure depending on your ability to heal.
Small invisible sutures are removed after 14 days after which most patients are able to socially engage. Swelling can however differ from patient to patient and often a full recovery can be expected in 6 weeks. Initially, scars may be red and require time to lighten, but until then, they can be hidden by opting for a clever hairstyle.
What should I expect from a Short Scar Facelift?
Before having a facelift, it is important to have realistic expectations and be emotionally, physiologically, and psychologically prepared. I emphasise to prospective patients that surgery won’t necessarily change relationships or make them feel happier about themselves.
What you can expect is to look naturally more lifted and rejuvenated, resulting in a more relaxed and refreshed look.
Can facelift surgery improve my self-esteem?
Cosmetic surgery can have a positive impact on your body confidence and self-esteem, but only if you possess realistic expectations to begin with. Cosmetic surgery is a very personal decision that requires careful thought and consideration, and I therefore only recommend surgery to patients who are in excellent mental and physical health.
Contact us to schedule your facial cosmetic surgery consultation today.