When asked which procedure has made the most impact at his practice, Chicago plastic surgeon Sam Speron, MD says hands down it’s the short-scar facelift. “The demand for short-scar facelifts, mini-facelifts and necklifts has been skyrocketing in recent years,” says the surgeon. He attributes the increase in popularity to three factors: “Patients want something that can be done in the office with only local anesthesia, a quick recovery and results that make you look noticeably younger, but naturally, not like you’ve just had surgery.”
Shorter Procedure Times
The mere mention of a facelift procedure draws to mind a cold operating room setting, a face full of bandages, a four-week sabbatical away from the office and months of recovery waiting to look good enough to go back out in public. Not so says Dr. Speron. He has the timing for his short-scar facelift procedure down to a science. “As my technique has evolved over the years, I’ve been able to reduce the time it takes to perform a short-scar or mini-facelift to easily under an hour.”
Performed in an office setting under local anesthesia, Dr. Speron notes that the second benefit his patients often love is the ease with which they breeze through the post-procedure healing process. “Most of my patients do not even want oral sedation, which is a low dose of Valium or Ativan,” he explains. “After their short-scar facelift done under local anesthesia, many will literally get up and want to leave within 5-10 minutes of the procedure because they feel great. Of course, we offer to watch them as long as they need before the private limo takes them back home. This happens quite often because so many patients feel fine afterward and immediately notice a sharper jawline, lifted jowls and smoother neck.”
Typically, a facelift will take longer because there are more incisions to be made, but the short-scar facelift uses less incisions to attain a lifted look. “Most surgeons perform a short-scar surgery using one SMAS stitch that pulls in one direction,” Dr. Speron says. To maximize lifting results and to achieve the most natural-looking results, he explains to patients that he will place three separate inside stitches instead of just one, which elevates and tightens the SMAS muscles in three separate directions. “Rather than just pulling the cheek laterally to the side, one of my stitches is pulling the cheek upward; another is pulling the nasolabial fold in an angular direction; and the last one is lifting the platysma muscle in the neck and pulling it up vertically. Those three directions are much more powerful than one static direction. Your face doesn’t age in only one direction!”
Many patients report minimal bruising and swelling. “This is that one cosmetic facial surgery that is easiest for patients to undergo, shows an immediate improvement and will have them back to their normal selves in as little as two weeks. Often, our patients go out the next day and don’t feel eyes staring at them,” he notes.