Minimizing Incisions, Reducing Recovery Time

While face and neck lifts are technically different procedures, it’s important to understand how they’re related when speaking with your board-certified plastic surgeon. Dr. James Boynton of Houston only performs the procedures together for a number of reasons, namely to target the face, jowls, and neck all at once. However, his technique minimizes incisions, which not only reduces scarring but also recovery time.

In his new short-scar ‘mini’ lift, Dr. Boynton places incisions along the front of the ears (the incisions end right behind the bottom of the ears). He pulls the skin towards the ears to create a refreshed and tightened look, pulling from the cheeks and jowls. He also places a small incision at the chin to remove excess fat from the jowl area and tightens the neck muscle (platysma), which works like an internal support to keep the neck refined. The latter corrects the vertical banding, as well.

In ‘traditional’ facelifts, incisions in front and behind the ear actually elevate the skin by the sideburn, which can create a very noticeable change and less natural look, which is sometimes referred to as the “windswept” look. Patients also don’t like incisions behind their ears, in part because it affects their ability to wear their hair up in a ponytail, for example. Dr. Boynton recognizes these issues and that is one of the reasons he avoids the post–auricular incisions (those behind the ears) and along the hairline of the neck, as many classic facelift surgeons still perform.

This short-scar ‘mini’ lift has about one week of recovery, whereas other face and neck lifts have up to three weeks, due to more incisions, and thus, increased swelling and bruising. Don’t forget, every surgeon has his or her own technique and will suggest which approach makes the most sense for you in consultation.

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