The S-lift, also called a short scar lift, is a type of mini-facelift procedure that can reverse slight sagging in the chin and neck area of the face.
A mini-facelift provides a good middle ground for people who don’t yet need a full facelift but would still like to do something about the signs of aging around the lower part of their face. For the right candidate, the procedure offers a number of benefits over the traditional facelift.
Avoid the Pulled Look
The “pulled” or windswept look is an undesirable result from a traditional facelift. It occurs when the surgeon trims or tightens the skin on the face. There are ways to avoid that result, during both the traditional surgery and the S-lift. By focusing on the underlying muscle, connective tissue, and fat, the surgeon can avoid relying on the skin to lift the face, providing a more natural and longer lasting result.
Compared to a traditional facelift, the S-lift is less invasive, meaning your recovery time is shorter and the scarring is less prominent. The procedure is typically performed using local anesthesia, and it usually takes the doctor less than two hours to perform the surgery.
During an S-lift, Dr. Schwartz makes small incisions near the ears and hairline. These incisions are shaped like an “S,” which is part of the reason why the surgery is a called an S-lift. Since the incisions are small, scarring after the procedure is usually very minimal. The location of the incisions also makes it easy for you to conceal them, either with your hair or in the natural folds and creases of the ears.
Another benefit of the S-lift over the traditional facelift is that there are fewer complications. Complications from a facelift are rare to begin with, and complications from the S-lift are rarer still — though it is possible for your body to have a reaction to the anesthetic used to numb the area. Other possible complications include bleeding, either from the incisions, or in the form of a hematoma, which develops when blood pools beneath the surface of the skin.
There’s also a small risk for infection at the incision site after the surgery. To reduce the risk of infection, the surgeon will often prescribe a course of antibiotics to be taken after the surgery. Other possible complications include asymmetrical results and poor healing.
The S-lift is ideal for patients who lead busy lives. Although there’s a bit of downtime after the procedure, in most cases, you can expect to be back at work within five days. It’s recommended that you avoid strenuous activity, such as working out or heavy lifting, for at least two weeks. Your surgeon will let you know when it’s OK to start exercising again or being very active.
While recovering from the procedure, you may experience some swelling or bruising, as well as mild pain. If the pain bothers you, your surgeon can prescribe medication. Keeping your head elevated and using a cold compress on the area will help reduce bruising and swelling.
Candidates for the S-Lift
Not everyone is an ideal candidate for the S-lift procedure. Usually, it’s better suited for younger patients, such as those in their 40s or early 50s, who are just beginning to show some signs of looseness in the chin and neck area. But, if you are older and have minimal signs of aging or minimal laxity in the skin, the surgery might be a good option for you, instead of a full facelift.
What’s most important is that you be in good health. If you have certain medical conditions or if you smoke and don’t want to quit, the surgery might not be the best option. To determine whether or not the S-lift is the procedure for you, your surgeon will discuss what you want from the surgery as well as your medical history.
If you are interested in learning more about the S-lift, Dr. Michael Schwartz, a Florida facial plastic surgeon with more than 20 years of experience, can answer any questions you have. To schedule a consultation, contact his office in West Palm Beach by calling 561-228-5888.