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What is a Lower Face Lift?

Marjorie McAtee
Marjorie McAtee

A lower face lift, or mini face lift, is a cosmetic surgery procedure intended to improve the appearance of sagging skin on the lower part of the face and neck. As skin ages, it becomes thinner and separates from the underlying muscles and fats, causing a saggy appearance. A lower face lift tightens skin on the lower portion of the face, jawline, chin, and neck to give patients a more youthful appearance. It does not typically affect the middle face or the forehead.

Plastic surgeons generally perform the lower face lift by making an incision that begins above the ear and runs behind the ear. Most surgeons try to hide this incision under the hairline, or in the natural folds of the skin, to minimize scarring. Once the incision is made, the surgeon will most likely pull the skin of the face up and back before trimming away excess skin. If the fat and muscle beneath the skin are to be trimmed as well, the initial incision will probably need to be longer, and will begin at the temple.

Woman in breeze
Woman in breeze

The type of procedure used generally depends on the age of the patient and the extent of skin sagging she is experiencing. Patients younger than 50, but older than 30 usually have the simplest lower face lift procedure, in which only the skin is pulled back and trimmed. Patients older than 50 may get better results from a more thorough lower face lift, in which the fat and muscle tissues beneath the skin are trimmed as well. The procedure usually takes between 40 and 90 minutes to perform, depending on how thorough the face lift will be.

The lower face lift typically costs between $3,500 US Dollars (USD) and $6,500 USD. It's usually performed as an outpatient procedure. Local anesthetic may be used. Patients may experience some discomfort after the procedure, but pain medications can be prescribed to help control it.

Recovery from a lower fact lift may take as long as ten days. Patients may experience swelling, mild bruising, numbness, and pain. A bandage is generally recommended to protect the surgical area for as long as 48 hours following the procedure. Patients are generally advised to sleep with the head elevated during the first seven days of recovery. Most patients have their sutures taken out and are able to return to work and normal activities one week after the surgery.

The results of a lower face lift typically last five to ten years. Results may last longer in patients who practice good skin care. They may be less long lasting in patients who do not practice good skin care.

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Discussion Comments


@spotiche5- Though it depends on your friend's pain tolerance, having a lower face lift typically does not cause excessive amounts of pain.

Though some doctors prescribe pain medications, patients can choose to take over-the-counter pain medications if they prefer and these drugs work for them. However, it is important to keep in mind that acetaminophen is the only over-the-counter pain treatment that is approved to take post-op because other types will cause bleeding and can slow down the healing process.


Does anyone know how much pain is involved following a lower face lift? My best friend is considering having one and can not take prescription pain medications because of the side effects she has when she takes them. Will she be able to control the pain with over-the-counter pain medications?

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