Shatkin facelift technique offers short recovery

Looking to get a facelift but don’t have the time you’ll need for a lengthy recovery?

You may see advertisements about something called a “short recovery facelift,” sometimes also referred to as the weekend facelift, a minimal facelift or a mini facelift. The ads make it seem like this procedure is the newest thing since sliced bread.

But really, it’s been around for decades, certainly at least since Dr. Sam Shatkin started practicing in 1989. The operation varies little from a limited facelift. However, a lot has changed since the early days.

Through modernization and advancement of techniques, the recovery time is now dramatically shorter. And because of a technique that uses limited incision, it’s easy to hide, making a short recovery facelift popular among men. It also means less reliance on friends and family during recovery.

Dr. Shatkin currently performs the “S” lift, short for Shatkin Lift. His technique is a two-layer lift, both on the skin and on the deeper muscle and fascia layer beneath the skin, made through a shortened “S” shaped incision hiding in the creases around the ear.



This combination external- and internal-lift technique allows for a quicker recovery due to the limited dissection or lifting of the skin from the lower layers, and using the deeper layers to anchor the lift. Dr. Shatkin believes a deep layer tightening is necessary because it gives the lift stability and longer lasting results.

Dr. Shatkin performs the “S” lift at his office-based surgery center under local anesthesia with minimal sedation. The combination of this unique surgical technique and the limited sedation — not general anesthesia — provides for a very short recovery.

Patients return to the office the day after surgery for removal of bandages and they can later shower and shampoo their hair. Most of the stitches are usually removed within 3-5 days (many will have already self-dissolved) and by one week the patients can often return to work.

The “S” lift frequently means patients can have the procedure right away instead of waiting several years to find the time to set aside for a lengthy recovery. It can also be combined with ancillary procedures, such as fillers and eyelifts.

For more information, please call Aesthetic Associates Centre for Plastic Surgery and Advanced Skin Care at 716-839-1700 or visit

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