Facelift vs. Mini Facelift

Facelift vs. Mini Facelift

Are you a better candidate for a “full” facelift or a mini facelift? At RefinedMD, our board-certified cosmetic surgeon offers both, and during your consultation you’ll learn more about which approach is right for you. There was a time when facelifts were performed with a “go big or go home” mentality, and sometimes patients were encouraged to wait years to get the procedure and results they wanted—that’s no longer the case. A mini facelift is just what it sounds like: a less invasive version of a full facelift with less recovery time and minimal scarring. Still, it’s not for everyone. Let’s take a look at the key differences between the two procedures.

There’s no one size fits all facelift or mini facelift. Both procedures have several possible variations. However, a mini facelift generally requires shorter incisions compared to a full facelift. That’s how it earned its nickname of the “short scar” facelift. In many cases, patients require just two short incisions right in front of the ears when undergoing a mini facelift along with a “dot” of an incision below the chin to slightly lift the neck. The mid-face (cheek area) is then lifted while the crepe-like appearance of the neck disappears. So, what makes this different from a full facelift?

Full Facelift Basics

A full facelift involves the lifting of the mid-face, lower face, and neck. That’s right—a necklift is built into every standard facelift. A lot of patients don’t realize when they first start researching facelifts that only the mid-face and area below are treated. The eye area and brows are addressed by completely different procedures, aptly named an eyelid lift or brow lift (and within these procedures there are also several variations). However, it’s common to combine a facelift or even a mini facelift with an eyelift lift or brow lift.

You can see that a mini facelift isn’t nearly as invasive or dramatic as a facelift. The results are more subtle, making it a great option for younger patients or those with mild to moderate skin laxity. It’s a popular “pre-treatment” for a full facelift in the future, and many patients are in their 30s or 40s who are good candidates for a mini facelift—but there are no age restrictions based on the type of surgery alone. As long as you’re a healthy adult, there’s no “perfect age” for a mini facelift or full facelift.

Benefits of a Mini Facelift and Full Facelift

Shorter and fewer incisions mean you can get back to your daily life much quicker compared to a full facelift. Most patients return to work within one week of their mini facelift procedure. There’s also less swelling and discomfort during the recovery period. Finally, there are fewer complications and risks when choosing a mini facelift because it can usually be performed with local anesthesia rather than general anesthesia. Of course, there’s also the issue of price. A mini facelift is always a lower cost than a full facelift.

Ideal candidates for a full facelift enjoy stunning results that can last for several years. Depending on your skin’s “behavior” (propensity for laxity), genetics, your age, and of course how well you take care of your skin, it’s possible for patients to be happy with the results of a single full facelift for their entire life. The downtime is a little longer, but patients say it’s well worth the wait to see unprecedented and natural-looking results that only a full facelift can offer.

Making the Most of Your Facelift

Whether you ultimately choose a full facelift or mini facelift, there are many non-surgical ways to further enhance your results. These include injectables like Botox, laser skin resurfacing, dermal fillers, and of course a doctor-recommended at-home skin regimen. Using the right products for your unique skin on a daily basis is the foundation for sustaining your results. Your skin’s needs will also change from season to season and year to year, so it’s important to regularly talk to your doctor about any changes or modifications necessary.

If you’ve been thinking about a facelift or mini facelift, now is the time to take the first step and schedule a consultation. RefinedMD today for more information or to make a consultation.