Facelift vs. Mini Facelift

A major surgical procedure, face lift involves removal of excess skin on the face. It helps tighten underlying tissues on the face and neck. On the other hand, a mini face lift, as its name suggests, is a minor procedure that achieves some of the same results, but in a faster and less extensive procedure compared to the full facelift. Mini facelift is effective to reduce minor sagging around the neck, jawline, and cheeks, especially.

Mini facelift recovery is usually quick, with faster healing and minimal discomfort. During the procedure, the surgeon adjusts loose fat and skin, removing excess tissue carefully and disguising incisions in naturally hidden areas near the ear or chin. In cases where a loose, sagging look results mainly from pockets of loose skin and fat, this option can often create impressive results.

A full face lift involves some of the same improvements of a mini facelift, with the addition of more extensive corrections to tighten and reposition sagging facial muscles. The surgeon starts with an incision beginning along the hear, up along or just behind the hairline. The length and position of the incision will vary depending on the patient and, especially, the surgeon; but in any case, the focus of the procedure is the same. The surgeon will gently separate loose facial skin from deeper facial muscle and tissue, and use tiny sutures to tighten and reposition the deeper tissues. Then, the surgeon will “redrape” the loose facial skin naturally above the deeper tissues, and remove excess skin as necessary.

Both procedures have similar goals: a younger look, smoother skin, and a tighter and more healthy appearance. The biggest difference is the scope of the procedure: mini facelift is best to correct minor sagging and loose skin, and for patients who are seeing significant sagging of the facial and neck muscles, a full facelift, or even a neck lift, might be in order. Both procedures can significantly improve the jawline and lower-cheek area, treating unwanted jowling and reducing marionette lines around the corners of the mouth. Both procedures can be combined effectively with eyelid lift or brow lift for the upper face.

Risk and recovery time are another factor. From a highly qualified surgeon, safety is not a concern with either procedure, but the reality is that a more extensive procedure is going to involve more healing time and a bit more discomfort during recovery, along with more extensive results. For those who are just starting to experience the signs of aging, the mini option may be all that’s necessary.

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