The mini facelift is a less extensive procedure than a full cheek and neck lift (aka traditional facelift). The incision is shorter and is almost completely within and in front of the ear with no (or almost no) extension behind the ear. The main indication for the mini facelift is the presence of early jowls. As a general rule, mini lifts are best utilized on younger people with early aging changes, who still have a youthful neck. Once the aging process has resulted in jowls AND abundant loose skin in the neck, a traditional facelift is a better procedure. Think of a mini lift as a cheek lift and a traditional facelift as a cheek and neck lift.
Pros of a Mini Facelift Surgery
Shorter recovery duration: The traditional facelift procedure usually requires 3 weeks before you can return to unrestricted activity and expect to look “normal” in public. A mini facelift, on the other hand, may only take a week (but you’d better plan on 2 weeks, just in case).
Less painful: Owing to the less extensive dissection in a mini facelift procedure, you’ll experience less post-op pain and discomfort. Swelling and minimal bruising are common side effects. But their appearance is significantly less pronounced in a mini facelift than the regular facelift surgery. Post-op swelling resolves within 2 weeks after surgery.
Twilight anesthesia: For most people, general anesthesia is unnecessary as the mini facelift can be performed with local anesthesia and twilight sedation. Twilight anesthesia helps reduce the risks and side-effects associated with general anesthesia, such as postoperative nausea and vomiting.
Reduced expense: A mini facelift takes less time to perform than a traditional facelift and therefore costs considerably less than a traditional facelift.
Cons of a mini facelift surgery
For younger patients. A mini lift is usually not the best choice for patients over 55 years of age (although there is tremendous variability between patients and ethnic groups) or patients with extensive aging changes in the neck.
Lasts less long? While some people say that a mini lift lasts less long than a traditional facelift, that may not be true. Patients who have their first lift at 40 years of age are more likely to have a second procedure than the patient who waits until age 65 to have the first procedure. Makes sense, right? The mini lift patients tend to be more in tune with, and more bothered by, early aging changes than the traditional facelift patients. So mini lifts probably last as long as traditional facelifts but the patients who opt for them are sufficiently concerned about their aging changes, that they have the procedure at a younger age and will likely have a touch up 5-7 years later to maintain that youthful look.
Consult a Plastic Surgeon
A mini facelift procedure is a popular plastic surgery procedure for the reasons mentioned above. Consult a board-certified plastic surgeon to determine your candidacy for the procedure. Dr. Charles Thorne is an expert plastic surgeon with more than three decades of clinical experience in facial rejuvenation procedures, including mini facelifts.