The Difference Between a Complete Facelift and a Mini Facelift

Woman smiling in a field

As a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, I often hear patients complain about sagging skin and loss of volume in the face and neck. With numerous facelift options being marketed, it can be hard to know which approach is right for your concerns. In this post, I will focus on describing the differences between a full facelift and a mini facelift at my facial plastic surgery practice serving Scottsdale and Phoenix, AZ.

What does a full facelift consist of ?

  • Also called a full facelift or a traditional facelift.
  • A full facelift addresses the lower two-thirds of the face. It repositions sagging cheeks and other facial tissues vertically.
  • The procedure eliminates loose skin on the neck and cheeks. It restores definition to the jawline and corrects central facial fat loss.
  • The results are long-lasting. You can learn more about how long facelift results last in our related blog post.
  • The incisions for a full facelift are made discreetly around and behind the ears. This is necessary to remove an optimal amount of excess skin.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons provides more detailed information about who makes a good candidate for a full facelift, what the procedure entails, and what to expect during recovery.

What is a mini facelift?

  • Sometimes called a short-scar facelift, this procedure is technically referred to as a SMAS plication lift. It is usually reserved for younger patients.
  • A mini facelift reduces minor sagging on the lower face and neck.
  • It is a minimal skin tightening procedure that offers shorter-lived results than a traditional facelift.
  • The incision is smaller than the incision for a full facelift.
  • The mini facelift has a reduced recovery when compared to a full facelift.

Neither procedure addresses age-related changes in the upper face, such as forehead lines or sagging eyelids. Many facelift patients choose to combine their procedure with a brow lift or an eyelid lift to achieve full facial rejuvenation.

The different variations of facelift surgery can be confusing and overwhelming and are best discussed with a facial plastic surgeon. I encourage women and men who are considering a facelift in the Scottsdale and Phoenix areas to request a consultation to learn about how facelift surgery can be tailored to your needs. You can also call us at (480) 214-9955 to schedule an appointment. We’re looking forward to seeing you!

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