The Difference Between a Complete Facelift and a Mini Facelift

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 practice serving Scottsdale and Phoenix, AZ.

Complete Facelift

  • 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 jaw line and corrects central facial fat loss.
  • The results are long lasting.
  • 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.

Mini Facelift

  • Sometimes called a short-scar facelift, this procedure is technically referred to as an 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 which 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.

The different variations of facelift surgery can be confusing and overwhelming, and are best discussed with a facial plastic surgeon. I encourage individuals that are considering a facelift to request a consultation to learn about how facelift surgery can be tailored to your needs. In the meantime, you can visit our facelift page for more in-depth information about the procedure.

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