What’s Involved in a Facelift or Mini Facelift?

From facials to facelifts, there are a number of options available to those interested in correcting wrinkles, scars, sagging, and other signs of aging. Surgical options include a facelift or a mini facelift. Here’s an explanation of how the procedures work and the differences between the two.

Standard Facelift

A rhytidectomy, or traditional facelift, lifts and tightens facial tissues that have lost their elasticity, causing sagging and wrinkles. A typical procedure will address moderate to advanced aging around the bottom two-thirds of the face and neck. (An eye lift is a separate procedure, as is a neck lift, although one or both are sometimes done at the same time as a traditional facelift.) A full or standard facelift will require general anesthesia, and will leave swelling and bruising that can cause discomfort.

In a standard facelift, incisions are made just behind the hairline near the temples, and around the front of the ear and back to the lower scalp behind the ears. This way, any scars are less noticeable. The surgeon separates the skin from underlying tissue and muscle, repositions the deeper tissue beneath the skin, and removes excess skin. The surgeon is then able to smooth out creases, eliminate sagging under the chin, tighten facial tissue, and create a more attractive contour to the face and neck. Bruising and swelling will gradually get better, and should be difficult to notice after 10-14 days. Patients can usually return to normal activities after about two weeks, and more strenuous exercise after four weeks.

Mini Facelift

A mini facelift targets sagging skin on the lower half of the face, around the neck and jawline, and requires fewer incisions than a traditional facelift. Incisions are made along the hairline and in front of each ear. As with the full facelift, a mini facelift involves lifting and pulling the tissue under the skin and removing excess tissue. Frequently, fat grafting is added to address facial volume loss.

The smaller incisions used in a mini facelift can be especially helpful for lesser facial laxity, and in some cases, a mini-facelift may be performed using local anesthesia with sedation. A mini facelift can be a good choice before the signs of aging become too pronounced, allowing you to avoid more extensive surgery. The mini facelift has less downtime than a full facelift.

Your Most Important Decision

Before determining what kind of procedure to have, you’ll need to choose your physician. Be sure to seek out a board-certified plastic surgeon, ask how many similar procedures they have performed, and review their before-and-after photos. Once you choose a surgeon, he or she can help you decide which type of facelift is right for you. The experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons at MSA have proven experience and expertise; contact us to schedule a consultation.