I do not think that it is very fair to call all mini facelift bad and all regular facelifts good, or even better. It has to do with the technique, with experience, extensiveness of surgery and so on.
I don't know about you, but I am completely confused about the variety of branded facelifts out there. We can complain about it, however, it is the reality of life. The problem is that with plastic surgery going more mainstream, the consumer expects more mainstream names for the procedures.
As a patient, as a consumer, would you rather sign up for a EZ lift procedure, or for a minimal access cranial suspension rhytidectomy with platysmaplasty, subplatysmal lipectomy, digastric plication, suction lipoplasty with modified finger assisted malar elevation procedure? What if both of them are same?
I have seen physicians performed skin only facelift surgery and call it traditional facelift. I have seen SMAS plication, SMAS excision, and MACS lift called traditional facelift and mini facelift at the same time by different surgeons. I have seen mini facelifts take longer than traditional facelift. My point is that each individual facelift, or mini facelift procedures, has to be analyzed based on its own merit and technique utilized. So far, majority of negative publicity toward mini facelifts is based on the name alone. There are as many techniques for mini facelift, as traditional facelifts.
Micro-lifts, day lifts, mini lifts, SMAS lifts, traditional facelifts, composite facelifts are all parts of a single continuum called facial rejuvenation surgery. As the consumer, as the patient, it is up to you to decide which procedure fits in your lifestyle and your budget.
To avoid the confusion related to names, I would not focus on the specific name of the procedure, but rather understand what exactly is going to be done. Ask your board certified surgeon to explain you the recovery time, anticipated improvements of various techniques and compare them to the other alternative procedures. Based on that, you can determine which procedure is right for you.
I encourage you to visit my article page on this website describing various facial rejuvenation techniques in lay language format. I hope, you find it helpful and useful.
Boris Volshteyn M.D., M.S.