It is my opinion that the recent trend in advertising minilifts is predatory. Of course nobody wants to have a surgery that causes a long recovery time, or is expensive. And who need lab tests preoperatively when your minilift "surgeon" doesn't require any tests at all ( except the credit card clearance).
Enter the minilift. Quick recovery, perhaps even over lunchtime, no dangerous general anesthesia, low cost.
The real truth is in the results. Most patients having minilifts are expecting facelift results. If they don't get them, or if they have bad scarring from tightly closed incisions, they are disappointed in the results. You can see what the patient satisfaction was on the minilift boards, even on this website.
What patients are not adequately explained, in my opinion, is that the before and after pictures they are seeing on minilift sites look nothing like the actual results. They are not shown pictures of patients with horrific scarring; only clever patients who parse internet blog sites will find the truth and avoid mass market minilifts.
They are also not told that they have all the incisions of a facelift, but half the result. In saving an average of 1 1/2 hours of the doctors time and $5000 of their money, they get half the result.
They are not told about the pain of having surgery when you are awake, feeling needles, pulling and pain. Light general anesthetic with a board certified anesthesiologist suddenly sounds more appealing.
The recovery from a minilift is not much shorter than that for a real facelift performed by a skilled facelift surgeon. If the scars from the minilift are wide, the recovery and eventual revisional surgery will even be much longer.
Minilifts do have their place, in younger women who do not need a lot of deep tissue restructuring, perhaps, and in revision facelifts where the areas of concentration are more limited. However, to do a minilift in every patient for the reasons above is not the best medicine.
Web reference: http://drbrent.com/faceliftprocedure.php