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What is the Difference Between a Full Face Lift and a Mini Facelift?

Can you please explain the difference between a full face lift and a mini facelift and if it is worth it...I am 62 years old..I live in New York City..My problem is the lower part of my forehead has very few lines and my neck is not saggy at all..I was also looking into lazer resurfacing.I want a procedure that is the least invasive..I want to look refreshed and natural and not like I had surgery...

Doctor Answers (36)

Mini facelift lifts the cheek but not neck and brow


Thank you for your question.The mini facelift is best for someone like you who describes minimal aging of the forehead and neck with primarily loose skin in the mid face and jaw region.  A full facelift usually includes forehead the cheek the jawline and the neck.

Laser resurfacing can produce some skin tightening if properly done but if you have significant jowls and cheek laxity you would most likely be better off with a mini facelift.

Be sure to consult a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery who is experienced and face lift techniques.



Web reference:

Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

What is the Difference Between a Full Face Lift and a Mini Facelift?


Dear fif,

thank you for your question.  Although there are a lot of variations, a 'real' mini facelift, is better for suspension of muscle without a lot of skin laxity.  A Full facelift repositions the muscles and removes a great deal of skin laxity.  Laser therapy is good for fine lines, not for deep lines, such as 'jowls', etc.

Best Wishes,

Pablo Prichard, MD

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Full facelift versus mini facelift


A mini- lift involves only lifting the jowls in the cheek area minimally tightening the cheeks, thereby giving a mini result. A comprehensive full face and neck lift involves lifting the jowls and cheeks,  tightening the neck muscles in 3 locations, and removal of neck  fat, and tightening up the neck skin is well. Please see the link below for  our facelift photo gallery

Web reference:

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Difference Between a Mini-Facelift and a Full Facelift (Traditional Facelift)


The mini-facelift is an excellent operation for the  patient who has facial laxity, jowling and some neck laxity.  A traditional facelift is a better operation for the patient who has more extensive facial laxity, jowling and a large amount of fatty tissue in the neck or a large degree of muscle banding (platysmal banding) in the neck.  The traditional facelift has an additional incision under the chin which allows for the muscle bands in the neck to be tightened and for the excess fatty tissue to be removed.   From the description of your facial aging, you would be an excellent candidate for a mini-facelift.  As far as the laser part of your question,  I have a Fraxel Repair laser which is the most advanced, effective laser to resurface sun damaged, wrinkled skin. I often do Fraxel resurfacing after a facelift to address the fine wrinkles that the facelift doesn't take care of. 

Philadelphia Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

62 year old and need a lower facelift


At 62 you need a nice lower facelift that should take 4 hours or so.  Your eyelids may be done at the same time if you wish.  The mini facelift is a silly term that means not much will be done.  If you have mini expectations and are willing to accept not much as your final result, then you may be okay with a mini facelift.   My advice is save your money.  Mini lifts are a sad use of your hard earned dollars.  Get a real facelift from a well qualified and experienced ABPS and FACS surgeon.   My Best,  Dr C

Web reference:

Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

What is the difference between a full facelift and a mini facelift?


A traditional facelift is a great option for a patient with more advanced
 signs of aging who wants to refresh their neck, jawline, and cheeks. A mini 
facelift rejuvenates the lower third of the face, including the jowls and 
neck. With a mini lift, there will not be as long of an incision, and the
 dissection is not as extensive. You will be in surgery for less time, the
recovery is easier, and the cost is lower. Depending on your individual 
circumstances, a mini facelift may be of benefit to you. Laser resurfacing will not
 address loose skin if it is present. It is difficult to provide you with any
 specific advice without seeing photos. I would recommend an in-person consult 
with a board certified facial plastic surgeon. He/she will be able to advise you 
following an exam. I hope this helps, and best of luck.

Web reference:

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Distinction between fullface and many facelift.


A full facelift takes care of aging from the lower eyelids to the clavicles. A mini facelift or any lesser procedure of a different name limits the treatment area to the cheek down to the angle of the jaw.

Web reference:,23-atlanta-facelift.htm

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Full vs Mini


Facelifting is a very personalized art.  In most full facelifts the checks are elevated and the entire neck tightened.  A mini lift may be just the cheeks, just the neck, just the area under the chin, or just the midface..  Here is  a link that explains it:

Web reference:

Boston Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

"Full" Facelift vs "Mini" Facelift


As a general rule and in my practice the terms "full" vs "mini" refer to the length of the incision; the incisions for a "mini" lift are kept within the confines of the ear and only extend into the hairline minimally, whereas the 'full' facelift incisions are much longer and harder to camouflage, usually extending well into the hairline both above the ear and behind. In my experience the SMAS tightening, which is the primary "lifting" portion of the procedure, is the same regardless of the incision pattern. Over the last 10 years these two procedures have become more and more the same. If you have a lax jawline and the beginning of jowls, no laser or filler will correct and a 'mini" lift will be necessary.

Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Full face lift and mini facelift differences


A full facelift usually requires a full incision around the ear and hairline both behind and in front of the ear.  This is often done for significant skin laxity as well as significant soft tissue descent. A mini facelift is usually a limited incision procedure for small amounts of skin laxity and often not in the neck as well as mild facial soft tissue descent. Good luck.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.

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