Mini-Facelift - Is It Right For You?


Interestingly, the changes in the face that contribute to wrinkles and sagginess start deep. All the way to the bone deep! We literally have shrinking heads as we start to age out of our robust 20s. Facial bone resorption of aging shrinks our cheekbones, jawbones and brows.  If that isn't bad enough, in the next layer up, we lose soft tissue - further robbing us of the lovely apples of our cheeks and causing a hollowing around the eyes and deflation of the lips. Then finally, every decade from our 20s forward, we lose roughly 6% of the collagen of our dermis/skin making it thin, crepey, and inelastic.

The big question is, “What can we do to counteract this aging process?”  A facelift is the most comprehensive way to address multiple signs of aging from the mid-face, jawline and neck.  The traditional facelift accomplishes fat redistribution, muscle repositioning and strategic removal of excess skin to provide the most comprehensive results.  However, if you only have limited sagginess or excess skin, or you simply desire a limited surgery, a traditional “full” facelift may not be right for you.  A more-appropriate, less-invasive option may be some type of mini-facelift. 

In the past, a facelift was considered appropriate for people in their 50s or beyond.  Today’s options of a mini-facelift can provide early correction of signs of aging and can improve definition starting in one’s 30s and into one’s 60s.  There are several benefits to starting early, including:

  1. Better Healing – Younger patients often have an easier recovery.
  2. Prevention – Doing surgery early may help preserve the structure before it sags.
  3. Improved Support – Altering the foundation so that the muscles and tissue act as a support will change the course of aging.
  4. Better Patient Satisfaction – Scientific data shows that younger patients are happier with their results, which are longer-lasting than in older patients with significant skin laxity. 
  5. Reduced Cost – The cost of a mini-facelift would obviously be less than a full facelift.

Mini-facelifts are ideal for candidates who have a mild to moderate amount of sagging skin for which injectables, fillers, and lasers can no longer give a satisfactory remedy.  Smaller incisions, completely hidden in the creases of the ear are used in a mini-facelift to reposition the underlying facial tissues to smooth wrinkles and tighten skin.   This in-office procedure can be completed in as little as 2 hours with local anesthesia.  Recovery time is quicker – right back to your activities in a few short days.

 A mini-facelift can turn back the facial aging clock.  However, facelifts cannot stop the aging process, so proper skin maintenance is important.  Also, patients will want to take the precautions of appropriate sun protection and use of effective skin care products to prolong and enhance the results.  Lastly, facelifts can restore youthful contours to the face, however, they do not fully correct skin tone and texture concerns.  These issues can be easily corrected with same-day-as-facelift treatments such as radiofrequency microneedling, photo facials, and lasers. 

If you are experiencing mild to moderate face or neck sagging and laxity and want a procedure combination with long-lasting results and a quick recovery time, consider an appointment with a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon to discuss a mini-facelift package and determine if this treatment is right for you.  

Article by
Dover Facial Plastic Surgeon