What is Mini Lift?

What exactly is a mini lift and is it limited to only the lower third portion of the face or are there other mini face lifts that address the forehead and central portion of the face? How does one determine whether they need a mini face lift or just a laser resurfacing? Lastly, which lasts longer and produces overall better results?

Doctor Answers 10

What is Minilift

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Minilifts are facelifts that tighten the jawline, jowls and neck and often include some liposuction at the same time. They are done under local anesthesia and run roughly $6,000-8500 with roughly 1 week downtime and can last 5 yrs or more. Fillers, chemical peels or laser treatments can be added to enhance the overall results and are fairly easy to go threw. Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Customized Procedure

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Mini facelift is a customized procedure used to elevate certain parts of cheek, midface or jowl without performing a full face and necklift. Its advantages are: less invasive, shorter scar, faster recovery and local anesthesia. But it also has limitations: the correction is mostly from the cheek bone and outwards towards the ear and you see less improvement in the gravitational effects in the front part of the face, closer to the lips. If you need more lifting around the jowls in the front portions of the face and around the lips and mouth, then a mini facelift may be less ideal for you. Your existing anatomy will dictate the best approach for a more lasting result.

Mini Face LIft

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

A mini facelift in my practice involves performing a lift which adddresses the face without entering the neck. Entering the neck can require significant time to properly tighten muscles, remove fat, and sometimes remove portions of the submandibular gland or muscle under the platysma. They are usually reserved for patients who only need facial lifting such as cheek and jowl without neck surgery.

Mini Lift done properly can provide excellent results (video attached to show Mini Lift)

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

A Mini Lift is a face lift that has smaller incisions and is meant to focus in on specific areas (the jowls and jaw line) in patients with mild or moderate aging changes in these areas.

The key is that the surgeon doing it be experienced in all face lift techniques so that the SMAS layer is addressed properly (the SMAS is the layer of muscle and tissue under the skin). When this is done properly you can expect the same long lasting results as with a full face lift.

Mini Lifts will not address your forehead (botox or brow lift for this area) or the central area of your face (fat injections, fillers or mid face lifts for this area).

Laser resurfacing is best for fine wrinkles and skin quality issues. They will not address the jowls or jaw line.

Please find a video attached that shows what a Mini Lift is.


Dr. Kamran Jafri

Kamran Jafri, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon

What is a mini lift?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

This is a question that you need to ask the plastic surgeon you choose.  The incision is usually placed in front of the ear.  What happens next is what determines the results achieved.  If there is a little undermining of the skin followed by traction and closure, your results will be minimal and short lived.  If however, a multi-plane procedure is done with repositioning of the SMAS, one can achieve significant improvement of the jowls and mid face region with lasting results.  If the neck needs to be addressed as well, a full face lift would be the procedure of choice. 

Joseph N. Togba, MD
Oakland Plastic Surgeon

A mini facelift is...

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

A mini facelift is a procedure that focuses on tightening the loose, sagging tissues of the cheek and jawline.  It is a less invasive procedure than a full facelift but still has several benefits if used on the correct patient.  The difference is that the dissection is smaller, so the swelling and bruising is less and the patient has a shorter recovery time.   This procedure would benefit a patient that is just starting to experience the effect of aging compared to a person who is probably a little older.   If the neck and cheeks are really heavy, then a more aggressive procedure would be needed.  Laser resurfacing is primarily for wrinkles in the skin.  The mini facelift does not  address the forehead issues.  It is best to consult a board certified facial plastic surgeon to discuss your best option for your particular concerns. 

Definition of a Mini Lift

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

This question is about an hours worth of consultation. The short version is this: There are many different operations that are referred to as a "mini lift." But basically they involve lifting the cheek and jowl and sometimes part of the neck. The "mini" part applies to the incision. The incision starts in the side-burn and goes down to the earlobe and around the earlobe approximately 1 inch. This is the "mini" part. With a full facelift the incision would go back up behind the ear and go across for several inches lifting up all the skin behind the ear. There are many different procedures for the brow also. These include collateral or temporal brow lift and different types of suture lifts and an endoscopic brow lift, which although it lifts the entire forehead, it is done through minimal incisions. Lastly the main difference between mini lifts and laser is this. Many lifts lift up your jowl and cheek and fix sagging skin. Laser does nothing for this. Laser improves skin color and texture. A mini lift does nothing for color and texture of the skin. It's basically apples and oranges as far as which is better, the best procedure is the one that you need, whether it's lifting the skin or improving the texture. You need a consultation with the Board Certified plastic surgeon to tell

Andrew Kaczynski, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Mini lift treatment

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Mini-lifts are just that. They lift a little skin and can treat usually the lower one-third of the face.  Upper third of the face would require a more involved procedure.

What is Mini Lift

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

A "Mini" procedure is most commonly a bait and switch way to entice patients to have a mini-operation,which yields , at best, mini-results ("are these your before or your after photos?") but whose price or worth is anything but mini.

In my training I was told "If you want mini-results - do mini-procedures..." . When patients with mini procedures get over the exhilaration of the short recovery they often crash into the reality of the loss of money and the minimal if any improvement. I see such patients in my office and its is hard to ask them what they were thinking when they had those mini-procedures.

My advice to you is to ask your plastic surgeons what would they do if you were they wife or girlfriend. Listen carefully. Think it over and act accordingly.

Good Luck.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Mini vs full facelifts

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

A mini lift is a mini procedure that gives you a mini result that lasts for a mini length of time with the maxi of scars. Save surgery for when you really need it with jowls, cheek descent, and neck laxity. Meantime use fillers, Botox and skin care. Especially avoid the "branded" mini lifts!

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.