Are Dermatologists qualified to do mini facelifts? There is a dermatologist with good ratings doing a mini facelift for 4400.00

I am wondering if dermatologists are qualified and trained to do mini facelifts? A well rated dermatologist is doing a mini facelift in Scottsdale for 4400.00 and not a liquid facelift, a real minilift with the doing the SMAS and doing he short scar around the ear. Do you think this is okay to get by this doctor? He has 5 star ratings on realself.

Doctor Answers 31

Mini Facelift by a Derm?

I personally am not a believer in the long term benefits of the short scar technique, especially when done by someone not a certified facial or plastic surgeon.  Ultimately, it's your decision but I would avoid putting your face in someone's hands because of the low, low pricing.  I've seen patients who underwent "lunchtime" lifts who were disappointed only three months after the procedure, some even sooner.  One SMAS lift can be VERY different from another and yet use the same marketing terminology so beware.


Jon A Perlman MD FACS
Certified, Am Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, Am. Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
Beverly Hills, Ca

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Are Dermatologists qualified to do mini facelifts?

I would not trust my face to low bid surgery. Some states let dermatologists and, yes, even dentists, practice surgery. That doesn't mean it's a good idea. You should find an expert who has undergone many years of training, not just a course or two.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Dermatologist Doing Mini Facelift?

That's an unnerving concept. A facelift is a surgical procedure. Dermatologists are not trained in facial aesthetic surgery. It is not something that you can pick up in a weekend course. Despite the claim of doing something to the SMAS I would be highly skeptical. Just throwing a few sutures in the SMAS accomplishes nothing. The low cost of the procedure is a signal that very little is being done, and there is no mention of anesthesia, certification of facility, etc.

You are attempting to convince yourself that this low cost operation performed by an unqualified practitioner will produce a satisfying, long lasting outcome. You should not expect any RealPlastic Surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and who has devoted many years to their education and training, and may have many more years of surgical experience, to endorse any sort of face lift procedure that is performed by a Dermatologist. Have you heard about the 10,000 hour rule? That's the amount of time that is needed to become an "expert" in a certain discipline.

Braden C. Stridde, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Mini-Facelift by a Dermatologist

There are 2 red flags in your question. First, a facelift, no matter what kind, is a surgical procedure. It has all the risks of any surgery. No dermatologist, no matter what they claim, is properly trained as a "surgeon," who can take care of all possible problems and complications that may occur. They are also markedly limited in where they can operate, as they cannot get privileges to operate in any accredited facility unless they have accredited their own, and, to my knowledge, this is quite rare. For a facelift, it is very important that the facility where it is done be accredited to assure as much safety as possible. Secondly, a "mini-facelift" is usually just that and does not correctly significant aging, especially of the neck. Even if the procedure claims to tighten the SMAS, without undermining more than most "mini lifts" do, you cannot truly tighten the SMAS. By undermining like a MACS Lift or its modifications, you can elevate the entire cheek and neck. If, instead, you only undermine a small amount, you can only pull backward, not the way from which the tissues came, thus unnatural. The price you mention is what one would expect from a very minimal procedure. Do you really want to trust your face which is always the first thing others see to the lowest bidder?

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Mini lift for $4400

 Mini lifts give patient's mini results. Remember, this is an invasive surgical procedure and should not be performed in the doctor's office, but in a certified and licensed outpatient surgery Center. In our practice, we do not perform a mini lift due to the fact that the before and afters look almost the same. The goal of a lower face and neck lift is to tighten loose facial and neck muscles including the SMAS, tighten loose facial and neck skin, lift the jowls, and remove any fatty deposits above and below the platysma muscle in the neck. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia by a board-certified physician anesthesiologist for patient safety and comfort. It is very important to shop quality, not price

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Facelift by a Dermatologist

Dermatologists are not surgeons.  That being said, there are some who do facelifts usually in their office.  Their prices are low in order to attract patients to their practice.  A mini facelift gives you mini results.  Do not expect a long-lasting result.  The short scar is another way to get you in to see them.  The shorter the scars, the less skin they remove.

The only physicians who should perform facelifts are those who have had extensive training in surgery.  Dermatology is not a surgical science.  Taking a course or watching someone else do a facelift is not training.  
You get what you pay for.  Be very careful on selecting a physician who is not a real plastic surgeon.

Paying more for a facelift that will look natural and last years as well as one that is performed safely is worth it.  Looking for a deal to save money may lead you to some issues that may not be able to be corrected.

Best to see some other doctors as well before you make your decision.  Look for experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons.  I would suggest visiting the websites for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Robert J. Spies, MD
Paradise Valley Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Training is very important as is skill

You know you can train a monkey to fly a plane or drive a car but they are not given a drivers license and allowed to drive on the highway. A medical degree is all a doctor needs to do whatever they want in the areas of medicine and surgery. If this dermatologist tried to perform brain surgery because he took a few weekend courses and did some surgeries in his office that went fine he still would never be allowed to perform brain surgery in the hospital as they require board certification in the area of medicine that does brain surgery which is neurosurgery. yes, you can do what you want and he or she may be great but you will never get a board certified plastic surgeon to say it is the proper path of training that this doctor took to do facial cosmetic surgery. Good Luck!

Gregory T. Lynam, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Training required to perform cosmetic surgery

Thank you very much for your question. The primary organizations representing plastic surgeons in the U.S. are the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. If your surgeon is a member of one of these, you can feel secure that he/she is Board-certified (specifically in Plastic Surgery) and has the right training and has met strict ethical guidelines to practice plastic surgery. Basic dermatology training is not a surgical residency, it's more medical. However, it is possible that your dermatologist has done some additional surgical training. You should ask though. If you feel comfortable with your physician, and have known some patients with good outcomes there, then that can work out just fine. I wish you the best possible results.

Paul J. Leahy, MD
Leawood Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Dermatologist facelift

Cosmetic surgical procedures, like a facelift, are not part of the standard training that dermatologists receive. I would steer clear!

P. Daniel Ward, MD
Salt Lake City Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Don't Bargain Shop Plastic Surgery

The adage "you get what you pay for" is often very true in plastic surgery. Although some dermatologists are trained in cosmetic surgery, ultimately they are still doctors who specialize in the skin rather than the deeper, underlying structures of the face. Great deals are tempting, but bargain shopping for plastic surgery can have negative consequences. Your looks and your health are precious -- don't risk either of them to save some money. You seem to have good instincts by asking this question in the first place. Kudos to you for being proactive about your healthcare choices.

James N. Romanelli, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 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.