Facelift or mini lift; which is better?

Doctor Answers 40

Facelift or Mini Facelift?

Though both procedures are designed to tighten the skin on the face, they vary in process.

A facelift tightens underlying muscles, redraping the skin to help reduce the appearance of the deep creases between the nose and mouth. It also tightens the lax skin of the jawline and neck. A mini facelift is usually designed for younger facelift patients, typically in their forties, who only need a small amount of tightening of the face, normally along the jaw line.

Whichever procedure you choose should depend on the outcome you wish to receive. The best way to determine which option is best designed for your body and your lifestyle is by speaking with a highly qualified, board certified plastic surgeon.

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 111 reviews

Which surgical procedure is best depends entirely upon the individual

Determining which surgical procedure is better depends entirely upon you and your individual concerns and goals. A mini lift, as performed at my practice, is a less invasive surgical facelift that is perfect for people who have minor jowling and are just beginning to see signs of aging such as skin sagging and looseness. However, if you have significant sagging and jowls, then a mini lift will not be appropriate and you should consider full face lift surgery. I recommend scheduling a consultation with a board-certified facial plastic surgeon to discuss your specific concerns and goals. I hope this helps.

Jonathan Kulbersh, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Facelift vs minilift

They are both types of facelift and a doctor may use the same terminology to describe both.  A more extensive procedure carries the incision in front and behind the ears.  The may or may not include the deeper structure, such as the SMAS.

What is better depends on your condition and the expertise of your surgeon.

Ernest Robinson, MD
Aliso Viejo Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Is a Mini Facelift better than a Facelift?

A "mini" facelift is typically reserved for patients with a mild degree of laxity along the jawline with a limited degree of jowling. If a mini-facelift is performed in patients with a greater degree of laxity along the jawline and neck, the results are usually disappointing.

Steven M. Daines, MD
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Facelift or Mini Lift Decision

A full or "traditional" facelift addresses the sagging upper and lower neck skin and (platysmal) vertical neck bands, jowls, lower and mid nasolabial folds and marionette lines. It involves incisions from the temple scalp, along the front of the ear (inside the mid part for women), behind the ear in the crease then along or into the scalp hair behind the ear towards the back of your neck with undermining of the skin and tightening of underlying support tissues.
A mini-facelift, or "short scar facelift" or as I call it in my practice, Lite Lift addresses all of the above except for the lower neck. The difference is that the incisions are shorter - basically the same description in front of the ear and temple scalp but ending at the level of the earlobe (in front or in back) - as much as 40% less scarring. Non board-certified surgeons sometimes just pull the skin back which certainly will not last as long as the procedure I just described.
Having performed both procedures for more than a decade, the results last about the same time however for redundant lower neck skin a traditional facelift is preferred. Most important choose your board certified plastic or facial plastic surgeon well and let him/her make the best decision for you.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Facelift or mini lift; which is better?

Mini facelifts produce mini results. The facial skin and underlying muscle and fascia are one connected unit and face and neck respond better to lifting when the full face and neck SMAS are elevated as a unit.

What facelift is best for you

This is a very broad question and really depends on the needs of the patient. Without any additional information about you or pictures to examine I cannot provide you with any recommendations. Both are great procedures for the appropriate candidates. A mini-lift is often suited for younger patients with minimal signs of aging, while a full facelift is better for a patient who is showing more significant signs of aging as it address more aging factors on the face. 

To find out what is best for you, I recommend consulting in person with a board certified plastic surgeon who has a lot of experience in both procedures. After examining your face and learning about your specific anti-aging goals, the plastic surgeon will be able to tell you which procedure will provide you with the best results. Good luck!

Jimmy S. Firouz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Facelift or mini-facelift

This is a great question, but depends on your surgeon's experience, thoughts about either approach, your anatomy, and what your ultimate goal is.  In general, I reserve facelift surgery for patients who have more skin and muscle laxity in the lower part of the face and neck.  The incisions are longer and are needed to redrape more tissue.  The mini-facelift is a smaller incision surgery and is used when a smaller correction of aging is needed.  Best of luck!

Elbert T. Cheng, MD
San Jose Facial Plastic Surgeon

Face lift or mini-lift?

Thank you for asking about your face lift and mini-lift.
  • There isn't a right or wrong - since the terms can mean many things. 
  • Facial surgery is done to correct or improve the appearance -
  • What is needed depends entirely on what needs improvement.
  • A face lift can lift the entire face (brow, eyes, face, neck) or just the lower face+ neck.
  • A mini-lift can be a standard face and neck lift done as an outpatient - or a tiny tuck done in the office.
  • To get the right information for yourself, a personal consultation with a plastic surgeon and discussion of the areas that concern you is the best next step.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Best wishes - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Facelift vs. mini lift

Mini lift=mini results for a minimal amount of time in most circumstances.  Facial aging is a very complex process, with changes in the bone structure, the muscle layer, and the skin.  As much as we would all like to be able to address these with a 1 hour procedure under local anesthetic, it is just not possible in the vast majority of patients.  My best advice is to see a board certified plastic surgeon who has expertise in facelifts and ask them to explain ALL options to improve your particular concerns, along with their limitations.  My approach is very individualized and targeted to one's particular needs and desires.  Best wishes for a beautiful result!

Alyson Wells, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 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.