I am 55 and considering a facelift, but am a bit scared. Is there a mini-lift I can do?

I do Botox and fillers twice a year, but other than that, I am still a PS virgin! What is the least invasive face-lift? (Please don't suggest Thermage or Ultherapy because the reviews are poor). Does a mini-lift include eyes, or is that a separate payment? Thank you

Doctor Answers 18

Mini Face lift

Hello, Mini face lifts are very common and usually reserved for people who only need or want subtle changes. The recovery is typically faster, the amount of "surgery" is less, however the incisions are usually the same.  I would say you need to visit a plastic surgeon for evaluation to see what would be the best option for you. Eye procedures are separate. Good Luck!

Mini facelift.

You have to be careful about how you approach a mini lift or minimally invasive facelift.  Most mini lifts give you minimal improvement while giving you a chance at scarring around the ears and returning to no improvement after a few years.  Also the definition of a mini lift or mini facelift differs significantly from surgeon to surgeon.  Often performing more release of tissues will give you much more improvement and have no signs of having had surgery.  This is counterintuitive to most people until they see the before and after photos.  The most natural method in my opinion is to perform a deep plane lift or a deep plane mini lift.  Trough the same incisions you can achieve a much more natural look which lasts much longer 

Ben Talei, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Mini Lift

If your main concer are mid and lower face issues, a mini lift may be right for you.  If you have significant neck excess skin or bands, then a procedure that also dissects into the neck would be better indicated.  This would be a full facelift at this point.  Eyelids are an additional procedure to this.  

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What Type of Procedure Should You Have?

Although photos would be helpful, you are correct in your assumption that minimally invasive procedures will not be as beneficial in making substantial changes for you as surgery. Many patients mistakenly feel that a "minilift" is preferable to a facelift.  Although this is sometimes true, it is important to understand that the original descriptions of facelifts were in fact minilifts.  There is really no difference in recovery, risk, or downtime between a minilift and a facelift.  Therefore, when a facelift is indicated, it is always the correct choice of procedure. Every surgeon will have a slightly different variation of how he/she performs either procedure so it is much more important to choose the quality of the surgeon than the name of the procedure. In my hands, the difference between the two procedures depends on the indications in the neck. Milder platysmaplasty banding can be addressed via a lateral platysmaplasty and more severe changes need to be addressed anteriorly via a corset platysmaplasty. It's probably best to get a few opinions in your search.  

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Face lift or fillers

Without pictures or an examination it is impossible to give you good advice. That being said the least invasive procedure is the one that addresses your cosmetic concerns whether it's a mini lift, neck lift, or combination.  I would suggest you make appointments with reputable facial plastic surgeons in your area to get examined and formulate a treatment plan.  Best wishes!

Mark Loury, MD, FACS
Fort Collins Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Mini Lift Requires Less Surgery and Downtime

It is normal to be concerned when considering a surgical procedure such as a facelift or mini lift. As a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, safety is my #1 priority when evaluating a patient for any procedure, including a mini lift. To be sure you were a good candidate, I would look at your overall health, as well as your facial anatomy. In our interview we would also discuss your expectations to make sure that they are in line with reality so that you will be happy with your results. A mini lift would be a good choice for you if your primary concerns are the neck and lower face. The surgery is much less invasive and requires less anesthesia. Recovery time is significantly faster than it would be with a full face lift. An eye lift would be a separate procedure. You could have it done at the same time, or schedule it later. I hope this helps.

Possible Candidate for Facial Rejuvenation with Lite-lift™

A person’s age is best guessed by the appearance of their face. If you feel that your face does not reflect how young you feel inside, you may be a candidate for a facelift.
During your #consultation, your skin texture and elasticity, as well as your underlying skin structure and your facial bone structure will be evaluated. Based on this evaluation, your board certified plastic surgeons will create a custom surgical plan, detailing specific techniques and recommendations to meet your goals. In doing so, he or she should be sure to have a full understanding of what results you expect. If you are not a #candidate, your surgeon can make other suggestions to address your concerns and objectives.

However, if you learn that you are a candidate, this may be helpful. Patients who desire facial rejuvenation that is affordable, quick, and effective should consider the Lite-lift™. Like the Life-Style™ facelift, this is a modified facelift that can be performed in the office with a local anesthetic and improve signs of aging around the neck, jawbone and lower face. These procedures are not "Thread-lifts" or "String-lifts". We do not use the "barbed" sutures employed in these other lifting operations. The Lite-lift™ uses longer lasting techniques that are discussed below. Because the incisions are limited, there is less bruising, swelling and healing time for most patients. Many patients can be back to work in one to two weeks looking rested and more youthful.
The best candidates for #LiteLift are patients 35-60 years old with early changes of the lower face and the neck. Older patients who cannot or do not wish to have a longer operation or general anesthetic can be improved with a Lite Lift™.
Lite Lift™ surgery is individualized for each patient. The best candidates for Lite Lift™ surgery have a face and neck line beginning to sag, but whose skin has elasticity and whose bone structure is well defined and do not smoke.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

A Lower Face/Neck Lift is easy to undergo under local with dramatic natural results.

Getting a lower face/neck lift under local with a little iv sedation is such a great  procedure and is easy to undergo . It does not include eyes but they can be done as well at the same time. Sincerely, David Hansen,MD

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Mini lift

The definition of a mini lift does vary greatly from surgeon to surgeon. I have performed over 5,000 lower face and neck lifts and certainly some of them could be classified as mini lifts but others could be classified as being more of a traditional lower face and neck lift. Having said that I think that key to a good result and patient satisfaction is to identify which procedure will benefit each individual patient. Every face is different of course so I make slight variations on each patient as necessary. Moreover, even when I perform a "mini lift", my version of it is quite comprehensive. I want the lift to be limited in its incisions as much as possible so as to facilitate faster healing but I also want to be "aggressive" enough that the results last for many years. So I think for someone like yourself it is very possible to have a lift that is minimally invasive but still effective. This is a much better option in my opinion than "non-invasive" procedures like thermage and ultherapy. 

Ravi Dahiya, MD
Washington Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

I am 55 and considering a facelift, but am a bit scared. Is there a mini-lift I can do?

YES! mini facelifts, short scar lifts are becoming more common as to the demand of the patients. Though the incisions are essentially the same length and locations as full facelifts, there is less undermining of the flaps. Most are done under local with deep sedation or light general anesthesia. Another option which has just become FDA approved is the Silhouette Lift using specialized sutures with PLL cones (Sculptra cones). I call this the minimally invasive lift or 1 inch lift (<1 inch incision in temple hairline). This is local only, les than 1 hour, fast recovery. And the results improve over the next 6 months due to the collagen production from the PLL cones. Has been in Europe since 2009 with 25,000+++ cases. So here you are some interesting alternatives are NOW available... 

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.