What is a "Mini Facelift"?

Hi There,

Here's a link to RealSelf's definition of a Mini Lift.

Hopefully this helps!

Doctor Answers 9

What is a minifacelift?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
A minifacelift is basically a scaled-down version of a full facelift. During a minifacelift, your surgeon makes short incisions in front of and behind your ears, lifts your lower facial skin away from your jaw and neck, tightens the underlying strength layers of the face and neck, removes excess lax skin and uses tiny sutures to anchor the skin in place. You don't get long scars down the hairline behind the ears, a scar under the chin, or a disturbed hairline at the sideburn; you do get the smooth, elevated cheeks, sharp jaw line and tighter looking neck you had several years ago. Our website includes a detailed, step by step guide with illustrations to explain the procedure.

How do you know if you need a full or a mini? The goal of the surgeon should be to perform the smallest operation that will achieve the patient's aesthetic desires. If a small facelift will do, then a full facelift will unnecessarily increase the patient's cost, risk, and recovery time. By the same token, a limited procedure may be inappropriate in a patient with significant laxity and heavy tissues who desires an aggressive correction of her facial aging.

What is a "Mini Facelift"?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
 Dear beach, thank you for your question. A mini facelift can improve the jawline and neck , and in some cases the cheeks. Our La Jolla Lift procedure is performed with gentle twilight sedation. Consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon to see what your best option is. Good Luck!

Roy A. David, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon

Mini Lift as defined in my practice

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
As is clear to all by now, the number of terms for a face lift procedure are limitless. Some of the names have arisen as a marketing tool and others to define subtle variations to tried and true face lift techniques. In my practice a Mini Lift means: 1. A surgical procedure designed to improve the appearance of mild to moderate aging changes of the jaw line, lower cheek and upper neck 2. Limiting the incisions used to those appropriate for a patient's specific needs (typically hidden in the sideburn and along the front of the ear) 3. Removing extra skin as aggressively as possible while maintaining a natural result and good healing 4. Elevating the SMAS layer by combining deep dissection and superficial suturing techniques 5. Can be done safely and comfortably under local anesthesia or IV sedation When using sound technique and selecting the right patients, the results are highly satisfying. All the best, Dr. J

Kamran Jafri, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon

What is a "Mini Facelift"?

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

It can mean any number of things, but this usually refers to smaller incisions, less total tissue dissection, and possibly decreased healing time. Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of facelifts, necklifts, facelift revisions, and facial procedures each year. Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results. Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Mini facelift in Los Angeles

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

A mini facelift uses small incisions and some non surgical options to tighten the face and neck without major facelift surgery. Raffy Karamanoukian Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews


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

A facelift is a procedure that helps to restore an aging face to a more youthful appearance.  It can include lifting the forehead, eyelid lifts, cheek lifts, neck lift, chin implant, cheek implants, fat grafts, chemical peels, laser therapy, etc.

A mini-facelift usually refers to surgery for the neck and jowls alone without altering the other areas of the face.  Please be very clear with your surgeon when you discuss what bothers you and what you would like to have changed.

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

What is a "Mini Facelift"?

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

 I have performed Facelifts for well over 25 years and there have been all sorts of names and terms made up for various types of facelifts.  Some facelift terms are more for marketing than descriptive purposes, so when you hear the term "minilift" or "minifacelift", you have to actually find out what that term means to that particular plastic and cosmetic surgeon as it is not universal.

 To me a better term is minimal incision or minimal invasive Facelift.  This then would mean the following when compared to a traditional type facelift:

  1.  Shorter incisions
  2. Less tissue dissection = less bruising, swelling, lumps and bumps.
  3. Quicker healing time or recovery time
  4. Less surgery time, typically about 90 minutes
  5. Can be performed with local, IV sedation or a general anesthetic

 It's equally important to make certain that any type of facelift, whether traditional, midface or a minimal incision variant of a facelift have these important characteristics that must be included in the facelift in order to make them effective:

  1. SMAS layer dissection (not plication or suspension with suture, threads or the like) elevation, trimming and re-suturing back together.
  2. Facial shaping by removing excess fatty tissue as needed.
  3. An incision that follows the anterior (front) contours, of the ear allowing removal of excess facial skin.
  4. And finally, the ability to shape the cheeks and chin using fillers or implants as needed.


Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews


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

A minifacelift usually refers to a limited scar incision on the side of the faceby the ear not going further than the base of the earlobe and doing something to the SMAS or deep tissue layer in this limited access. This may be a plication of deeper tissues or removal and tightening of deeper tissues.  It can help the jowls and lower face.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

What is a Mini Lift

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

This term is primarily a marketing term to promote a limited type of face lift. The limitation may be the length of the incisions, the degree of dissection of tissue, a short period of time of surgery or healing and a lesser cost. It implies you get all the results of a traditional face lift even if there is great sagging of tissues. Mini Lift has become a common term that has to constantly be defined.

Sheldon S. Kabaker, MD FACS
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.