Is Mini Lift a Good Alternative for Regular Facelift?

I have slight sagging. I am unhappy with injectable fillers and afraid of general anesthesia. Is mini lift a good alternatve? Is this easier to recover from than a regular facelift? Are the results good?

Doctor Answers 9

Mini-lift or full facelift

It is  true that a mini procedure that involves less surgery will have less of a recovery than a larger operation like a full face lift. The real question, however, is which operation do you need? Your surgeon should be skilled in full and mini procedures so he or she will minimize the recovery for whichever surgery you have. An inadequate procedure that does not get the job done is a waste of time and money, and it will leave you disappointed no matter how short the recovery was.  You should review your goals with your surgeon to determine the best procedure for you.  Also, you should pick a board-certified plastic surgeon who can offer a range of procedures.  Avoid any practice that pushes you towards one of the mini-procedures that seem too good to be true- no scars, lasts for years and years, cheap, and takes minimal time to perform.

Abington Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Mini lift or regular facelift for facial sagging


A mini lift may be a better alternative to a regular facelift for the appropriate person. For patients who are younger (40-50's) and with minimal jowling or loose neck skin, then a mini lift is generally a good alternative to traditional face lift surgery. Mini lifts may be performed under local anesthesia, IV sedation, or general anesthesia depending on patient & surgeon preference. For patients who are older (60's or older) and with significant jowling and loose neck skin with sagging, then the results of a mini lift are unsatisfying. These patients with a more aged appearance are better treated with a conventional face lift.

There isn't one cosmetic face surgery that is best for all patients. Face lift surgery is tailored to each individual person.

Speak with a couple plastic surgeons, who will perform a comprehensive facial evaluation, and determine which face lift surgery would be most appropriate for you.

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Mini Lift Is Good; Facelift Is Great

It is impossible to determine what the best procedure for you would be without photos and/or an in-person consultation. However, from your description of slight sagging and an anti-aging regimen that relies on fillers, a Mini Lift might be the best next step. A Mini Lift can help you by:

  • Removing excess loose skin

  • Resolving early jowling

  • Cleaning up the jawline

This may be sufficient in your case. The results of a Mini Lift can last for up to five to eight years. It can be performed under local anesthesia and only needs about two weeks of recovery time.

A traditional rhytidectomy (facelift), if called for, will give you much more dramatic results and will also address midface sagging. Benefits will last for up to 10 years or more. I prefer to perform full facelifts under general anesthesia and include fat grafting of the cheeks and tightening the platysma muscle (neck lift) as part of the procedure. I hope this helps.

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

Mini Lift Options

Hi Mishka

Thank you for your post.

If your skin is loose, sagging or creating the appearance of jowls you may be a good candidate for Concept™ Facelift Surgery. This type of Rhytidectomy is unique as the facelift is performed under local anaesthetic, and is less invasive than traditional methods, meaning the cosmetic surgery has a significantly faster recovery time.

The cosmetic procedure is similar to a mini facelift as it is performed with a short scar that runs in front of the ear, down to the ear lobe and tucked behind the ear. There will be no dressings or drains afterwards. This is performed as a day case, walk in-walk out procedure with minimal bruising and downtime.

This innovative procedure combines the latest surgical techniques with the use of local anaesthetic to dramatically reduce the risks associated with traditional facelifts, while significantly reducing the bruising and downtime of your recovery, from months to a matter of days.

Good luck with your research

Mini lift results, Recovery, Fillers

It is difficult to tell you what a minilift can do for you as this term can be used for several different procedures.  If a minilift is a skin operation that removes skin from in front and around without any other lifting your results will be short lived.

A standard facelift can be very skillfully, minimally painful and effectively done without a general anesthesia.  I prefer to use some degree of sedation depending on the patient's needs.

Minimally invasive procedures can be performed to give you significant improvement and lasting results include liposuction of the jawline, jowls and the neck. Cellulaze with the new sidelaze for skin tightening or Radiofrequency non invasive procedures can give you more noticeable and lasting results than a mini skin face lift with the same or less downtime and recuperation.

Please consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon prior to making any decisions.  Cheers

Luis A. Cenedese, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Mini Facelift Good Alternative to Full Facelift for many

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 a LiteLift 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.We do most of these procedures with oral sedation and local anesthesia without IV's or general anesthesia. It sounds like you would be a good candidate by your description.

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

A mini facelift vs. a full facelift...

A mini facelift is a good alternative to a full facelift as long as you are a good canidate for the procedure.  First, a mini facelift can be done comfortably under local anesthetic, unlike a full facelift which is done under general anesthesia.  The ideal candidate for a mini facelift is someone who has minimal sagging like you described and not a heavy neck.  This slightly sagging skin can be corrected by tightening the deeper tissue and removing the excess skin.  It is an easy procedure to tolerate and the recovery period for this procedure is about one week compared to 10-14 days for a regular facelift.  Patient results for mini facelifts are very rewarding when using an experienced surgeon.  Unfortunately, if your neck is heavy, a mini facelift will not give a good result no matter what you hear or what pictures you see.  Consult a board certified facial plastic or plastic surgeon to see if you would be a canidate for this procedure. 

Andrew Miller, MD
Edison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 204 reviews

Face lift alternatives

Have you tried Sculptra injections yet? Many patients experience great results with Sculptra, as it adds volume back to the face, creating a more youthful appearance. Also, since you only have slight sagging, Ulthera skin tightening could be a good non-invasive option for you. A liquid facelift might be a better option for you if you are afraid of the anesthesia. Keep in mind, a mini facelift still requires anesthesia. You should schedule a consultation with a consultation so he can help you determine what treatment options are best for you at this time.

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Mini-lift vs full facelift

I prefer to do both of them under anesthesia. The patients are more comfortable.  The recovery is probably slightly shorter with a mini-lift, it really depends upon how much works is done.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 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.