Should a Mini Lift Be Done Without Lifting the Muscles? (photo)

50yr, my implant ruptured so while having consult to reimplant, discussed mini lift. Went for pre op, learned he only wants to do skin. I thought it was important to do the muscle as well. He is saying becz no fcl/neck fat that it's not needed. Please advise if this is a true. Hate the sight of my sagging face so only pics are from 3/12. He is 70 yrs old, board cert PS no bad reviews found & did my brst 10yrs ago & been in town for decades. Surgery is Monday and dn't wnt to repeat in two years.

Doctor Answers 9

Should a Mini Lift Be Done Without Lifting the Muscles? (photo)

I don't quite understand what your surgeon is recommending to you and calling it a "mini lift". A face and neck lift is an all-or-none procedure, and you most certainly can benefit from the modern MACS lift, aka Short-Scar Face Lift. This is not a mini lift, it is a full face and neck lift, but done through a short scar that starts at the side burn and ends just behind the ear. It mainly involves lifting the muscles, fat pads, and soft tissue of the face vertically back to where they belong.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Facelift without muscle work...

By now you should have had your procedure.  I hope it worked well for you but in general, I will always plicate muscles a little in hopes of preserving a better long term result.  Skin only lifts will address the facial laxity but you will continue to age.  If you're going to be in the OR, its my opinion to do as much as you safely can that produces the best long term results.  Hope your surgery went well.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Should a Mini Lift Be Done Without Lifting the Muscles?

Very hard to advise via the internet and no in person exam.Skin only facelifts are acceptable but most doc use a SMAS plication at the very least. Maybe discuss with your PS.//

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Skin only is not a great idea!

A skin only lift will give you a temporary improvement (6 Months).  Tightening the underlying structure is actually not the muscles. This investing layer is called the SMAS. That's a big long series of words that are the connective tissue that overlies the delicate facial muscles. A lift of the SMAS is necessary to reset the tissues at the younger/higher level. A good mini lift should last you a decade.  Best of luck and thank you for the question

Charles Virden, MD
Reno Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Mini Lift effectiveness

Thanks for the photos. Lots of good ideas already posted in response to your questions about the effectiveness of the mini lifts and skin only facelifts.  The shortcuts are usually short lived as you may expect.  Your sun damaged complexion needs some rejuvenation with antioxidant skin care and the gaunt contours would benefit from filler/fat transfers.  But the most important thing about your question seems to be a sense of discomfort with the plan to proceed.  In this case, it's always a good idea to get more opinions and consult with other well qualified surgeons before committing.

Randy Wong, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews


The photos posted shows signs of significant facial atrophy. An exam in person is critical to decide if you need deep tissue work, filler/fat, etc.. Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Should a Mini Face Lift Be Done Without Lifting Muscles? (photo)

Facial rejuvenation surgery is art as well as science.  There are many correct approaches.  The best operation in any given situation is controversial.  Many "experts" disagree, and approach similar problems differently.  Divergent techniques may produce equally satisfactory results.  

My advice to patients is to select your surgeon based on his or her results with other patients. If you were the patient in the before photo, would you be happy looking like the after for your investment of time and money and risk in the procedure??  If so, you're likely safe, and making a good choice.  If not, perhaps additional opinions may be in order.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews


I assume that you are referring to a facelift even though this question is in the breast lift section.  It is really problematic that your surgery is in two days.  You really need to figure out your options asap.  And it is really important to have complete confidence in your plastic surgeon.  Perhaps send him/her an email?  Best of luck.

Mini Face Lifts Are Like Mini Skirts - They Don't Really Cover Very Much

Thank you for this challenging question.  There are a few red herrings you threw in which are truly non sequiturs.  First, the question has nothing to do with breasts.  Second, while the question of skin only vs. skin plus SMAS placation vs. skin plus SMAS lift is a great question and often debated amongst plastic surgeons, I see the true question here is "why would you want a mini lift?".

Mini facelifts will give you the same scar but only anywhere from one-half to one-third of what you need.  Your pictures show your main problem is in the middle of your neck and the facial skin surrounding your mouth.  No mini anything will improve that.

I read an article recently by a plastic surgeon from San Francisco who stated all mini surgeries are to be avoided.  I can't agree more.  You stated in your question that you do not want to repeat the surgery in two years; therefore please go to someone who wants to do a facelift on you.  A mini lift will set you up for another surgery in a hurry. 


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