What type of facelift would be appropriate? (Photo)

Would a mini facelift give good results, Haven't got the time for long recovery.

Doctor Answers 25

Facelift advice

Hi there Charlie B.

Thank you for your question.

A minifacelift (short preauricular incision and lower anterior SMAS tightening with minimal skin excision) is rarely of too much use other than in early perioral ageing. In you, it has no place and would lead to a disappointing result.

Like all of us, you're ageing, and whilst you have a lovely face, you're seeking honest advice, so that's what we are here to do.

Your pictures demonstrate the following:
1. Fair and sun damaged skin.
2. Lower face and neck ageing with jowls, and neck laxity.
3. Cheek descent with lower lid and lid cheek ageing
4. Substantial upper lid skin excess, resulting in compensated brow ptosis (your eyebrows are held up high by your frontalis, subconsciously, so you can see), and frontalis strain.
5. A high hairline.
6. You might have some botox and filler in I think.

Definitive correction would involve a lower facelift including a platysmaplasty, a concentric malar lift to improve the midface, and upper lid blepharoplasty, which will give you a much more rested upper lid and brow appearance. I'd also recommend great skin care, which I think will make a big difference, and to ask you to consider changing your hairstyle to one with a fringe or which is brought forward. This will add a lot to a youthful appearance. 

While this seems a lot - and it is - the surgery can be done as a single procedure - upper lids, malar lift and lower facelift.  Not doing it all will unfortunately compromise your result, as I think it wont look harmonious if part done.

There is a significant recovery time. It would be an overnight stay in hospital, probably about 2 weeks before you would go out to say the supermarket, with some sunglasses on, and 3 to 4 weeks till you felt comfortable to resume your social activities. Of course, this is a guide only, and varies from person to person.

While is seems disappointing to recommend a substantial procedure for you, unfortunately there are no short cuts. You're better off to have no surgery than a compromised approach in my opinion. Careful planning of your life might create the necessary recovery time.

All the very best,

Howard Webster
Plastic Surgeon


Hi. If you are talking about threadlifts etc which are done as day cases then my advice is to save your money. They are temporary at best. 
With the rest of the types of facelifts that you read about the recovery is pretty similar. 
You would be an appropriate candidate for a minimal scar facelift such as a MACS lift however you need to discuss this with your surgeon. 

Mini face lift results

The most significant feature of your face is the aging in the neck and jowls.
A mini facelift would give improvement but could fall short of your expectations .
A more appropriate contemporary facelift would give a better result.
Healing is a separate issue and is dependant on so many factors which you need to explore with your surgeon.
Best advice see an experienced surgeon who performs all types of lifting and facial rejuvenation procedures.

Darryl J. Hodgkinson, MD
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Facelift success with a tailored facelift.

The best answer for facial rejuvenation in this particular case is to provide a focus on tailoring of technique of the facelift.  For instance particular attention is needed for the jowls which would include laser reduction and an efficient precise tightening of the lax jowl in the appropriate vector.  Also the neck needs to be fully addressed due to the unsightly lax lower neck lines.  Full tightening and repositioning is needed in a more aggressive fashion.  Many named facelifts can provide this result (example: deep-plane, short scar, full facelift, MACS etc.).  The experience of the physician is of paramount importance and of less importance is the type of facelift utilized.

David Q. Santos, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Mini Versus Full Facelift Recovery Differs Very Little

A mini facelift means different things to different patients — and indeed to different surgeons — but generally it refers to minimal release of tissues and a reliance on sutures to pull up the deeper tissues without releasing them. In general, a mini procedure gives a mini result that does not last: When the sutures inevitably pull through the tissues over time, the result is lost. You should focus more on length of recovery. You have significant jowls and laxity in the neck. If you focus on those areas and do not attempt to lift the cheeks significantly, you should be able to return to work within 10 days with a deep plane approach with complete release and repositioning. A complete lower facelift (addressing the midface as well) should allow you to return to work within 14 days. I like to show patients multiple examples of recovery, day by day and after 1 and 2 weeks, so they have a realistic idea of what they will look life. Even heavily promoted mini lift procedures (which do not give lasting results) will realistically take at least a week to recover.

Thomas A. Mustoe, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Mini Facelift Likely Won't Yield Desired Results

Based on the photos, I would suggest a more aggressive procedure. The jowls will not be properly elevated and the neck will not be sufficiently tightened with a mini lift. I would suggest a lift that will tighten the SMAS layer, which will elevate the jowls. I would also suggest opening the neck to tighten the muscles centrally. This combination will also allow removal of as much excess skin as possible. While you could certainly undergo a mini lift, I do not believe it will give you the result you want.

Louis C. Cutolo, Jr., MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews


A minilift would certainly benefit you. Addressing the neck, in addition, would be positive.
The recovery time for a minilift and standard facelift are not that different. It depends on who does your surgery.

Michael J. Yaremchuk, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
3.7 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

What type of facelift would be appropriate?

A mini facelift will not correct the jowls and neck laxity.  A full SMAS face and neck lift with Platysmaplasty  (tightening of the neck muscles) is most likely required for the best result. Please see below cold


Absolutely not.  You won't even get a "mini" result and you would be very disappointed.  If you want to be happy with the result and get long term benefit, you need to go all in. Your neck and jowls need to be lifted together along with the rest of the mid face in order to get a truly elegant and worthwhile result.   Really excellent results can be obtained nowadays with less down time than in the past.
The good news, you don't need a forehead/brow lift!

R. Scott Yarish, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

What type of facelift would be appropriate?

Hi, I have performed many facelifts for over 30 years and have performed many minimally, invasive type facelifts. From the photos your cheeks are very flat anteriorly (in the front), there is excess fat below and in front of the cheeks, jowls are present and the chin has some ptosis (sags at a 45 degree angle). These factors combine to create a rectangular shaped face.

Following the beauty principles outlined in my book on face and body beauty, women look the most feminine, youthful and attractive with heart shaped faces. Heart shaped faces have cheeks that are full and round in the front. Cheek augmentation with a dermal filler or using cheek implants for a permanent enhancement will create full, round cheeks that will feminize the entire face.

A sagging chin can create an imbalance making the nose appear larger, the mid face top heavy and the lower face look short that de-emphasizes the lips and allows early formation of a double chin. Chin augmentation using a chin implant will add projection to the chin creating harmony and balance to the lower face. I have found that placement of a silastic chin implant, through a small curved incision under the chin (also allows excess skin removal) to be very safe, quick and highly effective.

"Jowls” are sagging facial tissues and an indication for some form of a SMAS facelift. The underlying SMAS layer, of the face, must be dissected, lifted, trimmed and re-sutured (not merely folded or suspended with threads or sutures that will not last). The excess skin is then removed and the facelift incisions closed.

My most popular facelift is the minimally invasive, short incision facelift that has all the benefits of more invasive facelifts (traditional, mid-face and subperiosteal facelifts) but with these added benefits:

  • very small incisions
  • minimal tissue dissection = less bruising and swelling = rapid recovery
  • can be performed in 90 minutes or less, with or without general anesthesia
  • no incisions within the hair = no hair loss
  • excess fat can be removed
  • excess skin removed
  • cheeks, chin and jaw line can be augmented with dermal fillers (I prefer Restylane Lyft) or facial implants
  • most patients fly back home to parts all over the world in as little as 3 days post-op
I combine facial shaping with every facelift procedure. When jowls are present, these should be done in concert and not alone or separately in order to create a naturally, more attractive face.  I have done this type of facelift on many international patients, including numerous ones from "down under".  You could return home in as littles as 3 days post op with this minimally, invasive SMAS facelift.

Hope this helps.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 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.