Full Facelift vs. Mini Face Lift: What’s the Difference?
Facelift surgery is the most effective plastic surgery procedures for treating severe facial aging symptoms like severe wrinkling and sagging of skin. There are many different types of facelift techniques, each of which differ in terms of invasiveness and the results they provide.
In this blog post we will compare two of the most popular forms of facelift procedures: Full Facelift and Mini Facelift.
Quick Comparison Table:
|Full Facelift||Mini Facelift|
|Other Names||Traditional Facelift, Lower Facelift, Rhytidectomy||Weekend Lift, Mini Lift|
|Invasiveness||High||Low to Moderate|
|Anesthesia||General Anesthesia or Local Anesthesia w/ sedation||Local anesthesia w/ or w/o sedation|
|Procedure Time||3-4 hours||60 – 90 minutes|
|Symptoms Addressed||Moderate to Severe Aging||Minor Aging|
|Result Duration||10-15 years||2-6 years|
|Cost||$7,000 – $15,000||$3,500 – $6,500|
|Downtime||2-3 weeks||1 week|
Full Facelift: A full facelift (or traditional facelift) makes the face tighter and smoother by surgically removing excess skin, tightening lax muscles, and re-draping the skin over the face and neck. Full facelift techniques begin with the creation of a surgical incision around the ears and extending into the hairline in front and behind the ears. Additionally, an incision may be made under your chin to correct bands in the front of the neck. The skin is carefully separated from the underlying facial muscles. Excess fat is removed and the muscles are tightened. The skin is then pulled up and back while excess skin is trimmed and the wounds are closed with sutures.
Mini Facelift: A mini facelift (sometimes called a weekend lift or a mini lift) is a technique that uses shorter incisions than a traditional facelift technique. During the procedure, small incisions are made under around the ear, but do not extend into the hair in front or behind the ear. Less extensive dissection is performed under the skin. More limited muscle tightening can be performed as well as limited skin removal. This allows the surgeon to perform modest tightening on the face and jawline, but less dramatic improvement in neck laxity. For this reason, mini facelifts are often better suited for those with minimal neck laxity.
Level of Invasiveness
Full facelift procedures are more invasive than mini facelift procedures. A full facelift requires longer incisions in order to allow surgeons to perform the technique. In contrast, a mini lift is performed through smaller (shorter) incisions.
Full facelift procedures may require the patient to go under general anesthesia but can also be performed with local anesthesia and twilight sedation. Mini Facelifts can be performed using the combination of a local anesthetic with or without sedation. Compared to general anesthesia, local anesthesia with sedation is less costly and less likely to cause unwanted side effects like nausea or vomiting.
Mini facelift procedures are relatively simple can often be performed in 60 to 90 minutes. In contrast, full facelift surgery is more complex and requires 3-4 hours to fully complete.
Full facelifts provide more dramatic results than mini facelifts. A full facelift is able to address severe aging symptoms like significant skin sagging, severe neck laxity, deep wrinkles, skin folds, and full formed jowls.
The mini facelift is ideal to address light to moderate facial aging like fine lines, shallow wrinkles, and minor sagging of the face. This is why mini facelifts are ideal for individuals in their 30’s or 40’s who are just begging to develop facial aging symptoms.
Generally speaking, the more invasive the surgical technique the longer its results will last. This is very true for facelift surgery. The results of a mini facelift procedure typically last between 2-6 years. Full facelift results can last for 10 years or longer.
Compared to full facelift surgery, mini facelifts are less expensive since they take less time to perform, are less complex, and do not require general anesthesia. Thus, mini facelift patients are able to save on surgeon fees and facility costs. The total cost of a mini facelift ranges from $3,500 to $6,500 while a full facelift procedure can range between $7,000 to $15,000.
Full facelift surgery requires more downtime (recovery time) compared to mini facelifts, since the technique is more invasive. While traditional facelift patients may need 2-3 weeks to fully recover, mini facelifts only require 7 days. In fact, mini-lifts are often called “weekend facelifts” as some patients can undergo the procedure on Friday and get back to normal daily activities by Monday. For both procedures, sutures are typically removed 6-7 days after surgery.