The Pros and Cons of a Mini Facelift

Written by Cameron Craven, MD, FACS, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon on March 20, 2018 12 Comments

mini facelift pros and cons

In the war on aging, the most powerful treatment option for significantly reversing the signs of facial aging is facelift surgery. A facelift is a surgical procedure that makes the face tighter and more youthful appearing by surgically manipulating the facial skin and underlying muscle. A facelift can correct even the most severe wrinkles and sagging skin.

There are many different types of facelift procedures that vary in terms of their degree of invasiveness and types of results they provide. One popular facelift technique is the mini facelift. Read on to learn how this technique varies from traditional facelift surgery.

What is a mini facelift?

The mini-lift is a facelift surgery technique that uses shorter incisions than traditional facelift techniques and thus is less invasive. During the procedure, small incisions are made under the cover of the hair line and around the ears. These incisions allow the surgeon to tighten the skin and remove excess tissue, improving the appearance of the jowls and neck.

Benefits of a mini facelift

Quicker Recovery Time: One of the main benefits of a mini facelift is that it requires a shorter recovery time. While traditional facelift patients may need 4-5 weeks to recover from a facelift, mini facelifts only require 3-5 days. In fact, mini-lifts are often called “weekend facelifts” because patients can undergo the procedure on Friday and get back to work and other normal activities on Monday. The sutures are generally removed around 7 days post-operatively as is also the case with traditional face lifts.

Less Pain: Since mini facelifts are less invasive, the amount of post-procedure pain or discomfort most patients feel is minimal. Light bruising or swelling may be common, but it is significantly less than what occurs after a full facelift and usually resolves over several weeks.

Twilight Anesthesia: Unlike a traditional facelift which sometimes require general anesthesia, mini facelifts can usually be performed using a combination of twilight sedation and a local anesthetic. Twilight anesthesia reduces the chances of patients experiencing anesthesia-based risks and side effects like nausea or vomiting.

Lower Cost: Since mini facelifts are less complicated, shorter in duration, and do not require general anesthesia, cost factors such as surgeon fees and facility costs are lower. This makes the total cost of a mini facelift less than a traditional facelift.

Drawbacks of a mini facelift

Shorter lasting results: Facelift techniques that are more invasive typically have results that last longer. Likewise, the results achieved by a mini facelift often last much shorter than that of a full facelift. If mini facelift patients maintain a healthy lifestyle after their procedure they can typically expect their results to last anywhere from two to six years (while full facelift results can last a decade or longer).

Results are less dramatic: Due to its less invasive nature, mini facelifts often yield a less dramatic result than a traditional facelift. The mini facelift technique is ideal for addressing light to moderate aging of the face which is why it is usually recommended for younger patients who are just beginning to show signs of facial aging. Patients with more severe aging symptoms (i.e. significant sagging, deep wrinkles, and fully formed jowls) will require a full facelift. Mini facelifts also do not give significant improvement in the neck. If significant laxity is present in the neck or area below the chin, a traditional facelift with neck lift is a more appropriate treatment option.


Cameron Craven, MD, FACS

Cameron Craven MD, FACS is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Craven specializes in the full spectrum of cosmetic surgery including breast augmentation, liposuction and body contouring, facial rejuvenation, laser surgery, eyelid surgery, and rhinoplasty, as well as reconstructive surgery for skin cancers.

12 Responses to “The Pros and Cons of a Mini Facelift”

  1. Avatar Lucy says:

    My mother is looking at maybe getting a facelift before my brother’s wedding. I like how you mentioned that a mini-facelift has a quick recovery time. This will be important since my mom is really busy and has a lot to do.

  2. Avatar Karen Friedman says:

    If you would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with any of our locations please let us know and we’re happy to help. Best wishes to you with your procedure!

  3. Avatar Hazel says:

    That’s ingesting that a mini facelift only takes 3-5 days to recover and can be done on a weekend before going back to work.

  4. Avatar Sherry says:

    So mini facelifts are less complicated but the results last for less time? Is that the bottom line?

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Sherry, I’d argue that the results are less dramatic (but not necessary shorter lasting). Mini facelifts are less invasive so recovery is shorter. However with that lower invasive level comes less dramatic results. This is the reason why candidates for mini facelifts are patients with less severe aging symptoms. Patients who have severe sagging, wrinkling, etc. will most likely require a traditional facelift.

      However it’s always good to see a board certified plastic surgeon for an in-person consultation. They will be able to determine what is the best course of treatment given your specific desired end result.

      Thanks for reading!

      –WD Staff

  5. Avatar Angelica says:

    I am interested in the mini facelift. What is the price of this procedure?

  6. Avatar Angelica says:

    How long do the results last? I would like to book a consultation. Where are you located. I live ijn Boca Raton

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Angelica,

      Thanks for reading our post! Were located in central Texas with 9 locations in the Austin metro and surrounding areas. If you still feel like coming in please give us a call at 512.328.3376. We can setup a free consultation where we can provide you the best treatment options for your specific goals, along with detailed pricing.

      WD Staff

  7. Avatar Mary says:

    How often can you get a mini lift? Thank you

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Mary,

      Great question! Most mini-lifts should provide results for 7 to 10 years. However, the true answer will depend upon the needs of each individual patient. Doing too many procedures can actually negatively impact the appearance and skin health.

      So the best answer we could provide would be to see a board certified surgeon for an in-person consultation. They can assess your skin and tell you if you would qualify for another procedure or if you should wait.

      We hope that helps!

      WD Staff

  8. Avatar Debra says:

    Hi, I don’t know if I need a mini facelift or a regular facelift. I just know that I am interested in having a procedure done and I don’t know who to see. I live near Austin, TX. Help!

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