Mini facelifts: Do they work?

By May 22, 2018 January 2nd, 2021 All Procedures, Face
Mini Facelift

Many of my patients come to their initial consultation asking about a mini facelift, or ‘weekend facelift.’ A mini facelift can be a very effective procedure in some cases, but there’s a lot more to the story. On the face of it (sorry for the pun), a mini facelift is a great idea. A lower cost and an easier operation, with a shorter recovery time. What’s not to like?

Unfortunately, though, a mini facelift can’t provide a maxi result. And it is not as long lasting as a full facelift, with results generally lasting 5-10 years.

The mini facelift is an operation where the incision is quite short and it only runs from the top to the bottom of the front of the ear. It is placed carefully around the folds of the ear, so it’s hard to see. The skin of the lateral cheek is lifted through this incision and the deep tissue is firmed either with a MACS lift, a SMAS plication or a composite flap SMAS advancement procedure. Minimal skin is removed, and the effect is only to improve the lower cheek and jowl, and the loose skin at the sides of the mouth.

In a full facelift, a longer incision is used to manage the excess skin created by the lift. The skin is separated from deeper tissues, which are tightened with sutures. The upper face and the neck are included in the more extensive procedure and are fully addressed. After this, the skin is re-draped and any excess skin is removed.

It’s a more complex procedure, but it can substantially reduce loose skin in folds of the neck and cheeks and make the entire face look more youthful.

So what can you reasonably expect from a good mini facelift? Well, it more or less tightens the cheek and around the mouth, along with a little bit of the jowl. It removes very little skin, or none at all. It focuses on these limited areas only and it can’t affect the forehead or the eyes.

Realistically, a full facelift is a better solution for most faces. In the end, a mini facelift can only give a mini result, so in a young person with good skin and where no significant amount of skin needs to be removed, it can tighten an early jowl and tighten and firm the cheek. In an older person, it is unlikely to be a good solution.

If you’re considering a mini facelift, you are welcome to come for a consultation to see whether it’s the best option for you.

If you would like to discuss a plastic surgery procedure, please call 03 9828 1306 or request a consultation online.

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