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Mini Facelift vs. Normal Facelift: Pros, Cons, and Differences

Published on January 8, 2020
Beautiful face of young woman with red lipstick

Facial rejuvenation procedures have been around for a long time—particularly in the form of a full facelift. But what if only certain areas of your face need improvement? On the whole, facial plastic surgery patients typically have a very specific notion of the results they hope to achieve. They usually want to target specific problem areas on their faces. Whether it’s correcting sun damage or reversing or preventing signs of aging, there are a lot of benefits to undergoing a mini facelift vs. a normal facelift.

The older you get, the more you might start to notice certain signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles starting to take effect. Furthermore, extensive sun damage and skin conditions like acne can leave undesirable scars on your face. Some people opt to take a pre-emptive approach to the aging process by undergoing a mini facelift procedure in their mid to late 20s to prevent or minimize the appearance of these skin conditions.

The question is, how do you decide between getting a full or mini facelift? Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of getting a mini facelift and to see how this procedure compares to a full facelift.

What Is a Mini Facelift?

To answer this question accurately, it’s first important to understand how a facelift works and what the purpose of the procedure is. A rhytidectomy, or a full facelift as it’s more commonly known, is a cosmetic procedure that involves lifting the top layer of skin off the face and separating it from the deep facial muscles, tissues, and fat.

Then, the surgeon manipulates the skin by gently pulling it in different directions and removing excess skin to create a tighter, smoother, and younger look for the patient. Several techniques are used to achieve the desired result.

While a full facelift focuses on the entire face, a mini facelift focuses solely on smoothing out or contouring certain parts of the face, namely the lower half where the chin and jaw are located. Typically, the facial plastic surgeon will make small and discreet incisions behind the earlobes so that scarring is minimal and largely undetectable. Then, the necessary actions are taken. Some patients may require more fat removal or contouring, while others might only need minimal work done. The nature of a mini facelift is that the results aren’t as dramatic as a full facelift because the work is only designated to one small portion of the face.

Mini Facelift Pros

If you’re generally happy with your facial appearance and just want to make a few minor tweaks to the lower half of your face, then it makes more sense to get a mini facelift than a full facelift. Here are a few mini facelift pros.

Lower Anesthesia Risks

Facelifts are typically performed under local anesthesia, which means that you won’t be completely sedated for the procedure unless you specify that you want general anesthesia. One of the main benefits of local anesthesia versus general anesthesia is that you’ll still feel relaxed and pain-free during the procedure without having to be completely put under. This minimizes the level of risk that’s associated with anesthesia.

Less Invasive and Less Painful

Because a mini facelift targets a very specific and limited portion of your face, the procedure itself is generally less invasive than a full facelift. The facial plastic surgeon will only make small incisions around your earlobes and remove excess skin and fat from the lower portion of your face. As a result, you’ll also experience fewer symptoms like pain, redness, and bruising during the recovery time.

Costs Less Than a Full Facelift

Mini facelifts are far simpler and less time-consuming than full facelifts. Since they’re usually outpatient procedures that can be done in your facial plastic surgeon’s office and don’t require general anesthesia, they also cost a lot less than a full facelift.

Quick Recovery Time

Another benefit of a mini facelift vs. a normal facelift is the quick recovery time. Because you’re only getting work done on a small portion of your face, the recovery time only requires a few days. In fact, many facial plastic surgeons have nicknamed this procedure “weekend facelifts” because most patients can get a mini facelift over the weekend and return to work the next Monday. And the best part is, no one will realize that you’ve even had any work done because the differences are so subtle.

Mini Facelift Cons

As with any facial plastic surgery procedure, there are a few downsides to getting a mini facelift that you should consider. Thankfully, though, the pros far outweigh the cons.

Results Are Less Dramatic

It’s impractical to go into a mini facelift procedure expecting to come out with a completely new look—unless of course you combine it with another procedure like a forehead or brow lift. One of the main selling points of this procedure is the subtle differences in your appearance like fewer wrinkles or reduced skin damages around the chin and jaw area. But if you’re expecting to come out of it looking like a totally different person, then this might not be the right procedure for you.

Results Are Temporary

The results of a full facelift can last for a very long time—in some cases, a decade or longer depending on the patient’s genes and how quickly they age. Mini facelifts, on the other hand, typically don’t last more than a year or two, which means the procedure will need to be repeated more often to maintain your appearance.

Mini Facelift Vs. Normal Facelift Summary

  • A full facelift targets the entire face, whereas a mini facelift targets the lower half.
  • Mini facelift scarring is minimal and well hidden, whereas a full facelift could result in slightly more visible scarring depending on how well the patient heals.
  • Millennials are more likely to get a mini facelift to minimize or prevent premature signs of aging, whereas baby boomers are more likely to get full facelifts to reduce the existing signs of aging.

If you’re considering getting a full or mini facelift, then make an appointment with Dr. Gantous at Toronto Facial Plastic Surgery today! He has over 20 years of experience working with patients to help them achieve more youthful facial appearances. Contact us to learn more!

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