You have more options for facial plastic surgery today than ever before. Facelift surgery is again one of the top five most sought-after cosmetic plastic surgeries performed each year in the U.S., according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Mini facelifts have opened the field of options even more, by providing excellent results with less recovery time and scarring. But how do you know whether you should have a mini facelift or a full facelift?


Mini Facelift vs. Full Facelift

Mini Facelift vs Full Facelift

Your own board-certified plastic surgeon is your best resource in deciding whether you should choose a mini facelift or a full facelift surgery. Generally speaking, a mini facelift mainly focuses on the neck and jawline. Patients often already have strong bone structure and faces that have full cheeks. A mini facelift can therefore be accomplished with less incisions and therefore less scars. Another deciding factor is the elasticity of your skin. Younger skin has more resiliency and can reshape easier with excessive pulling or removal. It is no surprise then that mini facelifts are more common in younger patients.

Many people qualified for facelift surgery see the advantages of having a mini facelift vs full facelift. The shorter recovery time involved with a mini facelift is typically about seven days before normal activity and ten days for resolution of bruising so you can return to work. Many now work from home and can recover while at work! You can expect less discomfort and swelling after the mini version of facelift surgery, too. This means lower risk of complications, due in part to a more limited area of surgery. Of course, most patients enjoy the greater affordability of a mini facelift vs full facelift’s higher cost.


Full Facelift Procedure

A full facelift is also called a traditional facelift by plastic surgeons. Patients who are better candidates for a full facelift are older and have less elastic skin, have lost volume in their faces and have a greater component of sagging in the face. Your plastic surgeon will use their judgment in determining whether this procedure is your best option for facial rejuvenation.

A full facelift provides multiple benefits, including:

  • Repositioning sagging cheeks and other facial tissues of the lower 2/3 of the face
  • Eliminating sagging skin on the cheeks and neck
  • Restoring a more prominent jawline
  • Correcting fat loss in the center of the face
  • Using hidden incisions infront of and behind the ears for minimal visible scarring

If you choose a full facelift over a mini facelift, you may expect long lasting results as the face is resuspended internally, has volume restored with fat grafting with your own fat tissue, and has removal of any skin excess. Longevity again is more determined by age and skin quality. Many patients retain their results with excellent skin care and other adjuvants like Botox® and fillers.


Mini Facelift Procedure

Also called a short-scar facelift, the mini facelift is typically offered to younger patients.

This procedure provides benefits that include:

  • Reduction of minor lower face and neck sagging
  • A smaller incision than required for a full facelift
  • Skin tightening, albeit for shorter-term results than a full facelift
  • Reduced recovery time in comparison to a traditional facelift

Just like with a full facelift, this surgery does not address aging of the upper face, including lines on the forehead or sagging eyelids. If you seek results for those areas, you should discuss a browlift or eyelid lift with your plastic surgeon.


Is a Mini Facelift Right for Me?

A mini facelift is possibly right for you if you are under the age of 50. In fact, most patients choosing this procedure are in their 30s or 40s. They typically show only mild or moderate sagging skin or excess skin around the lower face. If you are over age 50, you probably have a greater degree of laxity in your facial and neck skin.

Of course, the ages of patients receiving a mini facelift are only averages and guidelines. Some people still make good candidates for a mini facelift in elder years, even into their 50s. If you have remained slim your whole life, you may experience a lower degree of skin laxity around your jawline and neck. In such a case, you may have the option of a mini facelift vs full facelift into these later years. Age is also less of a factor if you are open to more subtle results as seen through a mini facelift, in exchange for less recovery time than with the full procedure.

Talk openly with your plastic surgeon about the results you seek from a facelift surgery. Keep your mind open to their recommendations and when considering other plastic surgery procedures which might be even more beneficial in your particular case. Be sure to check out your surgeon’s before and after images that show the results achieved for facial cosmetic patients. Look for photos of people close to your age to see the type of results you can expect from your own procedure.


Finding the Right Plastic Surgeon is Important

Whenever you seek to have a plastic surgery procedure, you need to find a plastic surgeon you can trust. Carefully review their before and after images relating to the specific procedure you seek. During your consultation appointment, ask as many questions as you must to feel comfortable in your decision-making. Always feel free to seek a second opinion.

Zenn Plastic Surgery in Raleigh, NC provides both mini facelift and full facelift procedures and there is no better qualified plastic surgeon in Raleigh, NC. Call us at (919) 480-3885 to set up your consultation with Dr. Zenn or complete our online form for a prompt scheduling reply.