If you're thinking about a facelift procedure, you'll want to decide on whether you want a full facelift or a mini facelift, which is less invasive. Both provide you with good results, but which is ideal for you? Here, you'll learn more about the mini facelift procedure, what is a mini facelift, it's benefits, and a lot more information so you can make an informed decision if a mini facelift is what you want.
What Is a Mini Facelift Procedure?
Mini facelifts address excess skin, signs of aging, and wrinkling in your jawline and face. They're not as invasive or extensive as "full" facelifts. Mini facelifts are slightly modified versions of traditional facelifts. They also involve the use of incisions for removing and pulling sagging skin up.
You might be an ideal candidate for a mini facelift if you have less excess skin that needs to be removed and if you'd like to achieve the same goals as a full facelift, but with fewer incisions.
A mini facelift, despite its name, is still major cosmetic surgery. It's essential you compare the benefits with the risks and costs before you undergo any cosmetic surgery, including a mini facelift.
A facelift is an extremely individualized decision that begins with you sitting down with the cosmetic doctor to have a candid discussion. They'll take note of your medical history and will consider a few things carefully, including your:
- Skin condition
- General health
- Tendency to scar
- Other factors related to your overall facelift goals
The doctor will take photos so they can study your face and might discuss other options like dermal fillers or an eye lift.
In preparing for your mini facelift, as your procedure date gets close, you might be asked to avoid certain OTC medicines temporarily.
The procedure will take place under general anesthesia and require you to make arrangements for transportation home from the facility.
How Do Mini Facelift Procedures Work?
While the mini facelift is less dramatic in results, it's still a highly effective option to reduce face and neck region signs of aging. Since the mini facelift requires a smaller incision point, it creates a rejuvenating effect on your jowls and cheek regions while decreasing procedure complications and post-op recovery time.
For the mini facelift procedure, the cosmetic surgeon makes an incision at your hairline that extends behind your ear. For this particular surgery, the incision doesn't extend into your upper forehead or temporal region unlike with a deep plane facelift or SMAS facelift. Because of this, it makes for significantly less invasive surgery. Once the surgeon makes the simple incision, they then will raise the SMAS muscle. For this particular surgery, once raised the SMAS can either be imbricated or plicated. They'll then close the incision to close out the procedure and place a head dressing on you for healing.
What are the Benefits of a Mini Facelift?
A mini facelift offers number benefits, including:
1. Faster Recovery Time
One of the primary benefits of a mini facelift is it offers a quicker recovery time. While a standard facelift could have you recovering for almost four to five weeks, a mini facelift only requires a couple of days to a week.
2. Less Pain
Because a mini facelift is less invasive, you should experience minimal discomfort and pain following your procedure. Slight swelling and bruising might be common, but it's substantially less than what you'd experience following a full facelift and typically resolves over a few weeks.
3. Lower Cost
Because a mini facelift is shorter in duration, less complicated, and doesn't require general anesthesia, cost factors like facility costs and surgeon fees are lower, making the entire cost less than that of a traditional facelift.
4. Twilight Anesthesia
A mini facelift can typically be performed using a local anesthetic and twilight sedation combination, unlike a traditional facelift that requires general anesthesia. Twilight anesthesia decreases the chances of you experiencing anesthesia-related risks and side effects such as nausea and vomiting.
How Much Does a Mini Facelift Cost?
You might be wondering to yourself, "how much is a mini facelift?"
A full facelift costs, on average, a little over $7,600, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Mini facelifts can cost the same amount in some cases, because of the work that's added or done. Estimates range between $3,500 and $8,000. The cost only covers the actual procedure. You'll still have to pay separately for things like:
- Postoperative prescription medicines
- Hospital fees
If you have any complications following your procedure, there will be costs associated with that too.
Health insurance doesn't typically cover cosmetic surgery like a mini facelift. These surgeries are considered aesthetic, and, therefore, are deemed not medically necessary.
Many cosmetic surgeons will help accommodate their patients by offering discounts and payment plans to help offset the procedure's costs.
Recovery Time for a Mini Facelift Procedure
Once your procedure is done, you'll likely have drains, dressings or both. You'll have to go back to the office after several days and have the sutures removed - probably about five to 10 days following your surgery.
Your mini facelift recovery time can take a few weeks. It's important you follow all post-procedure instructions the doctor gives you which will also address bruising, swelling, and managing any pain or discomfort.
You'll also be instructed on when you can resume your normal activities and when to call if you're experiencing any problems or unexpected changes.
How Long Does a Mini Facelift Last?
Since both a full facelift and mini facelift result in both tissue and skin changes on your face, instead of using techniques like Botox and fillers to alter your appearance, you'll retain the results for a longer time period than you would with modern injectables.
But, a mini facelift's results might produce five years or longer of rejuvenation which is approximately half the time you'd expect from a full facelift. Generally, this is mostly due to a smaller part of your face (the underlying muscle and tissue) being tightened. So, the areas the mini facelift didn't address will still be subject to loss of elasticity and other parts of the aging process.
Is a Mini Facelift Right for You?
Just like with a full facelift, with a mini facelift, you still should consider your anesthetic goals and the required downtime for this particular cosmetic surgery. And, you'll still want to consult with a trained and professional facial plastic surgeon.
When considering this procedure, you'll want to ask yourself several questions:
- Are you looking to improve excess skin and wrinkles along your jawline and face?
- Will you have a couple of weeks to fully recover from the surgery?
- Can you lie flat on a procedure table for a couple of hours?
While a mini facelift is ideal for addressing skin laxity and wrinkling of your jawline and face around your ears, it's not well suited for aging signs near your chin or jowls.
A mini facelift is a powerful surgery that could create amazing results in the ideal patient. Your cosmetic surgeon will help you develop the right individual treatment plan that's perfect for you.
As you age, you don't have to lose your youthful appearance. In the hands of a board-certified, skilled cosmetic surgeon, the effects of gravity and time can be counteracted and your naturally vibrant appearance restored. It could even tackle early aging signs before they appear.
Contact the Houston Center for Facial Plastic Surgery
At Houston Center for Facial Plastic Surgery, we focus on facial reconstructive procedures exclusively. Using the most up-to-date surgical technologies, we offer the most innovative and advanced care to provide you with great results. Before you book any type of surgery or procedure, we'll set a consultation up with you to discuss the outcome you're looking for and ensure you are knowledgeable about each component of the facial plastic surgery procedure you're considering.
The Houston Center for Facial Plastic Surgery team and Dr. Bradford Patt, MD are dedicated to ensuring your well-being and safety as well as those of our doctors, patients, and staff, especially among the most recent COVID-19 outbreak. To help limit the spread of the virus, we are also transitioning many of our office visits to telemedicine.
Contact us to set up your appointment today. Please note that telemedicine appointments are available.