Facelift vs Mini Facelift: What’s the Difference? (Updated 2023)

Is there really a difference between a mini facelift and a complete facelift? Even though the procedures share some similarities, a facelift creates more extensive and dramatic results. A mini facelift is a shorter operation with shorter incisions, but the improvement will also be more modest.

Most patients in my practice want some type of lower face and neck lift, lower facelift, or a full facelift instead of a mini facelift because they want significant improvements. In some cases, a mini facelift can be an excellent option where they still get a significant amount of improvement for younger patients with good skin quality. If you’ve waited into their late 50s, 60s, or later for facial rejuvenation, a mini facelift isn’t likely to produce the desired results.

Before & After Facelift - Traceless Facelift Case 1848 Front View in Los Angeles, CA
Before & After Traceless Facelift
Before & After Facelift - Traceless Facelift Case 1848 Left Oblique View in Los Angeles, CA
Before & After Traceless Facelift
Before & After Facelift - Traceless Facelift Case 1848 Left Side View in Los Angeles, CA
Before & After Traceless Facelift

What Techniques Are Used for a Mini Facelift?

You could talk to 10 different plastic surgeons, and you might get 10 different descriptions of a mini facelift. Essentially, a mini facelift describes a procedure that involves shorter incisions than those used in a traditional facelift and is less invasive. The 2 techniques I use for mini facelift patients include:

  • Mini facelift: I make incisions in front of and behind the ear but not into the hairline behind the ear. Using these incisions, I can address lax skin in the cheek area. I lift the skin and secure it in a more youthful position. The procedure takes a shorter amount of time than other facelift procedures.
  • Short scar facelift: This technique differs from a mini facelift because it involves elevating muscle and fat below the skin to a more youthful position. Then the skin can be lifted and re-draped with minimal tension. Patients see a marked improvement in cheek laxity and improvement in the jowls and neck.

Again, most patients elect a Traceless Facelift that produces more significant results, especially when combined with other facial rejuvenation procedures.

Combining Procedures With a Traceless Facelift

Most patients concerned about aging in their lower face can benefit from including other procedures with a Traceless Facelift. For example, this patient underwent a facelift, brow lift, and eyelid surgery in one operation. After her recovery, she returned for CO2 laser skin resurfacing and lip augmentation.

Before & After Facelift - Traceless Facelift Case 257 View #1 View in Los Angeles, CA
Before & After
Before & After Facelift - Traceless Facelift Case 257 View #2 View in Los Angeles, CA
Before & After
Before & After Facelift - Traceless Facelift Case 257 View #3 View in Los Angeles, CA
Before & After
Before & After Facelift - Traceless Facelift Case 257 View #4 View in Los Angeles, CA
Before & After
Before & After Facelift - Traceless Facelift Case 257 View #5 View in Los Angeles, CA
Before & After

Upper and lower blepharoplasty: The delicate skin under the eyes can also be treated with a laser, but eyelid surgery is also an option. Upper eyelid surgery creates a more rested look.

Brow lift: A sagging brow can look even worse if a patient undergoes facial rejuvenation without a brow lift.

Laser skin resurfacing: Many patients who want a facelift also have sun-damaged skin, wrinkles, or skin discoloration that can be addressed with fractional CO2 laser treatments. This ablative laser is very effective and often requires only a single treatment to obtain the desired results. With a patient under general anesthesia, the treatment can penetrate to deeper layers of the skin.

Before & After Facelift - Traceless Facelift Case 796 View #1 View in Los Angeles, CA
Before & After Facelift With Laser Skin Resurfacing
Before & After Facelift - Traceless Facelift Case 796 View #2 View in Los Angeles, CA
Before & After Facelift With Laser Skin Resurfacing

Schedule a Consultation

Wrinkles, jowls, and loose neck skin can all give the impression that you’re older than you feel. A Traceless Facelift, mini facelift, or other facial rejuvenation procedures can refresh your appearance. Request a consultation using the online form to meet with Dr. Stoker or call us at (310) 300-1779 to schedule an appointment.

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