Skip to content
Home » Blog » Everything You Need To Know About the Mini Facelift Procedure

Everything You Need To Know About the Mini Facelift Procedure

Home » Blog » Everything You Need To Know About the Mini Facelift Procedure

Everything You Need To Know About the Mini Facelift Procedure


    What A Mini Facelift Can (And Can’t) Do

    As we age, we lose collagen and elastin and our skin’s elasticity diminishes. This causes the skin to become thinner and weaker, leading to fine lines, wrinkles, and folds. While preventative measures like a strong medical-grade skincare routine or injectables can mitigate these aging signs in the face, at some point people reach the stage where surgical intervention is necessary to maintain a more youthful appearance.

    But what if you’re not ready for a full facelift? Ideal for younger patients with early signs of facial aging, the mini facelift is the perfect procedure for people who need more than fillers and Botox, but are not quite ready for a substantial procedure like a SMAS facelift. If you’re noticing early jowling, but not severe sagging skin around your face and neck, you may be just the candidate for this anti-aging procedure.

    You’re probably wondering what is a mini facelift and what it can help with.

    While the mini facelift cannot address as many aging changes in the face and neck as powerfully as the traditional facelift, it works very well as a combination procedure alongside other facial rejuvenation surgeries such as a lip lift, brow lift, or neck lift.

    It’s important to note that the effects of a mini facelift typically last 5-10 years, whereas a full facelift tends to provide longer-lasting results, usually lasting a decade or more.

    While the mini facelift can provide a worthwhile transformation in the right patients, it has limitations. Here’s a breakdown of what this less invasive facelift procedure can and can’t do:

    The mini facelift can:

    • Remove and tighten mild sagging skin
    • Tighten drooping jowls and define the jawline 
    • Elevate a downturned mouth
    • Reduce the appearance of early nasolabial folds
    • Define the area in which the neck, chin, and jawline meet
    • Create a younger-looking appearance to the lower face and jawline
    • Promote natural and noticeable improvements

    The mini facelift can’t:

    • Address concerns around the upper portion of the face such as forehead lines or under eye bags
    • Target & tighten the entire neckline
    • Promote as dramatic, long-lasting results as a traditional facelift

    What Happens During A Mini Facelift Procedure?

    The mini facelift procedure can address mild jowling and sagging skin along the lower face and jawline using a short incision above or within the natural creases around each ear or along the hairline.

    Since general anesthesia is often not required for the mini lift, patients can remain awake throughout the procedure and leave shortly afterward. Although you are awake during the procedure, twilight sedation or local anesthesia minimizes any discomfort you feel during or after the procedure. This allows for a speedier recovery when compared to a full facelift that requires general anesthesia.

    During the mini facelift procedure, the underlying facial tissues are lifted and repositioned, along with the removal of excess skin to enhance facial contours and create a more youthful look. Targeting sagging skin around both the upper and lower regions of the jawline, this procedure effectively eliminates saggy skin that causes a softer, less youthful appearance and promotes a sharper, younger-looking contour to the lower face.

    Compared to the extensive duration of a full facelift procedure, which typically lasts three hours or even longer in more complex cases, the mini lift requires less time in the OR, lasting approximately two hours on average.

    The mini facelift typically requires a shorter recovery period as it does not involve recovery from anesthesia and the procedure is much less invasive.

    Patients may experience some swelling and bruising for the first week or two, but your surgical team will give you instructions on how to speed up healing. Generally, the following tips can help you heal from a facelift better and faster: 

    • Keep your head elevated
    • Eat a nutritious diet full of protein
    • Stay hydrated
    • Keep your incisions clean and moisturized with saline and petroleum jelly
    • Avoid strenuous physical activity until your doctor confirms it is safe to resume
    • Get plenty of rest
    • Take any pain or infection prevention medications prescribed by your doctor as directed

    What Do Scars Look Like After A Mini Facelift?

    Mini facelift incision placement may vary based on the individual’s anatomy, the targeted areas, and the surgeon’s preference. As mentioned above, incisions are around the ears and along the hairline. This discreet placement is strategically designed to minimize visible scarring.

    Referred to as the short scar facelift or short incision facelift by many plastic surgeons, the mini facelift is a less invasive facial rejuvenation procedure that yields natural-looking outcomes. These thin, short incisions are often concealed within the natural crease in front of the ears.

    To minimize the appearance of scars and achieve the best mini facelift results, we recommend that you:

    • Keep your incisions clean and moisturized during your initial mini facelift recovery, as any crusting of blood along the incisions can lead to poorly healed scars
    • Use silicone gel or sheeting to further aid with maintaining scar hydration and diminishing their visibility as time goes on
    • Limit sun exposure to the scarred areas and reapply sun protection regularly
    • Continue to moisturize the skin surrounding the scars regularly even after your initial recovery
    • Use only mild soap and water or saline to cleanse the incisions

    Mini Facelift Benefits

    According to RealSelf, 93% of mini facelift patients consider the surgery worth the cost and downtime.

    The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says the mini facelift procedure is well-suited for younger patients with early aging signs seeking to maintain a youthful appearance. It typically boasts a recovery time that is half as long as a traditional facelift, making it a popular procedure for patients in the height of their active years who lead a busy lifestyle.

    While the outcomes of a mini facelift may not be as dramatic or long-lasting as those of a full facelift, it can provide just enough rejuvenation and yield life-changing effects for the appropriate individuals.

    The most notable benefits of the short incision facelift include:

    • Minimal scarring
    • Fewer and less intense postoperative side effects such as swelling or bruising
    • Quicker recovery
    • There is no need for general anesthesia or the recovery associated with it
    • Promotes more dramatic, enduring results than non-surgical facial rejuvenation treatments
    • Less risk of complications

    If you are in or around New York or New Jersey and considering a mini facelift to restore a youthful appearance to your face, request a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Gordon Kaplan, renowned in facial rejuvenation.

    The Kaplan Center

    The Kaplan Center is a medical practice ran by board-certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Gordon Kaplan in Edgewater, NJ. With over two decades of experience, The Kaplan Center specialises in plastic and reconstructive surgery for the face and body, along with a number of non-surgical treatments.