What is the Difference Between a Normal Facelift and a Mini Facelift

If you’re unhappy with your aging face, your first instinct might be to get facelift surgery in Coral Gables. However, it’s important to remember that cosmetic surgery is always advancing. New treatments, like a mini facelift, can be quite effective. How do you decide between a regular or mini lift? Learning the difference between the two can help you determine which procedure you would prefer. Here are some of the main differences between a mini and regular lift.

Effects on an Aging Face

Of course, the main difference is simply the overall outcome. Both types of lifts help address some of the effects of aging, such as sagging skin, wrinkles, and drooping cheeks. However, as you might be able to guess from the name, a mini lift tends to have milder results.

Generally, mini lifts are good for addressing early facial muscle sagging. They can tighten up the jawline and gently lift the cheeks. A mini lift also helps fix the deep grooves around the nose and corners of the mouth. Some styles of mini lifts can help to tighten up the neck or reduce the size of jowls, too. Mini lifts do not usually address the upper part of the face, like the eyes and forehead.

A full facelift provides even more effects. In addition to fixing all the things a mini lift would, a full procedure can also entirely reposition facial volume and remove excess skin. It can ensure you get a smooth jawline, a neck without any wobble, less droopy eyelids, and firm, youthful cheeks. Full lifts also help to deal with deeper wrinkles like forehead grooves.

Preferred Candidates for the Procedure

Head Shot of Senior Woman Showing Wrinkles.

Due to their different effects, these two procedures tend to attract different patients. Mini lift patients are often in their early 40s or older. They are in generally good health but may have mild, chronic health conditions like arthritis.

Meanwhile, full lift patients are typically in their mid-60s. Due to the more intense procedure, full lift patients need to be in the best health possible.

Medical Techniques Used During the Lift

Most of the differences between these lifting procedures depend on how surgeons work. The standard lift has been around for decades. It involves your doctor making incisions all around the hairline and the ears. The doctor then goes through these incisions to remove excess fat, pull up drooping muscle, secure supportive tissue to the cheekbones, and remove excess skin around the cheeks.

Meanwhile, a mini lift is a newer technique that is less invasive. Your doctor will make smaller incisions and remove less skin and underlying tissue around your face. There won’t be any drastic repositioning of your facial support structures. Instead, your doctor will just remove a bit of excess tissue and maybe install some small sutures. 

Recovery Time for Mini Facelift vs. Facelift Procedures

Since a full lift is a more complicated procedure, the recovery time also tends to be longer. Every patient’s recovery speed is a little different depending on the patient’s health, tobacco usage, and surgery type. However, the general rule of thumb is that it takes about twice as long for a patient with a full lift to recover.

Mini lift patients usually need to rest and relax for at least a week. It may take up to three weeks before they feel ready for vigorous physical activity. Furthermore, swelling and bruising take at least a month to disappear. Meanwhile, for a full procedure, you’ll need to wait at least two weeks before returning to work, and you shouldn’t do any strenuous activity for a month. It can take up to four months for all the swelling to disappear and your final results to be visible.

Potential Shapes and Sizes of Scars

In any type of lift, some scars are inevitable. Usually, they are hidden under the hair or ears, so they are not immediately evident. Furthermore, your doctor can provide you with special creams and medications that make your scars as small and light as possible. However, the potential for scars is still something worth considering.

Mini lift scarring is very minimal. Most patients just have a short line hidden in the crease of their earlobe. Full procedures result in hidden scars, but the scars will be a little longer. You may get a scar that runs along the full length of your ear, and you will also have scars a few inches long under your hairline. 

Cost for the Procedure

Generally speaking, a full lift is more expensive than a mini lift. Of course, cosmetic surgery prices can vary quite a bit depending on which doctor you see. For example, if you have a mini procedure from a renowned doctor who serves high-class clientele, it might cost just as much as a full procedure at a sketchy clinic. Many other factors will determine end costs, including your aesthetic goals and your general health.

It’s impossible to compare costs fully until you get a consultation at your desired clinic. On average, though, mini procedures tend to be around $3,500 to $8,000. Meanwhile, according to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, full procedures cost about $7,500 to $11,780. This means a mini lift is usually the better option for patients who want to save money but still get impressive results. 

How Long Do the Results Last?

Smiling Woman With Bare Shoulders Touching Face

When comparing the two procedures, don’t forget that neither is permanent. Unlike Botox and fillers, they do provide long-lasting results. However, gravity and aging will eventually make your face start to droop again. When this happens, you have the option of getting another procedure if you desire.

Generally, a full lift lasts at least 15 years, and plenty of people still see the benefits 20 years after their surgery. Mini lifts do not have quite as lengthy results. There’s a greater variety of mini lift types, so the outcome just depends on your procedure. Some people may have lifts that last around three years, while those with a more intensive mini lift may still see results ten years later.

Find the Right Option for You

As you can see, both types of procedures can have great outcomes. The right choice for you depends on your face shape, your preferred recovery time, and your desired goals. At Gentera CPS, we’re happy to discuss your options and offer personalized recommendations. If you’d like to learn more about facelift surgery, contact us to schedule a consultation.