Mini vs. Full Facelift: Which is Right for You?

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Posted on August 27, 2019 under Facelift

When it comes to facial rejuvenation, most plastic surgeons agree that the facelift is the gold standard. However, not everyone wants to go all in with a surgical procedure. Although facelift surgery can produce excellent results, it can require some downtime and patience. If a facelift gives you pause when looking at your options, then you should know that the mini facelift is an excellent alternative. Here’s a quick guide to the difference between these two and how they can benefit you.

How are they different?

In short, the mini facelift procedure is directed towards the lower face and neck. The full facelift also lifts the brows.

A mini facelift, or S-Lift, avoids the temple incision to adjust the tissues of the lower face and neck. Once the skin is tightened and the excess skin is trimmed away, the incisions are closed with special sutures.

Both facelifts include muscle tightening to lift and tighten the underlying tissues, giving better results since this layer (called the Superficial Musculo Aponeurotic System, or SMAS) is heavier than the skin and can drag it downward if not tightened. They also both help get rid of excess fat and sagging skin on the face and neck area.

The traditional facelift can be more extensive, depending on your intended results. The main difference is that the traditional facelift requires longer incisions which generally follow the temple, around the ears, and into the nape. Both facelifts are often combined with other facial and aesthetic procedures like a mid-facelift or lower facelift.

What is recovery like?

Either facelift will come with some downtime where you’ll need to rest and recover, as well as avoid strenuous activity for at least two weeks. Swelling and bruising can take a while to subside. You may also need to take care of sutures and manage drains during the first few days.

Because a mini-lift is less invasive and requires smaller incisions, you’ll need much less time off and can return to your normal lifestyle sooner. You can still expect some swelling and bruising, but these subside much more quickly than the traditional method.

Which is best for me?

When looking at your options, it can be helpful to look at which factors are most important to you, as well as which areas you want to address (and how extensively!). If you want the best level of rejuvenation and are okay with longer downtime and recovery, the traditional facelift procedure is a time-tested option.

However, if you have beginning signs of facial aging and want subtle results to pair with some non-surgical options, the mini facelift can be a great way to boost your confidence.

The best way to look at your options is during a consultation with Dr. Jabs, Dr. Magge, or Dr. Richards. They can recommend which surgery you’re a good candidate for.

Schedule a Consultation

The cosmetic surgery industry is constantly innovating, so there are more options than ever when it comes to maintaining a youthful facial appearance.

To schedule a consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeons, contact our Bethesda office by calling or filling out our online form.

Our Plastic Surgery Associates team includes Dr. Franklin Richards, Dr. A. Dean Jabs, and Dr. Keshav Magge. Each of our plastic surgeons is board-certified, and together they have over 60 years of combined experience. Drs. Richards, Jabs, and Magge are all highly qualified in procedures for the face, breast, and body, and pride themselves in providing excellent results through our state-of-the-art, Quad A certified operating centers