Are all facelifts created the same? The answer is “absolutely not.” There are 50+ types of facelifts, and to make things even more complicated, surgeons refer to the same type of lift with different names.
Enter the mini facelift, one facelift variation offered in the San Francisco Bay Area by board-certified facial plastic surgeons Drs. Lieberman & Parikh. The term “mini facelift” is attractive to a lot of people, including surgeons, because it makes the procedure sound like it won’t result in a dramatic change or give the dreaded “windswept” appearance.
Check out this Laid Back Lesson with Drs. Lieberman & Parikh where they break down the mini facelift:
What Is a Mini Facelift?
A mini facelift is a slightly modified version of a traditional, deep-plane facelift, but both are invasive, cosmetic procedures that require incisions to remove and pull up sagging skin.
At L&P Aesthetics, a mini facelift simply means that incisions are minimized for a shorter recovery period. A mini facelift, when done well, will accomplish some of the same goals as a traditional, deep-plane facelift, but a mini facelift generally addresses two areas—the neck and jowls—without addressing the mid-face.
A deep-plane facelift is comprehensive in that it involves rejuvenation of the neck, jowl, and the mid-face area by elevating the supportive layers of the face.
Other names for a mini facelift are:
- Short Scar Facelift
- Lifestyle Lift
- Ponytail Lift
Who Is a Good Candidate for a Mini Facelift?
People who are good candidates for a mini facelift are generally younger people (in their 30’s and 40’s) who have less skin laxity and less unwanted skin than traditional facelift candidates. Also, the mini facelift cannot address the mid-face, so generally, mini facelift patients are looking for improvement just in their jowl and neck areas.
Sometimes, a mini facelift will be suggested for someone who has been getting fillers for many years and is just not seeing the results they want. As you age, you will need more and more dermal fillers to achieve optimal results and eventually, the cost-benefit analysis of fillers doesn’t make sense. When this is the case, a mini facelift becomes a very good option for facial rejuvenation.
During your consultation, Drs. L&P will let you know if you are a good candidate for a mini-facelift.
What Concerns Does a Mini Facelift Address?
Drs. Lieberman and Parikh customize every facelift, including all mini facelifts, to meet each patient’s specific needs. While a mini facelift won’t address all of these issues, a mini facelift can address the following concerns:
- Drooping of the soft tissues around the mouth, jowls, and jawline
- Loosening of the skin in the lower face and the neck, also called “jowling”
- Loss of the definition of the jawline
- Reduction of the marionette lines at the corners of the mouth
- Smoothing of the vertical bands around the neck
Where Are the Incisions Placed in a Mini Facelift?
Drs. L&P hide the incisions for a mini facelift in the natural curves of the ear which is called the tragus, and extends minimally into the hairline above the ear. Most patients report that they cannot see any visible scarring, but should there be any scarring, it would be hidden in the tragus, around the hairline, and not visible to anyone other than maybe a very observant hairstylist.
This particular patient was very concerned about scarring after her facelift with Drs. Lieberman & Parikh, but she explained that it was not an issue at all:
Will A Mini Facelift Ensure I Don’t Look Over-Stretched?
Since the incisions in a mini facelift aren’t really that much shorter than those in a deep-plane facelift, the possibility of over-stretching is equal in both types of lifts. The most important thing you can do to avoid looking ‘over-stretched’ is to find a board-certified facial plastic surgeon who you trust and who is an expert in the intricate facial anatomy, what tissue needs to be released, and what tissue planes are being entered.
Tension and directionality in mini facelifts are the greatest influencers on the overall result.
How Long Is Mini Facelift Recovery?
Downtime after a mini facelift can vary from patient to patient and is influenced by several factors: skin type, underlying health conditions, nutrition, and diet. However, generally patients of Drs. Lieberman and Parikh are presentable between 10 and 20 days after their procedure.
What Is the Average Age of Someone Who Gets a Mini Facelift?
The average age of a mini facelift patient is early- to mid-40s, but at L&P Aesthetics, Drs. L&P have evaluated candidates who are a lot younger (early 30’s) and older (early 80’s) and decided that a mini facelift would be the optimal procedure to address their concerns.
Can a Mini Facelift Be Revised?
Drs. Lieberman & Parikh specialize in the revision of mini facelifts and traditional facelifts done by other surgeons. When a person has had inadequate or not a complete release of some of the key ligaments of the face, they’re left with a sub-optimal result. It could be that the neck was addressed but the jowl and mid-face wasn’t completely addressed so there’s a lateral sweep deformity, which caused an inconsistent and unsatisfying appearance.
How Does a Mini-Facelift Compare to a Deep-Plane Facelift?
A deep-plane facelift is a lift that addresses the deeper tissues and muscles of the face. It involves the release of key facial ligaments that allows for a natural, youthful repositioning of those tissues and is a specialized technique that is performed usually by surgeons with a very intricate understanding of facial anatomy and designed to rejuvenate three key components of the lower face: the neck, jaw, and lower face.
The deep-plane facelift is one of the only lifts that fully address the mid-face volume loss as well as gravity and other changes as a result of aging. You can see real patient results from the traditional, deep-plane facelift in our before-and-after photo gallery.
Over 90% of the facelifts Drs. Lieberman and Parikh perform are modified deep-plane facelifts because of the superior results with a similar recovery period as a mini facelift.
Schedule Your Mini Facelift Consultation
To see which type of facelift would address your specific concerns, request a consultation online or call (650) 327-3232. Our Palo Alto office welcomes people interested in facelift surgery from throughout the Bay Area and around the world.