Mini Facelift Versus Full Facelift

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Mini Vs. Full FaceliftNEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK – Men and women alike are looking for effective ways to improve their appearance and first impressions however, many are going about the search alone.

“In today’s economy, putting your best face forward is more important than ever before,” says Dr. Andrew Miller, a NY facial plastic surgeon. “Men and women are rushing into surgery with high expectations only to be disappointed with the results because they were ill informed. This is especially true with face lift procedures.”

When it comes to facelifts, there are many procedures (beware of surgeons who only offer a couple) – that fall into two main, surgical categories:

  • Mini facelift
  • Full facelift

We will briefly explain the difference between these two categories of facelifts so you can have “an edge” when you enter into a consultation with a board certified, facial plastic surgeon.

Mini Face Lift (Lifestyle Lift®, S Lift, Weekend Facelift, etc.)

  • Minimal jowling
  • Minimal downtime
  • Minimal longevity (3-5 years)
  • Does not address brow or eye area

As the name implies, mini facelift procedures are good for treating patients who have minimally lax skin, want minimal downtime and are OK with minimal longevity when it comes to results. Incisions placed around the tops of ears allow the surgeon to excise excess skin to provide a slight lift to the neck, lower face and lower, mid-face.

“The media has glamourized mini facelift procedures more than I feel the procedures deserve,” says Dr. Andrew Miller who also performs rhinoplasty in New York. “Most of my patients who meet the qualifications for a mini facelift opt for Botox and filler treatment until they are ready for a full facelift.”

Full Facelift (Deep Plane Facelift, SMAS Facelift)

  • Heavy jowling
  • Moderate loose skin
  • Lasting results (7-10 years)
  • Can lift deeper tissues
  • Does not address brow or eye area

The presence of heavy jowls and banding in the neck area are the best predictors to needing a full facelift. Incisions hidden under the chin, behind ear and in the posterior hairline create a sling effect that provides a clean neck silhouette and allow for deep tissue lifting.

Since it’s not only our skin, but also our tissues that sag with age, repositioning deep tissue yields maximum results by providing a better foundation for re-draping skin over during a lifting procedure.

“Facelifts do a fantastic job of addressing sagging in the neck and lower face, but the rejuvenation stops at the mid-face,” says Dr. Miller. “Surgeons who claim to be able to resolve wrinkles around the eye with these procedures are attempting to lift the skin at a tighter and at a steeper angle. This may reduce some wrinkling but also yields an unnatural, overstretched result.”

Popular add-ons for facelift procedures that provide natural enhancement include:

  • Fat grafts – Prevents “gaunt, skeletonized appearance in patients with minimal facial tissue
  • Blepharoplasty (eyelid lift)– Reduces hooding and bags by excising excess skin
  • Brow lift – Repositions brows that have drooped with age
  • IPL laser – Reduces fine lines and wrinkles