A mini face lift is designed to treat early signs of aging, including mild to moderate sagging of the skin on the neck and jawline. Unlike a standard face lift, a mini lift does not treat more prominent jowls, and it won't treat the neck area other than giving it a subtle lift. Mini lifts also do not include ancillary lifts such as a brow lift, and the results are more nuanced than those of a standard face lift.
But these lifts have several advantages that make them attractive to the right candidates, chief among them being recovery time and cost. Mini face lift cost and recovery time are both significantly smaller than those of a standard face lift.
Who is a Candidate for a Mini Face Lift?
The majority of suitable patients for a mini face lift are younger, usually under the age of 45 or 50. This is because people in that age range typically have only moderate sagging of the facial tissues, and it is usually centered in the mid-face region (the area around the cheeks). These people also have not developed prominent sagging of the skin throughout the rest of the face and neck.
However, there are some patients in their 50s who might also be good candidates for a mini face lift. If a patient has been very thin throughout their life, they might have less skin sagging around the neck and jaw. Although this sagging is related to a loss of collagen as a patient ages, very thin people have less fat on their faces and necks, creating less stress on the skin from the weight of the fatty deposits.
Mini Face Lift Procedure
To perform a mini face lift, short incisions are made in the natural creasing in front of the ears and near the hairline. The surgeon then lifts and tightens the structural tissues around the cheeks. This refines the jawline, minimizes jowling, and creates a more subtly youthful appearance.
Mini face lifts are usually performed under local anesthesia, sometimes with sedation. The entire procedure takes approximately two hours, although this time will vary depending on the patient and the surgeon.
One of the most appealing aspects of a mini face lift is the short recovery time. A traditional face lift can take anywhere from four to five weeks for full recovery; a mini face lift requires only three to five days. In fact, these lifts are sometimes called “weekend facelifts,” because the procedure can be performed on a Friday and the patient can return to their regular activities on a Monday.
Mini face lifts cause less pain and swelling than standard face lifts due to the shorter incisions used during this type of surgery. There is also a lower risk of complications since the procedure can be performed without general anesthesia. Sutures are removed about a week after the procedure.
The typical mini face lift cost is between $3,400 – $8,500, depending on location, surgeon, and patient. Because it is a cosmetic procedure, this surgery is not usually covered by health insurance. Many surgeons do, however, offer financing or payment plans to cover mini face lift costs as well as other cosmetic procedures. Overall, a mini face lift is more affordable than a full face lift.
It is important that the patient maintain realistic expectations when considering any cosmetic procedure. Talk at length with your surgeon, and ask to see before and after photos of patients who have had a the surgery. This will give you a good idea of the results you can expect. It is also important to remember that this procedure does not produce drastic results. It will, however, rejuvenate a “tired” appearance and diminish the look of sagging skin and jowls.