Face Lift vs Mini Face Lift: Face the Facts with Our Guide


Sooner or later, most of us start to notice some visible signs of the aging process. These signs may include wrinkles, fine lines, or loose, sagging skin. There are a number of treatment options that can address these issues, including surgical interventions like the face lift and the mini face lift.

As you consider your options to gain a more youthful, confident facial appearance, it is useful to understand the differences between these two procedures. Contact Charlotte Plastic Surgery for a one-on-one consultation with one of our board-certified doctors, where you can learn more about the procedure best suited for your aesthetic goals. In the meantime, here’s our guide to the face lift vs mini face lift.

Face Lift vs Mini Face Lift: Overview

To begin with, here’s a quick summary of each procedure.

Face Lifts:

  • Are also known as full face lifts, or traditional face lifts.
  • Generally address the lower two-thirds of the face, repositioning sagging cheeks and other facial tissues.
  • Get rid of loose skin on the neck and cheeks.
  • Restore definition to the jawline.
  • Correct fat loss in the central parts of the face.
  • Provide long-lasting results.
  • Require incisions to be made, typically behind the ears or behind the hairline. These incisions are necessary for the removal of excess fat and tissue.

Face Lift Patient Results

Before and After Facelift Results

Mini Face Lifts: 

  • Can reduce minor sagging on the neck and the lower part of the face.
  • Produces results that are long-lasting, though usually not as long-lasting as you’d get with a full face lift.
  • Involve much more minor incisions.
  • Typically come with a shorter recovery time than what you’d experience with a full face lift.
  • Are a popular option among younger patients who simply want some minor skin tightening.

As you choose between a face lift vs mini face lift, keep in mind that neither option will address the upper part of the face. For that, you’ll need to pursue a brow lift or an eyelid lift.

Why Choose a Mini Face Lift?

A traditional face lift offers far more comprehensive results, which raises an important question: Why would patients gravitate toward a mini face lift?

There are quite a few reasons. Often, the patients who opt for the mini face lift are younger, and simply need a quick “touch up” rather than something more robust. Also, we see patients who have had a traditional face lift many years ago and just need a little additional skin tightening to maintain their results. For these patients, the mini face lift is often a desirable option.

Which Procedure Lasts Longer?

Because the mini face lift is less invasive, its results are typically shorter-lived. With that said, optimal candidates who work with skilled surgeons will often get results that last a good long time.

Generally speaking, the results from a full face lift can last for 15 or even 20 years. With a mini face lift, you’re looking at results that last closer to 10 years.

What is the Procedure Like?

When you have a full face lift done, it can sometimes take several hours to complete. And, because the procedure is done under general anesthesia, it may take a few additional hours for the grogginess to wear off. While the mini face list takes less time, typically in about 90 minutes, you will still be under general anesthesia.

What is the Recovery Like for Each Procedure?

In choosing between a face lift vs mini face lift, another important consideration is the length of your recovery time.

With a traditional face lift, patients can expect some bruising and swelling for a couple of weeks. Most face lift patients feel ready to return to work or to their other regular activities within one or two weeks, though it may take a full month before patients are cleared to resume any kind of strenuous exercise.

For a mini face lift, the recovery time is about half of what you’d experience with a full face lift. As such, mini face lifts are more popular among patients who want to tighten their skin, but don’t necessarily have time for a prolonged surgical recovery.

How Much Does Each Procedure Cost?

With either procedure, the specific price point will vary from patient to patient, depending on the scope of work that needs to be done. With that said, the full face lift usually costs at least twice as much as the mini face lift. This is mostly due to the fact that the full face lift is a more time-intensive procedure.

Which Procedure is Right for You?

Ultimately, both of these options have pros and cons. If your main priority is to achieve significant and long-lasting results, a face lift probably makes more sense. But if your needs are more minor and you want something that’s quicker and less expensive, a mini face lift can be ideal.

The best way to decide on a procedure is to schedule an appointment for a consultation with Charlotte Plastic Surgery. This will allow a doctor to qualify you, verifying your candidacy for a safe and successful procedure. And, based on your goals and our expertise, we can recommend the procedure that’s right for you.

Schedule a Consultation with Charlotte Plastic Surgery

Over time, the face begins exhibiting signs of age. This can be discouraging, but remember that there are always solutions available. As you think about surgical options, you will especially want to consider the pros and cons of getting a face lift vs mini face lift.

We would love to tell you more, answer your questions, and help you select the procedure that will deliver total satisfaction. To schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified surgeons, contact Charlotte Plastic Surgery today.