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Mini Facelift vs. Full Facelift: What to Expect

While you can’t control the aging process, facial plastic surgery makes it possible to restore a youthful, refreshed look. One procedure in particular that many men and women turn to is facelift surgery. When the signs of age start to appear, this effective surgery can essentially turn back time while allowing you to still look like yourself.

If you’re researching your options for facelift surgery, then you’ve probably come across the terms “full facelift” and “mini facelift.” But how do you know which procedure is right for you? Read on to discover everything you need to know about these popular facial surgeries.

Full Facelift

Who Is an Ideal Candidate for a Full Facelift?

Full facelifts are great if you’re seeking a more dramatic transformation, and you have severe facial aging that you’d like to address. Ideal candidates for a traditional facelift typically exhibit the following:

  • Deep folds and wrinkles on the face
  • Sagging skin on the cheeks
  • Jowls
  • Marionette lines
  • Skin laxity on the neck

About the Procedure

A full facelift can target basically everything from the midface down to the neck, and it is great for tightening up loose skin on the neck, cheeks, and on the majority of the face. When performing a full facelift, Dr. Hershcovitch lifts the deeper structures of the face to produce a truly natural-looking lift. This is usually done by using one of the following techniques: the SMAS technique or the deep plane method.

The SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system) is a layer of fibrous tissue under the skin that goes from the forehead down to the collarbone area. During an SMAS facelift, Dr. Hershcovitch will make incisions along the natural contours of your face, and then gently reposition the SMAS to restore volume and produce lift. A deep plane lift – which targets the layer below the SMAS – allows even deeper facial structures to be lifted. In either case, the goal is to lift the deeper tissues where aging occurs. This supports a more naturally rejuvenated appearance, rather than just pulling the skin tight.

Benefits of a full facelift include:

  • Offers the most dramatic reduction of facial aging
  • Can address a larger area of the face
  • Long-term results

Recovering from a Full Facelift

Each facelift is customized to the patient’s individual needs, so recovery varies depending on the extent of your procedure. But in general, full facelifts typically require about 1-2 weeks of recovery. Immediately after your procedure, you will need to wear a bandage and headwrap for a day or two to facilitate healing.

It’s common to experience bruising, swelling, and soreness after the procedure, but these temporary side effects resolve within about a month. Most patients are comfortable returning to work and social events within a week or two. However, strenuous exercise should be avoided for up to 6 weeks.

Mini Facelift

Who Is an Ideal Candidate for a Mini Facelift?

A mini facelift is excellent for people who have mild to moderate facial aging. This procedure is not well suited for those who have significant sagging or deep skin folds, but it is a popular option for men and women who need a bit more rejuvenation than non-invasive procedures can provide.

Ideal candidates for a mini facelift usually exhibit the following:

  • Diminished skin elasticity from the midface down to the neck
  • Decreasing jawline definition
  • Mild to moderate wrinkles

About the Procedure

Similar to a full facelift, a mini facelift allows the surgeon to reposition the deeper structures of the face to provide lift. However, a mini facelift typically addresses only the SMAS layer, making it a less-invasive approach. A mini facelift can also be performed as an in-office procedure using local anesthesia only. Because it does not require general anesthesia and uses shorter incisions, this procedure is ideal for those seeking facial rejuvenation without the inconvenience of more invasive procedures.

Patients can enjoy the following benefits from a mini facelift:

  • Procedure is less invasive
  • Shorter downtime
  • Provides subtle, natural-looking rejuvenation

Recovering from a Mini Facelift

Since the mini facelift takes a less aggressive approach, downtime is much shorter when compared to a traditional facelift. Temporary post-op symptoms, like bruising and swelling, usually subside quickly. While all patients will vary in their recovery, most can return to work within a week, sometimes even sooner.

Both mini facelifts and full facelifts can produce incredible results for people seeking facial rejuvenation. Rather than making you look like a completely different person, a facelift can simply reverse the changes that age has caused. The right procedure for you ultimately depends on your cosmetic goals and preferences.

If you’re considering facial plastic surgery, you deserve to put your care in the hands of an expert, like Dr. Matt Hershcovitch. Dr. Hershcovitch is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, and he is considered a leader in the field. Contact him today to schedule your personal consultation.