Florence Mussat, M.D.
680 N Lake Shore Dr. #1030 Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 751-9000


Mini vs Full Facelift Surgery: What Is the Difference?

Although aging is a natural part of the body, looking old is optional thanks to facelift procedures. A popular facial restorative procedure provides long-lasting results to anyone who looks older than what they feel. Since no amount of exercise or diet can reverse the signs of aging in the face, a facelift is indeed a great option.

A common question that Dr. Mussat’s patients ask is what’s the difference between a mini facelift and a full facelift. Both procedures can address the signs of aging in the face, jowls, and neck. However, they are different in so many ways.

Mini Facelift vs. Full Facelift

Both procedures offer similar results, such as tightened skin in the neck and jowls, and the elimination of excess skin. What set each other apart are the target area, procedure, technique, and length of recovery.

Mini facelift is ideal for individuals who would like to reduce minimal signs of aging. It reduces minor sagging in the neck, jawline, and cheeks only, and does not affect the wrinkles in the forehead and lines around the eyes.
Full facelifts, on the other hand, eliminate loose skin and folds in the neck and cheeks. It also tightens facial skin, which includes wrinkled skin around the eyes.

As for the procedure, the full facelift will require several hours under general anesthesia, whereas a mini takes about 40 to 90 minutes total under local sedation. For a full facelift, Dr. Mussat will make an incision near the hairline or temples that will continue around the ear to separate the skin from the deeper tissues. In a mini facelift, Dr. Mussat will make an “S” shaped incision near the ear and will use surgical instruments to pull loose skin in the lower face and remove excess fat.

Recovery usually takes one week for a mini facelift, in which the doctor will require patients to wear bandages for at least 48 hours and will remove the sutures within one week. The recovery time for a full facelift is typically two weeks, but numbness may disappear within a few months. It takes two weeks for full facelift patients to resume social activities.

One advantage to a full facelift is it provides permanent results. As a mini facelift is only a minor surgery, the results usually last five to 10 years.

Which is the Best for You?

If you have moderate to severe facial signs of aging, the ideal procedure for you is the full facelift. Otherwise, a mini facelift will satisfy your aesthetic needs for a long while. If you’re still unsure, then an in-depth consultation will best determine whether you need a mini or a full facelift.
Dr. Mussat is experienced in performing both procedures, so schedule a consultation with her to talk about your aesthetic concerns in the face.