What Is a Mini Facelift?


As people age, they begin to look tired and worn. This is because the skin loses its firmness and elasticity over time, making way for wrinkles and droopy skin. A relatively new cosmetic procedure known as a mini face-lift has been specifically designed to reverse these slight signs of aging. Also known as the weekend face-lift, the technique is quick and easy with a short recovery time. Much less invasive than a traditional face-lift, a mini face-lift is cosmetic surgery with less stress and less risk.

Who Qualifies

Because of its simplicity, a mini face-lift is a good procedure for anyone looking to have just "a little" work done. Ideally however, it is perfect for people who are noticing the first signs of aging, but don't want a more complicated surgical procedure. It's great for people in their 30s and 40s who want to maintain a youthful appearance, but there is no age limit on the procedure.

What it Does

A mini face-lift affects the mid-face including cheeks, lower eyelids, jawline, neck and folds around the nose. Unlike a traditional face-lift, which focuses on the entire face, a mini face-lift only affects specifically targeted areas. It does not address sagging in the brow or forehead.

How it Works

During a mini face-lift, the surgeon will lift the skin using small incisions, and then tighten and reposition the underlying tissue and muscles. Excess fat may also be removed at the same time. One of two techniques is used during the lift.

An endoscopic procedure allows the doctor to make three or more small cuts around the area to be treated. Surgical instruments are inserted through these cuts, which will remove fat and reposition the facial tissues. A small camera is also inserted into the skin so the surgeon can watch the entire procedure.

A non-endoscopic procedure uses no such camera. After the incisions are made, the skin will be turned over to expose the area that requires tightening. Both procedures require minimal cutting to reduce scarring.


Two methods are often used for mini face-lifts. They can be used individually or combined. The posterior method is also known as a mini neck-lift. This procedure only lifts the neck and jowls. The anterior method lifts the lower face including the cheeks and lower eyelids. The surgeon will discuss with you which method will be the most beneficial for your desired results.

Side Effects

Because of its non-invasive nature, a mini face-lift is an outpatient procedure with minimal side effects. Most patients experience bruising and numbness around the affected area, which passes within a week's time.

Time Line

A mini face-lift procedure only lasts between one to two hours. The patient is then released to recover at home. After a day, the bandages can come off and your daily routine can commence. Your doctor will give you limits as to what you can or cannot do. Recovery time is about one full week.


Although a mini face-lift is a relatively safe outpatient procedure, complications can arise after surgery. A hematoma may develop, trapping blood or fluid under the skin. The scars may crust-over making them more noticeable, and the face may feel numb. These complications are often temporary and non-threatening. However, in more serious cases, nerve damage and infection may occur. Infection symptoms will include redness, swelling, sensitivity and localized heat. If you have concerns regarding these complications, see your doctor immediately.

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