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Facelift vs Minilift Procedure

March 14, 2022
Dr. George Moynihan

A facelift and a minilift procedure are both invasive, surgical treatments for correcting skin laxity as well as such common signs of aging as wrinkles, fine lines, and jowls. Both can effectively take years off your face, and both offer longer-lasting results compared to popular non-surgical cosmetic procedures like dermal fillers, Botox, and laser-assisted procedures, among others.

If you’re a first-time patient considering a more invasive treatment to make you look younger, choosing between a facelift and a minilift procedure can be daunting, especially since to a first-time patient, they appear to be one and the same. To give you a bit of clarity, below are the key differences and similarities between the two.

1. They both surgically lift the skin

As mentioned above, both the facelift and minilift are surgical procedures performed to lift the skin thus giving the patient a more youthful appearance. The procedure for both involves making incisions in front of the ear and under the earlobe, stopping just behind the ear. Since these are surgical procedures, patients are generally given anesthesia to keep them comfortable during surgery.

2. They are both designed to make the face look younger

The primary goal of both a minilift procedure and a facelift is to take years off your face, which translates to giving the face a more youthful appearance. The difference between the two is the extent of treatment and skin condition.

A minilift targets the lower third of the face and neck, whereas a full facelift also targets the middle portion of the face. That said, patients can expect a longer incision from a full facelift compared to a mini facelift.

Additionally, a minilift is ideal for patients with mild to moderate skin laxity, including moderate jowling. With a full facelift, advanced skin sagging is addressed.

3. They do not lift sagging eyebrows and eyelids

A common misconception on both types of facelifts is that they also correct drooping eyelids or sagging skin around the eyebrows, even crow’s feet, forehead wrinkles, bags under the eyes. Understand that both procedures target only the mid and lower parts of the face and neck, which means it will have no effect on the upper part of the face.

Patients often choose to undergo a brow lift and/or eyelid lift simultaneous with their facelift or minilift procedure. Your surgeon can give you more information about these surgical procedures, and whether your skin condition merits these treatments or even if they fit your aesthetic goals.

4. You will need to take time off work

Since these are surgical procedures, you need time to heal and recover. With a minilift procedure, healing and recovery usually takes only about a week. A full facelift takes a little longer to heal. You should give yourself at least two weeks to heal and recover; although some patients take about three weeks, so take this into consideration as well.

5. A minilift costs less than a full facelift

A minilift procedure can cost you anywhere between $3,500 and $8,000. On the other hand, a facelift costs about $6,000 to $15,000. These figures can go higher depending on your location, surgeon, hospital or surgical facility, and medical tests, if needed.

As you can see, there key differences and similarities between a full facelift and a minilift procedure. To know for sure which one is ideal for you, talk to a licensed plastic surgeon who specializes in the various types of facelift.

Consult Gold Coast Plastic Surgery

What treatment is right for you? To find out whether a minilift procedure or a full facelift best fits your goal, consult an and board-certified facial plastic surgeon. Click here to schedule a consultation with one of Chicago’s best facial plastic surgeons Dr. George T. Moynihan. You may also call Gold Coast Plastic Surgery at (312) 736-7795.

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