Do I need a Mini Facelift or a Full Face Lift procedure?

We frequently get asked at Aurora Clinics what the difference is between mini facelift surgery and a full face lift. It is quite a confusing topic, so no surprise that people are often unsure.

In this blog we hope to clear up a few uncertainties and help you decide whether a mini face lift or a full facelift might be more suitable for you. Mr Adrian Richards (Consultant Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeon at Aurora Clinics) always says he likes to “think about face lifts as if they’re either divided into short scar or full face lifts”.

Mini (Short Scar) Face Lifts

There are so many different types of facelift available. But the typical ‘mini’ face lift is a short-scar technique. This involves a scar hidden in the hairline and infront of the ear. As the name suggests, it is a fairly short scar or ‘minimal scarring’ technique – hence the ‘Mini’ part!

A short scar face lift differs from a full face lift in that a full face lift involves a further scar going up in the fold behind the ear and back into the hair. This obviously involves considerably more scarring, but the full face lift does provide more dramatic effects than the mini face lift.

The mini is typically the first step for patients having a facelift at a slightly younger age, or with less excess skin than those who might be candidates for a full face lift. The average mini facelift patient is in their 40s or early 50s, with some facial ageing and descent, but their neck is not significantly loose.

Types of mini face lift methods do vary. At Aurora Clinics, we offer the MACS mini facelift (minimal access cranial suspension) where the tissues of the skin underneath the face are held up with permanent stitches to the fascia in the temporal area, making them very firm and improving the tightness to give a ‘lifted’, rejuvenated effect.

We also offer the Hollywood facelift with our partner surgeon Dr. Alexandra Chambers although this is a less common procedure as the results are really quite subtle; just a little lift for those who are not at all ready for a more dramatic facelift procedure but feel they do need some tightening in the facial area.

There are advantages to mini face lift procedures: cheaper costs, quicker recovery times. But for those who are slightly older, with more facial descent or wanting noticeable effects the full facelift may be a better option.

The Traditional Full Face Lift

The full face lift is also sometimes called the ‘Traditional’ facelift because it is so famous and commonly performed! Used for people who are slightly older (usually from 55 or 50 upwards), typical full facelift candidates have some degree of neck laxity or excess skin in the eyelid region too. For this reason, the Full Facelift procedure is frequently combined with a Neck Lift or Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Correction).

During Full Facelift surgery, the surgeon adds a backwards vector in this area to pull the neck backwards and to tighten the neck tissue. In patients who have a significant amount of laxity in the neck, an incision can be added under the chin to tighten up the skin in that direction and the muscles in the platysma muscle of the neck are often often repaired at the same time.

The scar in a Full Facelift goes up in the fold behind the ear and back into the hair, with the surgeon concealing this as much as possible under the hair. As the scarring is more noticeable with this approach, many men (or ladies with short hair styles) may prefer to opt for a mini procedure like the MACS.

Very noticeable tightening and rejuevenating effects can be achieved, however, with a full facelift whilst still maintaining a natural appearance if you select an expert facelift specialist for your surgery.

We hope that this has explained some of the basic differences between Full Facelift Surgery and a Mini Face Lift. If you would like more advice or clarification about these procedures, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01324 578290.

Categories:  Face  Facelift Surgery