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Dr. Michaels' Blog

Mini or Full Facelift, Which Is Right For Me?

Which Facelift is right for you? It depends on what needs to be corrected. If your jaw line has lost definition, you have minor jowling, and minor excess neck skin, a mini facelift is probably what you need. However, if you have a “turkey” neck with neck bands and a straight line of skin from your chin to your chest you will need a full facelift with a corset platysmaplasty or neck lift.

What’s the difference between the procedures? Both a mini and full use an incision starting in the hair in front of the top of the ear. The incision uses the architecture of the ear to hide the scar and then can end at the earlobe or go completely behind the ear into the hair again. The difference is in the amount of muscle manipulated. For a mini facelift the muscles are tightened around the ear suturing to the base of the skull and the cheekbone areas. With a full facelift the muscle tightening extends to under the chin, the front of the neck and even can be tightened in the temple region.

In order to tighten the muscles the skin must be freed creating a larger area to heal and bruise. So when you hear of a facelift with minimal bruising and short healing times, that’s a mini facelift. A full facelift usually comes with a full two weeks of bruising and swelling. Besides increased healing times, the cost is usually 30-50 % higher for the full facelift.