If you are looking to improve descended cheeks, deepened nasolabial folds (smile lines) or a sagging jawline without resorting to the facial plastic surgery procedure known as a traditional Facelift, a Mini Facelift may be the answer for you. The Mini Facelift works well in younger patients who do not have substantial aging of their neck. Since it is a ‘Mini’ procedure, the surgery and recovery times are significantly reduced when compared to a traditional Facelift.
How to Choose the Best Plastic Surgeon For You
Benefits of a Mini Facelift
Are you confused about whether a Facelift or Mini Facelift is the best choice for you? Unfortunately, there is a good deal of misunderstanding over the terminology of procedures when it comes to cosmetic plastic surgery.
A Mini Facelift improves the face from the jawline to the upper cheeks. Specifically, the jawline contour, jowls, marionette lines, nasolabial folds (smile lines) and sagging cheeks are most often targeted. The procedure is called a Mini Facelift because it involves less surgery than a traditional Facelift. Likewise, it does not achieve the same degree of improvement. The main difference from a regular Facelift is that it does not directly improve the neck, however the improvement above the jaw line is largely the same as a traditional Facelift— . There may be some indirect neck improvement as the facial skin is lifted, but it does not occur in a consistent manner. This procedure is typically better suited for a younger patient (40’s or 50’s), or a patient who is not as concerned about improving their neck’s appearance.1
Here is how we like to describe the Mini Facelift: if you look in the mirror and prop up your cheeks and jowls with your fingers, you are mimicking what a Mini Facelift accomplishes.
Specifically, the Mini Facelift:
- Elevates the jowls (for a clean, sleek jawline)
- Elevates descended cheek fat (for a healthy, youthful fullness)
- Smoothes the folds in the corners of the mouth (marionette lines) and smile lines (nasolabial folds)
In contrast to a regular Facelift, a Mini Facelift does not directly address the neck.
Who is a Candidate for Mini Facelift?
Men and women with moderate degrees of facial aging can benefit from a Mini Facelift. Ideally, patients who have minimal neck sagging, or patients who are not concerned about their neck, are best suited for the Mini Facelift procedure.
- Younger patients who want to maintain their youthful looks by undergoing a smaller procedure at an earlier age
- Older patients who have signs of facial/neck aging but are not overly concerned about the appearance of their neck
- Patients who have lost substantial weight and find that their facial skin is sagging
Patients should be healthy and relatively fit. Patients who smoke must quit at least 2 weeks prior to the procedure and not start again afterwards. Dr. Lawrence Tong, our plastic surgeon in Toronto, will evaluate your overall health status to make sure surgery is appropriate for you.2
Incisions for a Mini Facelift
Any surgical procedure will leave some type of scar. Dr. Tong specializes in obtaining the least visible scars and putting them in the least visible places.
In a traditional Facelift, the incision is made roughly from the temples and around the ears to the lower scalp.
With a Mini Facelift, or limited incision Facelift, the incision:
- Starts at the earlobe and travels upward along the natural curves of the cheek/ear junction.
- The incision continues into the hair and onto the temple for approximately 3-5 cm
- Occasionally an alternate incision that travels along the bottom of the sideburn, following the hairline is used instead.3
These scars hide well because they blend into the natural curves and lines of the ear and face. Once the incisions have matured, the vast majority of women are able to wear their hair up, and not be concerned with visible Facelift scars.
Mini Facelift Procedure Details
Dr. Tong can perform your Mini Facelift under general or IV sedation (twilight) anesthesia. During the time you are under general anesthesia, you will be asleep and completely unaware of your surroundings. If you undergo twilight anesthesia, you may be aware from time to time, but should feel no pain. Dr. Tong performs your surgery in the CPSO accredited private surgery centre at 199 Avenue Road located minutes from his 7 St. Thomas Street plastic surgery office located in Yorkville, downtown Toronto.
Mini Facelift is carried out by first making the incisions and exposing the underlying muscle layer. Dissection of the skin allows it to be re-draped. Dr. Tong tightens the underlying muscle, elevating the fallen cheek and jowl tissues. Next, he re-drapes, elevates, and tightens the skin to achieve a natural, non-operated look. Dr. Tong performs the same procedure for the other side and the incisions are stitched back together meticulously. After the last stitches are placed, a Mini Facelift dressing is applied and you are gently awakened from anesthesia.
Recovery after Mini Facelift
A Mini Facelift is an outpatient procedure. You will be allowed to go home following surgery after the effects of anesthesia have worn off, accompanied by a friend or family member.
At home you should rest and relax as much as possible. You may do non-strenuous activities such as watching television and making meals. Keeping your head elevated decreases facial swelling, allowing the healing process to proceed more quickly. To keep your head elevated while asleep, sleep in a reclining chair or use multiple pillows while in bed. Pain is typically mild. Medication for discomfort will be prescribed and can be used during this time. You may have bruising in the first 1-2 weeks. The majority of patients return to (non-strenuous) work at 7-10 days.
You will have an appointment with Dr. Tong at 1 day after surgery so that your dressing can be removed, but most patients are comfortable removing it themselves the next morning. At one week, you will have another appointment to have stitches removed. Dr. Tong will likely allow you to start light exercise (e.g. walking) at 1-2 weeks after surgery. Avoid strenuous activity until 4-6 weeks after surgery.
After the initial post-op visit, you will follow up with Dr. Tong at 6 weeks, 6 months, and one year after surgery. Post-operative photographs will also be taken at these visits.
As with any surgery, there are risks involved with a Mini Facelift. Although the procedure has a low risk profile, Dr. Tong will make sure to go over the risk of potential problems associated with a Mini Facelift at the time of your consultation.
Your Mini Facelift Consultation in Toronto
There is a significant amount of information to take in during your Mini Facelift consultation. Dr. Tong will make sure that you understand all the essential details. Our first goal is to have you become an educated plastic surgery patient. We feel that an informed patient will make better choices about their surgery, and their surgeon as well. You will never be rushed, and you will never be pressured to make a decision.
To learn more about how Toronto Mini Facelift Surgeon Dr. Lawrence Tong can help you look younger, set up a Mini Facelift consultation with Dr. Tong by giving us a call at (647) 724-5406. Alternatively, let us give you a call; just fill out our contact form and we will call you on the same or the next business day. No physician’s referral is needed.
See Dr. Tong’s work in our Mini Facelift before and after photos.
Mini Facelift at a Glance
- Trying to correct the neck with just the Mini Facelift (a Facelift may be more appropriate)
- Making it look too tight OR not enough elevation
- Unnatural hair (sideburn) shifts when redraping
- Poor or visible scars
1 Imber G, Silich RC. Limited-incision face lift technique. Aesthet Surg J. 2001;21(3):216-226. doi:10.1067/maj.2001.116244. Available: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19331896/. Accessed October 15, 2020.
2 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Who is a good candidate for a facelift? Available: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/facelift/candidates. Accessed October 15, 2020.
3 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. What are the steps of a facelift procedure? Available: plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/facelift/procedure. Accessed October 15, 2020.
Dr. Lawrence Tong has either authored or reviewed and approved this content.