Facelift vs. Mini Facelift

A facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, lifts and tightens the face. Facelifts can help improve signs of aging, including wrinkles, sagging skin, folds of skin. If you’ve already decided that you want a facelift to fix your jowls, marionette lines, or other signs of aging, it’s time to decide which facelift is right for you. 

A facelift and a mini facelift are the most common types of facelifts you can choose to have done. However, before we break down the differences between these two cosmetic treatments, it’s important you understand all the facelift types related to location.

Types of Facelifts

There are 7 types of facelifts based on how a plastic surgeon performs the or the area targeted. Below we outline all 4 facelifts based on location.

Upper Facelift

An upper facelift focuses primarily on the forehead. This cosmetic procedure can treat wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin.


A mid-facelift targets the area between your eyes and mouth. This includes the cheeks, nose, and upper lip. A mid-facelift helps to improve wrinkles, sunken cheeks, sagging cheeks, and under-eye hollows.

Mini Facelift

A mini facelift, also known as a lower facelift, focuses on the lower third of your face. This includes the chin, jawline, and neck.

Full Facelift

A full facelift treats the entire face – upper, middle, and lower areas. This cosmetic procedure allows for an equal lifting appearance across the face.

Now that you know the basic differences of each type of facelift, you can begin to narrow down your decision to match your cosmetic desires. Below we’ll dive deeper into mini facelift and full facelift so you can decide which procedure is right for you.

What is Facelift?


Compared to other types of facelifts, a full facelift doesn’t target one specific area. Instead, it’s purpose is to give a cohesive lifting appearance to the entire face. Due to the large area of space, your plastic surgeon will make incisions starting at your hairline, moving around the ear, and down the lower scalp.

After making the incisions, your plastic surgeon will reposition the fat and tissue under your skin to smooth out creases, remove excess skin, and tighten the skin. This cosmetic procedure can take anywhere from two to four hours to complete.


The results of a full facelift are permanent. However, while this procedure can help treat signs of aging, you will continue to age. Unlike other more noninvasive procedures, you shouldn’t need any additional cosmetic procedures for another 12-14 years. 

You can expect to see results as soon as one month following your cosmetic procedure. Due to bruising and swelling you may not see your final results until six months after your full facelift.


The cost of your full facelift will depend on the complexity of your procedure and your plastic surgeon. However, full facelifts typically cost somewhere between $7,000 and $12,000. For more specifics on what your full facelift may cost, schedule a free consultation with double-board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Dominic Castellano.


Following your full facelift, you’ll experience some bruising and swelling. This will be at its worst during the first day or two after your cosmetic procedure. Your plastic surgeon will remove your sutures after five to ten days. You will need to wear bandages following your plastic surgery. It’s important you follow your doctor’s instructions on bathing as they must stay dry.

It would be best if you took off work to rest for two weeks and avoid any strenuous activities for four weeks. Be sure to rest with your head elevated and keep pressure off of your face.

What is a Mini Facelift?


A mini facelift focuses on the bottom third of your face. This cosmetic procedure aims to address sagging skin around the neck and jawline, also known as jowls or turkey neck. The incisions for this procedure are less intrusive than the full facelift because a mini facelift is targeting a smaller area of the face.

The overall procedure of a mini facelift is similar to that of a full facelift. Your plastic surgeon will remove excess fat, tighten the muscles, and lift the skin for a more youthful appearance.


Just like a full facelift, the results of a mini facelift are permanent. However, you may need additional cosmetic treatments in the future as you continue aging. You can begin to see these results immediately and increasingly more as your swelling subsides. It may take several weeks or months for all of your swelling to go away.


The complexity of your cosmetic procedure determines the overall cost of a mini facelift. However, you can expect prices to range from $3,500-$8,000. To discuss more specifics on what your mini facelift may cost, schedule a consultation with your plastic surgeon.


A mini facelift is less invasive than a full facelift which means the recovery time is shorter. You can return to work after one week and other strenuous activities after two weeks. Most swelling and bruising will be gone within the first two weeks.

Which Facelift is Right for You?

One facelift isn’t better than another. Your cosmetic desires determine whether a facelift vs. a mini facelift is right for you. A full facelift is ideal if you want a more expansive lifting across your entire face. Instead of targeting just one area, this type of facelift targets all problem areas of the face for an overall enhanced appearance.

A mini facelift is ideal if you are showing signs of aging in your chin, jawline, and neck areas. This cosmetic treatment can help address jowls, turkey neck, and other wrinkles and sagging skin. 

If you still aren’t sure whether a facelift or a mini facelift is right for you, Dr. Dominic can help you decide on the procedure that addresses your cosmetic desires. Schedule a free consultation by calling 813-547-6692 today.

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