Full Facelift vs Mini Facelift: What’s the Difference?

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Finding the best procedure for you.

A facelift is the go-to procedure for long-lasting facial rejuvenation. If you notice visible signs of aging around the jawline or sagging around the neck, a facelift just might be the perfect solution for you. But while knowing what you don’t want may be easy, figuring out the exact procedure you do want to get can be like finding a needle in a haystack. If you’re spending hours diligently researching the differences between types of facelift surgeries, Dr. Konstantin, a facial plastic surgeon in NYC, is here to help.

Thankfully, there are only two distinct types of facelifts to choose from: a mini facelift and a full facelift (aka deep plane facelift). However, the decision between the two can be a great source of confusion for those seeking cosmetic enhancements. Both can rejuvenate the face by about 10-15 years, but what makes one different from the other?

Mini facelift vs full facelift

A mini facelift is not just a facelift on a smaller scale. Even though there are smaller incisions, a less invasive dissection, less time needed to perform the surgery, and shorter-lived results, there is a fundamental difference between a mini facelift and a deep plane facelift. The main difference is that a deep plane facelift can separate the ligaments in the cheek that otherwise prevent the cheek to be lifted. Therefore, a deep plane facelift is an ideal procedure if your cheeks are no longer naturally high.

Consider a mini facelift a jowl lift, and a full facelift a cheek and jowl lift. When you have selected the right procedure, you will be left with the benefits of looking naturally rejuvenated, refreshed, and years younger.

Should I get a mini facelift?

The mini facelift may be appropriate if you are younger (30s-40s) with minimal to moderate signs of aging. It is best to get a mini facelift if your cheeks are still reasonably full because a mini facelift isn’t a remedy for sagging cheeks. A mini facelift is ideal for patients who notice jowls developing early and who want a more defined jawline.

Mini Facelift case #90 before photo

Before and after photos of one of Dr. Konstantin’s mini facelift patients. Note: in the first photo, there are mild signs of aging around the mouth and jawline, which were remedied by the mini facelift.

Should I get a full (deep plane) facelift?

The full facelift elevates the cheeks as well as the jowls. This procedure divides the ligaments that, when separated, allow the cheeks to sit higher. A full facelift elevates the entire lower two-thirds of the face, with a larger incision, more invasive cutting and dissecting, and more time in the operating room.

A full facelift may be appropriate if you are an older patient (50s-60s) and notice advanced facial aging in both your cheeks and jowls. Loss of volume in the middle region of the face, loss of jawline definition, and loose skin are all signs that a deep plane facelift may be suitable for you. The mini facelift would work better if your cheeks do not need to be elevated.

Advanced Facelift case #46 before photo

Before and after photos of one of Dr. Konstantin’s full facelift patients. Note: initially, the patient’s cheeks were sagging, but after her full facelift, they are now elevated.

What happens if I get a mini-lift when I really need a full facelift?

Well, you might be able to get away with it. However, there is more of a chance that you will end up with a tight jawline, but still have sagging cheeks. In medical terms, this is known as a lateral sweep syndrome. Put more bluntly, it’s a dead giveaway to others that you have had a procedure that did not fit your face well.

On the other hand, if you have a deep plane facelift when you really only needed a mini lift, you will have invested more time, money, and commitment than necessary, without getting any of the benefits of this more extensive procedure.

As Dr. Konstantin tells his facelift patients, “Your face will still be your face, it will just look years younger.” Whether you opt for a deep plane facelift, a mini facelift, or another procedure entirely, be sure to consult a trustworthy, board-certified facial plastic surgeon who is experienced with both types of facelifts.

If you’re looking for more information from the doctor many consider to be the best facelift surgeon in NYC, we welcome you to visit us on Instagram. To inquire about your own facelift—mini or full—contact Dr. Konstantin’s Manhattan practice using the online form and we will be happy to help you schedule a consultation.

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Dr. Konstantin Vasyukevich

Board-Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Konstantin is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon specializing in artful treatment of the aging face, eyelids, and neck. He performs more than 1,000 facial cosmetic procedures annually, making him one of the busiest facial plastic surgeons in Manhattan.

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Konstantin Vasyukevich, MD
59 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10075
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Copyright © 2021 Dr. Konstantin Vasyukevich. All rights reserved.

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Dr. Konstantin Vasyukevich is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive facial plastic surgery for patients throughout New York City, Manhattan, and Brooklyn. His expertise includes facelifts, brow lifts, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), rhinoplasty, and cosmetic injectables including BOTOX® Cosmetic and fillers.