What Is the Difference Between a Full Facelift and a Mini Facelift?

At Murphy Plastic Surgery in Englewood, CO, our mission is to help our clients feel as self-assured as they did a decade ago. While everyone has their own body image issues, a significant number of our clients are concerned about the health and appearance of their face but don’t know if a mini facelift or a full facelift is right for them.

While these two procedures are similar, there are a few significant differences between the two. Today, we reveal everything you need to know about these two procedures to help you determine which is right for you and your unique aesthetic goals.

FAQs About Mini Facelifts

What Is the Difference Between a Full Facelift and a Mini Facelift?

A mini facelift is an anti-aging procedure designed to reverse sagging skin and muscles on the lower face and neck. With a facelift mini, nearly everything is miniature. The incision made is smaller. Therefore, the recovery process is shorter. The only thing not miniature about this procedure is the results. They are every bit as dramatic as a full facelift.

The primary difference between a miniature facelift and a traditional facelift is the areas focused on. While the miniature facelift focuses on the neck and the bottom third of the face, a full facelift focuses on the bottom two-thirds of the face and neck.

What Can I Expect During a Mini Facelift?

The duration of your procedure largely depends on the extent of the correction you’re looking for and whether you are simultaneously undergoing other aesthetic procedures. On average, this procedure lasts around two hours. To put this into perspective, a full facelift usually takes between 2.5 and 4.5 hours.

During this procedure, the focus is on lifting your neck muscles, removing excess neck muscles and skin, tightening the remaining skin, and lifting the lower facial skin. Depending on your aesthetic goals, we may re-contour your cheeks, lift sagging cheek skin, re-structure the tissue around your jawline to make it look more masculine or feminine, and remove excess fat.

What Can I Expect During a Full Facelift?

As with a miniature facelift, the procedure starts with sanitizing the face and neck with an alcohol-based cleanser to mitigate the risk of infection. To ensure you are comfortable during your procedure, we will use general anesthesia to put you to sleep. Once you are asleep, we will make an incision around the ears that extends into the posterior hairline.

We will also make a short incision beneath the skin. We will redistribute and tighten the muscle and connective tissue beneath the top layer of your skin. If you include a neck lift with a full facelift, we will remove excess neck fat and skin. Despite the length of the incisions, they will not leave visible scars after they are closed with skin glue.

Is a Mini Facelift Permanent?

While a mini facelift, also known as a partial rhytidectomy, is one of the most durable anti-aging procedures. However, even when you reverse the signs of aging, you can never stop the aging process completely. For this reason, the results of the procedure are not permanent.

This is one time a partial rhytidectomy doesn’t differ significantly from a full rhytidectomy. The results of a traditional facelift are also temporary. However, the results of a full facelift are a little less durable than the results of a partial facelift.

How Long Do the Results Last?

The durability of the results depends on several factors. However, on average, the results last between 12 and 15 years. The younger you are when you undergo this procedure, the longer the results will last. This is because younger individuals tend to have healthier skin. The results of a full facelift usually last between 10 and 12 years.

What Is the Right Age to Undergo This Procedure?

The right age to undergo any type of facelift is the age at which you believe your appearance and self-esteem could be drastically enhanced by lifting and tightening the skin and underlying muscle tissues. Most people undergo their first facelift or facelift mini between the ages of 30 and 40. However, some people don’t seek this procedure until 60 or 70.

At the end of the day, your health (and skin health) is more important than your age. While this procedure is designed to improve the health and aesthetic of your skin, it’s still important that your skin is fairly elastic. It is also important for you to be fairly healthy. If you opt for general anesthesia, your overall health is even more important.

What Can I Do to Extend the Results of the Procedure?

To extend the durability of the results, it is crucial that you take care of your skin health. Luckily, for the most part, you can care for your skin health by taking care of your overall health. For instance, staying hydrated will go a long way in keeping your skin healthy and looking young.

Wearing a broad-spectrum SPF 55 sunscreen will also extend the results of your procedure. Moreover, it is of the utmost importance that you don’t smoke, drink only a minimal amount of alcohol, and eat plenty of fruits, veggies, and protein.

How Can I Care for My Skin Health Specifically?

To care for your skin specifically, you need to schedule regular professional skincare treatments. To extend the results of a partial rhytidectomy, focus on aesthetic treatments that tighten, lift, and strengthen the skin of the lower face and neck.

For example, if your skin is wrinkling due to hyperactive muscles, Botox can be used to perform a non-invasive lift. It can even address the bands of fat on your neck often addressed during a neck lift, rhytidectomy, or partial rhytidectomy. Skin resurfacing can also make the skin tighter, smoother, and more rejuvenated for several months at a time.

What Can I Expect During the Recovery Process?

Luckily, recovery from this procedure is short and sweet. You may not drive within the first 24 hours of your procedure due to the general anesthesia. You must also avoid driving within 24 hours of taking a prescription analgesic that may cause drowsiness. If you have children or pets to care for, make sure you have a caregiver for the first 24 hours post-op.

We strongly recommend eating soft foods like mashed potatoes, pasta, and smoothies during the first 72 hours post-op. At seven days post-op, you are free to wear makeup again. At 14 days post-op, you are free to return to work or school. This is another difference between the two procedures. With a full facelift, your recovery lasts around a month.

Am I a Good Candidate for This Procedure?

The only way to determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure is to come in for an initial consultation. During this initial consultation, we will review your facial structure, desired aesthetic, medical history, and current health. We will also discuss any aesthetic treatments or procedures you have recently undergone.

If your jawline, chin, and jowl region are experiencing significant sagging, but you have no qualms about the appearance of your upper face, a partial rhytidectomy is probably right for you. If you are concerned about the appearance of your upper cheeks, you will need a full rhytidectomy to achieve your aesthetic goals.

How to Prepare for a Partial Rhytidectomy or Full Rhytidectomy

Whether you decide that a partial rhytidectomy or a full rhytidectomy is right for you, there are several pre-op steps you must take to prepare for your procedure. It all starts with an initial consultation. During this initial consultation, we won’t just advise you regarding the right procedure for you to achieve your goals.

We will also provide you with comprehensive instructions regarding how to prepare for the ideal procedure for you. Here is a brief overview of how you need to prepare for either a mini or full rhytidectomy:

Stop Smoking

One of the most important things you can do in the six weeks leading up to your procedure is not smoking. Cigarettes contain over 100 chemical compounds, including nicotine. Among the ways nicotine damages your body is by elevating your blood pressure.

Because it is so important that your blood pressure be normal, you need to ensure there is no nicotine in your system when you are put under anesthesia or sedation. Moreover, it weakens the collagen in your skin and slows the production of new, stronger collagen. This will affect the results of your procedure and your recovery afterward.

Drink Plenty of Water

It is absolutely crucial that you are hydrated when you come in for your procedure. For some people, drinking half a gallon of water per day is adequate. Clients who weigh more or lead a significantly active lifestyle may need to drink up to a full gallon of water daily to ensure adequate hydration.

Unfortunately, there is no universal rule of thumb based on your body weight to guide how much you need to drink. Even listening to your body won’t cut it because you don’t feel thirsty until you have been dehydrated for quite a while. You just have to make a conscious effort to keep hydrating more until your urine is translucent or very pale yellow.

Don’t Drink Alcohol

Remember, it is important that your blood pressure falls within a normal range before you are administered anesthesia or sedation. Unfortunately, alcohol is a diuretic. This means that it causes you to excrete excess water and nutrients and elevates your blood pressure. For this reason, you must abstain from alcohol in the six weeks leading up to your procedure.

Watch Your Diet

It is important that you are as healthy as possible when you come in for your procedure. The healthier you are, the more dramatic your results will be, the faster your recovery will be and the longer your results will last. Make sure you are eating plenty of protein to get collagen in your diet.

Get all the nutrients your skin needs by eating fruits and veggies with every meal. Just be sure to avoid certain flavorings, such as salt and garlic. Garlic thins your blood, and salt elevates your blood pressure. Limit your sodium intake to one to three grams depending on your blood pressure.

Discover How to Boost Your Self-Esteem Today

If you are concerned about the appearance of your neck, jawline region, and lower cheeks, you may be the perfect candidate for a mini facelift. If you are concerned about the appearance of your upper cheeks, you are probably a better candidate for a full rhytidectomy.

To determine which durable procedure is right for you, contact us today at Murphy Plastic Surgery in Englewood, CO to schedule your initial consultation. Conveniently located just 10 miles from Denver, CO, our friendly anti-aging experts are excited about the opportunity to meet you and help you achieve your ideal aesthetic.

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