Facelift, Mini lift and Neck Lift – Which One is Right for You?

For many patients, the first sign of aging appears on the face and neck. Wrinkles, bags, sagging skin and puffiness can alter the appearance, change the facial structure and affect how patients feel about their looks. Face lifts and neck lifts are popular procedures that have been around for many years. Having surgery on the face can be daunting and many women wonder if they are better candidates for a face lift, neck lift or both.  

What is the difference between a face lift and a neck lift?  

When it comes to facial plastic surgery, there are three procedures women typically ask about: facelift, mini lift and neck lift. All three procedures can improve the appearance and take years off the face. However, which one will yield the intended results depends on patient goals, bone structure, collagen and skin elasticity.  

Face Lift 

What Is a Facelift? 

A complete facelift includes a neck lift. It is a surgical procedure that tightens the skin and soft tissue in the face from the cheek area to the collarbone. The goal of a facelift is to repair changes caused by aging that include the loss of collagen and skin elasticity. When this happens, fat beneath the skin can atrophy, which results in a saggy or hollow look in parts of the face – specifically the jowls and neck.  The target areas for a facelift are the overall face, jowls and neck.  

Where are incisions located in a facelift? 

Surgeons typically make incisions in the natural creases located around the ear for best results and to minimize the appearance of scars. During the procedure excess skin is removed and the remaining skin is lifted off the soft tissue underneath and re-draped.   

How long does a facelift procedure take? 

A facelift requires a patient to be under either conscious sedation or general anesthesia and can last from two (2) to six (6) hours depending on the patient’s skin quality, bone structure and goals. Patients are released and are able to go home the same day.  

What is the age range for a facelift? 
The optimal age range for a facelift is between 50-70 years of age. Patient’s seeking facelifts are generally unhappy with their appearance and want to improve their facial structure – with a focus on jowls, neck, brow and cheek bones – that are often impacted by lifestyle and aging.  

How long is recovery after a facelift?  

Patients go home the day of the procedure and then begin recovery.  After 10-14 days patients can return to normal activity, including returning to work. However, some physical activity may still be restricted. Recovery time can be impacted by a patient’s lifestyle and health. 

Mini Lift 

What is the difference between a facelift and a mini facelift? 

For those who don’t want a drastic change, a mini facelift can improve looks and make a patient appear younger. A mini facelift focuses on the mid-face area and does not include a neck or brow lift. Many patients prefer the mini facelift because it requires smaller incisions and can have a more natural appearance. The typical patient for a mini facelift has less saggy skin and is under 50 years of age. A surgeon will make incisions around the mid-face area only and lift the skin.  

How long does a mini facelift procedure take? 

Mini facelifts are less strenuous procedures than regular face lifts and can be done in two (2) hours or less depending on the patient’s goals, facial structure, collagen and skin elasticity. Patients are placed under conscious sedation or general anesthesia and typically recover in three (3) to seven (7) days.  

Neck Lift 

What Is a Neck Lift? 

A neck lift focuses on the neck and jowl area and removes unwanted saggy skin – sometimes called a “turkey neck” – that can occur from aging and lifestyle choices. Unlike both facelifts that focus on the face, the neck lift solely targets the neck area and may include the jawline for better results.  

During a neck lift, surgeons tighten the tissues around the jawline and lift the skin off the soft tissues underneath. Excess skin is then removed and re-draped to create a more contoured and youthful neck and jawline.  

What is the recovery time for a neck lift? 

Most neck lift procedures take two (2) to five (5) hours with the patients under general anesthesia or conscious sedation. Recover time can take 10 days up to two (2) weeks.  

Aging and lifestyle are the most common reasons patients seek facelifts, mini lifts and neck lifts. A facelift includes a neck lift, but some patients may opt for a mini face lift or only a neck lift depending on the desired results. The goal of each procedure is to reduce the signs of again and restore a more youthful appearance.  

Please contact us at (305) 230-4326 and set up a consultation to find out which procedure is right for you.  


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You can also reach our Miami office directly by calling 305-900-5310. Pure Plastic Surgery serves patients in Kendall, Coral Gables, and throughout the Miami metro, as well as patients across the United States and internationally.




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