A mini facelift is a modified version of a traditional facelift that uses shorter incisions to address minor signs of facial aging typically found in younger patients, or for patients of all ages who want to rejuvenate the lower face.
Facelifts have greatly evolved over the years. The first documented facelifts mostly focused on tightening loose skin. It wasn’t until decades later that surgeons discovered better contouring could be accomplished by repositioning the super musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS).  By addressing this underlying layer of tissue rather than just tightening the skin, surgeons are able to achieve natural-looking, long-lasting results. Today, there are many variations of the facelift that address multiple different facial cosmetic concerns, including the SMAS facelift, the deep-plane facelift, and the mini facelift, a type of SMAS facelift also known as a limited incision facelift.
Dr. Gregory Fedele, a board-certified plastic surgeon and Cleveland native, utilizes his extensive experience and artistic eye in every procedure he performs. Patients can look forward to subtle, beautiful rejuvenation! Give us a call at our Beachwood, OH location at (216) 464-1616 or fill out our convenient online form to schedule your mini facelift consultation.
- 1 About
- 2 Benefits
- 3 Candidates
- 4 Personal Consultation
- 5 Preparation
- 6 Procedure
- 7 Recovery
- 8 Results
- 9 Corresponding & Complementary Procedures
- 10 How Much Does a Mini Facelift Cost in Ohio?
- 11 FAQ
- 12 References
Mini facelifts are also known as limited incision facelifts, as they utilize shorter incisions which are hidden around the curvature of the ears, and behind the earlobes. This allows the surgeon the access necessary to reposition the tissues of the lower face. Because the results are more localized and subtle than a traditional facelift, this technique is generally reserved for patients in their 40s and early 50s who are just beginning to display signs of facial aging. This typically includes moderate skin laxity, volume loss and decreased jawline definition.  Like a traditional facelift, a mini facelift repositions underlying muscles and tissue (the SMAS layer), removes fat as necessary, and excises any loose skin to achieve an improved contour.
Mini Facelift Versus Traditional Facelift
A traditional facelift addresses the bottom two-thirds of the face and sometimes the neck. Traditional facelifts address sagging skin, localized fat deposits, jowls, and sunken or hollow features from the eyes to the neck. The incisions necessary to address all of these concerns usually begin at the temples, follow the hairline down, and continue along the edges and behind the ears.
A mini facelift focuses on the lower portions of the face around the jawline. It addresses many of the common signs of aging that occur in the lower face, such as jowls, nasolabial folds, and mildly sagging skin. The manipulation of the muscle and fascia in the SMAS layer is a large factor in achieving a more youthful-looking jawline.  The incision for a mini facelift is usually only made along the front border of the ears behind the tragus.
The type of facelift that would provide you with the best results will be determined during a consultation at our Cleveland, OH location.
A mini facelift is a great customizable option for women and men who want a long-lasting rejuvenated appearance but do not need a full facelift. The beautiful contour gained from this procedure is artfully achieved to appear natural-looking. The windswept look is no longer a thing with modern-day technological advancements. And in the capable hands of Dr. Fedele, you can rest assured you will love your results. Not only is Dr. Fedele a top plastic surgeon, voted Castle Connolly Top Doctor for the past five years in a row, but he is also a skilled artist. The combination of his surgical and artistic talent gives him the ability to achieve individualized results that complement each patient’s unique visage.
While there is no set age range for who would be an ideal candidate for a mini facelift, typically patients are around 40 years old. Typical aging signs that a mini facelift address includes jowls, loss of jawline definition, unsightly fat deposits, smile lines, and skin laxity due to loss of collagen from aging or environmental factors. Patients for any surgical procedure should be in good health and have realistic expectations.
Your consultation with Cleveland’s mini facelift expert Dr. Fedele will begin with an evaluation of your medical history to determine your candidacy for a surgical procedure. Once it is decided that you are fit to undergo surgery, a discussion between you and the doctor will take place about cosmetic concerns and goals. Advanced digital technology will let you have a sneak peek of what your results will potentially look like after surgery. This helps to have realistic expectations and the opportunity to adjust goals as you wish.
Dr. Fedele wants to make sure that each patient is fully informed about the procedure they wish to undergo. Because of this, he meets with his patients twice before the date of surgery to go over their desired results and expectation, as well as answer any questions that may arise.
- Certain medications will need to be discontinued. This will include but is not limited to, anti-inflammatories, certain herbal supplements, and any blood thinners.
- Do not smoke or drink the month before surgery.
- Fill prescriptions and pick up necessary recovery items to have ready at home.
- Arrange for a ride to surgery, a ride home from surgery, and for a friend or family member to help you during your first night of recovery.
A mini facelift can be performed in about two hours as an in-office procedure. Twilight sedation is typically used since it is not as extensive of surgery as a traditional facelift. Incisions are made along the borders of the ears. The overlying skin is then separated from the underlying super musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) until Dr. Fedele has access to the areas of concern. From these, Dr. Fedele is able to reposition the muscle, tissue, and fat to restore a youthful contour. Fat may also be removed from the chin or jawline to improve definition. This can be accomplished through liposuction, which can be performed during the mini facelift procedure. The tumescent fluid (a combination of saline, lidocaine, bicarbonate, and epinephrine) is first injected to block pain and swell the targeted fat. The swollen fat is easier to disrupt and suction out of the targeted areas.
Once the ideal contour is achieved, the skin will then be redraped with minimal tension, and excess skin will be trimmed away before the incisions are sutured closed. The goal is to create a more youthful appearance by improving definition and contour rather than simply pulling the skin. Dressings will be placed after the surgery is complete.
Dr. Fedele recommends taking about one week off from work to rest and focus on your recovery. During this time, it is best to sleep with your head in an elevated position. This will help reduce post-surgical swelling and bruising quicker. Drains and bandages must remain in place until instructed otherwise. You will return for postoperative visits to ensure that you are healing as expected. Exercise can typically be resumed in four to six weeks.
The results of a mini facelift are subtle and natural-looking. You will appear rejuvenated without it being obvious you have had surgery. The incisions of a mini facelift are made behind the tragus so any potential scarring is not noticeable. They are typically completely camouflaged within the natural lines and contours of the ear border.
Once the swelling has gone down, usually within a couple of weeks, you can enjoy your results. Results will continue to subtly improve over the next year as you continue to heal and the peripheral nerves heal.  Mini facelifts cannot stop the inevitable aging process, however, results can last five years or longer depending on how well you take care of your skin. Factors like excessive sun exposure and smoking can alter this timeline.
Corresponding & Complementary Procedures
Because a facelift is not designed to treat forehead wrinkles or drooping eyebrows, patients who want to address these signs of aging often require a brow lift. A brow lift is designed to smooth forehead creases and elevate the position of the eyebrows to provide a more vibrant and alert appearance. This is achieved with incisions either at or above the natural hairline. The frontalis muscle (the muscle responsible for lifting the brows) is repositioned to a youthful position and the remaining skin is pulled tight and sutured.
However, if you are interested in a mini facelift, you may not yet have significant forehead skin sagging and only suffer from wrinkles and creases. In this case, you may be better suited for Botox and dermal fillers. Botox is a wrinkle-prevention treatment that temporarily paralyzes the muscles responsible for creating wrinkles during facial expressions. For deep lines and wrinkles that are visible even when the face is at rest, dermal fillers can be used to smooth the skin.
How Much Does a Mini Facelift Cost in Ohio?
Mini facelifts vary slightly in price since the procedure is completely customized to each individual. Dr. Fedele’s office will provide you with an itemized quote at the end of your consultation. We offer financing options as well.
What area of the face does a mini facelift address?
A mini facelift addresses signs of aging on the lower part of the face. It is not designed to address the mid-face or forehead. If you would like to correct signs of aging from the mid to lower face, a full facelift may be better suited. If you have loose forehead skin, a brow lift or dermal fillers would be the appropriate remedy. A brow lift can be performed at the same time as a mini facelift if the mid-face is not a concern.
- Barrett DM, Casanueva FJ, Wang TD. Evolution of the rhytidectomy. World J Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016;2(1):38-44. Published 2016 Feb 4. doi:10.1016/j.wjorl.2015.12.001
- Swift A, Liew S, Weinkle S, Garcia JK, Silberberg MB. The Facial Aging Process From the “Inside Out.” Aesthetic Surgery Journal. 2020;41(10). doi:10.1093/asj/sjaa339
- Whitney ZB, Jain M, Zito PM. Anatomy, Skin, Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System (SMAS) Fascia. PubMed. Published 2020. Accessed October 28, 2022. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK519014/
- Adidharma W, Khouri AN, Lee JC, et al. Sensory nerve regeneration and reinnervation in muscle following peripheral nerve injury. Muscle Nerve. 2022;66(4):384-396. doi:10.1002/mus.27661