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Mini Facelift vs Full Facelift

Mini Facelift vs Full Facelift

A facelift has the power to produce one of the most dramatic transformations of any cosmetic procedure. Many patients ask Dr. Jean-Paul Azzi, facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, about the difference between various facelifting procedures. It’s a more complicated topic than it may seem because there are so many variations of facelifting techniques. The key is to individualize the procedure to the patient’s face. For example, some patients may benefit from tightening the neck, others the cheeks, the midface, and so on.

One of the most vital aspects of any facelift is addressing the SMAS layer. The SMAS or Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System is the deep fibrous muscular layer under the skin. Think of it as the “supporting” muscle and tissue of the face. Instead of tightening only the superficial skin, which can give an unnatural, “pulled tight” appearance, the SMAS facelift lifts the deeper tissue layer of the face resulting in a more natural and longer lasting result.

Here, we will focus on two types of “lifts.” The mini-lift and the full facelift. Both of which Dr. Azzi performs as SMAS facelifts.


Mini facelifts are generally performed on patients who have relatively minor concerns about the lower two-thirds of the face, specifically their jowls and cheeks as well as the nasalabial folds (the lines between the nose and the mouth). In many instances, a mini-lift is done to refresh a face that has had a facelift before. The incisions from a mini-lift are tiny and unnoticeable. Scarring is typically minimal and recovery time is very short. So short that the mini facelift has earned the nickname “the weekend facelift.”

Ideal candidates for mini-lifts are people who just need a little enhancement or lifting in the lower face around the cheeks and jawline. It does not affect the forehead or eyes. The “sweet spot” is ages 45-55 but Dr. Azzi has younger and older patients who have benefited from a mini facelift.

Mini Facelift

Mini Facelift

Mini Facelift

Mini Facelift

For more mini-lift photos, click here.


A full facelift, on the other hand, addresses all areas of concern on the face. “Done properly, the results of a facelift should be very natural and long lasting with actual correction of the causes of aging,” said Dr. Jean-Paul Azzi. “Ideally, a specialist performs the procedure and lifts the muscle layer under the skin to achieve elegant and natural results. The ‘full’ facelift, may include a browlift, but this depends on the surgeon and patient and what is desired.”

“In my practice, I perform facelifts right in the office under local anesthesia, often in combination with a necklift,” said Dr. Azzi. “Because I use the most modern technique - deep plane - the recovery is considerably shorter than 90% of the other lifts performed. Although a mini-lift has the quickest recovery because it is more limited in scope, typically people can get back to most normal tasks the same day and any swelling or bruising will resolve within a week or so after a full facelift.”

Deep Plane Facelift & Neck lift

Deep Plane Facelift & Neck lift

For more facelift photos, click here.

Like any surgical procedure, a facelift is only as effective as the plastic surgeon performing it, so finding the perfect facial plastic surgeon is key in achieving your desired result.

“One important thing to remember is that those facelifting can vary tremendously from one surgeon to another,” said Dr. Azzi. Almost all surgeons use the term ‘facelift’ but rotary phones and iPhones are both called “phones” just as a 1985 Honda and a 2017 Tesla are both called “cars.” The same is true for a ‘facelift.’ A ‘skin-lift’ that lasts for 1 year and a ‘deep-plane sub-muscular lift’ that lasts for over 10 years are both called ‘facelifts,’ but the similarities stop there. Trust your face to a specialist.”

If you feel you are a good candidate for a facelift, we welcome you to visit one of our beautiful offices in Jupiter, Florida or Palm City, Florida for a consultation with Dr. Azzi. At your facelift consultation, Dr. Azzi will determine which facelifting procedure is right for you. He may also recommend complementary procedures and he will tell you what can realistically be achieved through facial plastic surgery.

Click here to contact our office or call (561) 429-5403. Our beautiful offices are conveniently located in Jupiter and Palm City, Florida. We serve patients in the following South Florida areas and beyond: Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Tequesta, Hobe Sound, Stuart, Palm City, Vero Beach and Jensen Beach. Live somewhere else? No problem, click here.

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