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Mini Facelift


Why do patients request a mini facelift?
As part of the normal process of ageing the ligaments that hold the skin of the facing position begin to stretch. As a result of this the skin on the face and neck begins to sag and wrinkles appear on the cheeks. Patients do not like the appearance of jowls, creases in the cheeks and moderate wrinkling and sagging of the skin in the neck. They do not need a full facelift and therefore request consultation for a mini facelift.


Are there any reasons for patients not to have a mini facelift?
Patients who are actively smoking or on blood thinning medication such as aspirin or warfarin have a higher risk for postoperative complications such as bleeding, wound infections and delayed wound healing. It is advisable to not consume nicotine in any form for six weeks before a mini facelift and for a similar time after. Medication such as aspirin or warfarin may need to be stopped if they are not absolutely essential at the appropriate time before surgery. This should be discussed with your consultant or GP.


What does a mini facelift involve?
A mini facelift is usually carried out under a general anaesthesia and can be done as a day case or may involve one night in hospital. Following the operation a small drain is placed beneath the skin to remove any blood or fluid that may collect following surgery. A large padded bandage is placed around the neck and face. The drain is removed and the dressing around the face and neck is changed before discharge. Patients are usually able to shower and wash their hair from the day after the operation. Fresh dressings are provided at the time of discharge. An outpatient appointment is arranged a week after surgery for removal of sutures.


How long does bruising and swelling last following the operation?
Any bruising and swelling following surgery normally resolves within seven to ten days after the operation.


How much time do I need off work?
Most patients are able to return to work and to social activities within one to two weeks of the operation.


How long does the effect of a mini facelift last?
The effects of a mini facelift can last up to five to ten years following surgery. This procedure does not stop the process of ageing but can make the effect of the ageing process less obvious.


What are the complications of this procedure?
A mini facelift is a much less extensive procedure than a full facelift and therefore has fewer complications. A small percentage of patients undergoing this procedure can have complications just like any other operation which include: bleeding, haematoma (blood clot under the skin), infection, delayed healing of the wound, asymmetry and scars which are visible in the early postoperative period but which normally fade in the first few months after surgery.


Facts at a glance


Surgery time


1½ hours

Hospital stay


Day case - 1 night

Anaesthetic assessment



Pre admission tests



Sleeping position


Sleep on back if possible with 3-4 pillows for first 7-10 nights.

Reasonably mobile


Total rest 10-14 days – no bending or lifting.



Shower after 2 days. Replace garment



2-3 weeks

Sport & exercise including gym


4 weeks

Full recovery


6 weeks

Time off work


2-4 weeks depending on type of work.

Bras and garments


Yes. Worn for 2 weeks

Long term issues


Possible numbness around the incision area resolves in 2-3 months. May require scar management