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Face Procedure

NYC Mini Facelift


Mini Facelift

Some of the most obvious signs of aging appear in the mid and lower face. Lax skin, jowls, and the loss of jaw definition can make you look older than you are. The mini or weekend facelift procedure is designed to restore your youthful appearance by gently lifting soft tissues in the face.

What is a Mini Facelift?

The mini lift is less invasive than traditional facelifts. This procedure is especially beneficial for patients concerned by initial signs of aging but who do not want or need a complete facelift. Surgery only takes a few hours, and the recovery is faster and easier than a full facelift. A mini facelift generally reduces sagging skin around the jawline, cheeks, and neck to create a younger-looking appearance.

What’s the Difference Between a Regular Facelift and a Mini Facelift?

The weekend facelift is less invasive than the classic facelift, but it still improves wrinkles and loose skin. A mini facelift only addresses the lower half of the face (jawline and jowls) and isn’t typically used to address sagging neck skin. A complete facelift focuses on the lower two-thirds of the face and neck. Shorter incisions are used, which helps aid in faster healing. Most patients experience less swelling, bruising, and recovery time than conventional facelifts.

Dr. Smith places incisions carefully so they are more easily hidden. You can still wear pulled-back hairstyles after a mini facelift.

Am I a Good Candidate for a Mini Facelift?

The weekend facelift is generally best for patients in their 30s to 50s with mild to moderate skin sagging. This procedure raises and tightens the lower half of the face to improve jowling, skin laxity along the jawline, deep nasolabial folds, or wrinkles in the lower face.

Post-surgery, the cheeks will be elevated to a firmer, more youthful position, and your jawline will be more defined. Some patients combine this surgery with other facial rejuvenation procedures, like fat grafting, an eye lift, chin augmentation, or dermal fillers.

How is a Weekend Facelift Performed?

A “mini facelift” is not a specific medical procedure, but rather a way to generally describe a facelift that is less invasive than a full facelift. Some common characteristics of the mini facelift are as follows. Unlike a traditional facelift, the mini lift usually uses local anesthetic rather than general anesthesia. This is an outpatient procedure and only typically takes one to two hours to complete:

  • Your doctor will make small incisions in your hairline around your ear to elevate the connective tissue beneath the skin (the SMAS layer).
  • Any excess skin is removed, and your surgeon will close the remaining skin to the incision line to restore a firm, natural, youthful appearance.
  • Your incisions are closed with sutures. The incisions are shorter than those used in a standard facelift, and no drains are needed. However, you must wear a compression garment post-surgery for the first few days.

Immediately following your mini facelift, you will stay in one of our comfortable recovery rooms for a short period. Please arrange a ride home with a friend or family member, as you are not permitted to drive following surgery.

Day By Day Weekend (Mini) Facelift Recovery

On average, a typical mini facelift recovery period is around one week. Here’s what you can expect.

Day 1: Most patients will experience swelling, tightness in the face, and some minor discomfort where the stitches are. You can manage any discomfort with appropriate pain medicines prescribed by Dr. Smith.

Day 2: Swelling and discomfort are still expected. You may also begin to bruise. Many patients will continue with pain medication to help ease any discomfort.

Day 3: The swelling will likely persist, but most patients feel less discomfort. Bruising and tightness begin to fade. Use ice and drink plenty of water to help ease symptoms.

Day 7: One-week post-op, most patients feel back to normal. Stitches usually come out after 5 days to a week. You may still have some minimal bruising, swelling, and tightness in the skin that can be hidden with makeup. Discomfort should be completely subsided, and you can return to regular activities aside from very heavy workouts. 

Day 14: Most (if not all) symptoms should subside by two weeks post-op. Usually, patients can return to strenuous activities and exercise after two weeks.

Is There a Cut-Off Age for a Mini Facelift?

Generally, the best candidates for mini facelifts are in their mid to late 40s. However, we have had excellent mini-facelift patients in their 60s and 70s. There isn’t a cut-off age, but if you have excessive sagging skin and want to achieve more dramatic results, a full facelift might be a better option to complete your treatment goals.

If you’re unsure if a mini facelift is right for you, book an initial consultation at our NYC office to learn more.

Getting Back to Normal

Most plastic surgeries require social and occupational downtime. Some patients return to work from home within a day or two after a mini facelift, and many take four to seven days off before returning to the office. We recommend avoiding social events until your sutures are removed. If you have to return to work early, you can wear scarves to help conceal the bruises and swelling. Each patient will return to work at a different time based on the specifics of the procedure performed.

How Can I Prepare for My Surgery?

Having realistic expectations when you go in for any cosmetic surgery is essential. You’ll work closely with Dr. Smith and discuss your surgery goals and desires. During your initial consultation, Dr. Smith will let you know what to expect before, during, and after your procedure, and he will answer any questions that you may have.

Dr. Darren Smith for Mini Facelift in NYC

If you’re interested in a mini facelift in NYC, Dr. Smith is known for delivering natural-looking facial enhancements. The mini facelift procedure is one of Dr. Smith’s favorite surgeries.

Procedure Summary

  • Purpose The mini or weekend facelift procedure is designed to restore your youthful appearance by gently lifting soft tissues in the face.
  • Anesthesia Local Anesthetic
  • Recovery Time Around one week



Dr. Smith and his staff are absolutely incredible. They made me feel welcome, comfortable, and listened to from the moment I first arrived for a consultation, all the way to my surgery and afterwards. The care I received from Dr. Smith, Annalise, and Julia was exemplary. I am thrilled with the results of my procedure, and sincerely can't recommend them highly enough.


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  • Darren M. Smith MD
  • Darren M. Smith MD
  • Darren M. Smith MD
  • Darren M. Smith MD

All photos are of models except before and after images.

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