Here is an interesting fact about facelifts: they almost always include a neck lift, but not always a forehead lift. It’s almost as though someone decided that the neck was part of the face but not the forehead! To be clear, a brow lift (same as a forehead lift) can be done at the same time, it’s just not automatically part of the standard approach. Same for eyelids: frequently done at the same time as a facelift, just not always. Patients tend to lump everything together, but the truth is everybody is unique and a unique approach is almost always required for a successful surgery.
What type of surgery will you need?
Often patients come in concerned about sagging skin in the neck, hoping for a neck lift but not a full facelift. The neck seems to show signs of aging before other parts of the face, but the patient who really only needs a neck lift is the exception. One reason is that sagging occurs in a vertical direction, from the cheeks into the neck. In order to create a natural appearance, the jowl area needs to go up while the neck skin goes back and up behind the ears. The vertical part is done mostly with a tissue layer under the skin called the SMAS, while the skin redrapes in a slightly different vector. The specific approach is customized depending on the individual patient, and may include the brow or eyelids.
What is a mini facelift?
Unfortunately, there is no standard terminology to define a mini facelift vs a full lift. A neck lift alone could be considered a mini, or a cheek lift without neck. There are short-scar techniques (S-lift, MACS lift) which may include a combination of both. Things are a bit simpler since the Lifestyle Lift franchise went out of business, but there is no shortage of clever ideas to name a facelift; you can pretty much choose anything, attach “-lift” to it, and you’re set. Nonsurgical “facelift” with injectable fillers? Call it the “liquid facelift.” For this reason alone there is a lot of confusion amongst what’s possible and what’s not, and our goal is to accurately guide patients through their facelift procedures to achieve the most natural outcome.
Always consult an experienced professional.
The goal of most patients is to achieve natural and subtle results, and the best way to sort this out is trust your plastic surgeon to recommend what is best for you. Think about what you see in the mirror that bothers you, rather than the operation. It may turn out to be something else entirely, such as a laser peel, that best addresses your concerns.