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Mini Facelift Cost and Options

Updated on November 18, 2012
Our skin is damaged by the sun and by other environmental factors.
Our skin is damaged by the sun and by other environmental factors. | Source

Anti Aging

Most of us over-50 folk are interested in anti aging, and some have undergone cosmetic surgery as a way to turn back the clock. After all, what older adult wouldn’t like to look younger? As the years pass, we learn that gravity is not always our friend. Sure, it keeps us from flying off into outer space, but it also pulls our skin downward, making us look older. It's especially noticeable in the face and neck. When we add exposure to sunlight and other environmental elements, the problem is exacerbated. Also, as we age, collagen fibers in the skin begin to break down, and we lose much of the skin's elasticity. There are hundreds of anti aging products on the market that claim to eliminate or minimize wrinkles and to tighten the skin. Unfortunately, even if a product works, it only functions as a quick fix, a short-term solution. Since no one has been able to locate Ponce de Leon’s famous fountain, the only way to get lasting results is from a face lift or some other related cosmetic surgery.

Anti Aging, firming, and moisturizing products
Anti Aging, firming, and moisturizing products | Source

Face Lift

You’ve heard of people having a face lift, but what does it do, and how does it make you look younger? Think of a face lift as a tightening procedure. As a visual image to portray sort of what happens during a procedure, place an orange in thin plastic wrap. If the wrap is loose, you’ll notice lots of wrinkles and creases. When you pull the plastic wrap tightly around the fruit, however, the wrinkles disappear. The orange represents the muscles, connective tissues, and bones of your face, and the plastic wrap represents your skin.

Once you’re put under general anesthesia by the anesthesiologist, the procedure will begin. An incision is made near the temple, slightly within the hairline. The cut will continue all the way around to your lower scalp. Your surgeon might “borrow” fat from some places to fill in other spots. The surgeon will tighten the facial muscles and reposition deep tissue. Next, the skin covering is replaced and tightened, and any excess is cut away. The incisions are then closed.

Those are the basics, but facelifts can be more involved, too. For example, if you have excess or sagging skin at the chin and neck, these might be corrected. In order to address these problems, the surgeon will have to make another incision – one beneath the chin.

Facelift Surgery
Facelift Surgery | Source

Facelift Surgery

Facelift surgery corrects several problems at once. It addresses creases and folds beneath the lower lids, displaced fat tissue, mid facial sagging, and creases around the corners of the mouth and the nose. It can also eliminate jowls and a double chin. While getting a face lift, some patients might also opt to have other anti aging cosmetic surgery, including work around the eyes and brows. Traditional facelift surgery involves moderate scarring, recovery time, and expense. Facelift cost isn’t cheap. It also requires general anesthesia, increasing the danger of undergoing the procedure.

Facelift cost has to include fees charged by the hospital, by the surgeon, and by the anesthesiologist. You’ll probably also have to pay for some testing and for some pain medications. Costs can vary widely, but in general, the total cost of a facelift is usually between $10,000 and $15,000. And that doesn’t include time away from your job. If you include other surgical options, a facelift could cost as much as $25,000. Today, however, there are several options to the traditional full facelift. Some of the more popular ones are briefly discussed below.

Oh, to look young again!
Oh, to look young again! | Source

Lifestyle Lift

If you watch television, you’ve undoubtedly heard about this. Typically, the procedure takes only about an hour to complete. The Lifestyle Lift procedure removes excess skin and fat from the jowls and neck. It is especially effective for defining the jaw line. Sutures under the skin are used for the lift. The Lifestyle Facelift is often recommended for those over the age of 40. Results vary. Some patients' lifts lasted for only eighteen months, while others lasted for several years. The average cost is $4,000-$6,000.

Some patients receiving the Lifestyle facelift also choose to have laser treatments for their skin. The laser treatments tighten loose skin and decrease the appearance of lines and wrinkles. The treatments can also make skin damaged by UV rays look smoother and younger. The added fee for the laser treatments is usually around $1,000.

Lifestyle Lift reviews vary widely. Some patients say that they see no differences at all in their facial appearance, even though they followed all the orders and suggestions provided by their medical team. In fact, a few who had undergone the procedure say they look worse now. On the other hand, some people had wonderful experiences, reporting that they look at least ten years younger.

Lifestyle Lift:

Thread Lift

The Thread Lift is procedure that’s recommended for ages 40-60. A tiny incision is made behind the ear or at the hairline, and filaments are inserted that trigger the body to produce new collagen in the focal area. The affected area is also lifted as a result of tiny "hooks" on the threads. The Thread Lift can be used for the brows, the neck, or the jowl area. The average cost in the US is $3,500-$5,000. Results typically last for 2-5 years – for some patients.

The Thread Lift has come under a lot of scrutiny, mostly based on complaints from patients. Some of the patients have reported that they can feel the threads, while others reported being able to see thread knots beneath the skin. Occasionally the threads have broken, resulting in an asymmetrical face.

The Thread Lift and the Lifestyle Lift sound a lot alike, don’t they? They do sound somewhat similar, but the procedures are different. With the Lifestyle Lift, there is some separation between the deep tissues and the skin, but with the Thread Lift, there’s no separation.

Thread Lift:

Anterior Mini Facelift

This procedure removes fat and tightens skin and muscle tissue in the lower facial area, from an incision in front of the ear, leading to the hairline. In all, around eight sutures are used. Excess skin is also removed, and underlying muscle tissue is re-shaped. Deep sutures enable facial structures to lift. In all, around eight sutures are used. The surgery takes from 45-90 minutes and costs from $3,500-$6,500. Effects are noticed after a few weeks and can last for 5-7 years.

With these mini facelifts, you don’t have to put under general anesthesia. Instead, a local anesthetic is used. It’s injected just in front of the ear, and it makes the lower face numb. The procedure usually takes about ninety minutes or so. After the surgery, you’ll have to wear bandages for two days.

Neck Lift - Posterior Mini Lift

General anesthesia is not required for these mini facelifts. With this procedure, anesthesia is injected behind the ear, where the incision is made, numbing the neck and the lower part of the face. With this type of lift, the focus is on the neck, so it’s really more of a neck lift. Incisions start just behind the ear and continue to the hair line. The skin is pulled up and secured with deep sutures. Usually, around ten sutures are needed. Excess skin is removed. The surgery takes 45-90 minutes and lasts for 5-7 years, depending on the individual. The average cost is $3,500-$6,500 in the United States.

Neck Lift:

Quick Lift

The Quick Lift is often referred to as the "weekend facelift" because it's possible to have the surgery on Friday and return to work on Monday. It's recommended for ages 40-65 and uses a tiny S-shaped incision that begins at the sideburn area and extends around the ear lobe. Underlying muscle and connective tissue is stretched upward and held into place with purse-like sutures. Excess skin is removed in the 1-2 hour surgery. Same day results can be seen in the upper neck and jaw line. The average cost is around $4,500, and depending on your skin type, lifestyle, and sun exposure, the results can last for several years.


For an anti aging effect without having a facelift, you might be interested in having blepharoplasty – in other words, an eye lift. Blepharoplasty is a type of cosmetic surgery that removes excess skin from the eyelids, providing a “lift.” The procedure can be done on the upper eyelids, the lower lids, or both. During the surgery, muscles, fat, and tendons might be repositioned, tightened, or made stronger.

Unlike most other forms of cosmetic surgery, blepharoplasty is sometimes covered by insurance. If the overhanging skin of the upper lid occludes the vision enough, the surgery is considered as functional instead of cosmetic.

Is blepharoplasty considered to be a type of facelift? No, it’s not, but it does make people look younger. The eyes are the focal point of the face, and that area is often the first to visibly age. Lid work will make the eyes look larger and more “open,” resulting in a more youthful appearance.


Plastic Surgeon vs. Cosmetic Surgeon

You might be wondering…is a plastic surgeon the same as a cosmetic surgeon? The two are not always the same. To become certified in plastic surgery, a physician must complete six to eight years of training, and that’s in addition to regular medical school. On the other hand, cosmetic surgery isn’t recognized as a specialty by the American Board of Specialties. Practically any type of physician or surgeon can perform cosmetic surgery. Fortunately for patients, many cosmetic surgeons are board-certified plastic surgeons.

Before having an anti aging procedure done, be sure to check out the qualifications of your cosmetic surgeon or plastic surgeon. Ask to see before and after photos. If you can talk to patients who have had the specific procedure performed by that doctor that you’re considering, that's even better. If not, your primary care physician might be able to recommend a surgeon for you. Choose a surgeon with whom you feel comfortable and in whom you have complete confidence. Remember that any type of surgery carries risks, even if you’re having it done as an anti aging procedure. Don’t shop by price – shop by value. Face lift procedures vary, and a more expensive one might prove to be a better value because it might last much longer. There might also be fewer complications. I wish you the best of luck in your anti aging quest!


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