Aging is a reality of life. Embarking on a journey toward a more youthful appearance can be an exciting yet daunting task. A facelift is one way to retain your youthful face for longer. With various facelift options available today, it is crucial to understand the options, benefits, and considerations involved.

Facelift procedures involve skin, muscle, and tissue tightening and elevation. Variations between procedures depend on the technique used and the facial area needing work. Understanding the concepts and purpose of all the procedures is essential to make informed decisions about your facelift journey.

 Let this comprehensive guide empower you with the knowledge to achieve a radiant and rejuvenated look.

Facelift Options Available

Surgical facelift techniques can be completely or minimally invasive. Your surgeon recommends a procedure depending on your age, aging signs severity, and work needed to achieve youthfulness.

Highly Invasive Facelift Surgical Procedures

The Traditional Facelift

Also known as a full or standard facelift, traditional facelift options are for individuals seeking comprehensive facial rejuvenation. It is ideal for moderate to significant facial aging signs in the face and neck.

After the surgery preparation, the plastic surgeon:

  • Creates incisions behind your ear, hairline, and below the chin
  • Separates the skin from the underlying face and neck tissue
  • Tightens the muscles and other supporting tissues on the face and neck
  • Removes excess fat in your neck and jowls
  • Repositions and removes excess skin to accommodate the change.

SMAS Facelift

In this procedure, the plastic surgeon only reshapes and adjusts the facial muscles in your cheeks, jowls, jawline, and neck. The surgeon removes excess fat and skin according to your face’s anatomy and goals. It reverses sagging skin, wrinkles, and loss of facial volume.

Deep Plane Facelift

A deep plane lift targets facial muscles, connective tissues, and fat layers in the deeper layer of your face. The technique aims to provide longer-lasting improvements in facial sagging, wrinkles, and volume loss. It differs from the SMAS facelift because the surgeon lifts and repositions your facial tissues as a single layer before re-draping the skin.

Minimally Invasive Facelift Procedures


An S-lift facelift, or a mini or short-scar facelift, addresses mild to moderate aging signs in the lower face and neck. It is ideal for younger patients or those with minimal sagging.

The surgeon makes small incisions in front of and behind the ears, creating an “S” shape to lift and tighten the underlying facial muscles and tissues, focusing primarily on the jowls and jawline. These incisions are smaller than those made in a traditional facelift, resulting in shorter scars and less visible scarring. The procedure aims to improve the appearance of sagging skin, restore facial contours, and provide a more youthful and refreshed look.

Cutaneous Facelift

The cutaneous facial lift, or skin-only facelift, focuses on lifting and tightening the skin without extensively manipulating the deeper facial structures. It primarily targets sagging skin and wrinkles, resulting in a smoother and more youthful appearance. It may have less dramatic and long-lasting effects compared to deeper facelift techniques.


How Do I Know Which Facelift Surgery Option Is Best for Me?

The best facelift procedure for you is the one that addresses your specific requirements. Your surgeon will advise which facelift option works best for you by assessing your age, aging signs, and the desired outcome. Plastic surgeons evaluate factors like skin laxity, muscle tone, and overall facial aging to recommend the most suitable facelift option. Consult a qualified plastic surgeon to examine your facial needs and anatomy and consider your beauty desires.

What Is the Difference Between a Full Facelift and a Mini Facelift?

A full facelift tackles aging issues on the entire face, including the lower face, jowls, jawline, cheeks, and neck. A mini facelift, such as an S-lift, targets specific areas of concern, typically the lower face and jawline. The extent of correction and invasiveness differ between the two. It also takes longer to heal from a full facelift than a mini facelift.

What Is the Typical Recovery Time for a Facelift?

Recovery time varies depending on the type and extent of the facelift performed. Generally, bruising and swelling can take two to three weeks to subside. However, the healing duration varies from patient to patient. You should feel comfortable resuming normal activities the first month after surgery. Your surgeon will provide specific post-operative instructions and medication to diminish discomfort and enhance healing.

What Are the Potential Risks and Complications Associated With Facelift Surgery?

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved with facelift surgery. They include infection, bleeding, scarring, nerve damage, and unfavorable cosmetic outcomes. However, you can minimize these risks by choosing a skilled surgeon and carefully following pre-and post-operative instructions. Some post-operation requirements include resting, healthy eating, hydration, and cleanliness. Your surgeon will discuss potential risks with you during the consultation.