Mini Facelift

At Buckhead Plastic Surgery, Atlanta

The S-lift or Limited Incision Facelift is an appropriate procedure for those who desire facial rejuvenation but do not require the full facelift procedure. The technique is similar to the full facelift except there is no deep restructuring of the tissues.

Problem: Sagging skin in the middle of the face, nasolabial folds, marionette lines, sagging jowls, and poorly defined jaw line

Solution: A mini-facelift, or limited incision facelift by Dr. Alan N. Larsen

Deciding if a Mini-Facelift is Right For You

The mini-facelift is perfectly suited for a 30-40 year-old woman or man who wants a more youthful appearance but doesn't require a full facelift. The mini-lift is shorter and slightly less invasive, so you can be back on your feet within a couple of days.

This type of limited facelift is also appropriate for a patient who has had a previous facelift. The mini-facelift will provide several more years with a youthful appearance. Only after a consultation with Dr. Larsen will you know if this is the right procedure for you.

What is a Mini-Facelift?

The mini-facelift has a shorter scar, but it is limited in its ability to tighten the facial tissues. Therefore, the mini-facelift is best for treating early signs of aging. A mini-facelift has only a limited effect on the neck and no effect on the midline neck or the area below the chin.

As the face ages, several changes occur. These changes include loosening and descending of the fatty tissue, loss of elasticity in the skin, loss of fatty tissue, and some loss to the underlying bony structures. This results in a face that appears longer and more square shaped. Younger faces tend to be more tapered, rounded or angular. The most important aspect of the facelift is to improve the facial shape while limiting the signs of the surgical procedure. This is where the mini-facelift comes in.

To best determine what is right for you, come in for a consultation. We are qualified and experienced in these procedures and have the skills to help you decide which facelift will vitalize and create a youthful and beautiful facial expression. Each of your features will be individually examined as well as how your features combine as a whole. That will determine what to correct, how much to correct, and how it will all come together to make you look years younger without the appearance of having had surgery.

How It's Done

A mini-facelift is a very detailed surgery taking into account all the features you wish to rejuvenate. The mini-facelift is probably the most natural looking of all facelifts. The old facelift with skin tension is so obvious that we notice these regularly. Some plastic surgeons perform facelifts on an outpatient basis, in a hospital, or ambulatory surgical facility. Dr. Larsen's procedure is performed in a fully accredited office surgical setting.

We always recommend an overnight stay during which we monitor the special care that you will need in the initial 24 to 48 hours following this procedure. Facelifts are performed under general anesthesia although in some cases local anesthesia with sedation is used.

Facelifts should only be performed by board certified plastic surgeons and qualified facial plastic surgeons. The facelift procedure is tailored to each patient's specific conditions. Along with the facelift, many patients undergo a brow lift eyelid surgery as well as laser resurfacing. Additional fat may be injected into hollow areas as well. Lip augmentation and possibly a chin augmentation can enhance the overall outcome.

The facelift starts with your consultation and continues with carefully placed incisions. In general, these incisions for the mini-facelift are made just inside the hairline at the temple extending down along the natural curve of the ear to just behind the earlobe.

Your natural hairline is taken into account while determining these incisions. These limited incision facelifts require very careful planning to analyze your facial proportions and aging so that further planning and small corrections can be performed more effortlessly throughout the years, maintaining the overall result that you desire. Meticulous detail and a vision of the future create this foundation to beautifully sculpt your face.

Your results depend on the anatomy that you start with as well as the goals we outline prior to surgery. A great outcome depends on meticulous attention to details in the technical portion of the procedure as well as an artistic touch to create the balanced facial features you desire.


Following surgery your face may be swollen, pale, pink, and numb. Specialized ice packs will be placed on your face 24 hours a day for the first two days to relieve the swelling and discomfort. Most patients experience some discomfort but no severe pain. The ice helps tremendously.

Some physicians use drain tubes. Most patients, however, reabsorb any excess fluid that may accumulate. Initially you'll have a dressing on your face. It will be removed a couple of hours after the surgical procedure by our trained professionals who will start your specialized ice packs.

Additionally some physicians place you in a supportive compression garment. We have not found the need to do this at Buckhead Plastic Surgery. Soft cold compresses for the first 48 hours followed by warm compresses and keeping your head elevated with no movement leads to a speedy recovery. Patients usually eat a soft diet for the first day or two and then resume a normal diet. As you heal, your face will feel tighter and tighter for the first week or two.

Assistance from a responsible adult is critical for minimizing the risk of complications and providing a good outcome for the first few days. Downtime is a concern since these procedures are increasingly performed on younger patients. Healing is a progressive process and is controlled by mother nature. After four to five days the stitches are removed despite swelling and noticeable incisions. Patients are usually ready to venture outside at this time.

As with any surgery, applying sunscreen and wearing a hat to protect the healing skin from the sun is essential. In a few weeks you will see a younger version of yourself. Complete healing will continue under the surface of the skin for quite some time. It is not uncommon for mild swelling and small lumps and bumps to take one to two months or longer to resolve.

What to Expect

After surgery you will be sleepy. This may be followed by a little anxiousness as you fully awake to find specialized ice packs on your face and eyes. After you are reassured about the dressings, your anxiousness will disappear. You will be sore but not in pain.

Over the next week or so, the bruising or ecchymoses resolves, swelling is reduced, and you notice your new facial features. Your face will be rejuvenated. You will go through a phase in which your skin feels tight followed by a slow transition to normal feeling. After one month, you should look very good and after three months you should look terrific. A full return to activity is expected after six weeks.


Risks of surgery include bleeding beneath the skin, temporary hair loss at the incision sites and thickening of the scars. An asymmetry is possible, although most likely only noticeable to you. Keep in mind that even before surgery one side of your face did not look like the other.

There is an extremely rare complication of nerve injury. You may also need minor revisions to achieve your goals when tissues begin to loosen. As with any surgery, there are risks associated with anesthesia. Your skin will also be tight and you will experience numbness for several months. These are not considered risks of surgery. Please see informed consent facelift for a more complete list of risks associated with this procedure.

Recovery Timeline

  • Some anxiousness may be experienced the first night because of the dressings.
  • Strict head elevation is necessary for the first 10 days to two weeks. Discomfort resolves quickly over the first 2-3 days.
  • Your face will feel tight4-5 days after surgery.
  • Sutures are removed 4-5 days after surgery.
  • You may return to a more normal routine 10 days to two weeks after surgery.
  • Most patients return to work about two weeks after surgery.
  • Skin and neck start to soften somewhere around 3-4 weeks after surgery.
  • After 6-8 weeks, full activity may be resumed.
  • Continue skin care, diet and exercise to maintain results.

Learn More About the Mini-Facelift in Atlanta

Are you ready to learn more about the mini-facelift in Atlanta? Contact the office of double board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Alan N. Larsen. Our plastic surgery office is located in the Buckhead area of North Atlanta. Call (404) 367‐9005 to inquire about a consultation.