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

Aging affects everyone, but the rate of aging can vary from person to person. It can depend on factors such as stress, sun exposure, smoking, pollution, and genetics. The effects of aging can be reversed through plastic surgery procedures. Many men and women have turned to facelift and mini facelift procedures at Kaniff Cosmetic Medical Center in Sacramento for a more youthful and refreshed appearance.

The center is accredited by the Accredited Association of Ambulatory Healthcare (AAAHC). Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Thomas Kaniff of Kaniff Cosmetic Medical Center specializes in both plastic surgery procedures. Dr. Kaniff has given patients throughout northern California a rejuvenated and natural appearance using both types of lifts.

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

A Facelift: Basics

Facelift surgery, or Rhytidectomy, has become a popular plastic surgery procedure. It gives men and women improved appearances of their necks and cheeks. This is done by tightening the neck and firming the jawline. Patients come away with a more youthful appearance while still looking natural.

Determining If You Are a Candidate

The procedure gives patients a refreshed appearance by making them look a decade or more younger. It lifts their cheeks, gives them a firmer jawline, and tightens their neck and the area underneath the chin. If you would like to refresh the appearance of your face, you are a candidate for a facelift.

Picking a Doctor

The general steps performed by different doctors are the same, but some techniques may differ. This where the artistry of the doctor factors into the science of the procedure. The main factor in picking a doctor for plastic surgery is to be sure that they specialize in the procedure.

In this case, patients should select a doctor that specializes in facial plastic surgery, like Dr. Kaniff. Our center can provide you with before and after pictures and help you get in touch with previous patients who can tell you about their experience.

The Initial Consultation

At our plastic surgery center, Dr. Kaniff will sit with the patient for a private consultation and listen to any concerns they may have. He will then create a customized plan for their facelift surgery. Our computer imaging tool will show how the procedure will look after it is complete.

The Procedure

We perform each surgery at Kaniff Cosmetic Medical Center in Sacramento, California. Our medical center allows us to give patients a safe and private experience.

Twilight anesthesia will be used, which is intravenous medication combined with local anesthesia. This type of anesthesia is safe and has a shorter recovery time. General anesthesia is not used because it often gives patients nausea and can create bruising. Twilight anesthesia is also used during oral surgeries and is a comfortable form of anesthesia.

During the procedure, the doctor will remove sagging skin and unwanted fat. Underlying muscles as well as face and neck deep tissues will be repositioned. Incisions will be placed where the skin naturally creases. This ensures that incisions will not be noticeable once they are healed. The doctor will then reposition the SMAS, or deeper muscle layers and tissues. This gives patients a rejuvenated appearance. Dr. Kaniff may also use other techniques that are specialized for a patient’s needs. Because of the doctor’s expertise, surgical drains are not needed, which makes recovery much easier.

Recovery Time

Patients at Kaniff Cosmetic Medical Center will feel very little pain after their surgery but can be prescribed pain medication, if necessary. Overall, recovery time is between two and three weeks. Patients will be given wound care instructions to shorten the healing process. This comprehensive plan also ensures that minimal bruising occurs.

Most men and women are able to return to work in ten to fourteen days with a new, youthful appearance. After one week, patients can use make-up, and after four to six weeks, they can take part in strenuous activities.


Our procedure gives patients long-lasting results for ten years. Some patients experience results lasting up to fifteen years. We encourage men and women thinking about facelift surgery to have realistic expectations. This helps patients feel completely satisfied with the results. Patients will see a more youthful face, jawline, and neck. Family, friends, and co-workers will certainly notice the positive results, too!

Throughout the years following the procedure, even though you will continue to age, you will younger as you’re starting from a new point. We tell patients to continue to use sunscreen and a good skincare routine for the best results. Non-invasive treatments like fillers or energy treatments can also be used to maintain results. Sometimes men and women also schedule a facelift tuck down the line, if they notice some sagging in their face.

How a Mini Facelift Works

What Is It?

A mini facelift is known by several names, including mini lift, cheek lift, Lifestyle Lift, K-Lift, Mac Lift, Q Lift, short scar facelift, and others. It works specifically on the jowl and cheek areas. These areas sag over time, so the procedure repositions their deeper layers and lifts them to create a more youthful appearance.

Dr. Thomas Kaniff at Kaniff Cosmetic Medical Center has specialized training and gives patients outstanding results. Men and women throughout Sacramento and beyond choose him for their mini-facelifts when they are looking for an improved, refreshed look.

Determining If You Are a Candidate

The best way to determine if you are a candidate for this procedure is to look at your face in the mirror and pay attention to your jowls and cheeks. Put your fingers in front of each ear. Pull back and upward on your face. If you like the way you look when you do this, then you may be a great candidate for the procedure.

Picking a Doctor

It is important to pick a doctor who has experience and a track record of producing natural results. Doctors often specialize in a particular area of plastic surgery, so be sure to select a doctor who specializes in the procedure you want.

Dr. Kaniff at Kaniff Cosmetic Medical Center has twenty years of experience and is known for his exceptional work. In fact, he uses proprietary techniques during a mini facelift to give patients the most natural results and a minimal recovery time.

The Initial Consultation

The doctor will talk to the patient about goals and any concerns they may have. He will then design their customized treatment plan. Sometimes, additional treatments or procedures may be suggested to give patients the best results.

Some of these additional treatments include fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm, Sculptra, or Voluma. Other procedures that can complement a mini facelift include neck lifts, brow lifts, eyelid surgery, blepharoplasty, or fat grafting. Dr. Kaniff will discuss these possibilities as part of the customized treatment plan. The personalized plan will give patients the best results designed for their goals.

The Procedure

Patients arrive at Kaniff Cosmetic Medical Center to have their surgical procedure performed by Dr. Kaniff. Local anesthesia is generally used for this procedure, but patients can also have intravenous sedation anesthesia.

An incision will be made above the ear and down to the ear lobe. It will follow the curve of the ear and will sometimes follow into the ear crease. This type of incision will create a natural look. The doctor will reposition the SMAS, or deep layer of the cheek. A semi-permanent suture will be used to create a lift in the area. Excess skin will then be removed and the incision will be expertly closed.

Recovery Time

Recovery time is very quick and works well for active lifestyles. Patients will return home the day of the procedure with a light dressing over the incision. The next day, the dressing will be removed at the clinic in Sacramento.

A full recovery usually happens within a few days. The team at the center will give patients instructions for post-operative care, and as long as the steps are followed, the recovery time will be short. After one week, sutures will be removed and patients can wear make-up. Normal activities can begin within a few days, and more strenuous activities can start after two weeks.


Men and women who are looking for a more refreshed but natural look will be very satisfied with the results. Patients will see that their jowls and cheeks will appear lifted, which gives them a youthful look. Patients will look years younger to the people around them.

Which Procedure Is Right for You?


Both types of procedures will give a more youthful appearance. The doctor will have a private consultation with the patient and create a customized surgical plan for either procedure. For both types of procedures, the doctor will itemize the procedure and any other treatments on a written estimate. He will be available to explain and answer all questions. Financing options may also be available for those who are interested.

Mini Facelift

For those who have sagging cheeks and jowls, a mini facelift may be the right choice. Local anesthesia is used, and an incision is made from above of the ear to the earlobe. The deep layer of the cheek is repositioned and a suture is used to lift it.

People who are more active and are looking for a quick recovery time will be happy with this type of plastic surgery procedure. Often referred to as a cheek lift, it will result in an appearance of high cheeks with some neck contouring. Recovery time will last only a few days if patients follow post-surgery instructions, and most patients can return to work or normal activities very quickly.


Patients who can fit a longer recovery time into their schedule and want to see more contouring on their neck may want to choose a facelift. This procedure is sometimes referred to as a lower facelift because it tightens the neck.

Incisions will be placed along natural creases along the skin. The doctor will reposition the deep muscular layers in the cheek and the neck. Excess skin and fat will also be trimmed during a facelift. Recovery time will be two to three weeks, but the results will last ten to fifteen years.

Overall, the mini facelift has a shorter recovery time, while the facelift lasts longer. If you have a more active life or need to return to work quickly, consider the mini facelift. If you can fit a longer process into your schedule and would like results that last a decade or longer, a facelift may be the right procedure for you.

Ready for a Youthful Appearance

Contact the team at Kaniff Cosmetic Medical Center in Sacramento, CA so that we can schedule your consultation with specialist Dr. Thomas Kaniff. We look forward to giving you a more youthful, restful look and providing you with expert treatment.

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