Mini Facelift

face 12Since everyone ages differently, certain patients require different levels of corrections to improve and enhance their cosmetic appearance. If you are concerned with how aging has effected your lower face (hollow cheeks, laxity in jowls and neck), then a mini face lift might be a good option for you. The purpose of a mini face lift (also known as a limited incision face lift, S-lift or weekend facelift) is to rejuvenate and repair premature signs of aging in the lower face.

Goals of a Mini Face Lift

The reality is that it is somewhat artificial to strictly divide facelifts as either being “full facelifts” or “mini-facelifts.” Each individual presents with unique anatomic signs of aging. If those signs of aging are less advanced, then the facelift procedure I select will be adapted to address those changes with less extensive work. As an example, many patients have a reasonable amount of excess tissue under their chins. In these cases, a small incision (sub-mental incision) is made in order to allow tightening of this area. However, there are some patients who have very minimal signs of aging below their chins, in which case the sub-mental incision can be avoided and a terrific result obtained none-the-less. The point here is that each procedure is customized, and I will do what is necessary to achieve a quality result and no more.

Many different surgical techniques and styles exist when it comes to both a “deep-plane” facelift and mini facelift surgery. I will determine which surgical approach is best for you based on your individual goals and where you currently are in the aging process. For optimal results, mini face lift surgery may be combined with other surgical procedures such as a facial implant, fat transfer injections, browlift surgery, upper or lower blepharoplasty, or facial liposuction.

Choosing a Surgeon

Selecting a surgeon is one of the most difficult and important decisions you will make when deciding to move forward with surgery. I recommend having a consultation with at least three different surgeons to find someone who is right for you. Experience, skill, good results and outstanding patient reviews are vital when choosing a surgeon. I am a facial plastic surgeon who specializes only in procedures of the face and neck. It is beneficial to find someone who has intricate knowledge regarding the specific anatomy and structures of the face.


During your consultation at our Pittsburgh, Wexford, Sewickley or Greensburg office, I will determine whether a full facelift or mini face lift is the right option for you and if you might benefit from any other treatments or procedures. Your health history will be reviewed, along with photos from previous before and after mini face lift patients. We will also discuss your current cosmetic concerns, chat about what you are hoping to achieve from surgery and calculate mini face lift costs and fees.

Who makes a good Mini Face Lift candidate?

A man or woman in good health with facial aging symptoms effecting the mid and lower face can be good candidates for a mini face lift. Age is not always a guaranteed factor that a mini or full face lift will be a great option for you. I believe in being honest and straight forward with all of my patients. If I think that your signs of aging are not sufficient to justify a surgical procedure, I may suggest holding off on surgery for a while and revisiting the idea later in the future.

When is “Mini Face Lift Surgery” not the right choice?

Many consumers who are entertaining facelift surgery have seen direct to consumer advertising, often in the form of infomercials of various branded lifts. After viewing this advertising material, some patients feel that all patients (no matter their degree of aging) are reasonable candidates for a mini face lift type procedure. This is not the case. After aging proceeds beyond a certain point, performing a mini-facelift can leave the patient with an operated appearance that is not appealing. Remember, if it doesn’t look natural, it doesn’t look good! The critical issue here is that some patients do indeed require less surgery to achieve a great result, but a very individualized decision process involving you and your surgeon it required to make the best plan.

When you come for your consult I will help you understand exactly why some patients require somewhat more surgery and others can achieve a terrific result with less surgery. The most meaningful way to do this is for me to move the skin and soft tissue on your face in a way similar to what will happen in the operating room. When we do this together, I can explain why incisions need to be placed in certain locations, and why these incisions might be slightly different in various patients. Please feel free to review the facelift page for more details on the procedure.

What will my facelift scars look like?

It is a very high priority for Dr. Leong that your facelift scars are absolutely as beautiful as possible. Certainly, some patient’s healing process is different from others and this can result in subtle variation in quality of the final result. Having said that, there are number very important strategies Dr. Leong uses so that his face lift scars heal as beautifully as possible. First and foremost, when performing a facelift the tension of the lift is displaced to deeper layers of the tissue (specifically the SMAS). There should be absolutely no tension on the skin at the time of closure. This is probably the single most important technical step that helps produce beautiful and virtually invisible scars. There are other relevant technical details. For example, Dr. Leong typically places the incision behind the tragus, which is a little piece of cartilage on the front side of the ear. This approach breaks up with the scar in front of the ear and makes it very difficult to see. Also, Dr. Leong places the incisions just inside the hairline both in front of and behind ear. By beveling (cutting the skin at a slight angle) the incision carefully these scars become virtually invisible.

Some patients have advantages over others in terms of scar healing. Generally speaking, if you have darker pigmentation, incisions might not heal quite as well. On the other hand if you’re very fair , sometimes incisions can stay a little bit red for a somewhat longer period of time. Ultimately Dr. Leong’s goal is for all patients to have the very best incision they can with their face lift surgery. It’s all part of the goal of “If it doesn’t look natural, it doesn’t look good!”

What is a Vampire Facelift?

I find that patients often have to wade through a lot of confusing terminology as they focus in on the services they want. For example, many of my patients in Pittsburgh come across the term “Vampire Facelift.” It would be a mistake to think this procedure is in the same category as a Facelift simply because this procedure is only meant to rejuvenate the skin. The Vampire Facelift does not involve any incisions, therefore, there is no possibility of lifting or tightening. The results of a surgical Facelift and a Vampire Face lift differ greatly. The Vampire Facelift typically consists of collecting one’s own blood, using a centrifuge to isolate the PRP (Platelet-rich Plasma), then injecting it back into the skin. The Vampire Facelift is also often combined with microneedling to help produce collagen growth. I hope keeping this type of terminology straight will help you during your plastic surgery research.

What is the cost of a Mini Face Lift in Pittsburgh?

In Pittsburgh, the cost range for a mini face lift is $6,000 to $15,000. Elsewhere in the country, the price will differ and is primarily based on the physician and his practice’s level of expertise. Each surgical case will vary from patient to patient due to their age and the degree of aging. Dr. Leong and his staff will go over in detail the individualized plan and cost (including anesthesia and OR fees) during your consultation. It is important for each patient to understand which approach is most suited for their needs and to remember that not all face lift surgeries are created equally. Please call our office at 412-621-3223 for any additional questions.


We conveniently accept cash, check, care credit and all major credit cards. For more information about care credit, please contact our office at 412.621.3223 or email us.

Contact Sistine Plastic Surgery

For more information about Mini Face Lift Surgery or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Paul Leong to talk more about your options, please contact Sistine Plastic Surgery today.