What is a Mini Facelift?

Facelift San Diego, CAIf a patient has loose or excess skin around the cheek and mouth area, Dr. Kearney may recommend a mini facelift rather than a full, traditional facelift. Mini facelifts are great for patients who have a small to moderate amount of loose skin and want to get a refreshed, younger look without a dramatic recovery.

Here’s what is involved in a mini facelift. Maybe it would be perfect for you.

What does a mini facelift accomplish?

Mini facelifts are performed more than full facelifts across the aesthetic industry today. This procedure addresses wrinkles and sagging skin on the lower third of the face using small incisions placed around the ears. It restores definition to the chin by removing excess tissue and strategically tightening the remaining tissue.

This is a popular procedure because it handles some of the most prominent signs of aging, but it does so without being overly aggressive. Most people were having some degree of sagging around their mouth and cheeks. It’s just a fact of the tissues in the area slackening and responding to the constant movement of the mouth and lips.

Addressing the muscles

In most of his mini facelifts, Dr. Kearney not only addresses the patient’s loose skin, but he also carefully considers the underlying muscular system, called the SMAS (superficial muscular aponeurotic system), and fat tissues. If these tissues are lifted and refined, the natural contours of the patient’s face can be enhanced, but the results look natural.

How is a mini facelift performed?

Dr. Kearney makes incisions in front of your ears that extend from the bottom of the earlobe back to the hairline behind the ear. These incisions vary depending on the patient’s needs. Next, the tissues are pulled upward and outward toward the ears. This dramatically reduces sagging skin and jowls and removes most of the wrinkles around the mouth. If necessary, Dr. Kearney then adjusts the underlying SMAS and fat tissue to accentuate your natural facial structure. These are sutured into place, and any excess skin is then trimmed away. If the SMAS is sutured, these are usually permanent sutures. The final step is to close the initial incisions.


Some patients can return to work as early as one week after their mini facelift, but others may need more time. There will be swelling, but nowhere near what is involved with a full facelift. You may have some redness and temporary loss of sensation across the involved areas, but this will pass. Your skin will feel tight for the first week or so. Dr. Kearney will tell you when you can return to the strenuous activity that elevates your heart rate. It will take at least a few months for your full results to fully show themselves as any residual swelling resolves.

Does a mini facelift sound like it could be right for you? Call Dr. Kearney at (858) 677-9352 to schedule a consultation.

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Our office is now open!

Your health (and ours) is our highest priority so we are making a few changes to our reopening so that you can feel safe and confident coming in to see us. We are of course following all federal and local guidelines such as wearing masks and conducting phone screenings prior to your appointment but we are also implementing the following:

      Increasing the frequency of cleaning and sterilization to not only include exam rooms but also the waiting room, restroom, all doors, counters, etc.

      Offering multiple hand sanitizer locations throughout the office

      Reducing the number of appointments per day as well as our office hours, to limit the number of people in the office, including staff members

      Minimizing patient overlap to allow for proper social distancing

      Testing all surgery patients for COVID-19 at their pre-operative appointments

      Asking patients to leave family members or friends at home, unless they are coming with their primary caregiver. Please leave children at home as well


How can you help?

      Come alone to your appointment, unless you need your primary caregiver with you

      Please wear a mask or face covering to your visit and keep it on unless you are asked by Dr. Kearney or an RN to remove it

      Postpone your visit if you have traveled by air or experienced symptoms in the last 14 days

      Use a pen from the holder marked “clean” and put it in the one marked “used” when you’re done

      Use the hand sanitizers in our office

      In the rare case there is someone at the front desk when you come in please take a seat until we call you and maintain proper distance throughout your visit

      Take advantage of our virtual consultations or follow up appointments if it makes you feel more comfortable

Please bear with us as we work to return to our new “normal” and feel free to call or email with any questions. We look forward to seeing you again soon!


Dr. Kearney and staff