Mini Facelift

Mini Facelift in La Jolla & San Diego

What is a Mini Facelift?

Mini facelifts are the most common type of facelift performed today. Their focus on the lower third of the face is where people commonly show the most aging. Limited incisions are made around the ears, making recovery and scarring far less involved than a full facelift. Dr. Kearney pays special attention to the underlying muscular system in this procedure. This provides significant results that still look natural.

Ideal Candidates for Mini Facelift Surgery

You may be a candidate for a mini facelift if:

  • You have loose or excess skin around your cheek and mouth area

Mini facelifts are intended for people who have a small to moderate amount of loose skin and wish obtain a refreshed look through plastic surgery.

What can a Mini Facelift help?

Compared to a full facelift, a mini facelift targets a much smaller area, primarily treating the jaw, lower cheeks, and neck. Incisions are made from the lower ear, wrapping behind the ear, and ending in the hairline. Through these limited incisions, Dr. Kearney is able to lift the muscles, remove unwanted fat deposits, and trim excess skin. Mini facelifts are more common with somewhat younger patients who don’t have dramatic overall facial sagging, those in their late 30s and 40s. They can head off more dramatic improvements later.

The potential risks associated with a Facelifts

Mini facelifts have less risk than full facelifts, due to the more limited scope. Still, there are risks. The usual risks with any surgery apply: reaction to anesthesia, infection, hematoma, and possible nerve damage. Some patients will experience temporary numbness and a loss of sensation. This is usually a passing side effect that resolves itself within a few weeks. Some patients may experience slower healing than others. There will be some minor scarring, but Dr. Kearney hides the scars very effectively.

How do I prepare for a Mini Facelift?

You’ll prepare for these procedures as you would for any surgery. You’ll stop taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications, blood thinning medications, and most herbal supplements one week before your mini facelift. All of these can cause increased bleeding and subsequent bruising.


You’ll want to prepare a recovery nest, but you’ll only really need it for a couple days. You’ll have to sleep sitting up for a few days to help your facial tissues drain, so you’ll want to create that space and accumulate the necessary pillows and such.

Where incisions are made in a Mini Facelift

In contrast to the long incisions with a full facelift, beginning at the temples and running all the way down around the ear and terminating in the hairline, a mini facelift uses incisions starting just in front of the earlobe and wrapping behind the ear.

How is a Mini Facelift Procedure Performed?

For a mini facelift, Dr. Kearney locates incisions in front of the patient’s ears. They extend from the bottom of the earlobe to the hairline behind the ear. Through these incisions, he pulls the tissues upward and outward toward the ears. This reduces sagging skin and jowls, along with wrinkles throughout the lower face.

This procedure doesn’t only involve the skin, but also focuses on the underlying muscular system, called the SMAS (superficial muscular aponeurotic system), and the fat tissues. By lifting these underlying tissues, in addition to the skin, a mini lift can enhance the patient’s natural facial contours with significant results that still look completely natural.

Once he feels the SMAS and skin are perfectly positioned, they are sutured into place with permanent sutures. The final step is to trim excess skin.

A mini facelift usually takes around two hours.

Mini Facelift Recovery

Dr. Kearney performs mini or limited facelifts under local anesthesia with light sedation or general anesthesia if you prefer. You may go home the same day. Patients usually return to work within 1 week following the procedure and can resume normal activity within 3-4 weeks. Most bruising and swelling is gone within 7-10 days.

Patient Testimonials

"“This is a great practice and the best doctor. I highly recommend Dr. Kearney and his staff. They are all extremely knowledgeable, accessible, kind, and they all make you feel comfortable. There is never a wait and I appreciate the extreme efficiency with which their office is managed. We travel across the country for our visits not just to see him and his staff but for his impeccable work.”"

- B.W.

"“Dr. Kearney is highly accredited, experienced, talented, practical and conservative, making sure that I get the results I want while helping me fully understand procedures and the parameters in which certain results can be attained. His bedside manner is impeccable; I feel comfortable, cared for, and respected in his office and in his presence. I absolutely LOVE my results from the procedures that he has done! He has an uncanny ability to create a natural result where other surgeons would not. I would trust my family under his skilled expertise.”"

- Bimala Q.

"“I highly recommend Dr. Kearney! He listens to you and gives you his honest opinion(very knowledgeable). He doesnt force anything on you. Great sense of humor as well! Also, His office staff is amazing! They’re all very welcoming and make you feel comfortable.”"

- B.S.

Click here to read more reviews.

What will my results be like from a mini facelift?

Mini facelifts deliver significant results, tightening the underlying muscle and fat tissues, along with the skin. These procedures return definition to your jaw and remove sagging and wrinkles on the lower cheeks and around the mouth. Your final results, when all occasional swelling and the like are resolved, will fully show themselves within 9-12 months after your procedure.

Of course, your skin and tissues will continue to age, but your results are permanent. The mini facelift is a great procedure for a patient who doesn’t like the signs of aging that are appearing, but also doesn’t yet have dramatically visible aging.

Combining a Mini Facelift with over procedures

The results of your mini facelift are satisfying on their own, but you can also opt to combine procedures to extend your results. For example, a mini facelift is a great complement to eyelid surgery or a brow lift. Botox can erase wrinkles on the upper third of the face, or dermal fillers such as Juvéderm Volbella can augment the lips. If you’d like to combine procedures, talk with Dr. Kearney during your consultation.

Will I ever need a facelift again in the future?

A mini facelift with Dr. Kearney is a good procedure for those just beginning to show the signs of aging. They don’t yet have extensive sagging, loose skin. Mini facelifts keep these areas firm.

But despite his surgical skills, Dr. Kearney can’t stop the march of time. Mini facelifts will certainly delay any visible aging, but your facial skin, muscles, and other support tissues will slacken with the passing years. Does this mean you’ll need a full facelift down the road? There’s no way to know. But if you try and limit the sun exposure to your face and if you work to keep your weight at healthy levels, a mini facelift will push back, and possibly eliminate, the need for a facelift in the future.

Schedule Your Consultation Today!

A mini or limited incision facelift can be performed in conjunction with a neck lift. For more information on facelifts, call our office at (800) 671-1951.

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Monday: 9:30am – 5:30pm
Tuesday: 9am – 5pm
Wednesday: 8:30am – 5:30pm
Thursday: 9am – 5pm
Friday: 8am – 2:30pm

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