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Facelift, Mini Facelift, or Neck Lift: What’s the Difference?

Gain A More Youthful Look with Facelift Surgery

Dr. Paul Angelchik is a Phoenix plastic surgeon who is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He is also a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Angelchik is well-trained and experienced in all forms of plastic surgery, namely breast enhancement and facial rejuvenation. He has been serving patients for over 20 years. Dr. Angelchik brings his surgical experience, expertise, and quality care to patients in and around Phoenix, Arizona.

When you’re looking at your facial rejuvenation options in the Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Glendale, AZ areas, it can be difficult to match up your concerns with the right procedure. That’s because each procedure can address different areas and with different techniques, so it’s important to discuss your goals during a consultation. As you plan your consultation, here’s a guide to the right facial procedure for you.


A facelift in the Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Glendale, AZ area is the gold standard in facial rejuvenation because it provides the most extensive correction.  Traditionally, a facelift will correct neck, jawline (jowls), and lower cheek laxity. Usually, an incision is made at the temple hairline that extends down around the ear and into the hair-bearing scalp on the mastoid area and neck. This allows Dr. Angelchik to tighten the underlying muscles of the face and lift the deep tissues to a youthful position. This is done either by trimming the SMAS layer (muscles responsible for facial expression) just in front of the ear, or with strong sutures which tighten and plicate (fold to create volume) the SMAS. Skin flaps are elevated by undermining the skin and thin layer of fat on the face and neck to allow for redraping and removal of excess skin. Excess skin is trimmed away before the incisions are closed with fine sutures. Care is taken to avoid excessive tension on the skin closure so that a fine linear scar is obtained without distortion of the earlobe, tragus, or cheek. This technique creates natural, subtle results that can remove as much as a decade or more from your profile. The traditional facelift is best for sagging, wrinkles, and loss of volume in the neck, jawline, and lower cheeks.

Mini Facelift

A mini-facelift offers less extensive rejuvenation than a traditional facelift, but can be a great option for patients looking for smaller correction with less downtime. This technique generally uses an incision that wraps only around the ear and is sometimes called a limited incision or “short incision” facelift. The limited facelift is generally performed on people who do not have significant neck skin laxity or neck muscle banding. These are often younger patients in their 40’s and 50’s. Liposuction may be incorporated into the procedure to achieve rejuvenation of the neck with the short incision technique without doing a full neck dissection. A mini-facelift which does not tighten the deeper layers of the face is not recommended, as this will produce a very limited result.

Neck Lift

The neck lift is sometimes requested by patients whose primary concern is their neck skin laxity or muscle (platysma) banding. A neck lift in patients who have concerns localized to just the central neck may work well, but frequently the jawline must be freshened up for a harmonious result, and a facelift is a better solution in these cases. A limited neck lift procedure uses a small incision under the chin to remove fatty pockets (often using liposuction) where necessary, correct muscle banding, and tighten and redrape the skin of the neck.

Other Options

Face lift procedures are often combined with additional procedures to comprehensively rejuvenate the face. These may include blepharoplasty (eyelid tuck), endoscopic forehead lift, skin resurfacing procedures with lasers, and fat transfer to accentuate the cheekbones, jawline, lips, and other areas which would benefit from volume restoration. The revolutionary helium ion plasma beam, Renuvion™, is also available at Dr. Angelchik’s practice. This device can tighten skin and deep tissues in appropriately-selected patients without the need for open facelift surgery, or as an adjunct to a facelift. Renuvion can also achieve dramatic skin rejuvenation and tightening in a manner similar to CO2 or Erbium-YAG resurfacing lasers, with enhanced results.

Schedule a Consultation

Facial surgery in the Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Glendale, AZ areas is one of the best ways to rejuvenate your features and lift your profile. However, it’s important to find the best facial rejuvenation procedure for you— specifically, one that fits your goals, preferences, and concern areas. To discuss your options with Dr. Angelchik, contact our Glendale office by calling or filling out our online form.

Contact Us

If you're interested, please contact us today at 602-375-8888 to schedule your consultation. Our office provides excellent plastic surgery to clients in the Glendale, Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Mesa, Surprise and Peoria areas of Arizona.