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Mini Facelift

Facial sagging is a common problem, but many people fall in an intermediate-range where a full facelift is too extensive but injectable are not extensive enough. Those situations were why the mini facelift was developed — to give everyone a chance at attaining their ideal appearance.

What Is a Mini Facelift?

A mini facelift is a surgical procedure designed to address mild to moderate facial skin ptosis (sagging) near the jawline and jowls. By using smaller, pinpointed precisions at specific locations on the face, a substantial amount of improvement can be made to facial contours with only a fraction of the incisions made through traditional facelift surgery.

A mini facelift targets only the lower portion of the face, where skin ptosis is often the most extensive. This is an excellent option for any patients who do not have signs of aging in some of the other common areas like the eyes or around the lips, allowing them to avoid more extensive scarring and surgery.

Why Do We Need Mini Facelifts?

Aging Process

As we eventually move up in years, our bodies go through a natural aging process that includes the degradation of certain processes. One of those processes is the production of essential proteins like collagen and elastin, two substances that essentially determine how taut and youthful our skin appears.

According to Scientific American, our bodies lose up to 1% of their collagen production every year after the age of 20. It might sound like a small number to worry about when you are in your early twenties, but by your mid-thirties (and sometimes even your late twenties), the effects of aging start to become increasingly noticeable.

In addition, our bony structure undergo resorption and we lose that strong platform.  This, along with loss of volume and elasticity, contribute to the unwanted appearance of aging.

Environmental Damage

If it isn’t the natural aging process, it is the abundance of environmental damage our skin sustains daily. Even if you are using highly protective sunscreen and moisturize and clean your skin every day, you cannot completely protect against every bit of UV light or free radical damage out there.

These, and many more, environmental factors contribute to the decline of our collagen and elastin production. This phenomenon is why many outdoorsy people who spend a lot of time in the sun often have prematurely wrinkly or leathery skin. When you spend that much time fighting against UV light, your body essentially becomes calloused to deal with it.

This happens to all of us on a much smaller scale, but whether you are an avid outdoor person or a hermit who occasionally passes by windows, environmental damage plays a factor in your skin health.

Weight Fluctuation

When you gain weight, your body is stretching the skin on your body to hold the growth of your fat cells. This process is what causes stretch marks on the abdomen and cellulite in the legs and buttocks.

And while these two effects are rare in the face, if you were ever to lose weight, the skin would likely be unable to completely contract back to its original shape, leaving behind excess skin tissue to droop beneath your chin and jawline.

There are many nonsurgical skin tightening options available on the market, but none of them come close to the results that surgery can provide. This is why mini facelifts continue to be one of the most popular aesthetic surgeries on the market: there are simply no alternatives.

Am I a Candidate for a Mini Facelift?

If you are experiencing facial sagging on the lower portion of your face, you are likely a candidate for a mini facelift. Typically, however, the best candidates are those who:

  • Maintain a healthy diet and active lifestyle
  • Have realistic expectations about what a mini facelift can achieve
  • Do not excessively drink, smoke or use drugs
  • Are experiencing mild to moderate facial sagging on the lower third of the face

Even if your concerns are outside the scope of what a mini facelift can achieve, Dr. Yu can help you figure out which surgery or combination of surgeries would best suit your specific needs. We have a plethora of cosmetic tools in our arsenal, and we are happy to put them to work for you.

How Should I Prepare for a Mini Facelift?

The first step you can take toward preparing for your mini facelift is to schedule a consultation with our office to determine if you are a candidate or if a different procedure would be better suited for you.

Once you have made the appointment, we recommend that all of our patients keep a note on their phone or a notebook so that when you come in for your consultation, you can ask all the questions you have without forgetting them at the moment.

This will help you feel both more comfortable about the procedure and much more confident as you move forward with your decision-making process. Cosmetic surgery is a big investment, so you should be armed with as much information as possible.

During your consultation, Dr. Yu will conduct a thorough examination, review your medical history and listen to your aesthetic goals. Then the two of you will work together to develop a treatment plan aimed at meeting your desires.

When you decide to move forward with your mini facelift, you will likely be given a set of preoperative instructions to follow in the days and weeks leading up to your surgery. Following these is the best way you can ensure the best and safest results possible.

What Should I Expect from a Mini Facelift Procedure?

There are four steps to a mini facelift procedure: anesthesia, incisions, skin tightening, and closure.


As an invasive procedure, you have several options, ranging from oral sedation to iv sedation all the way up to general anesthesia.  The most important goal is to maximize both your comfort and safety during the surgery. You will work with your medical team to determine which option is best suited for you prior to your surgical date.


Once the anesthesia has wholly taken effect, Dr. Yu will make small incisions near your ears. These incisions are very small and produce very discreet scarring that becomes virtually invisible to the naked eye after recovery.

Skin Tightening

These incisions also allow Dr. Yu the ideal amount of access to the underlying tissue. He will be able to pull and manipulate all the layers of your skin in order to achieve a more taut and contoured appearance in the lower portion of your face.  The key structure to resuspend is your SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system).

If excess skin is present during this time, Dr. Yu will excise it as needed to ensure the best possible results. Skin excision is very common in this procedure and is always performed conservatively.


Once the skin has been pulled taut and any necessary excisions are made, Dr. Yu will then stitch your wounds closed and wrap you in bandaging. At this point, your procedure is finished, and you will be sent out of the surgical room to begin your recovery.

What Should I Expect During Mini Facelift Recovery?

Immediately After

You should expect to experience some combination of minor pain, discomfort, swelling, redness or bruising immediately after your procedure. These will usually subside within the first week, but any pain can be managed through over-the-counter or prescription medications as needed.

You will be given a full list of postoperative instructions to follow during your recovery. Just like the preoperative instructions, following these as closely as you can improve the likelihood of a safe recovery and successful results.

Week One

The stitches will remain in place during this time, and you will notice the majority of the bruising and redness from the surgery will subside. Your surgical site will likely remain sensitive to the touch during this time and for a few weeks later.

Weeks Two and Three

By this time, you should have very few symptoms from surgery remaining. In some cases, you may be cleared by your doctor to resume your usual activities, and the stitches should have been removed by this point as well.

Weeks Four and Five

By week five, most of our patients are cleared to resume their usual activities and have virtually no signs of surgery remaining. Your scar may be slightly noticeable if attention is drawn to it, but it will continue to diminish as time passes.

What Kind of Results Can I Expect from a Mini Facelift?

No surgery can stop the aging process, but a mini facelift can provide you with a drastic improvement to facial sagging on the bottom portion of your face. Even if future sagging develops, your appearance will always be better than it would have if you had never undergone surgery.

Our patients frequently report feeling an increased sense of confidence, less self-consciousness and increased happiness in their physical appearance.

Can I Combine My Mini Facelift with Other Procedures?

If you are interested in addressing more than just the lower third of your face, some combination procedures can be performed. If you would like to have multiple procedures performed at some point, one possibility is doing them simultaneously to save you both money and time.  Of course, depending on the number and types of procedures, doing everything at once may not be in your best interest.

Let Dr. Yu know you are interested in combining multiple procedures at once, and he will work with you to let you know how best to work those goals out.

How Much Does a Mini Facelift Cost?

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a standard facelift is around $7,467, but this is not necessarily the average cost for a mini facelift or someone with a similar condition to yours.

This price can also rapidly change depending on your aesthetic needs, combination procedures and the extent of correction that you require. Many practices claim to provide top-tier results for a fraction of the standard cost, but you should always remember the price of your surgery is directly tied to the expertise of your physician and the safety of your procedure.

Why Dr. Yu?

Dr. Yu is one of the few plastic surgeons in San Antonio who is double board-certified in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Head and Neck Surgery. He served in the United States Military for more than 20 years as a physician and has received numerous accolades from the military and private sector.

Mini Facelift in San Antonio

If you are ready to learn more about how a mini facelift can help you, give our office a call at (210) 876-6868 to set up an appointment with Dr. Yu. You can also fill out our online contact form to have one of our team members give you a call back at a more convenient time. We are available to answer any questions or concerns you have about the process.