What is a Mini-Facelift?

A mini-facelift is a safe and excellent procedure designed to improve sagging and laxity around the cheeks, jawline, and specific areas of the neck. However, rather than addressing more advanced signs of aging, the mini-facelift is designed to correct only mild to moderate degrees of age-related concerns. Dr. Miller offers a unique and longer lasting mini-facelift for Orange County residents who want to look Refreshed, but who may not require or desire a more extensive lifting procedure. The mini-facelift results are completely natural, and have the advantage of being performed with only mild sedation in our accredited surgery center.

To schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Timothy R. Miller, please call 949-482-1752 or request your consultation online. People visit Dr. Miller in Aliso Viejo for a mini-facelift from Mission Viejo, Laguna Beach, San Clemente, and throughout Orange County.

3D Image Of Patient before and after a facelift in Orange County

A 3D video illustrating the actual results of a mini lift. The procedure was performed in Aliso Viejo at Refreshed Aesthetic Surgery Center by Dr. Timothy R. Miller. See more images and get more details here.

Dr. Miller exudes a unique combination of technical talent, an artistic eye, and a kind and caring persona. I had a mini-facelift on twilight sedation and recovered very quickly. There was no pain or discomfort and I was exercising again in two weeks. My energy level was back to normal in under a week. Of course, the best part is how youthful and refreshed I look. It is amazing how much looking your best translates into feeling good and renewed energy and motivation for life. I could see a difference almost immediately and my friends all said I never looked better! People can't believe my age and always believe that I am years younger than my actual age. I am loving that!!

M.J., RealSelf User

Beautiful woman blonde hair and blue eyes after Facelift surgery in Newport Beach

Your Mini-Facelift

A comprehensive evaluation is an essential ingredient for any successful surgical outcome. That is why Dr. Miller takes the necessary time to carefully assess each patient's unique personal features before any treatment plan is begun. Once Dr. Miller has assessed that instead of a complete facelift, a mini-facelift will provide enough correction to meet your aesthetic goals, both of you will discuss the procedure details, recovery time, and your expected results.

Benefits of Mini-Facelift

He will review the benefits of your mini-facelift, including:

  • A more natural and Refreshed appearance
  • Smoother, firmer skin
  • Imperceptible incisions which enables you to wear any hairstyle with confidence
  • A reduction in the prominence of wrinkles in the mid- to lower-face
  • Disappearance of the jowls along jawline and upper neck
  • More defined and youthful facial contours

The Extra Touch

Combining procedures can be a valuable and complementary approach to further your aesthetic goals. Dr. Miller's mini-facelift patients often combine their procedure with fat augmentation, eyelid surgery or even a brow lift if a more Refreshed eye appearance is desired. Nonsurgical treatments such as laser skin rejuvenation and our aesthetician services can further enhance your overall skin quality and help maintain your results.

Common Questions or Concerns

What is the Difference Between a Facelift and a Mini-Facelift?

The terms facelift and mini-facelift have different meanings depending on the facial plastic surgeon or office you are asking. Although this can be confusing to many prospective patients, we have a very simple definition for these procedures at Refreshed Aesthetic Surgery in Orange County.

We define a facelift as a surgical procedure that addresses the cheeks, jowls and neck. To be more exact, at our office you will hear the term “Lower Face-Neck Lift” instead of facelift to emphasize the procedure will directly improve the neck, too.

Lower Facelift

With a Lower Face-Neck Lift, there are inconspicuous and hidden incisions in the hairline, within the ear, and under the chin with this procedure. Dr. Miller uses the gold standard High-SMAS deep plane lift during this procedure. A facelift or Lower Face-Neck Lift will not elevate the brows, change eye shapes, or improve eyelid bags or remove excess eyelid skin, those are all additional procedures.


In contrast, our mini-facelift procedure has no incisions under the chin but the same incisions are used in the hairline and within the ears. Dr. Miller uses the High-SMAS deep plane technique for his mini-lifts. The mini-lift will improve the cheeks, jowls and indirectly improve the neck. This is an excellent procedure for those with modest to moderate laxity along the jawline, or those not concerned with their neck laxity or bands but desire improvement with their jawlines and cheeks. More details are presented during your consultation.

What is Recovery Like?

The recovery is very well tolerated by most patients but everyone’s experience will differ based on several possibilities. Because safety and achieving great results are our goal, we recommend limited activity for 7-10 days, meaning no exercise, heavy lifting or activities that would make you sweat, perspire, or increase your breathing rate. Most patients will begin some portion of their social activities during the 7-14 day period, some slightly sooner. As the swelling resolves most patients are able to begin light “cardio” exercises during the third week, with more strenuous activity in 1-3 weeks thereafter.

How Long Will My Results Last?

In essence, the results last forever, meaning that if you were to compare what your appearance would be at 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, or even 15 years, etc., to your appearance if you had nothing done, you will have less laxity and more youthfulness at those time points. Nevertheless, you will continue to age, as we all do, with notable changes taking place in 5 to 7 years. However, the changes associated with aging does not necessarily mean another surgery is required, perhaps laser resurfacing or volume augmentation with fillers or fat transfer will return or maintain a more youthful, refreshed appearance.

Are There Any Non-Surgical Alternatives to Mini-Facelift?

Maybe. Non-surgical options may produce some measure of tightening, but like all non-surgical tightening devices the results are variable and the amount of tightening is very limited in most cases. Other options may include fractional CO2 laser resurfacing and targeted volume augmentation with fillers or fat transfer. A consultation would be required to determine if non-surgical options will meet your aesthetic goals.

How Long Does Surgery Take?

A typical mini-facelift performed at our Orange County office takes typically 2.5 to 3.0 hours to complete. Dr. Miller does not use staples and personally sews all sutures. Additionally Dr. Miller uses a deep plane technique that produces longer lasting and truly natural, refreshed results. This important difference cannot be over emphasized because most other mini-facelift techniques seek to do the procedure quickly, and use truly older, less sophisticated techniques that pull (or plicate) the tissues with excessive tension, leading to short-term results, thinning of the skin, obvious scarring, and an unnatural pulled appearance.

Can this Procedure be Combined With Other Treatments?

Yes, Mini-facelifts and traditional Facelifts (Lower Face-Neck Lift) procedures can be combined with brow lifts, eyelid surgery, laser resurfacing and fat transfer.

Is it Painful?

Most patients will experience discomfort for 1-4 days, with the vast majority of patients taking pain medications for 1, maybe 2 days.

Who is the Best Candidate for a Mini Facelift?

The best candidates for a mini facelift are patients from Newport Beach or other surrounding areas that are in good general health and have a modest to moderate degree of laxity along the jawline. Most patients undergoing mini-facelifts are in their forties, but some patients in their fifties or late thirties may be candidates. Those with concerns of neck banding or seeking substantial improvement in their necks are better served with a facelift or as we refer to them as a Lower Face-Neck Lift.

How Much Does it Cost?

Dr. Miller uses the “gold standard” High-SMAS deep plane technique for his mini-facelifts. The procedures are performed in our exclusive accredited surgery center for safety and sterility. The cost ranges on several factors but the common range is $10K-$11K.

How Do I Prepare for Surgery?

Prior to surgery you will meet again with Dr. Miller and his staff, typically two weeks prior to the surgery date. A list of medications and supplements to avoid will be provided and discussed (e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen Alleve, fish oil, etc.). An EKG and necessary laboratory studies will be performed. Also, helpful information about diet, exercise, and all prescription will be provided. Additional preparations will be discussed during your consultation and pre-operative visit.