Face lifts techniques have evolved over the years. The most common surgical face lift is a mini-s-lift. This face lift address poor skin tone, and is often combined with upper eyelid or brow lifts for optimal results. This procedure gives a natural, long lasting and beautiful look -if performed correctly. Face lifting only address skin tone, however for the very best in facial harmony, the correct balance of skin texture, tone and volume has to be achieved.

Facts on mini –face-lifts

  • Mini face lifting is a surgical procedure designed to address poor skin tone
  • This procedure removes excess saggy skin, improves wrinkles, and lifts skin around the jowls, mid, and lower face
  • Face lifts also help jaw definition and neck rejuvenation
  • Mini face lifts can be combined with surgical or laser eyelid rejuvenation
  • Face lifts should be combined with procedures to address your skin texture and tone for best results
  • The balance between skin tone (tightness), texture (brightness), and volume(fullness) gives the most natural results
  • Mini face lifts are associated with a quick recovery times, and very few complications/ risks

What is a mini-s-face lift?

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A mini-S-face lift is a surgical method of improving skin tone. This procedure is exceptionally effective in instantly reversing the effects of the ageing face. With a mini-s-face lift, the majority of the surgical scar is hidden in your hairline and the back of your ear. Importance is placed on the technique of this procedure, as it is the cornerstone to lasting, natural and beautiful results.

Who are the best candidates for a mini-S face lift?

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  • Patients who exhibit jowl lines and poor jaw line definition
  • Patients who seek tightening around mid and lower face
  • Patients who have good skin texture and poor skin tone
  • Poor skin texture can always be improved with laser, which can be done at the same time of face lifting
  • Patients who are seeking instant results with a quick recovery time of around a week

Is the procedure painful?

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No. This procedure is done under partial sedation. Local anaesthetic is also used to numb the skin and deep tissues.

After the procedure, you will be prescribed painkillers. Pain after face-lifting is well controlled, so that’s one less thing you have to worry about.

The majority of our lifts, either laser, liquid or surgical, are conduced under mild sedation. If you require a General Anaesthetic (completely asleep), we can arrange for an anaesthetic review- this adds another of $990 -$1690 to the procedure, depending on the length of anaesthsia.

How long does the procedure take?

On average a min face-lift takes 90- 120 minutes to perform. I am meticulous in regards to suturing and hiding scars, and hence take the necessary time to ensure symmetry with just the correct amount of lifting- this gives natural results that lasts.

This operation can take up to 2.5 hours if other procedures such as eyelid surgery- laser are performed at the same time.

How long is the recovery period?

7-9 days. You will have bandages for several days, and will be reviewed by my nursing staff at day 2 and day 6 when the sutures come out.

Swelling maybe still present after removal of sutures, however a special facial bandage worn at night will reduce swelling over the days.

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Unlike laser face-lifts, the results following a mini face-lift will be evident immediately after the surgery- you will notice that you skin laxity will be less and your skin tighter and lifted.

How long do the results last?

5- 15 years. Duration of results are extremely variable, as ageing is determined genetically. Looking after your skin by applying vitamins such as A, B, and C, supplemented with AHA peels and methods to keep collagen stimulated will increase the longevity of a mini face lift. This also improves the texture of your skin.

UV protection and avoidance of smoking is the best advice to increase the longevity of the results following a face-lift.

What is the difference between mini facelifts, laser lifts, and liquid face lifting?


Mini S face lifts are suitable for candidates with marked skin laxity, and poor skin tone, especially around the lower eyelids, and creases along the nose to the corners of the mouth. Most people over the age of 50 who live in Queensland or have had marked sun-exposure in the past are candidates for this procedure. Remember- face lifts only address skin tone, namely this procedure removes excess loose skin and lifts up sagging areas.

Laser face lifts are great for patients with marked skin textural changes- namely wrinkling, sun damage, sun spots, brown marks AND moderate skin laxity. In this case, laser can treat both texture (the palate of your skin), improve skin tone (tighten) and also may help increase a small amount of volume.

Liquid face lifts are suited for patients in their mid 30s to late 40s. This procedure lifts the face by adding volume to key areas such as the mid face. This in turn decreases lines around the nose extending to the corners of the mouth. Liquid lifts can also achieve better jawline definition.

To understand what is the best procedure for overall rejuvenation, you first must know why I place such as emphasis on texture tone and volume.

Will I still need laser or fillers after a face-lift?

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Ideally, yes. The best results are a balance between skin texture, tone and volume. Volume replacement can be done after the procedure. I usually perform fillers 4-6 weeks after a face-lift.

If you are having laser treatment, the ideal order of addressing facial harmony is –

  1. Face lift with or without addressing eyelid laxity (surgery or laser)
  2. Laser to address skin texture (ideally with Fraxel or CO2)- this can be done at the same time of face lifting, or 2-6 weeks after
  3. Volume replacement 4-6 weeks after face lifts

Can I have a face-lift with other procedures to give a total make over?

Yes, I usually perform eyelid surgery at the same time as a facelift. This addresses other areas of laxity such as the upper and or lower eyelids. Most often I combine laser resurfacing after a face lift. Remember, a face lift only address one aspect of skin ageing, that is skin laxity. In Queensland, the vast majority of patient will also have poor skin texture- namely wrinkles, sun damage, and pigmentation. Laser is the answer for improving skin texture (conditions that lie on the skin), face lifting either surgically or non surgically address issues under the skin. 

More on eyelid surgery blepharoplasty

How much is a mini s face-lift?

Standard face-lifts start from $8,900

Budget in for an eye lift and or laser eyelid surgery as well for the best results.

A detailed examination is needed for a up front quote- remember face lifting is not the only answer for facial harmony, you need to also address skin texture, and volume for the best results.

Understanding the concept of facial harmony is important as face lifting will only address skin tone.

More on understanding skin texture, tone and volume

Does Medicare or top cover health insurance cover face lifting?

No. Face-lifts are considered cosmetic and not covered by health insurance/ private health insurance.

What are the potential side effects of a mini face-lift?

Side effects are rare following a mini-s-face lift, as this is considered to be a minimally invasive surgical procedure. As with all surgical procedures, side effects can include-

  • Asymmetry – namely one side is higher than the other. This is rare as I always check and recheck before final suturing of the skin
  • Skin infection- this is uncommon, as antibiotics are prescribed after the procedure
  • Bleeding- once again this is extremely uncommon after a mini face lift, as I tie up all vessels before suturing. Post op bleeding and a haematoma formation can be prevented by avoiding asprin, fish oil, vitamin E and most importantly keeping your dressings on
  • Skin numbness may occur, especially if a brow lift (not eye lift) is incorporated.
  • Pain – is well controlled for all patients
  • Scars- any removal of skin with surgery will leave behind a scar. The secret of a well designed face lift is to hide scars where they are less visible, however in some patients scar formation maybe exaggerated- this is known as hypertrophic scaring. It can be treated with laser and dilute steroid injections. I do not operate on patients with a history of Keloid Scars.

What is my program for maintaining the results of a face-lift?

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All of my patients who undertake mini face lifts undergo a skin tone and texture maintenance program. This program consists of eMatrix RF treatments monthly for the year.

eMatrix stimulates collagen and elastin, and helps maintain the positive effects of the face lift.

Cost for the 12 months program is only $990. This includes 12 treatments over the year.

My viewpoint on face lifts- mini-s surgical and the need for facial harmony

By Dr Davin Lim
Laser and Aesthetic Dermatologist
Dr Davin S. Lim copy

A mini-S – face lift, as the name suggests is surgical procedure that hides the scars in a ‘S’ shape. With skill and finesse, this procedure can instantly reverse some of the effects of facial ageing- namely improving skin tone. This procedure is frequently performed with eyelid rejuvenation (either upper, lower or both eyelids), using either a surgical or laser method. This is because the results with combination treatment is more natural than if skin tone around the jowls, midface, and neckline are improved, and eyelids still have loose skin.

Facial harmony is a balance between skin texture, tone and volume. With all my facelifts, my emphasis is on a natural look- I don’t advertise the ‘50 is the new 30s’s concept. To me that is absolute and utter nonsense- and I refuse to over do things.

The improvement on all aspects of the skin, from the skin texture and uneven pigmentation, thru to wrinkles, sagging jowls, droopy eyelids, and volume loss will give the most natural, beautiful and harmonious results. Do not over do things.