Mini Facelift

Conveniently located to serve the areas of Mesa, Tempe, Gilbert and Scottsdale, AZ

Mini Facelift

A mini facelift is a surgical procedure to restore more youthful contours to the lower third of the face. In comparison with a full facelift, a mini facelift requires shorter incisions and less downtime- giving rise to its nickname the “weekend facelift”. With this 1-hour procedure, you can eliminate jowls, highlight your natural jawline, and reduce smile lines and other folds. 

At Scottsdale Plastics, you can experience the full effects of this long-lasting, minimally invasive procedure under the expertise and care of Dr. Robert Bonillas. As a highly experienced plastic surgeon and researcher, Dr. Bonillas understands the importance of educating and empathizing with each patient. If you think a mini facelift may be right for you, schedule your personal consultation at Scottsdale Plastics by calling (480) 245-6380 or request one through our contact page. A staff member will assist you as soon as possible and guide you through the process. 

Before and After Photos

About Facelifts 

All modern-day facelifts, also called rhytidectomy, incorporate careful surgical manipulation of the SMAS layer, the superficial musculoaponeurotic system. This layer of fibrous connective tissue gives the facial skin its structural support, and it is this layer that descends with age. Dr. Bonillas’ methods for full facelifts involve tightening and elevating the SMAS to create subtle yet dramatic results that do not promote an unnatural “windswept” appearance. 

The SMAS was first discovered by Drs. Martine Peyrone and Vladimir Mitz in 1976; until this point in time, facelifts only modified and tightened the skin itself. Sometime in the 1980s, Dr. David Furnas developed the techniques required for the more advanced deep plane facelift– this involved the SMAS layer as well as the excision of certain ligaments beneath the SMAS. (1) The development of these comprehensive procedures eventually led to researchers investigating methods for patients who only want to address milder signs of aging. As a result, the mini facelift became an increasingly popular option. 

Benefits of the Mini Facelift

If you feel that minor adjustments to your face shape and/or skin tightness will work wonders for your appearance, a mini facelift may be the perfect choice for you to consider. With this type of facelift, you can expect these benefits:

  • Smoother, more contoured lower jawline without jowling 
  • Less prominent nasolabial “smile” lines 
  • Reduction in skin laxity along the jawline and lower cheeks 
  • More definition of the angles of your jawline 
  • Minimally invasive surgery that only requires local anesthesia with sedation
  • Only requires around 1 week of downtime 
  • Results can last up to 10 years. 

Candidates for a Mini Facelift

If you are in your 40s or early 50s, you may benefit most from a mini facelift since it corrects mild or moderate skin sagging around the lower parts of the face. Prospective patients should be in good health and have no conditions related to blood clotting or healing processes. Dr. Bonillas will consider you if you are a non-smoker or willing to quit all nicotine for a few weeks prior to the procedure. 

If you have more severe wrinkles and folds, a full facelift may be a better fit for your needs. If you’d like to reduce excess tissue and sagging skin in the upper half of the face, undergoing a brow lift or eyelid lift may be the most appropriate course of action. 

Personal Consultation

A personal consultation with Dr. Bonillas will give you a better understanding of the nuances of the mini facelift and what it can accomplish for your appearance. During your consultation, he will go over the preparation and recovery process you should expect as well as the intricacies of the procedure itself. He will evaluate your current skin elasticity and recommend an alternative treatment if he feels that a mini facelift may not be the best option for your concerns. To book your consultation with Dr. Bonillas today, call his office in Scottsdale, AZ at (480) 245-6380 or inquire through his contact form. Alternatively, you can look through his blog to get a sense of other procedures offered. 


Dr. Bonillas advises all of his facelift patients to discontinue blood thinning medication and supplements that may result in more bleeding than expected during surgery. If you are a smoker, you should aim to quit about 4 to 6 weeks before the procedure, and for some time after. Finally, you should arrange for a trusted individual to pick you up from the recovery room since it’s dangerous to drive after general anesthesia or sedation. 

Procedure Steps

Depending on the extent of your procedure, we will administer general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. Dr. Bonillas will begin by making short incisions hidden within the hairline and around each ear. After lifting tissue to access the SMAS layer, he will tighten and elevate it before redraping the skin over the incisions. He will make the necessary sutures and remove excess skin. The sutures are hidden within the creases of the ear and are further obscured by hair. 

While mini facelifts may not sound like comprehensive procedures, the term is only used to describe the specific incision technique. The same “short scar” approach can be used to perform deep plane facelifts that involve the lifting of the skin, fat, and SMAS as one layer before targeting facial ligaments to create a lifting effect. (2) 

Recovery and Results

Immediately after Dr. Bonillas makes the surgical changes and sutures the incisions, he will apply protective dressings. For the first few days, you may notice some redness, swelling, and/or bruising, but it will subside within 1 week. Depending on the details of your surgery, Dr. Bonillas may or may not place surgical drains to allow fluid to exit and reduce swelling. While many patients find relief from over-the-counter medications, he will also order prescription medication if you would like the option. 

After about 1 week, you will be able to return to a less strenuous job, but you will need to be diligent with your aftercare. If you happen to be a smoker, you should continue to avoid nicotine for at least 1 month post-operatively. Once your incisions are fully healed, you should remember to apply daily sunscreen (SPF 30 or more) to better preserve your results. Within 1 month, you’ll be able to resume strenuous activities, and you’ll be able to see your final results! 

Corresponding & Complementary Procedures 

Facial Fat Transfer 

Fat transfer, or fat grafting, is a minimally invasive procedure that removes fat via liposuction from a donor site on your body. It is carefully processed, then reinjected into the face to correct hollowness and loss of volume. First, Dr. Bonillas will numb the donor site, an area of excess fat such as the abdomen, hips, or thighs. Through the injection of a solution called tumescent fluid, the fat cells in the area are loosened and made denser, and they separate from the surrounding tissues. Dr. Bonillas uses an instrument called a cannula to suction out the fat- on average, about 2 tablespoons are removed. (3) He will then purify the fat using a centrifuge so that blood, plasma, and other impurities are extracted from it. Finally, he will load small amounts of fat into syringes so that they can be transferred into areas of the face. This fat can then be used to enhance the projection of the cheekbones or jawline, or it can restore sunken cheeks. While it typically takes a few weeks for the fat to fully settle, the results are permanent as long as you stay the same weight. 

Juvéderm Voluma XC 

Juvéderm is made of hyaluronic acid, a lubricating substance found within the body. Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers like Juvéderm Voluma XC are able to both draw in water to provide more hydration for the skin as well as bind to collagen, providing more cellular support and structure. (4) All of Juvéderm’s dermal fillers are able to stimulate fibroblast cells in the dermis of the skin, leading to an increased production of the collagen fibers and several other vital proteins. Juvéderm Voluma XC is specially formulated to volumize the chin, cheeks, cheekbones, jawline, and even the lips. Since these are areas of high movement, this filler is especially resilient and has been shown to last up to 2 years! (5) This gives patients a solution that is long-lasting, but it doesn’t require the commitment of a fat transfer procedure. Although it won’t fix sagging tissues in the same way a facelift would, it can minimize the appearance of it through the enhancement of other areas. 

Cost of a Mini Facelift in Scottsdale, AZ 

The cost of your mini facelift at Dr. Bonillas’ office will depend on surgical fees, follow-up appointments, any prescriptions required, and the techniques used. Dr. Bonillas offers payment plans to make his procedures as affordable as possible to all. To get a full estimate of the cost of your mini facelift, book a consultation today by calling (480) 245-6380 or reaching out through his contact form. Dr. Bonillas believes every patient deserves the right to feel amazing in their skin with only the most comprehensive, personalized care. 

Read more about getting a facelift in Scottsdale on our blog.


  1. Barrett DM, Casanueva FJ, Wang TD. Evolution of the rhytidectomy. World Journal of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. 2016;2(1):38-44. doi: 
  2. Van Pham T, Truong KHTN. Short or Minimum Incision Deep Plane/Extended Deep Plane Facelift/Rhytidectomy. Facial Plastic Surgery. 2020;36(04):376-385. doi: 
  3. Schultz KP, Raghuram A, Davis MJ, Abu-Ghname A, Chamata E, Rohrich RJ. Fat Grafting for Facial Rejuvenation. Seminars in Plastic Surgery. 2020;34(01):030-037. doi: 
  4. Brandt FS, Cazzaniga A. Hyaluronic acid gel fillers in the management of facial aging. Clin Interv Aging. 2008;3(1):153-159. doi:10.2147/cia.s2135
  5. Hussain SN, Goodman G, Rahman E. Treatment of a traumatic atrophic depressed scar with hyaluronic acid fillers: a case report. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. 2017;Volume 10:285-287. doi: