Lifestyle Lift vs. Facelifts: What’s the Difference?

by Barb Tate

Lifestyle Lift vs. Facelifts: What’s the Difference?

One of the most popular procedures on today’s cosmetic market is the Lifestyle Lift®. While some hastily call this coveted procedure a mini facelift, the fact is that there are key differences between the two surgeries: technique, recovery time, longevity, and even the targeted patient ages. If you’re thinking about knocking a couple years off of your face but can’t narrow down what specific procedure you are looking for, have a look at how the Lifestyle Lift compares to other anti-aging options.

Need a Lift?

A facelift is designed to address the jaw line, neckline, and jowls. The procedure sharpens your facial contours and improves your overall visage with careful tightening of skin and muscles— all while positioning tissue in different ways. This aids in the removal of neck, face, and eye drooping. The “light”version of the facelift is known as the mini facelift, which tightens the lower two-thirds of the face. A specific offshoot of the mini facelift is known as the Lifestyle Lift—a zippy procedure that has further differences in procedure time, surgical methods, recovery, and ultimate results.

A Quicker Procedure

Perhaps the biggest perk of a Lifestyle Lift is the patient’s ability to be in and out of surgery quickly. A facelift can take up to three hours to perform, but a Lifestyle Lift will usually not exceed one hour. While you might be worried that “fast” does not always equate to “quality,” don’t worry. The length of a Lifestyle Lift comes down to the different styles of incision, administered anesthesia, and target area of the patient.

Lifestyle Lift Procedure & Surgical Technique

Although every patient requires a unique procedure, full facelifts tend to involve a retrotragal incision—a cut that follows the shape of your inner ear and up to the edge of your hairline. Conversely, the incision for a Lifestyle Lift- a preauricular incision- begins in the front of the ear and revolves around to the posterior of the ear, often extending into the hairline as well.

Additionally, the Lifestyle Lift is considered a short-flap SMAS (Superficial Musculo-Aponeurotic System). This means that not only the skin itself is tightened, but the subcutaneous tissue layer beneath your skin is also targeted. The pre-auricular incision and subsequent short-flap style of tightening are unique to the Lifestyle Lift and are not always utilized in full facelifts or mini facelifts. These styles contribute to a quicker and less costly procedure.


The Lifestyle Lift requires local anesthesia, often coupled with light sedation. A general anesthesia can be utilized per request, but will increase the procedure time, costs, and anesthesia-related risks.

Recovery Time

The in-and-out allure of Lifestyle Lifts provides an inaccurate idea of recovery time for potential patients. Lifestyle Lift patients should expect to experience aches and discomfort for several days after the procedure, similar to other plastic surgeries. Swelling will subside 2-3 weeks after surgery, and that’s when the patient can expect to see a markedly improved face that looks rejuvenated.

Long-Term Results of Lifestyle Lift

A full facelift is comprehensive. Surgery time (3 hours) and lasting power (10+ years) reflect that. The results of a Lifestyle Lift&mdashwhich is more rapid and less invasive—will ultimately last 3-5 years. The results, as with any surgery, are further affected by a patient’s lifestyle and age. Lifestyle Lifts are the ideal option for men and women in the beginning stages of aging. It works well as a preventative measure or for someone who wants a subtle tweak without a total aesthetic makeover.

Additional Differences

The Lifestyle Lift is recommended for patients that do not require a lot of skin to be worked on. As noted, it is best suited for patients with minimal signs of aging. You might call it a “touch-up” procedure. Additionally, while a full facelift is able to concentrate on any region necessary, the incision, anesthesia, and surgical approach of a Lifestyle Lift are not conducive to especially loose skin areas (an excessively sagging neck, for example). A supplemental liposuction treatment may be necessary for those particular areas if you are receiving a Lifestyle Lift.

A Lifestyle Lift Overview

  • Over 150,000 facial rejuvenation procedures have been performed by Lifestyle Lift doctors.
  • Over 100 doctors in over 70 centers across the country perform the Lifestyle Lift.
  • Lifestyle Lift targets eye, face, and neck area aging. It is completely customized and has a quicker recovery period.
  • Lasts 3-5 years


”This has been one of the greatest things I have ever done to restore my happiness. My lower eyes are so smooth and my "turkey neck & jowls" are completely gone.”
– Rita, 64 Richmond

“There are no visible scars and I'm thankful every single day for the Lift! I look at my profile now and am so happy that it's back to 'normal!'”
- Donna, 56, Indianapolis

“I love to look in the mirror now. People treat you differently. I used to be treated like an older person, but now, they respond to me like I’m much younger. It's amazing! My family and friends say I look at least 15 years younger!”
– Karen, 58, Dayton

If you or someone you know is interested in receiving a Lifestyle Lift, please contact Plastic Surgery Portal or search for a doctor in your area today!

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