What is a Mini Facelift

A short scar (S-Lift) or mini facelift by Dr Turner at Sydney Institute of Plastic Surgery is an excellent treatment for younger patients (early 40’s to mid 50’s) that are seeking a natural result with the least visible signs that a facelift has been performed. The short scar facelift focuses on the cheeks and jowls to enhance the youthful contours of the mid-face and jawline. For patients with severe amount of excess skin around the jawline and neck, they are better suited to a traditional facelift.

The short scar facelift is an evolution of traditional facelifts that have been performed over the last 40 years. With a better appreciation of facial anatomy and improved surgical techniques; we are able to provide patients with similar results and less down time with an incision that is only one-third the length. With dramatic rejuvenation of the face and neck with no visible scar behind the ear, this allows the patient to wear the hair ‘up’ or a have that short hairstyle.


A mini facelift is ideal for both men and women who are in their early 40’s to mid 50’s that are primarily seeking maximal correction of the mid-face region – cheeks, nasolabial fold, jowls.  To get the best results patients need to have good skin elasticity and minimal excess skin in the neck region.

If you are healthy, have realistic expectations about both the benefits and limitations that can be achieved with a short scar facelift, you may be a good candidate for the procedure. To learn more contact our clinic to book your consultation with Dr Turner.

  • Clearly discuss the potential risks of the procedure
  • Outline in detail how the surgery is performed
  • Explain what you can expect before, during, and after the procedure
  • Provide detailed cost and payment information
  • Answer all your questions


A mini facelift is a universal term to describe a modern facelift with a limited skin incision located in front of the ear and temporal hairline only. The MACS (Minimal Access Cranial Suspension) lift and short scar (S-Lift) facelift are both examples of mini facelifts.

A traditional facelift is still the most effective surgical procedure to comprehensively lift and smooth the facial ageing changes in the face and especially the neck. Due to the tightening of the underlying SMAS in this facelift technique, we can completely avoid the operated or pulled look of the past. However, it comes at the downside of a long scar extending both in front and behind the ear. With the S-Lift procedure, the skin is pulled up vertically, not backward for a more natural looking lift with only a small ‘S’ shaped incision made in and around the natural curves of the ear, which is almost imperceptible once fully healed.  Through this incision, the underlying SMAS is lifted and tightened to give a more youthful appearance.


A short scar facelift is performed under general anaesthesia in a fully accredited hospital with a qualified anaesthetist. Depending on the degree of complexity of the short scar facelift and whether ancillary procedures are being performed, the operation can take three to four hours to perform. Most patients are able to be discharged home the same day with no overnight stay required.

The incision begins at the temporal hairline and is extended along the natural lines and contours of the ear, rarely the incision is carried a short distance behind the earlobe. If your neck is also being lifted, a small incision is made under your chin. Once the incisions are made, the skin and superficial fat is carefully separated from the underlying SMAS and neck muscles (platysmus). Most facelifts require some neck adjustment, whether that is liposuction only or tightening the platysmus muscle to create a youthful neck sling (platysmaplasty). The deep facial structures are then tightened and the skin is carefully redraped over the face with the excess skin trimmed. If there remains some excess neck skin excess, an additional scar is placed in the posterior hairline to remove any additional skin to improve the lower portion of the neck.

To compliment the short scar facelift, we universally perform fat grafting to the mid-face region. This has been one of the single most important advances to improve the results of the S-Lift procedure. As we age we lose fat content in our face and over tightening the skin can give a sunken and unnatural appearance. The addition of fat, revolumises the face to give a youthful and natural appearance with improved skin texture.

Once the procedure is complete, stitches are used to secure the layers of tissue and close the skin incisions. A small thin tube called a drain may be temporarily placed under the skin behind your ear to help drain any blood that might collect there. Your head is wrapped with gauze dressings to help reduce the swelling.

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