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Cheek Lift vs. Facelift

Both women and men who would like to address signs of aging in the face can often take advantage of cosmetic procedures designed to enhance the skin and provide a smoother, more youthful appearance. One of the most popular and effective surgical treatments for the face is a facelift; however, what some individuals may not know is that there are several types of “facelift” surgery—some of which are not quite as invasive and may present solutions that are more ideal than a traditional facelift based on the patient’s unique needs and goals. 

Below, you will find a brief comparison of a full facelift procedure versus a “cheek lift” or “mini facelift.” It is important to note that many of Dr. James Boynton’s less invasive “facelift” procedures can be performed as in-office treatments without the need for general anesthesia, making the treatment and recovery process more convenient for so many of our patients. If you have additional questions, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon in Houston, please contact us today. 


A traditional “full” facelift typically focuses on the lower third of the face, and often includes some extent of upper neck rejuvenation, as well. This treatment can tighten underlying facial muscles, remove excess skin, and tighten the remaining skin. Full facelift procedures can be a good solution for patients with particularly severe signs of jowling, loss of volume, and wrinkles and lines appearing in the lower third of the face. It can also help patients with a collection of inelastic skin in the upper neck that’s having a noticeable effect on profile contours. A full facelift typically requires general anesthesia and up to two or three weeks of recovery. 

Cheek Lift 

A “cheek lift” is a term that is often used interchangeably with “mini facelift” and “jowl lift” at our practice because Dr. Boynton’s technique essentially addresses the same types of concerns for many patients. Cheek lift surgery can diminish signs of age such as under-eye hollows, wrinkles and nasolabial folds, and sagging skin in the cheeks and middle area of the face. Ideal cheek lift candidates are typically over 30 years-old and are concerned about mild to moderate levels of skin inelasticity, wrinkles and folds, or volume loss in the mid-facial area. Ultimately, a cheek lift from Dr. Boynton can give the cheeks a fuller appearance, improve symmetry, and have a remarkably positive effect on the entire facial aesthetic. 

Recovery from a cheek lift/mini facelift typically does not take as long in comparison to a full facelift (usually about one week for most individuals). In many cases, a cheek lift can be performed as an in-office procedure with a combination of local anesthesia and valium medication. 

A cheek lift can sometimes focus on a higher area of the face than a facelift. For some patients, a cheek lift is comparable to a facelift, only without the addition of neck lifting. In some cases, patients may be better suited to a facelift or other procedure if the concerns are affecting areas for which a cheek lift is not the best solution. During your initial consultation with Dr. Boynton, he will evaluate your needs and talk with you about the treatment option that is appropriate for your goals. If you are a good candidate for one of these procedures, Dr. Boynton will create a customized treatment plan designed to produce both beautiful and natural-looking results. 

To learn more about the differences between these two facelift techniques, including distinctions among aspects such as incision locations, the overall treatment process, and recovery expectations, please take a look at our detailed facelift page.