During a conventional facelift, the skin of the neck and the cheeks is loosened over a wider area than during a mini-facelift. It is then tightened towards the hairline. A facelift has an effect on the neck, the jaw, the hamster cheeks, marionette lines and the nasolabial (smile) folds. The cheekbones are also lifted during this operation and become fuller. The effect of the facelift can be simulated using all fingers and pulling the skin up and back.

The scar is in front and a little behind the ear. The incision can also be done in the ear behind the tragus in order to avoid a scar in front of the ear. After a facelift, swelling is visible during 2 to 6 weeks. The classic facelift causes more significant swelling in the cheeks than the S-lift or mini-facelift.

The duration of the effect is difficult to predict and depends on tissue firmness. On average it is 5 to 15 years.

Facelift and sub-SMAS facelifts can only be performed by experienced surgeons and always only under general anaesthesia. The procedure is more invasive than the mini-lift, which can be performed under local anaesthesia. Since July 2013, a new law states that only plastic surgeons can perform a facelift or mini-lift. Please check the INAMI number of your doctor (must end with 210).

At Mediclinic, our doctors will advise you on the most appropriate solution for you. If an experienced surgeon performs a facelift, the result should always be natural and you should not worry about having a wider mouth.




Face and neck
Arms and hands
Tummy and back
Buttock, thigh and pubic area



A mini-facelift or a facelift often gives a feeling of tightness in the first 24 hours. The bandage and the drains (tubes for evacuation of excess fluid) may cause discomfort at first but they are removed after 24 hours. Afterwards, a tight feeling can remain but will disappear when the swelling decreases.


Recovery after an S-lift or mini-facelift is usually surprisingly quick. Most people can resume their activities after 9 days. The swelling after a full facelift is much more substantial (6-8 weeks). The bandage remains in place for 24 hours and bruises disappear after 7 - 10 days.


A full facelift has a (small) risk of damage to the nerves. During an S-lift or mini-MACS lift procedures, the nerves are protected by the salivary gland and it is almost impossible for them to be damaged. Smoking is not advised during convalescence and wound healing.


After 24 hours, the bandage is removed and you may wash your hair. The scars must be treated with a moisturizer. A cream can be applied to the bruises to help them disappear more quickly. The sutures are removed after 9 days.

Minilift na

Effect van minilift: duidelijke verbetering kaaklijn en marionetlijntjes, resultaat blijft zeer natuurlijk

Full facelift na

Effect van full facelift: duidelijke verbetering kaaklijn en marionetlijntjes en ook vollere jukboog


Benefits of the classic facelift:

  • Tissues are loosened more deeply. If there is a lot of sagging or if the tissues are very soft, results are better with a facelift than with a mini-lift.
  • The effect on the neck and the jawline is similar to the mini-lift but the effect on the zygomatic arch is greater with the classic lift. The swelling therefore disappears more slowly than after a mini-lift.
  • The classic facelift is always done under general anaesthesia and is thus more comfortable for the patient. General anaesthesia is also safer for the releasing of the facial nerve tissue.
  • With this more radical lift you also have the possibility to change the shape or structure of your face (e.g. fuller cheekbones).


Sub smass facelift (general anaesthetic)