Mini facelifts are less dangerous than full facelifts because they reduce the risk of damage for two important nerves in the neck. Mini facelifts require smaller incisions compared to full facelifts, and there are typically no incisions made in the neck, explains Realself.
Both mini facelifts and full facelifts come with the risks of bleeding and adverse reactions to anesthesia, reports Diffen. However, the nature of the surgery makes full facelifts riskier. In a full facelift, most surgeons dissect the neck completely, which puts two vital nerves in the neck at a grave risk of injury. If these nerves were to be damaged, the patient would lose sensation of the earlobe and would not be able to move the lower lip on that side, says Realself. This risk get further multiplied in diabetics and smokers, notes Diffen.
In a mini facelift the incisions are smaller and normally end behind the ear. This poses no risk to the two nerves in the neck, states Realself. Also, since smaller incisions are involved, mini facelifts cause minimal bruising, tenderness, scarring and swelling compared to full facelifts, states DocShop. In contrast, over and above these complications, full facelifts also put patients at a risk of infection and necrosis of the skin flaps, states Diffen.