If you need to address signs of aging on the lower half of the face, you may be uncertain if you need a facelift or a neck lift. The face and neck are areas that tend to show signs of aging early, but it’s often confusing to decide which procedure is best for facial rejuvenation. Should you have a facelift or a neck lift?
Over time, factors such as excess sun exposure, weight fluctuations, and gravity, cause the skin to lose its natural elasticity. This causes the skin to sag and leads to the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, skin and fat in the lower part of the face tend to descend resulting in the formation of jowls and a double chin. So which procedure is best for these issues, a facelift or a neck lift? Let’s take a look.
A facelift (rhytidectomy) is done to reduce visible signs of aging and restore youthful facial contours. Facelift surgery refreshes the overall appearance of the face, neck, and jawline. It targets the lower third of the face, specifically creases and folds around the nose and mouth, sagging cheeks and jowls, and fat below the chin.
During facelift surgery, the plastic surgeon will tighten the underlying muscles, and also remove the excess skin. The surgeon gains access to the facial muscles via incisions made behind the ears, and along the hairline. Modern facelifts place emphasis on manipulating the SMAS layer, which covers the deeper layers of tissue below the skin.
A neck lift (lower rhytidectomy) is a surgical procedure that rejuvenates the jawline and neck. Loose skin, puffiness, and lines are some of the visible signs of aging on the neck. A neck lift targets all these, as it removes excess skin, tightens loose neck muscles, and eliminates surplus fatty tissue under the chin.
The incisions for a neck lift are usually made behind the ears and below the chin. However, there are different surgical techniques that can be used to perform the procedure.
A neck lift is usually done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. During a neck lift, the surgeon will tighten the neck muscles and underlying tissue, and remove sagging skin, to make the neck smoother and firmer.
Neck lifts are often done in combination with a facelift, in order to deliver more dramatic facial rejuvenation results.
Which Procedure is best: Facelift vs. Neck Lift?
A facelift and neck lift can both minimize signs of aging, and rejuvenate the appearance. However, the best procedure for you will depend on the specific signs of facial aging that need to be addressed.
A facelift will get rid of excess skin and fat on the lower half of the face. It improves the appearance of the cheeks, the area around the mouth and jawline, and the neck. It is, therefore, the ideal procedure for men and women with severe facial sagging, as well as deep wrinkles and folds such as nasolabial folds and marionette lines. Facelift candidates should also have good skin elasticity.
A neck lift will correct jowls, fat below the chin, and loose neck skin. Although the procedures are often combined, it is possible to achieve a youthful look with a neck lift alone. Patients that have redundant neck skin and lax neck muscles, but do not have sagging facial skin or visible jowls, can benefit from an isolated neck lift.
However, there are many patients that get optimal facial rejuvenation results by doing a facelift and neck lift simultaneously. The face and neck blend into each other and tend to age at the same rate, so it often makes sense to do a facelift and neck lift together, so as to get the best outcome.
Facial rejuvenation with a facelift or neck lift should make patients look refreshed and more youthful, but not different.
If you would like to rejuvenate your appearance but you’re not sure if you need a facelift or neck lift, it is advisable to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon.
If you are in Wall Township, NJ area, contact board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Karolak for a consultation.
You can reach Dr. Karolak at drkarolak.com, or by calling 732-955-9500.