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Facelift and Necklift Surgery: The Long & the Short of It

By Dr. Charles J. Galanis

facelift and necklift

A neck lift surgery is often accompanied with a facelift surgery helping to achieve a wholly, cohesive lifted look.  This cosmetic combination of outpatient procedures is a strategic way to achieve a facial rejuvenation for a youthful-looking appearance from the neck up.

Neck lifts can also be performed as standalone procedures for those who are seeking to solely revitalize the contours of their neck and jowl regions, as well as achieving a more defined jawline.

Today’s cosmetic innovations offer patients a wide variety of choices to help them achieve their personal beauty and body goals. Many surgical procedures can be combined to target and correct specific areas for a seamless approach without undergoing multiple surgeries. Facelift and necklift surgery is no exception as they are one of the original cosmetic combinations that aims to turn back the hands of time on facial aging.

What is a Facelift Procedure?

A facelift focuses on rejuvenating the facial skin and neck by tightening sagging skin, muscles, and tissues. Through carefully placed incisions, this cosmetic surgical procedure removes excess skin, and underlying tissues are repositioned to restore a more youthful contour.

Facelift surgery can address smile lines, wrinkles, jowls, and sagging skin caused by aging or weight loss, providing long-lasting results. Facelift techniques vary, including traditional facelift or full facelift, mini facelift, and deep plane facelifts, tailored to individual needs.

While recovery time varies, the procedure generally offers significant improvements in facial appearance and self-confidence, enhancing one’s overall aesthetic and vitality.

What is a Necklift?necklift and facelift

A neck lift procedure is a plastic surgery to improve the neck area by addressing sagging skin, excess fat, and muscle laxity.

Through small incision placement strategically around the ears or under the chin, the surgeon tightens underlying neck muscles and removes excess tissue to create a smoother and more defined neck contour.

A facelift and neck lift are often performed together to achieve comprehensive facial rejuvenation. The procedure can improve the appearance of neck bands, jowls, and loose skin, resulting in a more youthful and refreshed neck profile.

Recovery time varies, typically offering long-lasting results.

A neck lift focuses to treat:

  • Excess fat and sagging skin in lower face that creates jowls
  • Excess fatty deposits under the chin that causes a “double chin”
  • Muscle “banding” in the neck or unsightly horizontal lines, colloquially
    referred to as “turkey neck,” or more recently, “tech neck”

The reasons for the diminishment of youthful contours in the neck area can be contributed to any or all of the following:

  • Sun damage/environmental stress
  • Heredity
  • Gravity/natural aging process
  • Injury
  • Lifestyle

Patients should be advised a neck lift will NOT stop the natural aging process or fundamentally alter the neck’s structure – it is simply a procedure that seeks to lift, smooth, sculpt, and tighten loose neck skin for a more desirable youthful appearance.

Results, Risks, and Recovery

Results from a surgical neck lift typically last 10-15 years before a “refresher” procedure may be required to maintain youthful results.  Though considered a permanent procedure, the skin will continue to age.  However, with proper skincare, avoiding excessive sun exposure, and making healthy lifestyle choices, patients can considerably prolong the look of their neck lift.

As with any surgery, regardless of whether cosmetic or otherwise, there comes a set of risks that must be assessed. 

The following risks have been associated with neck lifts and facelifts:

  • Bleeding under the skin (hematoma)
  • Scarring
  • Infection
  • Nerve injury
  • Skin loss
  • Inability of would to heal
  • Adverse reaction to anesthetic
  • Undesirable results that may require revision surgery

Recovery from neck lift surgery will take approximately 2-3 weeks with swelling fully subsiding within a few months, by which time full results will be revealed.  Patients have reported very little pain/discomfort and scars are discreetly hidden under the chin or around the contours of the ears.  Patients should avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities for the first few weeks following cosmetic surgery or at the discretion of their doctor. 

The Nonsurgical Neck Lift

While not as effective, dramatic, or sustainable as its surgical counterpart, there are nonsurgical treatments that can temporarily revitalize the neck area.  Nonsurgical options can be a great way to “test drive” or “try on” a neck lift before committing to a more invasive, permanent approach.  Nonsurgical neck lifts require little to no recovery time and carry virtually no risks.  The following methods are used to perform nonsurgical neck lifts:

  • Botox – temporarily relaxes muscles to reduce wrinkling
  • Fractionated laser treatment – refines texture of the skin on the neck due to photoaging
  • Dermal fillers – restores depleted volume to the skin for plumper, bouncier skin
  • Kybella – breaks down accumulated fat deposits, eliminating a “double chin”
  • Radiofrequency with microneedling – helps stimulate skin-supporting
    collagen production in the neck area for a more youthful effect
  • Ultrasound technology – stimulates youthful collagen synthesis to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, as well as tighten loose skin tissuefacelift and neck lift

Am I a Good Candidate for a Neck Lift?

The best candidates for any facial plastic surgery are those who possess good general health, including:

  • Non-Smokers
  • Having realistic expectations, a positive outlook, and a healthy physical image
  • No underlying medical conditions that can impede on the body’s natural healing process

Questions and Answers

How long does it take to recover from a facelift and necklift?

A complete recovery from a traditional face and neck lift takes approximately two to three weeks. Given its broader scope and deeper correction of skin laxity compared to less invasive procedures, such as mini facelifts, expect a longer recovery period.

Can face lift and neck lift be done at same time?

Face and neck lift procedures are frequently combined, offering patients more significant anti-aging results and a younger appearance while minimizing overall downtime. This approach enables most patients to achieve dramatic rejuvenation with fewer interruptions to daily life.

Can you get a neck lift without a lower facelift?

Although it’s common to undergo face and neck lift surgeries together for facial balance, there’s no obligation to combine them. Neck lift surgery can be performed independently to address specific concerns.

What is a mini neck lift?

A mini neck lift is a minimally invasive surgery targeting excess skin in the jowl and chin areas for a more defined jawline and neck. Compared to traditional neck lifts, it involves smaller incisions, fewer risks, and a quicker recovery.

Contact Our Office To Arrange Your Consultation

If you have been struggling with the appearance of your aging face and/or neck and would like more information regarding a facelift, neck lift, or a facelift/neck lift combination, we invite you to contact our office today.

Speak with any one of our talented and highly knowledgeable team members who can help answer any questions you may have or to set-up a personal consultation with Dr. Galanis at Galanis Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills… We look forward to meeting you!




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