Sagging Face? – Do I need a Neck Lift or Lower Facelift Surgery?
Over time, the contours of the neck and jaw become less and less defined due to multiple factors such as the natural ageing process, gravity and even the genetic inheritance. And there is no cream, exercise or sculpting tools that can bring back firmness to the neck and lower half of the face. The only effective way erase some of the signs of ageing is to opt for facial cosmetic surgery. Neck lift and lower facelift are two popular procedures that can help you get rid of jowls and create more definition in the lower half of your face. In this blog post, we will discuss the two procedures to help you determine which one is right for you.
Plastic Surgeon Dr Jeremy Hunt offers patients in Sydney and Newcastle the full spectrum of facial rejuvenation surgery. He will thoroughly explain the difference between neck lift and a lower facelift, and help you choose the best procedure to meet your cosmetic aspirations.
What is a Lower Facelift?
A lower facelift is a surgical procedure aimed at correcting the jowls and the neck by repositioning skin and muscles. During the surgery, the upper part of your platysma muscles that extend from the upper chest over the collarbone and sides of the neck are adjusted. They are connected to a layer of firm tissue known as the fascia. Repositioning the skin, tissues, and fat pads into their original position instantly lifts the lower part of the face and neck along with reducing the appearance of nasolabial folds.
The procedure specifically targets laugh lines, sagging cheeks and lose jowls. Your surgeon will make an incision in the front of the ears, extending to the hairline. The surgeon will then pull the skin, fat tissue and platysma muscles into a lifted position to make your jawline a tight and lifted look.
What is a Neck Lift?
A neck lift is a surgical procedure that is focused on improving the sagging appearance of your neck. The incisions are typically made behind the ear, extending into the hairline. The surgeon will remove excess skin, and reposition the SMAS layer to give a youthful look to your neck. A neck lift or platysmoplasty, is needed if there needs to be significant improvement in the front of the neck.
If the patient had prominent bands on the neck, they will be addressed with a small incision under the chin during a neck lift procedure. With age, the platysma muscles become separated and are responsible for creating two vertical bands that run from chin to chest. The neck lift allows the surgeon to sew these bands together and give you a smooth looking neck.
If you wish to address your double chin along with a sagging neck, a combination of neck lift and liposuction is done to remove excess fat and give you a structured jaw. If the patient struggles with skin laxity, the surgeon will also perform skin trimming during the procedure. For patients who struggle with excess skin laxity and wide separation of platysmal bands, your surgeon might suggest you to undergo a lower facelift and a neck lift at the same time. This is due to the fact that it is nearly impossible to address the neckbands without addressing the jowls due to the continuity of face and neck muscle layers.
Main Differences between a Lower Facelift and a Neck Lift
While you will see these terms used interchangeably on the internet, there are clear differences between the two procedures. A neck lift will not address any problems associated with your jawline, jowls and only targets the neck. Another major difference is in terms of the incision. During the lower facelift, the surgeon will make an incision both in front of the ear and behind the ear. The incision will be extended higher to lift up the cheek area.
In the case of neck lift, the incision will be made around the ear and below the chin. In some cases when patients have minimal skin laxity, the neck lift can only be performed with the incision under the chin.
Who are Ideal Candidates for a Neck LIft and Lower Facelift
Ideal Candidates for the Neck Lift Surgery:
- You experience extreme sagging on the neck
- You have platysmal bands on the neck
- You have major skin laxity in the neck area
- You have realistic expectations from the treatment
- You do not smoke or can quit it for a specified duration
- You don’t have any health conditions that can hinder the healing process
Ideal candidates for a Lower Facelift Surgery:
- Someone who experiences sagging jowls but very minimal sagging on the neck
- Patients who want to get rid of the laugh lines
- Individuals who want to achieve a sharper jawline
- Candidates who are in generally good health with no chronic illnesses
- People do not smoke or can quit it for a specified duration
- Someone who has realistic expectations from the treatment
It is important to note that sometimes the surgeon will recommend a combination of these two procedures to help you achieve the desired results.
When is Lower Facelift Surgery combined with Neck Lift Surgery?
Believe it or not, most neck lift surgeries are coupled with a lower facelift to achieve aesthetic and functional results on the neck and lower half of the face. This is done because neck lift focuses on the neck region only. On the other hand, a lower facelift primarily focuses on the lower half of the face.
By getting rid of loose, sagging skin, repositioning underlying muscles, tissues, and underlying structures, the combination of both these procedures will give you a lifting effect while visibly minimising the signs of ageing. As a result, you will get a sharper looking chin and jawline, get rid of nasolabial folds, lifted cheeks, get rid of neck wrinkles/bands, and give you an overall youthful look.
Potential Risks of Neck Lift and Lower Facelift
Like any other cosmetic surgery, lower facelift and neck lift carries some potential risks and complications. One of the main risks associated with both these surgeries is hematoma- a collection of blood under the skin. It is important to avoid all blood-thinning medications and herbal supplements that can lead to increased bleeding.
It is also advised to refrain from exercising and heavy lifting for at least four weeks post-surgery to reduce the risk of complications. Patients need to stop smoking for at least a few weeks before & after the surgery as it can lead to skin necrosis, prevent effective wound healing and even infection. Another less common but possible risk is injury to facial nerves.
Other risks, though all uncommon include facial asymmetry, bleeding, prolonged swelling, numbness, persistent pain, skin loss, skin irregularities and discolouration, hair loss along with the incision sites and unfavourable scarring. Make sure to choose the right surgeon and then stick to all the pre and post-surgical instructions to minimise the complications.
FAQS about Neck Lift and Lower Facelift Procedures
Here is a list of frequently asked questions we get regarding neck lift and lower facelift:
What is the difference between a mini facelift vs neck lift?
- A mini facelift is relatively less invasive than a full facelift surgery. The surgeon will create incisions in front of the ears which extend from the hairline to the bottom of the earlobe and pull the skin and tissues towards the ears, giving your skin a tighter youthful appearance. A neck lift is focused on enhancing the appearance of your neck, rather than the face. The surgeon will remove the excess skin along with tightening the neck muscles, tissues and skin to give you a youthful, seamless neck.
What is a mini neck lift?
- A mini neck lift is a surgical procedure that tightens and removes sagging skin in the neck and underneath the chin. A less invasive version of a neck lift.
How much does neck lift and lower facelift cost in Australia?
- The cost of a lower facelift and neck lift in Australia varies significantly from surgeon to surgeon based on their experience, expertise, aesthetic goals, facility and plenty of other factors. Phone the team for an estimate.
Is a neck lift the same as a lower facelift?
- Although you will see these two terms used interchangeably on the internet, these two are quite different procedures. The goal of the lower facelift is to lift up the lower half of the face and sharpen the look of your jawline. On the other hand, a neck lift will get rid of excess skin on your neck while tightening up your skin, tissues and muscles around the neck area.
Does a lower facelift include the neck?
- No, a lower facelift does not include a neck lift. However, in some cases, the surgeon might recommend you to get both these procedures done at the same time.
Can I see neck lift and lower facelift before and after photographs during the consultation?
- Of course, once you come in for a consultation, you will be shown plenty of before and after patient photographs, so you can get a better idea of what your results will look like.
How long do the results of a lower face and neck lift last?
- Expect the results of lower facelift and neck lift to last for around 10 years or more. You may need another facial surgery in future.
At what age should you get a neck lift?
- There is no magic number when it comes to getting neck lift surgery. However, most people who get the surgery are between 35 to 65 years old.
What is the best age to have a facelift?
- There is no right or wrong age to get a facelift done. Most people who get the facelift are in their 40s, 50s, and 60s.
Is a neck lift worth it?
- If you feel self-conscious about the ageing appearance of your neck, a neck lift can completely transform the look of your neck. It can be a confidence booster and erase years off your face.
Is a lower facelift worth it?
- Yes, the lower facelift is totally worth it if the signs of ageing are more visible on the lower half of the face- nasolabial folds, sagging skin around the jaw and chin area.
Does a neck lift get rid of jowls?
- While neck lift can improve the look of sagging jowls, patients with moderate to severe jowls could benefit more from a combination of different facial procedures rather than only a neck lift.
How can I look younger without a facelift?
- A facelift can help erase 10 to 15 years of your face by eliminating wrinkles, lifting up sagging skin, and giving your skin a tighter look.
What is the best neck tightening procedure?
- A neck lift is without question the best neck tightening procedure that completely transforms the look of your neck.
Further Reading about Neck Lift and Lower Facelift Surgery
- Read Dr Hunt’s Deep Plane Facelift Surgery page
- Read Dr Hunt’s Facelift Surgery page
- Read Dr Hunt’s Lower Facelift Surgery page
- Read Dr Hunt’s Neck Lift Surgery page
- See Dr Hunt’s Real Patient Facelift Surgery Before and After Photos
- See Dr Hunt’s Real Patient Neck Lift Surgery Before and After Photos
- Read Dr Hunt’s blog about Midface Lift surgery
- Read Dr Hunt’s blog about Different Types of Facelifts
Medical References about Neck lift and Lower Facelift
About Dr Jeremy Hunt – Specialist Plastic Surgeon
Dr Jeremy Hunt is one of Australia’s leading specialist plastic surgeons for breast, body, face and nose surgery. He is a member of FRACS & ASPS and has over 20 years of experience providing expert cosmetic and plastic surgery in Sydney.
Careful, considerate and honest, Dr Jeremy Hunt works with you to find a solution that is best for your body and your lifestyle. Every patient is unique and, through his expert guidance, can achieve the best possible results.
Dr Hunt’s personal, one-on-one service and attention to detail has given thousands of women and men from the Sydney & Wollongong NSW area and across Australia the confidence and body shape they desire.
Dr Hunt’s qualifications and education
Dr Jeremy A Hunt MBBS FRACS graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine degree from Sydney University in 1990 and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and member of ASPS – the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. He completed a Fellowship at the prestigious University of Texas in the United States, where he learnt from some of the world’s very best plastic surgeons.
Next Step – Make an Enquiry or Request a consultation with Dr Hunt
Want more information before scheduling your consultation?
- Find out more about pricing, medical payment plans and paying for your surgery
- Request more information about the procedure – call on 1300 157 200 or contact us
If breast reduction is something you’re considering, Dr Hunt can thoroughly explain all the options to you in a one-on-one consultation.
- Make an Enquiry or Request a consultation with Dr Hunt
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health professional.