Mature woman (model) with her hands touching her face and softly smiling.

The passage of time may leave its mark on our faces, but with the wonders of modern plastic surgery, achieving a more youthful look has never been more attainable.

This blog post will compare 2 popular, proven surgical procedures—neck lift vs. facelift—and discuss how they differ, the specific concerns they address, and when combining them might be the best option. Here’s what you need to know to make an informed decision.

What Is a Neck Lift?

A neck lift targets signs of aging in the neck and jawline. During the procedure, excess skin is removed, and underlying muscles are tightened to improve issues like muscle bands, loose and sagging skin, excess fat beneath the chin, and lack of definition in the jaw area.

Before & After Facelift Case 33 Front View in Charleston, SC
Before & After a Neck Lift
Before & After Facelift Case 89 Left Side View in Charleston, SC
Before & After a Neck Lift

What Is a Facelift?

A facelift focuses on rejuvenating the lower half of the face. It involves removing excess facial skin and tightening underlying tissues to address issues such as sagging skin, jowls, deep wrinkles, and the loss of facial volume. The result is a smoother and firmer facial appearance that can take years off your look.

Different types of facelifts can be performed to address specific needs:

Mini Facelift: The mini facelift utilizes smaller incisions around the ear, providing the necessary access for tissue adjustment. It’s suitable for patients requiring minor corrections and results in minimal scarring and easier recovery.

Standard Facelift: The traditional facelift involves incisions around the ear and up through the hairline, granting surgeons maximum access for tissue correction. This approach is ideal for moderate to severe cases of skin laxity.

Learn more about the best age for having facelift surgery in our related blog post.

Before & After Facelift Case 53 Left Oblique View in Charleston, SC
Before & After a Facelift
Before & After Facelift Case 52 Right Oblique View in Charleston, SC
Before & After a Facelift

Comparing Face and Neck Lift Surgery

Facelifts and neck lifts are distinct procedures, each focusing on specific areas of the face and neck. Facelifts target the lower half of the face, addressing concerns such as sagging cheeks, deep folds, and jowls. Neck lifts tackle issues like loose, sagging skin, vertical neck bands, and the appearance of a double chin caused by excess fat.

To decide between a facelift and a neck lift, it’s essential to identify your specific concerns.

  • A facelift may be the more suitable choice if you’re mainly concerned with wrinkles and sagging in the mid to lower face area.
  • If your primary concern lies in the neck and jawline region, a neck lift may better meet your needs.

Combining the Procedures

In many cases, combining neck lift and facelift procedures provides optimal results, allowing complete rejuvenation of the lower face and neck and addressing multiple concerns simultaneously.

Who Can Benefit from a Combined Facelift & Necklift?

If you have noticeable signs of aging in both your face and neck regions, combining a facelift and a neck lift may be the ideal solution. This approach is especially beneficial for individuals seeking comprehensive rejuvenation and a harmonious overall result.

When aging affects both the face and neck, it often involves a range of concerns, such as sagging skin, deep wrinkles, jowls, and loose neck bands. A combined facelift and neck lift allows your plastic surgeon to address these multiple issues simultaneously, resulting in a more complete, balanced transformation.

Recovery & Downtime

Understanding what to expect during recovery can help the process go more smoothly.

Neck Lift Recovery and Downtime

Most patients return home the same day as the surgery. However, you should arrange for someone to drive you home and assist you during the first days after your procedure. You can expect some swelling and bruising, but pain medication can help manage any discomfort.

You’ll need to avoid twisting or turning your neck, keep your head elevated when resting, and avoid strenuous activities during the initial recovery period. Most patients can return to work 1 to 2 weeks after surgery. Most of the swelling subsides within the first few weeks, but mild residual swelling may persist for several months.

Facelift Recovery and Downtime

Recovery following facelift surgery may take slightly longer than a neck lift. Patients can typically return to work and light activities within 2 to 3 weeks, although complete resolution of swelling and bruising may take a few months.

Recovery and Downtime for Combined Procedures

Though everyone’s healing process is unique, most patients who have a neck lift and facelift performed concurrently can return to work and light activities 2 to 3 weeks after surgery. Combining the surgeries rather than having them performed separately can achieve comprehensive results while potentially reducing overall recovery time and costs.

Request a Consultation

Are you ready to rejuvenate your appearance and turn back the clock on aging? If you’re interested in discussing your options with a board-certified plastic surgeon at Crantford Costa Plastic Surgery, call our Charleston, SC, office at (843) 722-5904 or request a consultation.

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