Facelift and Neck Lift
A face and neck lift, or rhytidectomy, can help you reverse key signs of facial aging caused by a loss of skin elasticity, diminished facial volume and exposure to natural elements.
The facial plastic surgeons and plastic surgeons at The University of Kansas Health System are known for creating beautiful facelift and neck lift results that look natural. A face and neck lift is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery options we offer. After a consultation in which we discuss your cosmetic concerns, our surgeons can smooth and elevate problem areas to reveal a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance.
What is a facelift and neck lift?
A face and neck lift is a procedure designed to correct age-related changes in the face and the neck – 2 regions that typically exhibit telltale signs of aging most visibly. As the skin begins to lose elasticity and sag, the face usually develops wrinkles, creases and jowls, while horizontal bands of skin can form around the neck. Additionally, increased deposits of fatty tissue under the chin often creates the appearance of a double chin or poorly defined neck profile.
To combat these changes, a face and neck lift can be a powerful treatment to tighten lax skin, address loose musculature and reposition fatty deposits for a smoother, firmer and more youthful aesthetic. The results achieved can look natural and elegant, diminishing key indicators of age while preserving the character of your face.
We also offer a mid-face lift, which can be ideal for people who experience more notable signs of aging in the mid-portion of the face rather than the entire face. The mid-face lift addresses areas including the cheekbones and the eyes with the goal of tightening the skin and significantly reducing the appearance of wrinkles, excess fat and bags under the eyes.
Who can have facelift and neck lift surgery?
If you struggle with sagging skin in the lower face, you may be an ideal candidate for a facelift, a procedure undergone by hundreds of thousands of patients in the U.S., according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
The majority of people who choose to schedule a facelift are 40-60 years old. However, chronological age is not a determining factor for surgery. After surgery, these men and women can look nearly 12 years younger on average, combined with an improved quality of life and better self-esteem. To benefit from a facelift, you should be a healthy nonsmoker and have realistic expectations about the results that are possible with cosmetic surgery.
Those interested in a facelift and neck lift should be healthy enough to have surgery and have no uncontrolled medical conditions that may affect the recovery process. During your consultation, our surgeons will evaluate your concerns and ask you about your goals to determine whether facelift and neck lift surgery is the best treatment option for you. In some instances, your surgeon may suggest combining facelift surgery with another procedures, such as an eyelid lift, for more comprehensive results.
How does a facelift and neck lift work?
A face and neck lift can achieve many improvements along several planes of the face to restore youthful contours and smooth skin from the inside out. With a face and neck lift, our plastic surgeons can:
- Decrease wrinkles and fine lines
- Elevate and remove loose, excess skin
- Lift and tighten lax musculature and connective tissue for lasting results
- Reduce – or even eliminate – the appearance of jowls along the jawline
- Reduce or eliminate bands visible in the neck
- Remove fat deposits
See your facelift and neck lift in 3D
Benefits and risks of facelift and neck lift surgery
A facelift can accomplish several cosmetic goals:
- Lift sagging jowls
- Remove excess facial skin and fat deposits
- Smooth away deep nasolabial folds
Possible complications from a facelift may include bruising, nerve injury, infection or poor healing. Your surgeon will go over the risks and benefits of facelift and neck lift surgery during your consultation and answer any questions you may have about the procedure.
What happens during a facelift and neck lift?
Face and neck lift surgery usually takes between 3-5 hours to complete and is performed as an outpatient procedure. You will be under general anesthesia during surgery, so you will not feel or remember a thing. The technique our surgeons use involves incisions that can be hidden along natural skin creases, behind the ears, under the chin or within the hairline. Through these incisions, your surgeon can tighten the underlying neck musculature, sculpt and remove fat and remove excess skin. The incisions are closed with fine sutures or surgical clips.
Following your facelift, you should be prepared for up to 3 weeks of recovery time (though it may be shorter, depending on the techniques used). Numbness, bruising and swelling can occur, as well as pain, which can be managed with medication prescribed by your surgeon. Most people typically return to work in 2 weeks, but more strenuous activity or exercise should be limited longer.
Facelift and neck lift FAQ
Whether a facelift includes a neck lift varies by plastic surgery office, and many practices only offer a facelift and neck lift as separate procedures. However, our surgeons believe the face and neck should be treated simultaneously since these 2 regions age together. Excess skin and muscle laxity often develop in the face and neck concurrently, so addressing both areas can typically achieve the highest level of rejuvenation.
Most people can resume exercise after 4 to 6 weeks, although the exact length of recovery time will vary slightly from person to person. As eager as you may be to return to your normal activity, it’s important not to put premature strain on the body before it is fully healed, which can cause fluid buildup, wound separation and infection. Our surgeons will advise you on when you can safely proceed with your workout routine based on the details of your procedure. In most cases, it’s best to gradually ease into your exercise regimen once you’re given clearance to do so, starting with light physical activity such as walking or stretching.
While the basics of facelift surgery are the same for men and women, there are differences in terms of what constitutes an ideal result. For example, men typically have a larger facial shape and desire a sharp, strong jawline. In contrast, women often have an oval facial shape and hope for a sleeker, smoother and softer look. The overall goal for every facelift procedure is to achieve a natural-looking outcome that appears youthful and accentuates your existing features.
Most people who get a facelift are between the ages of 40-80. Our surgeons can assess whether a facelift is the best option for you after a physical examination and thorough review of your medical history.
Swelling after a facelift is normal and expected, but the healing process can often be accelerated by sleeping with the head elevated (above the level of the heart), limiting salt intake, avoiding alcohol and tobacco and wearing compression dressings as instructed by your surgeon. You will receive detailed post-operative instructions after your procedure.
After facelift surgery, it is best to sleep on your back with pillows propped up to keep your head slightly elevated. This should help decrease swelling, improve blood flow, and accelerate the healing process. It is also advised to limit movements that can potentially pull or tug on your incisions.
We recommend avoiding facial makeup for at least 1 week after surgery to ensure that your incisions are fully healed. Applying makeup introduces bacteria, dirt and other impurities into the skin that may cause an infection, so we advise refraining from makeup until your surgeon instructs otherwise.
Discomfort after a facelift is often described as mild rather than painful. As general anesthesia is used during the procedure, there should be no pain at the time of surgery. Most people can manage bruising and swelling during the healing process with short-term use of over-the-counter and prescribed pain medications.