Can You Have a Neck Lift Without a Face Lift?

Yes, a neck lift can be done without a face lift.  Confusion and disagreement about these procedures are common and related to different surgical technique and terminology.  Every person has a unique face and neck. Why? Because skin texture, sun damage, skin elasticity,  bone structure, fat compartments, neck diameter and neck length all differ among people. Differences in opinion exist about which surgical techniques are best to rejuvenate a face or neck. Aesthetic surgeons viewing the same person frequently recommend different techniques to transform the neck or face into a more youthful version. Additionally, the explanation of one surgeon’s face lift or neck lift can be different. It’s important to understand your surgeon’s surgical plan to improve your face or neck. Don’t rely on the term face lift or neck lift because they can mean different things to surgeons.

For instance, some cosmetic surgeons consider a face lift to include improvement of the mid-face and the lower third of the face while others believe a face lift addresses only the mid-face. Clarify with your surgeon during your consultation what his or her strategies are to: lift, pull or fill in order to rejuvenate your face, neck or both.

When my patient’s primary area of concern is their neck and jowls I typically remove neck fat, tighten neck skin and the platysma muscles (superficial neck muscles). This allows me to restore the jaw line and re-establish a clear delineation between the neck and jawline.  I like to use an incision that travels around the ear similar to the incision I use when doing a face lift. I may also use an incision under the chin.  However, when I perform a face lift I lift the mid-face fat-muscle-fibrous layer (SMAS), tighten facial skin (the incision is extended) and sometimes add fat grafting.

When talking with your surgeon about a face or neck lift its important to clarify your surgeon’s preferred technique and precise definition for each recommended treatment.  Ask about the planned incision pattern. There are many things to take into consideration but start with clearly defined terminology and a clear-cut surgical plan.

Click here to see Dr. Jason Cooper’s face lift before and after photos

Click here to see Dr. Jason Cooper’s neck lift before and after photos