Gravity and the natural aging process inevitably take a toll on our appearance, but not always in a uniform way. For many, sagging neck skin and fat accumulated below the chin draw our attention before we notice signs of aging in the lower face. So, what’s right for you? A neck lift on its own? Or is a full facelift that addresses your concerns above the neck a better option?
In this blog post, we’ll answer some common questions about neck lift and facelift surgery to help you understand what each procedure can accomplish and why our surgeons at Plastic Surgery Center of the South often combine the techniques.
Facelift vs. Neck Lift FAQs
Is there a difference in the recoveries? What about neck lift scars compared to a facelift scar? We’ve got your answers.
What is the primary difference between a facelift and neck lift?
Even though many surgeons use the terms interchangeably, the procedures have clear distinctions. A true standalone neck lift doesn’t address the jawline and jowls. The procedure focuses exclusively on the concerns with the neck—loose skin and fat accumulation below the chin being the primary targets. It may also address the banding of the vertical platysma muscles—one of the classic signs of an aging neck. A neck lift is often combined with liposuction, too.
Surgeons performing a neck lift make incisions below the chin and, in some cases, in front of the ear. Facelift incisions extend behind the ear. Each of those incision locations allows the scar to be concealed in natural creases and features.
How do the recoveries compare?
Even though every patient heals at their own pace, neck lift patients typically can expect to feel well enough to return to work within 7 to 10 days of the procedure. Facelift recovery requires a bit more time, with patients returning to work and beginning to go out socially within approximately 2 to 3 weeks. By that time, most of the swelling and bruising is gone.
Who is a good candidate for a standalone neck lift?
If you’re concerned about a “turkey neck,” platysma bands, the appearance of a double chin, or some combination of those conditions, a neck lift addresses all 3. Many patients who require some correction to the neck also have concerns about their lower face, too, because the platysma muscles extend from the neck to the lower face. It makes sense to combine the procedures in many cases.
How do the risks of a facelift compare to those of a neck lift?
All surgeries include some inherent risk. The risks associated with a facelift and neck lift are relatively minor, especially when experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons perform the procedures. The primary concern is a hematoma, which occurs when blood collects under the skin. We advise patients not to take aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil® and Motrin®), or any other medication or supplement that can cause increased bleeding.
Does a neck lift cost less than a facelift?
The average cost of a facelift in metro Atlanta is typically about $12,000. A neck lift on its own may cost slightly less, but the price of any plastic surgery procedure depends on the patient’s specific needs and if the operation combines different procedures.
If you’re looking for the best plastic surgeon in the Atlanta area to perform facial plastic surgery, request a consultation with one of our surgeons by using the online form. Or call us at (770) 421-1242 to schedule an appointment.