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A facelift and a neck lift are two different types of cosmetic surgeries that can be performed to improve your appearance. While they do share some similarities, there are also some significant differences to be aware of.
What is a Facelift?
A facelift is a popular cosmetic procedure used to achieve a more youthful facial appearance. This surgery is performed by making incisions in the skin, often along the hairline and just behind the ear.
The plastic surgeon will then tighten the skin and muscles before trimming away any excess skin. The goal is to eliminate sag to achieve a smoother, younger appearance.
What Does Facelift Correct?
A facelift is used to correct a number of different issues, including:
- Sagging skin.
- Deep creases around the mouth (smile lines/laugh lines).
- Deep wrinkles and lines on the face.
- Drooping eyelids.
What is a Neck Lift?
Neck lifts are very similar to facelifts, but as the name suggests, they are specifically focused on correcting the appearance of the neck. Much like the face, the collagen and muscles in the neck can break down over time, leading to sagging skin and wrinkles.
A surgeon addresses these issues by making incisions under the chin, tightening the neck muscles, and trimming away any excess skin and fat.
What Does a Neck Lift Correct?
This procedure can be used to correct:
- Sagging skin.
- Excess skin under the chin; known as a “turkey wattle.”
- A double chin caused by excess fat and skin.
What are the Differences Between Facelift and Neck Lift Procedures?
Area of Focus
The main difference between these procedures is the area of focus. As we mentioned, facelifts are performed on the face, focusing on the area between the jawline and hairline, while neck lifts target the skin and muscles around the neck.
A facelift will typically require a week or two of recovery before you can return to your normal activities. Patients may experience some bruising and swelling, which will subside in about two weeks. It can take three to four months for the final results to be realized.
For a neck lift, recovery can take up to two weeks. However, you should wait at least three to four weeks before resuming any strenuous activities or exercise.
The results of a facelift are much more apparent than those of a neck lift. This is because the former corrects a larger, more visible area and can achieve more noticeable results.
That being said, it’s not uncommon for patients to opt for both procedures simultaneously to achieve the best results. In fact, both procedures are often performed together to achieve a more dramatic effect.
If you’re considering either of these procedures, it’s important to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your goals. During your consultation, your surgeon can help you decide which type of surgery is right for you.
Frequently Ask Questions
Sometimes people ask whether they want to get a neck lift vs facelift. Both procedures tighten the skin for a smoother and younger appearance. A full facelift focuses on most of the face and neck, while a neck lift focuses on the neck specifically.
In general, you can expect to make a full recovery from your procedure in about two to three weeks. A traditional face and neck lift addresses a larger area and a greater degree of skin laxity than other procedures, so recovery will take longer than more minimally invasive procedures.
A facelift has surprisingly little pain. But we don’t like having a tightness in our face and neck, so the recovery is more about feeling a little tight and stiff than having pain per se. But this phase ends after a few days, but a tight neck can go on for several weeks longer.
Most patients wear their compression garments for about two weeks after their facelift, neck lift, or neck liposuction procedures.
For most patients, results from a facelift will last about 10 years. The skin on your face will continue to age after you have a facelift, which is why the results aren’t permanent.