Your skin is the most visible part of your body, and it begins to wrinkle and sag as the years go by. If you’re hoping to combat the natural signs of aging, either a facelift or neck lift could be an effective procedure for you. But how do you know which one is best for your situation? Consider the similarities and differences between these two cosmetic surgeries to help you decide.
Facelifts vs. Neck Lifts: The Similarities
Both procedures significantly improve the appearance of saggy skin, deep creases and loss of muscle tone in the face and neck. In addition, both treatments are performed using similar techniques and have comparable recovery times. They also both produce long-lasting results, especially if you follow your surgeon’s after-care instructions. A facelift and neck lift can be performed at the same time or combined with other cosmetic procedures, such as Botox injections and liposuction to maximize the results.
Facelifts vs. Neck Lifts: The Differences
Despite their similarities, there are significant differences between facelifts and neck lifts.
Facelifts target the cheeks, lower face, jowls and jawline to address wrinkling, “marionette lines” and sagging in these areas. The procedure is performed by making small incisions in front of the ear or along the natural hairline. The skin and underlying facial muscles are tightened at the cheeks and pulled up toward the forehead. The area is sutured, and loose bandages are applied. The patient can often return home the day of the surgery.
Neck lifts target the jawline, jowls, chin and neck. Their specialty lies in correcting “turkey neck,” or skin that drapes in front of the throat. The procedure involves making small incisions behind the ears and below the chin where the scars are easily hidden. The skin on your lower face, chin and neck is tightened, and any excess skin is removed. As with facelifts, sutures and bandages are used, and the patient can often go home the same day.
Choosing Between a Facelift and Neck Lift
If you’re still not sure which procedure is best for you, try this at-home technique to help you decide:
- Mimic a facelift by placing your fingers at the top of your cheekbones and pulling the skin up and back.
- Mimic a neck lift by placing your forefingers below your jawline and pulling the skin back toward your ears.
- Consider which one provides the most desirable effect, keeping in mind that the most common procedure is a combination lower face/neck lift. In this case, incisions are placed in front and behind the ears (and occasionally below the chin) to facilitate lifting the skin on the face and neck.
In the end, the best way to tell whether a facelift or neck lift is best is to contact Dr. Mark Schusterman at Texas Center for Breast and Body. We’ll help you decide which procedure – or combination of procedures – will best achieve the results you’re looking for.