The concept of doing a necklift as an isolated procedure is a relatively new concept. Necklifts are traditionally part of a standard full facelift and involve tightening and repositioning the skin of the neck and lower face to give a tighter look, better jawline, and reduce or eliminate the jowls.
We saw several patients in the early years of our practice who were troubled by the appearance of their neck but satisfied with the appearance of their face. As one of our patients put it (and this became the title of a talk we gave at a national meeting) “My face is OK, but my neck looks like Grandma!” She was interested in correcting her neck but did not want a facelift. We continue to see more patients with these feelings for three reasons:
- As more patients are pursuing non-invasive procedures for the face (Botox, fillers, laser treatment, microdermabrasion, chemical peel, etc.) we are keeping the faces looking better but are really doing little for the neck, where many of these treatments are ineffective
- Many patients are worried about the outcome of a facelift, as they have seen patients, even celebrities, who have ended up with an unnatural appearance after surgery. They are less concerned about a bad outcome in the neck where it really is almost impossible to have an “overdone” appearance.
- They feel a facelift is a bigger, more extensive procedure than they desire.
Faced with these requests, we began performing necklifts as an isolated procedure over 20 years ago. Since that time, other plastic surgeons have also noted this trend and the first textbook on necklifts was written only a few years ago.
Necklift vs. Face Lift
This really depends on where you have the greatest problem. Patients who have a fairly youthful face with minimal sagging but their problem is confined to the jawline, jowls, and excess skin the neck are excellent candidates for a necklift. However, if these changes involve the entire face, we may suggest a necklift.
One operation is not “better” than the other. However, one may be better for you than the other. It is important to select the right operation that fits your problem and your needs.
Your First Visit
At your initial consultation we will evaluate your face, review your photographs, and discuss ways we can achieve the look you want. We will review the procedure, showing photographs and diagrams on how it is performed, and come up with an operative plan that suits your needs. Of course, we will ask you about your overall health history and medications to make sure we can do the operation safely. If you have certain medical conditions we may need to contact your primary physician prior to surgery for medical clearance.