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Facelift vs Neck Lift Plastic Surgery

Many patients looking to enhance their face and neck regions may be confused between a facelift and a neck lift. The neck is the foundation of the face, and comprehensive enhancement often requires that both areas are addressed. The specific approach, however, will be influenced by the patient’s unique needs and requirements. In this blog post, we help you understand both treatments so you can select the best option for you. 

What is a facelift 

A facelift is a cosmetic surgery that is designed to address signs of aging and other imperfections in the facial area. The goal is usually to achieve a youthful and rejuvenated appearance. Plastic surgeons perform this procedure by tightening loose skin and the layer of connective tissue underlying the skin. Modern facelifts will address areas of the jawline, cheeks, chin, and sometimes even the neck by lifting the SMAS tissue. A facelift is a significantly invasive procedure that takes about 3 – 4 hours to complete and about 3 weeks for recovery. 

Types of facelifts 

Dr. Wu performs 3 different types of facelifts in The Woodlands Tx to suit the needs of each patient:

  • Mini facelift – this is a less invasive procedure that entails limited incisions and that is focused on addressing mild aesthetic issues. The procedure is not ideal for individuals who have severe signs of aging. 
  • Lower facelift – this procedure option is designed to address the neck and jawline. This is often used as the baseline facelift technique and is often combined with other treatments such as fat injections and eyelid surgery to achieve a comprehensive outcome. 
  • Full facelift – a full facelift is the most comprehensive type of facial cosmetic surgery. Plastic surgeons create incisions at the temples or scalp and use them to address imperfections on the lower two-thirds of the face. This is the recommended procedure choice for individuals who have severe signs of aging.

The surgeon may also be able to offer non-surgical facelifts to suit the needs of qualified patients.

What is a neck lift? 

A neck lift, also referred to as platysmaplasty, is a cosmetic surgery that addresses visible signs of aging in the neck and jawline. Plastic surgeons work on removing excess fat and skin from the jawline and neck areas in order to achieve a youthful and rejuvenated appearance. The procedure takes between one and three hours to complete and as much as four weeks for recovery. 

Ideal candidates for a neck lift and facelift 

Both facelift and neck lift happen to be two of the most commonly performed anti-aging procedures. These treatments are ideal for individuals who have:

  • Good physical and emotional health 
  • Loss of facial volume 
  • Jowls 
  • Deep nasolabial folds 
  • Double chin resulting from excessive submental fat 
  • Turkey wattle due to excess skin accumulation 
  • Skin laxity in areas of the face and neck
  • Drooping of the lower face 
  • Realistic expectations regarding the outcome of these treatments

During your consultation visit with Dr. Chaowen Wu at Revel You, the surgeon will listen to your concern, examine your face and neck and then determine what procedure option is best suited for you. In some cases, patients with mild aesthetic issues may be able to benefit from non-surgical options. 

What’s the difference between a facelift and neck lift?

The difference between a facelift and a neck lift lies in what can be accomplished with each treatment. 

Facelift Neck lift 
This is a cosmetic surgery that removes excess fat and skin from areas of the face This procedure removes excess fat and skin from the jowls and areas under the jaw
Reduces facial sagging along with wrinkles around the mouth and cheeks Alleviates ‘turkey wattle’ and double chin imperfections
Significantly enhances areas of the jawline, cheeks, and mouth Effectively tightens neck muscles in order to minimize sagging under the chin 
Promotes facial youthfulness Creates a younger-looking and smoother neckline

Can you combine both procedures? 

Because the anatomy of the neck and face are unified, improving one area often helps enhance the other. For patients who need to see dramatic results in both areas, combining procedures is a good option. Based on your specific needs and requirements, Dr. Wu’s office should be able to create an individualized treatment regimen for you. 

What are the risks?

Like any other surgical procedure, both a facelift and a neck lift are associated with certain risks. These include blood clots, infection, and scarring. It is also possible that the patient may not be satisfied with the outcome of their procedure. The best safeguard patients can take is to work with a seasoned plastic surgeon who has performed numerous successful procedures before. 


If you are looking to choose between a neck lift and facelift, the first step is to schedule a consultation with our plastic surgeon – Dr. Wu – in The Woodlands area. The surgeon is uniquely placed to help you know what option or combination of procedures is best suited for you. In some cases, you may be able to benefit from non-surgical facial treatments that are less costly and have minimal recovery downtime.