How Do You Know If You Need A Facelift?

before and after a neck lift procedure
When is a Necklift the Best Choice? Before and after example.

When is a Necklift the Best Choice?

Facelifts get plenty of press when it comes to rejuvenating the face, but few people understand when necklift is the better choice. Dr. Edward Buckingham has the answers you need to decide if a facelift or a neck lift better suits your individual needs.

How Aging Affects the Face

As you age, the signs are particularly apparent on the face and neck. Muscle tone and connective tissue weaken so skin often begins to sag. Fat pockets develop around the eyes and mouth, and on the cheeks, forehead, and temples decreases in the volume are seen.

Fat that doesn’t diminish joins the skin and starts sliding south. As a result, you start seeing more skin and fat in the lower portion of your face, specifically around the chin, jawline, and upper neck.

Another problem with this shifting skin involves creases and wrinkles. Over time, the muscles in your face pull at the skin so much that it forms creases. If it’s not the muscle, the shifting fat makes lines that are always in your face, such as smile lines, more noticeable.

A neck lift tightens the appearance of the jawline and neck
A neck lift tightens the appearance of the jawline and neck

Comparing a Necklift vs. Facelift

Neck lift surgery

A neck lift tightens and tones the appearance of just the jawline and neck. It’s a good choice for removing double chin and neck rolls. During the surgical procedure, Dr. Buckingham makes an incision around the chin or, in some cases, under the chin.

The muscles of the neck are tightened, and excess fat is removed through liposuction if necessary. Skin is then re-draped on the new frame and excess skin is trimmed. The incisions are then closed.

If you have sagging skin on the cheeks, the neck lift is not going to address those concerns. Healing after a neck lift takes about 7 to 10 days. Bruises and swelling tend to subside during this time, but some swelling may remain for up to three months.

Facelift surgery

With facelift surgery, the areas that receive attention are the lower cheeks, jawline, and upper neck. It’s good at restoring fat on the cheeks to a more youthful position, removing a double chin, and alleviating the appearance of jowls and a turkey neck.

Dr. Buckingham makes incisions in the hairline above the ears, around the ears, and then behind the ears. The location of these incisions makes them very hard to notice after they’ve healed. Muscle is tightened, skin is re-draped on the new frame, and then excess skin is removed before the incisions are closed.

After a facelift, you need about 10 to 14 days of healing, and another week before you get back to full activities. Like the neck lift, swelling and bruising following a facelift usually diminish within two weeks, but it can take up to three months before all swelling subsides.

Discussing your concerns

Discussing your concerns with a facial plastic surgeon is always the best way to decide what plan of action is best for you. Dr. Buckingham is skilled in Austin, Texas, facelifts and neck lifts.

Check out his facelift photo gallery to see the quality of his facial plastic surgeries. During a consultation, he will walk you through the surgical options and pricing. Call the Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery at (512) 401-2501 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Buckingham.