What is a facelift and neck lift?
A facelift and neck lift–also known as a rhytidectomy–raises, rejuvenates, and slims your face. During the procedure, your surgeon will make multiple incisions around your face and neck. Then they can remove face fat and tighten any loose skin.
This cosmetic procedure can target several areas on the face and neck, including the following:
Though a facelift and neck lift can’t repair fine lines or sun damage, other supplemental procedures can. However, a facelift and neck lift will smooth the skin on your cheeks and along your jawline. It’s also the preferred surgery to correct a “turkey neck.”
If you want to learn more about a facelift and neck lift—or schedule a consultation with a facelift surgeon in the Lehigh Valley—then contact St. Luke’s Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery.
As you age, your skin loses elasticity–so it doesn’t snap back as easily. Additionally, natural fat deposits throughout the face and neck can become uneven. As a result, facelift and neck lift candidates include adults with the following characteristics:
- Jowl formation (sagging lower cheeks and jaw)
- Poorly defined jawline
- Wrinkly, saggy, or fatty neck
To determine if a facelift and neck lift is right for you, schedule a consultation with a St. Luke’s facelift surgeon in the Lehigh Valley.
Getting a facelift and neck lift plastic surgery can positively impact your wellbeing and self-confidence. The following list includes some of the most commonly reported benefits:
- Sharper, more defined jawline
- Less tired-looking appearance
- Tighter neck and chin
- Reduced wrinkles around your nose and mouth
- Slimmer face (from face liposuction)
A facelift and neck lift surgery dramatically improves your body image and gives you a more youthful appearance. Though you can have a neck lift surgery without a facelift, having both can enhance the effect.
As with all surgeries, facelifts and neck lifts have risks. Some of them include the following:
- Hair loss
- Nerve injury
- Skin loss
Your surgeon will review a complete list of risks before getting your consent.
Before the procedure
In the time leading up to your facelift and neck lift at St. Luke’s Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, you can take steps to make your procedure as safe as possible. These include discussing the following topics at your surgical consultation:
- Goals and expectations
- Surgical options
As part of your consultation, your surgeon will also do a complete evaluation—which may include the following items:
- Ordering lab work
- Taking “before” photos for comparison
- Assessing medical conditions, allergies, and medical limitations
- Reviewing medications, supplements, alcohol, tobacco, or drug use
A week before the procedure, you can prepare at home in the following ways:
- Filling outstanding prescriptions
- Purchasing any medical supplies as needed
- Coordinating transportation and meals as needed
- Staying hydrated
You should arrive early on the day of your procedure to avoid travel delays.
During the procedure
Mini-faceliftIn a mini-facelift, your surgeon will tighten facial tissues using short incisions—strategically placed to strengthen the jawline, correct jowls, and improve tired-looking features. This type of facelift and neck lift is less invasive due to the incision pattern and is best if you have a mild degree of sagging skin. A mini-facelift is also a good option if you want to combat signs of aging before they become too pronounced.
Standard faceliftIn a standard facelift, your surgeon will tighten facial tissues using extensive incisions. This surgery can correct a turkey neck, strengthen your jawline, reduce jowls, and improve tired-looking features. It can also restore natural contours to your entire face and neck. This facelift and neck lift type is more invasive than a mini-facelift, so it’s used to treat moderate signs of aging.
After the procedure
You may experience pain or discomfort following the procedure. It’s normal to have bruising and swelling—but once this subsides, you’ll start seeing your results.
Although you should notice significant improvements after your procedure, you may need additional surgeries for an optimal outcome. Regular sun protection and a healthy lifestyle can minimize scarring and extend your results.
One primary concern patients have is how soon they’ll look presentable. Typically after two weeks, it should be difficult to tell that you’ve had a facelift and neck lift.
After the procedure, you may be asked to stay in a recovery room for a few hours so your surgeon can monitor you. Otherwise, you’ll leave with a responsible adult. The typical recovery milestones include the following:
- Day of surgery: Use ice packs to decrease the swelling and pain medication to stay comfortable. The first day is usually when the pain is at its worst, so follow your surgeon’s recommendations to minimize discomfort. You should sleep with your head elevated.
- Day after surgery: You’ll have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon to evaluate your incision and swelling. At this point, your surgeon will remove or replace your surgical dressings and drainage tubes.
- Two to three days after surgery: This is typically when you’ll experience the most swelling and bruising, so take pain medication as prescribed. Though you should still be resting, it’s essential to move around if you’re able.
- Four to five days after surgery: You should feel well enough to move around more than you have been. Additionally, your pain and swelling should continue to decrease.
- One week after surgery: You can stop pain medication if you’re still taking it, and you should be able to do light exercise. However, you’ll still sleep with your head elevated to reduce swelling.
- Two weeks after surgery: You can return to work if your job isn’t physically strenuous. Your bruising should be minimal enough to cover with makeup.
- One month after surgery: You can resume your regular activities—although you can avoid strenuous activities if they make you uncomfortable. Note that you may feel tightness and tingling in your face and neck. This is normal and nothing to worry about.
- Two months after surgery: You can resume all your regular activities because your incisions should be healed.