Difference Between Facelift and Neck Lift | Eyelid & Facial Plastic Surgery Associates


What Is the Difference Between a Facelift and a Neck Lift?

In the illustrious facial plastic surgery industry, there are a variety of procedures designed to target facial aging to achieve a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance. Two of the most effective and sought-after options are facelifts and neck lifts. Both procedures yield incredible improvements to the overall appearance of the skin, but it’s essential to understand the differences between the procedures to make the most informed decision regarding which is the best fit for your unique aesthetic goals.

Read on to delve deeper into the differences between a facelift and a neck lift to help determine which procedure is suited for your individual needs.

What Are the Basic Differences Between a Facelift and a Neck Lift?

Both a facelift and a neck lift aim to rejuvenate the appearance of the face and neck; however, they target different areas and concerns. The primary differences between these two aesthetic procedures include:

  • Targeted areas. A facelift focuses on treating the bottom two-thirds of the face, including the cheeks, jawline, and nasolabial folds. A neck lift targets the area from the chin to the clavicle, addressing concerns like a turkey neck, double chin, and neck bands.
  • Procedure Technique. Facelifts are more complex than neck lifts because they require more detailed techniques that tend to the intricate nature of the facial anatomy. However, both procedures require the expertise of a skilled and experienced facial plastic surgeon like Dr. Amato to achieve safe and transformative results.
  • Recovery. As a facelift requires a more extensive surgical approach than a neck lift, a facelift recovery is longer than that of a neck lift. The length of the recovery will depend on the patient and the extent of the procedure. Patients can expect to take at least two weeks off of work for initial facelift recovery, while a neck lift may require one to two weeks of recovery.

What Specific Areas Do Facelift and Neck Lift Target?


A facelift (rhytidectomy) is a facial plastic surgery procedure that targets sagging skin, wrinkles, and misplaced facial tissue through lifting and tightening techniques. The ultimate goal of a facelift is to restore a more youthful appearance by treating mid-face sagging, deep nasolabial folds, jowls, and loose skin and wrinkles. Facelifts are highly effective at tightening sagging skin and reducing wrinkles, particularly in the lower two-thirds of the face. By removing excess skin and repositioning underlying facial tissue and muscles, a facelift can create a smoother, more youthful appearance.

Neck Lift

A neck lift, or plastysmaplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that focuses on rejuvenating loose skin and wrinkles and eliminating excess fat along the neck. This procedure is effective at addressing loose, sagging skin—colloquially called a “turkey neck”—excess fat beneath the chin, neck banding, and wrinkles and creases. A neck lift tightens loose skin, repairs the platysma muscle, and smooths horizontal wrinkles and creases, providing the area with a more refreshed and youthful look.

How Do the Techniques for Facelifts Differ from Those of Neck Lifts?

There are two common techniques used to perform a facelift: the mid-face lift and the mini facelift.

A mid-facelift involves a series of tiny incisions placed in well-concealed locations within the hairline of the scalp. Through these incisions, Dr. Somogyi will lift the sagging cheek tissue to a more youthful position. A mid-facelift can also include dermal fillers or cheek implants to fill and contour more defined cheekbones.

A mini facelift involves repositioning tissues on portions of the lower face. The length of the incision is about half of a traditional facelift. It is placed in front of the ear and is wrapped behind the ear. Dr. Somogyi begins by separating the skin from the underlying muscle and fat before tightening the underlying tissue and removing any excess skin. Sutures secure the tissue layers in place with as little tension as possible to minimize scarring. Once the incisions are closed, the wound is dressed and bandaged, and the patient is sent to recovery.

A neck lift is performed through a hidden incision around the ears, where Dr. Somogyi will reposition tissues, elevate the skin, and move the underlying muscles and fascia layers into a more youthful position. For those who have some undesired fat accumulated under the chin, liposuction can be added to this customized surgical plan to redefine the jawline and eliminate the appearance of a double chin.

What Are the Expected Goals and Results of a Facelift Vs. a Neck Lift?

The expected goals of a facelift include:

  • Tightened skin along the mid-portion of the face
  • Smoother facial lines and wrinkles
  • Improved facial volume in the cheeks
  • Contoured and defined jawline and chin

The expected goals of a neck lift include:

  • Reduced appearance of double chin
  • Smoother neck bands
  • Youthful, elegant neckline

Who Is an Ideal Candidate for a Facelift and Who for a Neck Lift?

Ideal candidates interested in either a facelift or a neck lift must be in good overall health, non-smokers, and have realistic expectations surrounding the results of their procedure. Dr. Amato will evaluate your facial needs during your consultation to determine if you are a viable candidate for a facelift or neck lift surgery and provide knowledgeable recommendations based on your specific aesthetic needs.

How Do I Know If I Need a Facelift or Neck Lift?

To determine which procedure is best for addressing your individual needs and goals, it’s important to consider your primary concerns. Identify the areas of your face and neck that are causing you the most dissatisfaction. If you are primarily concerned with sagging skin, wrinkles, and volume loss in the lower portion of the face, a facelift may be the most effective option. If your primary concerns are focused around your neck, such as a double chin or neck banding, a neck lift may be the better choice.

Should I Combine Facelift and Neck Lift Surgery?

Often, a facelift and neck lift are combined into a single comprehensive surgery. During your consultation, Dr. Amato can discuss the possibility and potential benefits of combining these procedures.

How Do I Find the Best Facelift and Neck Lift Surgeon?

Finding the best surgeon to perform your facelift or neck lift procedure is arguably more important than the procedure itself. When searching for possible surgeons, it’s important to find a specialist, someone who focuses primarily on facial plastic surgery procedures. A facial plastic surgeon has undergone rigorous training and has gained a deep understanding of the intricacies surrounding facial anatomy.

Expert facial plastic surgeon Dr. Marie Somogyi has earned an impressive reputation throughout her medical career for her natural-looking facelift and neck lift results. If sagging facial skin or neck banding is negatively impacting your self-confidence, a facelift, neck lift, or a combination procedure can significantly enhance your appearance. Schedule your facelift or neck lift consultation with Dr. Somogyi today by calling (512) 501-1010 or completing our online contact form.