Center for Oral | Maxillofacial & Facial Cosmetic Surgery

Facial Cosmetic Surgery

Face/Neck Lift

Skin of the face and neck lose elasticity as one ages. Underlying muscles also lose tone. This is magnified through sun exposure, weight gain or loss, gravity and stress. These factors may act together and accentuate the appearance of wrinkles, creating a tired look.

A facelift-necklift helps improve the most visible signs of aging through removal and redistributing excess fatty deposits, tightening underlying muscles and removing sagging skin. The standard facelift addresses the lower 1/3 of the face and the upper neck.

Variants include the mini and extended facelift-necklift procedures. Procedure choice depends on your needs and must be discussed with your surgeon. Surgeons have recognized the three dimensional nature of the facial structures and often complemented this procedure with others to restore volume and address cosmetic issues throughout the facial-neck structures.

Often other facial procedures are performed at the same time including forehead lift, eyelid lift (blepharoplasty), chin and cheek implants, nose reshaping (rhinoplasty), liposculpture, chemical peel, laser resurfacing and lipotransfer.

Who is a Candidate?

  • Men and women with jowl formation (the lower cheeks and jaw line are saggy).
  • Men and women with a poorly defined jaw line.
  • Men and women with wrinkled saggy and fatty neck.

Intended Results

  • A sharper and better defined jaw line.
  • Improved neck and chin angle.
  • Less tired look with more youthful appearance.
  • This does not treat the lines around the mouth and will not improve skin surface defects and discoloration.

Procedure Description

  • Face Lifts are usually performed in an accredited office facility, outpatient surgical facility or in the hospital.
  • They may be performed under local anesthesia with or without oral sedation, conscious sedation, and general anesthesia.
  • The surgeon usually makes incisions in front and behind the ear. This should be discussed with your surgeon.
  • Sutures and/or staples are used for closure followed by placement of an elastic dressing around the face and neck.

Recuperation and Healing

  • Recovery may be at home with a responsible adult, in a recovery facility or overnight in the hospital.
  • A compression garment may be worn around the lower face and neck for approximately one week.
  • Bruising and swelling are normal and may take several weeks to resolve.
  • Stiffness in the neck and some soreness with swallowing and eating is common.
  • Sutures and staples are removed within two weeks.
  • Drains, if used are usually removed 1-3 days after the procedure.
  • Make-up can be applied over the skin immediately but not over the incisions for 2-3 weeks.

Other Options

  • Chemical peels, laser resurfacing and microdermabrasion to improve the skin appearance and texture.
  • Botulinum toxin and fillers.
  • Lipotransfer and implant insertion to restore lost volume.
  • Eyelid and forehead rejuvenation.
  • Rhinoplasty.

Note

  • The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation with your cosmetic surgeon. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are rare.

back to top | back to facial cosmetic surgery


The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery is a professional medical society whose members are dedicated to patient safety and physician education in cosmetic surgery. Most members of AACS are dermatological surgeons, facial plastic surgeons, head and neck surgeons, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, general surgeons, plastic surgeons or ocular plastic surgeons — all of whom specialize in cosmetic surgery. AACS is the organization that represents cosmetic surgeons in the American Medical Association through its seat in the AMA House of Delegates.

© 2009 American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS). All rights reserved.