Will a Full Facelift Improve My Neckline?

Published: May 30, 2024
Category: Facelift, Neck Lift, Dr. Robert Wilke, General

What do you feel ages you most about your appearance? Although we may assume that ‘my face’ is the answer most people give, ‘my neckline’ is also a wildly popular answer. The delicate skin of the neck is excessively prone to premature aging due to genetics, lifestyle, UV damage, and the natural aging process. As a result, the skin in this highly visible area can begin to thin, sag, and become very crepey in appearance, well before that of the face. While skincare products and laser treatments can subtly improve the neck’s texture and tone, a surgical intervention is often required to improve the neckline significantly.

“Perhaps more than any other area of the body, our necklines can age us beyond our years,” says Dr. Robert Wilke, a board-certified plastic surgeon and partner at Edina Plastic Surgery. “Part of this is due to our faces getting all the glory and attention when it comes to the application of SPF, anti-aging skincare, and aesthetic treatments – our neckline can simply be neglected over the years,” he explains. “However, our necks are also just more prone to show the visible signs of aging as collagen production declines and muscles weaken. Fortunately, neck lift surgery can address the multiple concerns that come with an aging neckline.”

What factors contribute to an aging neckline?

As our skin ages, the primary muscle of our neck, the platysma, begins to stretch and weaken. In addition, the fat of our face and neck begins to redistribute, and we can develop jowls, a double chin, and a ‘turkey neck.’ As a result, the lower portion of the face loses definition and begins to sag, which can transcend down the entire length of the neck.

Do I need a facelift or a neck lift?

“Many patients are surprised to learn at their plastic surgery consultation that a full facelift actually includes a neck lift,” says Dr. Wilke. “Part of this confusion is due to misconceptions about what a traditional facelift addresses during surgery. A facelift is mainly used to rejuvenate the lower portion of the face with a focus on removing jowls along the jawline. The procedure also improves the nasolabial fold area and lower midface but does not incorporate the upper face or eyes. The incision used for a full facelift also allows access to address the neck, so it is standard practice to include a neck lift during a facelift.”

“It would be very unusual for a patient concerned about a ‘turkey neck’ or loss of definition along their neckline to not also be concerned about the contour and tightness of their lower face,” says Dr. Wilke. “The two concerns go hand in hand and have somewhat of a reciprocal relationship. A traditional facelift addresses BOTH areas and leads to more significant and harmonious results than if one area was addressed and not the other.”

How can my neck lift procedure be customized?

Everyone’s neck ages differently. Some patients have a genetic double chin that could benefit from liposuction during their neck lift procedure to remove excess fat and enhance the contour of the jawline. Other patients may have very pronounced platysmal bands that give the neck a strained appearance. In this case, your surgeon may suggest continuing with regular BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments after your procedure to relax these muscles and further smooth your neckline. The essential thing to realize is that your neck lift journey can and should be customized to achieve the best outcome for YOU.

Concern: Turkey Neck and/or Heavy Jowls
Solution: Full Facelift (Neck Lift Included)

“When I consult with a patient about rejuvenating their neckline, I’m always taking into account their age, current skin quality, lifestyle, and goals before making recommendations,” says Dr. Wilke. “A patient who immediately pulls at the excess sagging skin below their chin and along their jawline when I ask what bothers them about their appearance is a surefire full facelift candidate. A traditional facelift will not only allow me to tighten the jowls and lift the lower face to a more youthful position, but it will also give me access to the patient’s platysma muscle on the neck so it can be tightened to create a more contoured angle under the chin.”

Concern: Double Chin and Sagging Lower Face
Solution: Full Facelift with Liposuction (Neck Lift Included)

A double chin is a common concern among many neck lift patients, whether due to genetics or fluctuations in weight. In this case, liposuction can easily be added to a full facelift procedure to remove any bulk and excess fat under the chin and jawline. Doing so will further enhance the definition of the jawline and improve a patient’s profile after a full facelift.

“Younger patients with good skin quality and a double chin may benefit from liposuction alone,” advises Dr. Wilke. “This can be done through three small incisions – two behind the earlobes and one beneath the chin. The procedure involves removing fat from beneath the chin. Then, with time and compression, the overlying skin tightens over the platysma muscle, which is still in a good position with good support in younger patients.”

Concern: Sagging Lower Face and Neckline With an Aging Upper Face
Solution: Full Facelift with Browlift and/or Blepharoplasty

As stated before, a traditional facelift does NOT address aging in the upper face. If you are concerned about a heavy, drooping brow or loose, excess skin on your upper or lower eyelids, your plastic surgeon may recommend additional procedures to help you achieve your desired aesthetic.

“A full facelift is frequently combined with a brow lift to elevate heavy brows into a more youthful position on the face and smooth deep horizontal lines across the forehead,” says Dr. Wilke. “Adding an upper and/or lower lid blepharoplasty is also popular because these procedures refresh the eye area and make patients look more rested and awake. Having multiple procedures performed at once saves patients time and money and leads to more holistic results that have a greater impact.”

Concern: Sagging Lower Face and Neckline and Poor Skin Quality
Solution: Full Focus Facelift

“Plastic surgery is very effective at removing excess skin and tightening tissues, but it can do little for actual skin quality,” explains Dr. Wilke. “If a patient tells me they are concerned about sagging skin on their neck, heavy jowls on their lower face, and extensive sun damage and fine lines, then I recommend our Full Focus Facelift. This procedure is exclusive to Edina Plastic Surgery. It’s unique in that it combines your surgical procedure with skincare products and treatments from our medical spa, Skin Artisans. Surgery patients are partnered with one of our Advanced Practice Estheticians, who will help prep and perfect their skin with products and laser treatments to improve their skin texture, tone, and overall quality. The Full Focus Facelift is truly transformative for tightening the skin on your face and neck, enhancing your skin’s health, and creating a bright, smooth, and luminous complexion. It’s like a 360-degree rejuvenation that improves every aspect of your appearance from the shoulders up!”

Are you unhappy with the appearance of your neckline? Schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss neck lift surgery with Dr. Robert Wilke or another board-certified plastic surgeon at Edina Plastic Surgery by calling (952) 234-6145, texting (952) 925-1765, or CLICKING HERE!

Schedule A Consultation