Neck Lift Without Facelift – How Well Does It Work?

neck lift without facelift
Neck aging without much facial aging is uncommon.

Patients often ask if it’s possible to get a neck lift without facelift surgery.  The answer, of course, is yes.  But, while this could work for some patients, it might not your best option for looking younger and more attractive.  Why not?

Neck Lift without Facelift?  Consider the Contrast Principle

While it’s possible, it’s fairly rare to have noticeable neck aging – neck banding or a turkey neck – without having some facial aging as well.   Fixing one without the other may make you a victim of the Contrast Principle.  In his classic, Influence – Science and Practice, highly respected researcher and social psychologist Dr. Robert Cialdini describes it this way:

There is a principle in human perception, the contrast principle, that affects the way we see the difference between two things that are presented one after the other.  Simply put, if the second item is fairly different from the first, we will tend to see it as more different than it actually is…If we are talking to a very attractive individual at a party and then are joined by an unattractive individual, the second will strike us as less attractive than he or she actually is.

It’s a little like just cleaning part of a room – the rest looks dirtier.  Or buying a new couch but keeping all your old living room furniture.  The new couch may look terrific, but it will actually make the rest of your living room appear older than it otherwise would.  So, if your face looks young and attractive, but your neck is aging – by all means get just a neck lift procedure.  But if you have any jowls or marionette lines, these will frequently look worse afterwards.

Having a younger-looking neck and an older-looking face can look unnatural.  In many people, the Contrast Principle may make that inevitable.  In addition, before deciding on a stand-alone neck lift you’d also want to consider the limitations of the neck lift procedure itself.

Neck Lift Procedure Limitations    CONTACT Dr. Machida Inland Empire, CA 

The neck lift can include several different procedures, depending on your needs.  If you have a double chin or sagging neck muscles under your chin, your surgeon will perform neck liposuction and a platysmaplasty through a small incision under your chin.  A Corset Platysmaplasty involves suturing your superficial platysma muscles together into one smooth centralized unit.

Your surgeon will also make incisions in front of and behind your ears.  From these, he or she will pull your neck tissues diagonally back.  This will help to smooth your neck.  But it will not achieve the same level of improvement as it would if combined with a facelift.  Why  not?

Having both procedures is better than a neck lift without facelift surgery

If you’re still considering a neck lift without facelift surgery, consider this:  A neck lift, as effective as it can be, has limitations if done by itself.  For example, your surgeon can only pull your neck muscles and skin back diagonally from behind your ears.  But many people need a vertical lift as well.  This can only be done with a facelift.  The SMAS membrane under the face needs to be lifted over the jaw to get the best results.  This will firm up your jawline as well as your neck.

A SMAS facelift can provide a small vertical pull under your jawline.  When combined with a neck lift, this can effectively smooth your lower face, eliminate any jowls, and give you the smoother-looking neck you want.

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Deep Plane Facelift without Neck Lift by Dr. Brian Machida

A Deep Plane facelift, in contrast, can substantially improve your midface, lower face, and neck without the need for a neck lift.  We explain this in detail in “Need a Platysmaplasty – Neck Lift – with Your Facelift? Not Necessarily.”  If your jawline needs work, the deep plane facelift provides a good vertical lift that significantly improves both your neck and your jaw.  And if you have a turkey neck, a mini-plat procedure can get rid of it without a full neck lift.

neck lift without facelift, neck lift without facelift Inland Empire, facelift Inland Empire, improve nasolabial folds, marionette lines, deep plane facelfit, Inland Empire, deep plane facelift, Dr. Brian Machida
Before and one week After Deep Plane Facelift by Dr. Brian Machida, MD, FACS. Dramatic improvement is seen while patient is healing.

Another factor you’ll want to consider is that pulling your neck tissues back through the incisions in front of your earlobes can lead to bunching of tissue there.  A facelift allows your surgeon to even that out by pulling your facial tissues up over your jawline.  Your surgeon can also work to prevent swelling in front of your earlobes that can occur with a stand-alone neck lift.

Deep Plane Facelift Without Neck Lift? 

Depending on your situation, rather than having a neck lift without facelift surgery, you might be better off to just get a deep plane facelift without a neck lift.  As I explained in May on LookYounger.News, a platysmaplasty does run the risk of unwanted side effects.  These can include neck muscles or sutures becoming clearly visible under your skin, skin discoloration, and even skin loss.

Since the deep plane facelift can not only give you a noticeably younger-looking face and neck, but also avoids the potential side effects of a neck lift, it’s certainly an option worth considering.  A highly experienced board-certified facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon who specializes in the face and neck can evaluate your face and neck aging.  They can give you good advice on the best way to “roll back the clock.”

neck lift without facelift, Inland Empire, facelift, deep plane, Dr. Brian Machida
Before and After deep plane facelift without neck lift by Dr. Brian Machida

If you’re in Inland Empire, California, you can find me at STC Plastic Surgery in Ontario.

CONTACT Dr. Machida Inland Empire, CA

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About Dr. Brian Machida, MD, FACS

Dr. Brian K. Machida, MD, FACS is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon. He has an exceptional level of experience, having performed ( read more )

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