Facial Surgery

Face lift / Neck lift

About face lift and neck lift surgery

Face lift surgery lifts and firms sagging facial tissues to restore a more naturally youthful facial appearance. This is done by removing excess, sagging skin, smoothing deep folds, and lifting and tightening the deep facial tissues.

Neck lift surgery is often performed in combination with face lift surgery to ensure a naturally balanced appearance and smooth, refined lines.

What does face lift and neck lift surgery involve?

How extensive the surgery is will depend on requirements of the patient. For example:

  • A less invasive face lift may include incisions located along the hairline above each ear and/or in the natural creases surrounding the ear. Through these incisions, structural tissues around the cheeks are lifted and tightened to correct jowling, refine the jawline, and rejuvenate the face.
  • More extensive face lift surgery may include incisions located just behind the hairline, starting near the temples, and around the front of the ear, hidden in the natural folds, where the surgeon can reposition the deeper tissues beneath the skin and remove excess skin. The aim is to smooth creases, eliminate jowling and sagging skin under the chin, and restore a more youthful contour to the face and neck.

Neck lift surgery commonly includes a small incision behind each ear, and depending on a patient's needs may also include a third small incision underneath the the chin. Through these incisions, neck muscles and/or underlying tissues will be tightened and excess, sagging skin removed.

After surgery

After a face-lift, you may experience:

  • Mild to moderate pain
  • Drainage from the incisions
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Numbness

In the first few days after surgery:

  • Rest with your head elevated
  • Take pain medication as recommended by your doctor
  • Apply cool packs to the face to ease pain and reduce swelling

Self care

Self-care at home during the first three weeks will help your recovery and minimize the risk of complications:

  • Follow wound care instructions as directed by your surgeon.
  • Do not pick at crusting scabs that develop on your wound.
  • Wear clothes that fasten in the front (rather than clothes that are pulled over the head).
  • Avoid excessive pressure or motion on and around the incisions.
  • Avoid using makeup.
  • Avoid vigorous or aerobic activity or sports.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure to the incision for three weeks and use a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher thereafter.

In the weeks after a face-lift, you might style your hair to hide any remaining signs of the incision. You may also choose to delay attending major social events for a couple of months, when you are likely to feel back to normal.


A face-lift can give your face and neck a more youthful appearance. Face-lift results are not permanent. With age, the facial skin may begin to droop again. In general, a face-lift can be expected to last 10 years.