What’s the Difference Between a Facelift and Necklift?

by | Aug 29, 2014

What’s the Difference Between a Facelift and Necklift?

It’s universally acknowledged that some things in life are just better in pairs, like peanut butter and jelly, or Batman and Robin. The same holds true when it comes to plastic surgery, especially plastic surgery of the face and neck. While each individual surgery will produce amazing results on its own, the overall look will seem incomplete if only one procedure is done and not the other. It’s like only applying makeup to half of your face. How strange would that look? Let’s look at the difference between a facelift and necklift.

The first thing you need to know is that a facelift and necklift are not the same thing. In fact, when people think of facelift surgery in Scottsdale, they are most likely thinking of a short scar facelift, which just concentrates on the face (specifically, the cheeks and jowls). A traditional facelift, on the other hand, concentrates on the cheeks, jowls, and neck. Lastly, a necklift is as it sounds; it concentrates only on the neck, and will not correct any saggy skin elsewhere on the face.

While we recommend getting both surgeries together (i.e. a traditional facelift), it is possible to get only one and not the other, but only in rare circumstances.

The only time we recommend getting strictly a necklift or short scar facelift is if the patient is fairly young and his or her face has not yet aged as much as the neck or vice versa. However, generally speaking, your neck and your face age in tandem, so getting both procedures done together is the most logical choice. This will give you more dramatic results.

To help you understand the differences between the various options, we’ve listed some of the most important features of each. They are as follows:

Traditional Facelift

  • concentrates on the cheeks, jowls, and neck.
  • an incision is made at the hairline above the ear and extends around the ear, curving back into or around the hairline behind the ear.
  • underlying tissue and muscle is lifted

Short Scar Facelift

  • concentrate on the cheeks and jowls only
  • is used to reduce skin laxity, but can also be used to lift some underlying tissue
  • short incision made in front of the ear, extending around the earlobe and slightly behind the ear
  • shorter recovery time than a traditional facelift


  • concentrates on just the neck
  • does not address loose skin elsewhere on the face
  • shortest recovery time of all facial surgeries

If you’re unsure of which procedure to get, have no fear. During your consultation, Dr. Brown will evaluate your neck and face and will then determine which procedure or procedures is needed for you to look your absolute best.

For facelift surgery in Scottsdale, AZ or Sun City, AZ call our office at ​480-568-3804 to schedule a consultation.