It is possible to have a necklift without an accompanying facelift. Variations on the necklift can be performed with an incision under the chin or one that runs along the lower part of the ear at the front. There can even be a combination of both types of incision. Depending on which method is used, the neck muscles may be tightened either at the centre or on both sides, and some extra skin may be removed if necessary.
Having said that, the majority of patients would get the biggest benefits from having a facelift performed alongside their necklift procedure. There is, of course, a percentage of the population who can achieve a good result with the necklift alone, and this would be assessed before any procedure, but in most cases, it is best to have both done. Necklift surgery is great at helping with any sagging of the neck muscles, particularly in the midline, but they are not very effective at removing jowls.
The signs of ageing in the face tend to also extend into the neck region, and for many patients the reality will be that if they choose to have one procedure without the other, the results will look less natural because of the contrasting appearances of the face and neck. Another thing to note is that the terms ‘facelift’ and ‘necklift’ will mean slightly different things to different surgeons. For example, some surgeons consider a facelift to incorporate improvement of both the mid-face and the lower third of the face, while others will only address the mid-face region. It is important that you discuss these things with any surgeon you meet to ensure you know what their proposed procedure will cover and whether you need more.
The bottom line
Ultimately, to achieve a natural-looking, younger appearance you will want to reposition the cheekbone, reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, get a well-defined jawline, remove jowls and eliminate sagging in the neck. For most patients, this will only be achieved by combining a necklift procedure with a facelift, but when you have your consultation you can discuss this in detail with your surgeon.