Signs of aging can sometimes be seen in the lower face and neck, resulting in jowls, deep folds around the mouth and relaxed, wrinkled or sagging neck skin. 

A facelift and neck lift can tighten loose skin and remove excess fat from the neck, giving the lower face, neck and jawline a smooth, fresh appearance. Also known as rhytidectomy, it can be done in combination with other rejuvenation procedures.

Wake Forest Baptist's surgeons carefully review a patient’s areas of concern, and formulate an individualized plan to create a healthy and youthful look.

Facelift and Neck Lift: What to Expect

During the procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision under the chin and around the ears to access the face and neck muscles. The skin is then lifted toward the ears, muscles and tissue in the face and neck are tightened, and excess skin and fat are removed. Small stitches are used to close the incisions.

Facelift and neck lift patients typically have a head wrap after surgery to minimize swelling, although bruising and swelling are both common for up to two to three weeks after surgery. Neck tightness and a brief limited range of motion is common, but pain is usually mild to moderate. Some patients will describe a tight sensation when swallowing. Most patients will need narcotic pain medications for a few days after surgery. 

Patients should avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting for two weeks after surgery. Most patients take two weeks off from work and activity.