Ask a doctor

Why Do They Cut the Nap of Your Neck when Having a Facelift

I had a facelift about 3 months ago and in the process of this the back of my neck or nap . Is this normal? Any information would help.

Doctor Answers (15)

Nape of the neck incisions


Depending on how much laxity there is in the neck it may be necessary to make incisions towards the back of the ear/ neck, but rarely all the way to the very back

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 137 reviews

Facelift Incisions


A facelift incision typically extends along the back of teh ear and into the hairline It is important to make sure that the incision is well concealed in the hariline so that it is not visible after it has healed.

The lengthof the incision in the nape of the neck is largely dependent on the amont of exces skin that needs to be removed. If a large amount of skin needs to be trimmed it is actually beneficial to extend the incision so that you don't get scar irregularities such as a dog-ear deformity.

Todd C. Miller, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

A Facelift incision is normally placed on the neck behind the ear but should be hidden in the hair


A Facelift incision is normally placed behind the ear and down along the nape of the neck but it must be hidden in the hair above the hairline along the neck so that it is not visible.

This incision is necessary to adequately tighten the neck and re drape the tissues properly after the facial skin is tightened and the excess removed.

This "posterior " aspect of the face;lift incision should not be visible and should be concealed by the hair at or above the hairline of the neck

Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

You might also like...

Incision does not typically exit onto the neck


Typically no, the incisions for a full Face Lift and Neck Lift start in the temple scalp, curve around the front of the ear, continue in the crease behind the ear and enter the posterior scalp but do not exit the hair onto the neck.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Incision along nape of neck for facelift


It is not uncommon to make an incision between the hairline and skin behind the ear (pretrichal) for patient with excessive neck skin that must be removed.  Otherwise, the incision is typically made into the hairbearing skin of the scalp behind the ear to more easily camouflage the incision.

One downside to this pretrichal incision is potential scar widening.  I would wait 4-6 months for the scar to mature and discuss revision with your surgeon if necessary.  I recommend close followup with your surgeon to make the appropriate recommendations.

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Extent of Facelift Incisions


As other Surgeons have correctly noted, the length or extent of the Facelift incision into the hairline depends on the amount of skin redundancy present at the time of surgery; your incision is not unusual.  Generally, I use an incision that initially follows the occipital hairline, then at a defined lower position, enters the occipital hairline.  This allows for removal of a greater amount of non-hair bearing skin.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Unusual scar after facelift? No.


Without a photograph it is difficult to tell exactly what you are talking about. I am assuming that you're talking about a vertical scar in the absolute back of your neck. This is not usually part of a facelift but if someone has excessive amounts of skin in their neck it has to be removed somewhere or cause bunching. The "somewhere" in this case is at the back of the neck. Generally this scar is preferable to bunching of the skin

Andrew Kaczynski, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Facelift with incision in the back of the neck.


This is only done if there is an extreme amount of skin hanging in the neck. Otherwise the incision can be placed in the hair or along the hairline behind the ear.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Faeclift incisions


Facelift incisions can be designed in  many different ways depending upon what the patient needs. Sometimes this includes extending it to the posterior hairline along the back of the neck in severely loose necks.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Facelift incisions.


Depending on the amount of excess skin that needs to be removed, Facelift incisions vary in length. When the incision is carried back behind the ear to the nape of the neck it is to remove the excess skin in the neck that is too redundant to be dealt with in another fashion.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.