Does Neck Lift Help Improve the Jawline?

I`m wondering whether a neck lift improves the look of the far edges of the jawline? Is there any procedure that lifts to the jawline or does that mean a full lower face lift?

Doctor Answers 38

Jawline Improvement

As the jawline and neck are immediately adjacent, patients with aging changes along the jawline such as jowls can have those issues addressed at the same time as a necklift. The skin of the jawline is elevated in continuity with the neck skin to restore a smooth jawline contour. For many patients I combine this with structural fat grafting of hollow areas and conservative liposuction of excessively full areas to produce a jawline contour that is as smooth and youthful as possible.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Lifting the jawline => Lower facelift; Improving neck => Necklift

Improving the Jawline

If your main concern is your jawline, then a lower facelift or mini-facelift will address the smoothing of the jawline, if there is jowling or sagging of fat below the jawline. Since the jawline is part of the lower third of the face, this is why we call it a lower facelift. A mini-facelift or mini-lift is also a type of lower facelift, which implies that less work on the deeper layers was performed, or it is performed under local anesthesia, and in some cases, it takes a very short time to complete.

Three Facial Zones and the Neck

Since the face can be divided into thirds, the upper third (forehead), the middle third (cheeks/cheekbones) and lower third ( the lower cheek and jawline, the neck is actually below the face, and in a zone by itself. Lower facelifts and mini-facelifts can affect the midface and neck, simply by the fact that it is bordering on the those two zones; however, the improvement from a lower facelift alone on the midface/cheeks or neck profile, will be limited.

What is a Necklift?

A necklift involves, removing any excess fat, tightening any hanging muscle bands or cords (platysmal muscle bands) either by tying the middle edge of the muscle cords together, and/or tightening the outer edge of the platysmal muscles to an area behind the ears. Once the fat and muscle of the neck is contoured and tightened, the excess neck skin is excised (removed) from an incision behind the ears and into the hairline.

Synergy of Lower facelift and Necklift

There is a reason, why you commonly see the term lower facelift and necklift together as a combination procedure. The two adjacent areas when lifted together as a unit has "synergy" and seems to give a better result, than when the two procedures are performed alone. In the right patients with a perfect neck, and isolated sagging of the jawline, a mini-lift or lower facelift alone can be performed as the "correct" procedure for that patient, while another patient with a perfect jawline but isolated sagging (mild) of the neck may be a candidate for a necklift alone (incisions behind the ears and sometimes an additional incision under the chin to access the middle edge of the platysma muscle.)

Necklift Alone?

When can a necklift be performed alone? If the patient doesn't have too much excess facial skin on their lower face, then potentially a necklift alone with incisions starting at the back of the earlobes and in the crease behind the ear into the hairline can be performed. However, if the person has too much excess facial skin, or excess skin directly below their chin, then a lower facelift may need to be performed at the same time to get the best result, and prevent pleating of skin from the lower face around the base of the earlobes. In these cases, the lower facelift give the surgeon a longer incision around the front of the ear in order to remove the excess facial skin and also redistribute the skin that is directly under the chin.

Does Neck Lift Help Improve the Jawline?

If it is a necklift only, then it may help a little bit, or it may not do anything at all. If your surgeon's definition of a necklift is really a Lower facelift and necklift combination, then it should do the trick. A necklift is really for improving the neck profile, but does not improve the quality of the neck skin. When the neck skin has lost elasticity, stretching the skin can make the skin look younger, but if you pinch this same skin after surgery, the loss of elasticity and crepiness of the thin skin is still apparent. So it is really an appearance or illusion of youth, but does not actually make your neck young like it was in your 20's and 30's.

Expectation Management

If you are a good candidate for a necklift and your jawline isn't that bad and doesn't bother you, then you can have a necklift alone. If you happen to get a slight improvement of the jawline, then consider it a bonus, but if you don't get any improvement, then you will also be okay with that result, too.

If your jawline really bothers you, and you are hoping a single procedure (necklift alone) will take care of the neck and jawline, then it is likely wishful thinking and you will likely be disappointed, and the combination of the lower face and necklift may be the better option for you, after considering all of the risks and recovery (of course.)

Consult with a Board-Certified Facial Plastic or Plastic Surgeon in your area to get their opinion. I hope that makes sense and Good luck.


Dr. Yang

George Yang, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Make sure your definition and your surgeon's definition are the same

When discussing lower facial and neck rejuvenation with your surgeon, be sure that the two of you are talking about the same thing. Some folks use the term neck lift to address just the neck, others the neck and jawline, and the same goes for a lower facelift.

I think it is relatively a rare thing to find a patient that only needs their neckline improved and has a perfect jawline with no jowling whatsoever. Consequently, a lower facelift that addresses the neck, jawlines and jowls is usually the best choice, adds very little extra time to the procedure, and gives the most complete rejuvenation with only a slightly longer scar.

Invest in yourself, do your homework and be clear with your surgeon about what you want-- this is the best chance at a wonderful, natural, and lasting result!

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 119 reviews

Usually a facelift and necklift

The best and most effective way to rejuvenate the jowl area is a face and necklift.

A necklift alone, defined either as a submental procedure tightening the platysma and removing fat, or a neck-only lift with incisions behind the ear, does not rejuvenate the jowls well, in my opinion. The effect of pulling and redistributing of deeper tissues from above and below is simply not there.

Minilifts pull slightly but are weakest for the biggest problem, namely jowl and neck rejuvenation.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

The neck lift corrects the neck with minimal improvement to the jaw line!

The goal with all facial cosmetic procedures is to look and feel natural, refreshed, and younger by setting the clock back a few years. In general, the neck lift corrects the neck with minimal improvement to the jaw line. To fully correct the jaw line and neck, a formal face and neck lift procedure is required. There are several variations of face and neck lift procedure that the surgeon may choose from to yield the best result. I would strongly advise you to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon experienced in facial rejuvenation to find out what method works best for you.

Thanks for your question.

Stephen A. Goldstein, MD
Englewood Plastic Surgeon

Neck lift helps the neck, Facelift helps the jawline


Many patients are in your same situation. They do not want to undergo a lower or full facelift, but their real concern is their jaw line. A neck lift addresses the neck, while a lower facelift addresses the jawline. The difference in terms of the incisions required is just the matter of a few centimeters, but the difference in terms of the final result is substantial. Please to not cheat yourself out of a nice result by deceiving yourself into thinking that a neck lift is going to give you the same results as a lower facelift.

I hope this is helpful.

David Shafer, MD
New York City

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Neck Lift and improvement in jawline, jowls, and neck line

There are many nuances of a typical face lift and neck lift. Every surgeon approaches these two areas in a slightly different way. Surgeons may focus or prioritize elements of the skin, platysma bands, SMAS, volume, and facial proportions in completely different ways. These approaches reflect the priorities of the surgeon, the desires of the patient, and the practicality of a particular surgery.

In general, a neck lift should improve the specific anatomic units of the jawline and jowls. This should be discussed with your surgeon prior to surgery to clarify specific considerations and improvements.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

It depends on how much loose skin you have.

To Buffy,

A neck lift is done through a short incision under the chin and corrects a double chin. When done alone, it is great for younger patients and particularly for men.

Whether a neck lift will clean up your jaw line depends primarily on how much excess skin there is. This in turn depends on age, smoking, sun damage, and other factors. So really it depends on your anatomy.

If there is a lot of loose skin, then you probably need a face lift as well.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Laser Assisted Weekend Necklift

This innovative procedure helps achieve a more refined neckline through improvement in the contour of the chin and neck.  Patients who get a weekend necklift will be able to recover quicker than patients who get the traditional necklift and will notice the results quicker. Cervicofacial Liposculpture is first employed to contour the unfavorable fatty changes seen in the face and neck as time passes by, such as the ‘Turkey neck’ and ‘double chin’.  Careful attention is then turned to tightening the neck muscles and eliminating neck bands. The final step is to use laser technology to resurface the skin. It takes about 45 minutes to perform this procedure.  The ideal candidate for a Laser Assisted Weekend Necklift is someone with early sagging in the chin and upper neck area. While appropriate for a large range of ages, the most popular age for this new procedure is between 40 and 55.

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Neck Lift and Mini Lift improves Jawline

 A mini lift such as the MACS lift, Lite Lift and others will improve both the lower face(jawline) as well as the neck. A necklift mainly focuses on the neck. The best value and quickest recovery time in my experienced is from a mini-lift procedure.

Re: you neck: An exam is always needed to determine how the specific causes of your undesired neck appearance. In particular there are 4 main factors that need to be evaluated:
1. the amount of redundant skin, excess fat below the chin, (requires neck or facelift)
2. banding of your neck mid-line neck muscles (platysmal bands) - requires platysmal plication (neck tightening)
3. elasticity of your skin. - requires laser or peels, thermage, ultherapy
4. a weak chin (supports the skin structure) - requires chin augmentation
Each of these components are dealt with in a different manner. For example, excess fat requires direct removal or liposuction (more common), widely spread playtsmal bands are brought together (neck tightening), and excess skin is removed with a lower facelift or neck lift (this can be done with minimal scars). Certain lasers and peels can help with elasticity problems and your photo seems to indicate adequate chin projection.

Some more information:

Non invasive : some noticeable but modest improvement with laser, peels, thermage, radiofrequency and ultherapy

Traditional liposuction removes excess fat superficial to the platysmal muscle. A neck lift is able to remove fat both above and below the platysmal muscle and tighten it; this will give a more defined jaw/neck line. .The lax skin in your upper neck can be approached directly by a less invasive facelift in the mini-face lift such as the MAC or Lite Lift procedures. The least invasive would be one of these procedures which corrects the upper neck loose skin extremely well.. My own personal preference and in my hands the one with the least invasive approach is a Lite Lift which is performed in my office under local anesthesia with some oral sedation without the need for IV sedation or general anesthesia.

Always go to a board certified plastic surgeon with great experience in neck and face lifting.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 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.