Should I get a lower or full face lift? (photo)

I'm 61 (62 in April) and am considering a lower face lift. I don't mind the lines around my eyes, but I have never liked my neck even when I was younger; there's no definition to my chin I look up. I'm trying to add pictures so you'll see what I'm up against.

Doctor Answers 35

Full Facelift compared to a Lower Facelift and or a Browlift, what does it mean?

This terminology is not well defined and some surgeons mean different things by it.  In my practice what I call a lower facelift is what some might just call a "facelift".  This includes the jowls, neck, and cheeks.  A full facelift in my practice adds the forehead (brow) and temples.  Some surgeons might call this a facelift plus browlift or facelift and forehead lift.  To that you would also consider the upper and lower eyelids which I, and I think most all surgeons, refer to separately.  Doctor speak on eyelids is what we call upper/lower blepharoplasty or "bleph" for short.  

Looking at your photos, there is no doubt that you would benefit from what I call a lower facelift.  The neck, jowls, and cheeks should be nicely addressed by that procedure.  Your eyebrows appear to be quite high, but the photos may be deceiving.  If indeed your eyebrows are high, then I would recommend not getting a full facelift.  The most obvious mistake so many surgeons and patients make is getting over lifted eyebrows.  This is a dead give-away that you had surgery and is almost always what people see when they talk about the overdone look.  I suggest looking at your eyebrow position carefully and don't confuse that with needing upper eyelid surgery.  If in doubt, don't do the brow lift, you can always do it later.  An overdone brow lift is very difficult if not impossible to reverse.  

Austin Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Would you benefit from a facelift?

The short answer is yes, you would benefit from a facelift. You asked if you would need a full facelift or a lower facelift. The terminology is a little confusing but you are basically saying the same thing. A facelift addresses the jowls and defines the jaw line as well as improves the neck profile-it addresses the lower face, from the mouth down to the neck. 

If you are also looking for improvement in the mid face, which is the area below the eyes to the mouth, then some kind of volume enhancement  will improve that area. 

If you are looking for improvement around the eyes or the brow area, the upper face, then you will be looking again at different options from eyelid surgery, to brow surgery, to resurfacing of skin with volume enhancement or injectables such as botox. 

A consultation and review of your medical history will provide further clarification. 

Dilip D. Madnani, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews


Endo brow, upper/lower bleph, face and neck lift.  If you only treat your lower face, the improvements there will stand in stark contrast to the untouched appearance of your upper face.

Adam Bryce Weinfeld, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 57 reviews


Yes, I think based on your photos you could benefit from a full facelift to keep the lower 2/3's in balance.  Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews


Dr Aguilo has given a very good answer to your question.  I might add that after the facelift etc. you would also benefit from resurfacing of your skin to remove the parchment like quality of it.

Dr Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Full facelift or lower facelift

Based on your photos and not a full physical examination, I would suggest a full facelift. Both a lower facelift and a full facelift will address the neck, chin, and jawline. However I believe a full facelift will address your cheeks, lateral orbital region and your forehead better. It appears from your pictures, that your malar eminence or cheeks have dropped. Your cheeks should be corrected with a SMAS lift. After you have healed completely from your full facelift, I would suggest you have a chemical peel or fullface laser. These will get rid of your pigment irregularities and the fine crêpe paper wrinkles on your face. 

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

Facelift terminology

The terms facelift and lower facelift are essentially the same operation - from the cheeks down to and including the neck.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Full face lift

Although I agree the signs of aging are greater in your neck, you should have a full facelift. The structures of the neck and face are continuous and you have changes in the cheeks which would be nicely addressed with a facelift. The improvement will be dramatic and you will see definition of the jawline and chin.

seek out a board certified plastic surgeon to help you understand what can be achieved.h

Robert W. Kessler, MD, FACS
Corona Del Mar Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

You will need a full face and neck lift

Thank you for your question and photos. A neck lift alone will not correct the sagging of your cheek that you see on side view. If you tighten the neck alone the loose skin in the cheek will look out of place and disturb facial harmony. Please see the link below.

Should I get a lower or full face lift?

From your pictures, it is clear that there is laxity and volume loss. Your best result would be with a full face lift (neck, midface, and temporal lift). This is the only way to truly define your jawline and address the jowls. Fat injections to the areas of volume loss are essential for best results. The procedure can be done with local anesthesia, conscious sedation, or general anesthsia.

Frank Agullo, MD
El Paso Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 140 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.