Facelift & Neck Lift Surgery

72 year old female 6 months following Dr. Mowlavi's Dual Plane Face and Neck Lift along with Upper and Lower Blepharoplasty resulting in an aestheticall pleasing and natural rejuvenation of her eyes, cheeks, jowls and neck line. Please note well camouflaged earlobes that are not apparent on close inspection.

What is a Facelift?

A facelift, technically known as a rhytidectomy, is a type of cosmetic surgery procedure that can restore a more youthful facial appearance. There are multiple surgical techniques, but surgery usually involves the removal of excess facial skin, with or without the tightening of underlying tissues, and the repositioning of the skin on the patient's face and neck.

What is the best Facelift technique?

A proper two-layer “dual plane” lift of the face and neck structures provides a definitive pull of the sagging facial and neck soft tissues. Sagging of these tissues is evident to prospective patients who have noted the development of turkey neck skin, jowls (fullness along the jawline lateral to the chin region), and flattening of the cheek region resulting from drooping of the cheek fat pads which collect along deepened nasolabial folds.

The appropriate facelift will lift all of the sagging tissues and eliminate all of the above aging signs but not compromise a natural appearance. Distortion of the facial features is often associated with a “windblown” or “joker” look and results from a suboptimal “single layer” facelift. When pulling the drooping facial and neck soft tissues with a “single,” skin layer, all of the tension is transferred to the corner of the eyes and lips resulting in distortion of your face and neck appearance.

The goal is to make you look like a younger you, not a distorted rendition of you! This look can be avoided by having the GOLD STANDARD, “dual plane” face and neck lift performed which involves not only the skin but also the underlying muscle layer. The easiest way to think about this is to consider a made bed; you can’t just pull the bedspread up without first pulling the bedsheet. Similarly, to get a definitive and natural pull of the facial and neck structures, your surgeon should first pull up the underneath sagging muscle layer before pulling up the skin layer. The proper pulling of the underneath muscle layer in addition to the skin layer allows for several advantages which include:

  1. All of the sagging tissues are pulled up; when pulling with a “single” skin layer, the deeper sagging tissues are merely smushed down and not lifted.
  2. The skin layer does not have to be pulled up as tight as done with a “single” skin layer pull; thus, the “windblown” or “joker” look is avoided. Instead, the “two” layer facelift allows for a gentle pull of the skin layer resulting in a rejuvenated, but natural appearance.
  3. The incision lines around the ear heal nicely since there is minimal tension on the skin layer; in contrast, patients that have a “single” layer facelift will be plagued by widened and disfigured scars around the ears which fill forbid them from wearing their hair back.
  4. The facelift is permanent since all of the sagging tissues have been lifted. In contrast, the single-layer skin only facelift will often “give” even as early as just one to two years.

When considering face and neck lift rejuvenation, you must be very particular about choosing a plastic surgeon who can perform the Gold Standard, “dual plane” facelift. A proper neck lift must address all layers of the neck soft tissues including the skin, fat, and muscle layers. Please see our before and after photographs (below) to appreciate your potential.

How Much Does a Facelift Cost?

The cost of a facelift can vary widely due to the rising popularity of “mini-facelifts” or “quick-lifts” that provide sub-optimal results. These types of “mini-facelifts” generally cost around $6,000 to $8,000.

In contrast, the gold standard, dual-plane facelift costs between $15,000 to $19,000. While that may seem like a lot, it is worth considering whether a couple thousand dollars in savings is worth a lifetime of poor or short term results. Think about looking in the mirror every day and experiencing disappointment or being thrilled with your appearance.

How Much Does a Neck Lift Cost?

The cost of neck lift surgery can vary greatly from one plastic surgeon to another. One of the reasons for this cost variance has to do with the surgeon’s expertise with the variable degree of lifting of the drooping soft tissues performed.

At the Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Institute, Dr. Mowlavi utilizes the gold standard, the Dual Plane Lift approach, which separately lifts the droopy skin and underlying muscle layer as described above. The advantages of a two-layered lift are best described by an analogy to a properly made bed: you cannot pull the bedspread/cover (i.e. the skin) without first tucking in the sheets (i.e. the muscle). The same is true with a neck lift.

An experienced surgeon will leverage the lift of the drooping neck tissues on the underlying muscle layer, thus avoiding tension and an “operated” look of the outer skin layer. This will result in a more effective lift and a more permanent (comprehensive two-layer) lift. The gold standard, dual-plane neck lift generally costs between $12,000 to $15,000. 

If you look in the mirror and are unhappy with your sagging neck and loose skin around your lower cheeks and mouth, then schedule a consultation with Newport Beach's top facelift and neck lift surgeon Dr. Arian Mowlavi. He is well regarded not only for his great results but also for his reasonable prices.


facelift surgery

Book a Free Consultation for a Face or Neck Lift

The only way to ensure a successful outcome for a facelift is to complete a complimentary consultation with Dr. Mowlavi.

During your consultation, he will be able to assess the degree of skin redundancy and sagging that you have acquired in the aging process. More importantly, he will gauge any asymmetries between the two sides of your face. More often than not, the two sides of your face are shaped differently, and thus will each side requires its own unique alteration.

Additionally, Dr. Mowlavi will assess the dynamic state of your muscles. Since Dr. Mowlavi performs the dual-plane extended SMAS face and neck lift, he is able to not only tighten your skin but also the underlying muscles as well.

Finally, Dr. Mowlavi likes you to bring in a photo of yourself that is from 20 years ago as he uses this as his guide when performing his facelifts and neck lifts.

Once your consultation is complete, he can create your personalized surgical plan and determine your procedure's cost. You will receive a quote at that time.

61-year-old female 1 year following extended face and neck lift as well as upper and lower eyelid blepharoplasty. The patient is ecstatic as she feels 15 years younger and receives compliments daily.

59-year-old female 2 months following 2-layered Face and Neck Lift, along with a quad blepharoplasty. The patient demonstrates natural rejuvenation and complete avoidance of the operated look.

59-year-old 3 months following full Face and Neck Lift and Upper and Lower Eyelid Blepharoplasty. The patient demonstrates no distortion of his sideburn and hairline and correction of his earlobes which are more natural in appearance.

Facelift & Neck Lift Surgery FAQs

Don’t like the nek

The definitive correction should involve a SMAS dual plane neck lift; you may also need a platysmaplasty; a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon would be helpful to provide you definitive recommendations.

Neck concerns

It seems that you have exhausted all conservative measures; I would urge you to avoid paying for these modalities and having the GOLD STANDARD, SMAS facelift which will permanently solve all of your neck concerns.

Neck lift with suboptimal results

Looks like you had a poor suction of your lower neck. You can salvage this by considering revision liposuction with high definition liposuction with VASER liposuction and Cool Helium Plasma skin tightening.

Chin contour

You are still too young to undergo a formal neck lift; what you need is otpimal lipo using the VASER system and skin tightening using the J Plasma skin tightening system. Both can be done with your awake saving you lots of time and money.

Improving jawline and neck line and cheeks

The GOLD standard for facial and neck line improvements is a DUAL plane face and neck lift. Please see results that are not only superior to other alternatives but also permanent.

Crepe skin after thyroidectomy

I would not waist money on any procedures until 3 months following surgery when all the inflammation and swelling will have resolved. Then you need a consultation with a face and neck specialist to let you know the best course of action. Silicone sheeting and gells are only good for the incision line.

Neck fix at 36

Best fix for you is to consider correcting your neck with high definition liposuction using the VASER to remove all of the fat and create a space to have the Cool Helium J Plasma tightening of the skin performed. Both are non-invasive and will save you from needing a neck lift.

Pinching in the temple

Pinching in the temple region can be treated by extending the incision line of the temples to work the redundancy up higher. If you are patient, redundancy in this area does get better on its own over the first six months.

Concern for metal after face and neck lift surgery?

Not really sure why you are concerned about metal following face and neck lift surgery; I don’t know anyone who uses metal or mesh in our community. Please contact your surgeon.

Lower neck lift lumps

You will likely need to revise this incision as it is lumpy and the left side has some prominence. This is a result of not paying attention to detail.

Scar appearance


In researching doctors that advertise “scar-less” neck lifts one must be mindful that any procedure or surgery that involves cutting and removing tissue (skin), a scar will form. In selecting a doctor to help meet your needs, be sure they have a scar prevention plan in place for you. This is includes things such as avoiding sun exposure for 6-12 months of the area, wear sunscreen when out, scar reducing creams, and certain vitamins.

Fixing a sagy neck

You can fix your saggy neck with non-invasive measures including Vaser liposuction with Renuvion J plasma subdermal coagulation neck skin tightening. This procedure is affordable and has minimal downtime. Insurance does not cover this.

Neck fat and redundant skin

You have two real effective options 

1st) Vaser liosuction and J-Plasma resurfacing is the best minimally invasive solution for you which will remove all fat and tighten your skin without the need for cutting and incision lines

2nd) Neck lift which is the gold standard but does require more invasive measures and a need for a surgical incision line that is hidden around your ears.

Neck lift for you !

A neck lift requires management of loosened or torn muscles (platysma) as well as redundant neck skin (which is removed from behind your ears). We perform routine neck lifts in about 2 hours (one hour per side).

The face and neck lift surgery are the same; the neck skin and face skin are connected and must move together; they are the same fabric. Now if one has fallen more than the other, this area will be pulled tighter, but at the end of the day, they are the same surgery requiring the same incisions.

Best way to tighten your neck and improve jawline

I would recommend that you consider Vaser lipo with Renuvion skin tightening as well as Radiesse filler (one for each side) to build your jawline. The above procedures are minimally invasive and can be done in the office in less than one hour. Will not affect you hyperpigmentation.

Whether your cadiomyopathy will be safe to undergo a neck lift will be determined by your primary care physician and your cardiologist. The law requires any patient that is undergoing general anesthesia to be cleared for surgery.

Neck lift or facelift;

Unfortunately, a facelift and neck lift are pretty much the same surgery; you cannot perform one without the other if you want a superior outcome; the difference in the two comes down to which region you pull more aggressively, i.e. if your neck has fallen more than your cheek, then you pull harder in the neck region, however, this does not forego having to mobilize the cheek as well !

Difficult to tell whether you have neck asymmetry with regards to skin redundancy and fullness. Did you have your lift by a board certified plastic surgeon. Your neck should be healed at 11 weeks and tight. 

When it comes to a face and neck lift, although minimizing incisions, undermining, aggressiveness may be attractive to you, these procedures result in suboptimal results. If you are going to spend all of this money and commit to a recovery period, why would you not desire definitive results that will last and be natural. Some of the worst results are achieved with minimally invasive surgeries. Please reconsider having the SIMI lift, a minimal facelift technique, and instead consider the definitive face and neck lift, termed the extended SMAS facelift.

Ear tenderness can occur following facelift but will usually subside after one to three months. This is because of irritation to the greater auricular nerve that travels along the neck and can be irritated during a face and neck lift.  I recommend that you post a photo if you are concerned about the shape and size of them.

You can undergo facelift as early as 40s and as late as 80s safely. When you have your first facelift is dependent on how quickly you age. Your aging is dependent on your genes, sun exposure, and activity level.  Everytime you do this surgery, you are going to look 10 to 15 years younger. How many times you perform this surgery in your lifetime is going to be dependent on how young you want to look. At some point, it may look silly if you are for example 80 and look like you are 40 on your face. Remember, that you should try to keep harmony throughout; you can’t look 40 and have your entire body look 80!

Interestingly, secondary facelifts are typically quicker to perform since the plane of dissection has already been created from the initial surgery.

A properly performed face and neck lift will provide you a lifetime of corrections for your jowls, redundant skin of the neck, improved cheek fullness, and overall youthful appearance. You should look for a surgeon who performs the extended SMAS facelift which is the gold standard.

You should lose all the weight you can prior to your face and neck lift surgery as it will result in an improved lift of your sagging face and neck lift. This is because the lighter your face and neck skin and soft tissue are, the easier it is to lift them. This is purely from a physics standpoint; the lighter something is, the easier to hoist it up! In addition, Dr. Laguna does not want you to alter your weight. He considers your face and body almost like it is a canvas. You should make sure that you keep your canvas steady so that the changes you undergo are constant and do not change with time. This means losing all the weight you wish to prior to surgery.

At such a young age, you are not a candidate for a facelift. What you should consider are less invasive alternatives which can improve your facial appearance and these include fillers or fat grafting to increase the volume in your face and Renuvion facial skin resurfacing that will improve the texture of your skin.

Face and neck lift surgery will tighten your neck and thus can also make underlying structures more prominent. So if your glands are sagging or prominent they can be more visible. In order to check whether you have this risk just pull the skin of your neck so to see if the gland will be more prominent or not following surgery. Please consider the dual plane extended SMAS face and neck lift technique as it is the GOLD STANDARD and which will best camouflage a sagging or prominent submandibular gland.

You should consider upper blepharoplasty, lower blepharoplasty, and face and neck lift to improve your facial aging signs. There are also less invasive options such as Renuvion facial skin resurfacing and neck skin tightening. I wouold recommend that you have an examination with a board certified plastic surgeon to help you get definitive recommendations.

Your incision line is healling poorly since it has been placed under tension in your along your hairline. Increased tension along your hairline can result in not only scarring but also hairloss, called alopecia. The key to successful facelifts is to avoid getting the incision into the hair bearing areas and to avoid a mini or skin only facelift that will result in unnecessary tension.

Pleats around the ear are routine and result when there is moderate to severe skin redundancy of the neck. Since this area is at the end of your incision, there is no where to work the redundancy. Revision of the pleats is not possible without extending the incision to the back of your neck. This would  be unsightly and thus not acceptable. The correction for this problem is patients as time will allow the body the necessary time to literally reabsorb skin redundancy.

When the GOLD STANDARD facelift is done (extended SMAS facelift) the skin undermining is minimized so that the SMAS can actually remain connected to the skin so that it can help lift the skin rather than relying on the skin itself for the pull. When this is done as above, skin dimples are not affected as they are more medial than the dissection.

I take 3 hours to perform my extended SMAS dual plane facelifts. This allows me sufficient time to comfortably perform 2 in one day.

You will make a great candidate for a face and neck lift. Liposuction to the jowls is not recommended not because of the reason you said but because the jowls are created by redundant muscle and fascial tissues bunching up and not fat. This makes liposuction to this area not amenable since it is not fat as well as the fact that liposuction of this area can result in nerve injury.

To make your face smaller, you should consider an extended SMAS dual plane facelift. Stop filling your face and consider tightening it definitively with an extended SMAS face and neck lift. This is your only solution to thin out your face as liposuction is not allowed due to potential damage to vital nerves.

A filler will only add volume to your face if you have lost facial fullness. This is in contrast to the facelift which will actually lift your sagging soft tissues and eliminate skin redundancy. So whether you need filling or lifting is dependent on your specific needs. A consultation with a facial surgeon will help you decide what is in your best interest. Finally, you may choose to have fat grafting rather than a filler since your own fat will be permanent and not temporary.

The laser resurfacing helps improve the texture of your skin while the facelift provides correction of your face and neck soft tissue saggin. This can include sagging of skin around the jawline and neck. In fact, some of our facelift patients actually undergo a laser resurfacing at the same time as their facelift. This will not only address the texture of the entire face but specifically address the texture of the skin around the mouth that is not affected by a facelift.

The difference between a mini or full facelift is an excellent one. Although it may sound enticing to have a mini facelift, this name is a misnomer. There is no such a thing as a mini facelift. Unfortunately, the description “mini” is merely gimic that is used to sell surgery to patients who may be timid. Instead, patients will be offered a suboptimal result due to the fact that a shortcut was taken to make the surgery seem shorter. Specifically, this means ignoring the pull on the muscle lining, called the SMAS, which is critical in achieving amazing results.  By ignoring the SMAS layer, you will look operated in appearance and your facelift will not last. In contrast, the full facelift is the GOLD STANDARD that results in definitive and permanent correction of all of your facial aging and sun damaged changes. Although the surgery is more complex, the increased complexity provides superior outcomes.

You may be a perfect candidate for a full facelift. This procedure is perfect for people who have started to notice the consequences of aging on their face. This includes sagging of the skin around the jawline called jowls, prominent fold around the mouth called nasolabial fold, deepened groove extending from the medial eyelid called the nasojugal groove, and facial fullness and wrinkles throughout.. As a result of the above changes, the facial features may look less defined. The facelift procedure uses a small incision and tightens the skin to give a more youthful aesthetic. The most important decision making for the patient is talking to an experienced surgeon who is capable of performing a face and neck lift.

The best procedure to get rid of jowls and tighten the facial skin is a SMAS facelift. The SMAS facelift works to tighten both the facial tissue and the facial muscle. This way there is less tension on the incision line; therefore, significantly reducing the risk of post-op complications. If you are looking for a younger look and more defined facial features the SMAS facelift is the optimal treatment for you.

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