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Facelift & Neck Lift Surgery

As we age, exposure to the sun and stresses of daily life plus the effects of gravity can be seen on our faces. Often, deep creases form between the nose and mouth, folds and fat deposits appear around the neck, and the jaw line grows slack and jowls develop. To restore a more youthful and beautiful appearance, many people opt to have a facelift or neck lift.

A facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, will not stop the aging process but instead will improve the most visible signs of aging, or “set back the clock”. In this procedure, Dr. Kim will remove excess fat and tighten underlying muscles. He will re-drape the skin of your face and neck. In smoothing out find lines and deep folds, the face appears firmer and smoother, which imparts a younger appearance. This type of surgery often leaves patients feeling confident and rejuvenated. Although this surgery will help you achieve a younger, fresher appearance, it will not stop the actual aging process. The results will certainly be long-lasting, but they are not permanent. The best way to care for your results so they last include living an active, health lifestyle and taking good, thorough care of your skin. In particular, avoiding sun exposure is key, as this leads to many of the most common irregularities that develop on and around the face, such as the folds and deep wrinkles facelift and neck lift surgery attempt to repair. It is crucial to apply an SPF year-round on a daily basis and to minimize sun exposure via protective clothing and brimmed hats.

Dr. John Kim is a renowned plastic surgeon in Chicago, and he will work closely with you during your consultation visit to plan your surgery for optimal results. He will personalize your consultation to create a plan to make you look your best. Often, he will suggest you undergo a facelift in conjunction with a neck lift in order to achieve the best possible, most cohesive results.

  • Neck Lift: the neck is one of the foremost parts of our body that gives away our age. Loose, hanging skin that has lost its elasticity over time can create a shapeless, sagging neck. With a neck lift, Dr. Kim will remove fat and skin plus tighten the neck muscles to reduce wrinkles and create a tight, smooth profile. Combining a neck lift with a facelift can create an entirely new, rejuvenated appearance for you.
  • Brow Lift: If you have a low, sagging brow and/or deep frown lines, a forehead lift can improve the positioning of your eyebrows. The deep layers of tissue and muscles in your forehead will be lifted through very small incisions along your hairline. This yields a tightening of soft tissues in the forehead, restoring a better contoured appearance. Tightening the forehead skin along with a facelift can help rejuvenate the entire face.

To enhance the outcome of your facelift, Dr. Kim will explain options regarding facial implants as well as soft tissue augmentation. He will also discuss resurfacing techniques to improve the texture and tone of your face. He can also give you ample information on wrinkle reduction via injectable materials like Botox.

If you are in the Chicago area and are interested in a facelift or neck lift, please contact Dr. John Kim at his offices at Northwestern Plastic Surgery by calling (312) 695-6022.

Choosing Facelift or Neck Lift Surgery

Opting for a facelift or neck lift is a highly personal decision, and you should only commit to this type of procedure if it is right for you and your goals and desires. If you wish to have a more youthful overall appearance and a smoother, firmer, better contoured face and neck, then a face or neck lift may be an excellent option. Patients who elect to have this surgery should be in good physical health, should not smoke, and should have specific but realistic expectations for results of surgery.

During your personalized consultation with Dr. John Kim, Chicago aesthetic plastic surgeon, he will carefully examine your face and take specific measurements. He will talk you through a customized treatment plan and discuss all the options available to you. He will help you understand all risks and benefits of the procedure so you can make your best, most informed decision.

Individuals contemplating a face or neck lift must keep in mind that it is a surgical, invasive procedure. There is always the option to choose non-surgical rejuvenation treatments instead of surgery; however, non-surgical treatments are not able to achieve the same results. Often, patients utilize other less invasive treatments until they are in need of a facelift, or they employ them after their face or neck lift to complement the results of surgery.

If you would like to rejuvenate your face with a non-surgical treatment either before, after, or in lieu of a surgical facelift or neck lift, you have many options. Dr. Kim performs many Botox injections, dermabrasion, and dermal filler treatments. These are all non-surgical procedures that aim to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and other imperfections to give the face a healthier, fresher, younger look.

The Facelift and Neck Lift Procedures

Once you have decided to go forth with facelift or neck lift surgery, Dr. Kim will go over the variations of the procedure with you. You will be able to choose among a traditional facelift, a limited incision facelift, and/or a neck lift. Dr. Kim will go into detail on each option with you.

  • facelift-diagram-1Traditional Facelift: this is likely the best option for individuals with excess skin in their face and sagging. The incision begins in the hairline at the temples and continues around the ear, ending in the lower scalp. In sculpting and redistributing fat around the jowls, face, and neck and repositioning and lifting tissue and muscles, the contour of the face is restored.
  • facelift-diagram-2Limited Incision Facelift: As compared to the traditional facelift, this approach employs shorter incisions. They continue around the ear and potentially within the lower eyelids or under the lip.
  • facelift-diagram-3Neck Lift: this surgery is best for patients with sagging jowls, loose neck skin, and fat accumulation under the chin region. The incision starts in front of the ear lobe and wraps around behind the ear, finishing in the lower scalp.

Facelift and Neck Lift Recovery

Dr. John Kim commonly performs neck and facelifts on an outpatient basis, and patients often are able to return home the same day as their procedure. For up to a few weeks, you may feel sore or experience some swelling, but you should be able to care of yourself immediately after surgery. Typically, a bandage is gently placed around the patient’s face to minimize post-surgery swelling and bruising as your face gradually heals. If Dr. Kim deems it necessary, a thin tube may be temporarily placed under your skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect after surgery. Right after surgery, you will be given explicit instructions on how to care for your face following surgery. This includes medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce infection risk as well as any driving or activity restrictions.

Dr. Kim will explain what to expect during your individual recovery period, including pain expectations and regimen of follow-up visits to his downtown Chicago offices. It is crucial that you do not subject your face or incisions to any excess force, abrasion, or motion as you heal. Remember that uneven swelling in the face after your procedure is perfectly normal. Some people experience more puffiness in one area over another, but the swelling will go down within just a few days, and bruising will subside in approximately two weeks. Approximately one week after surgery, you may start to apply makeup to the face to conceal any residual bruising. The healing process is a gradual one, so it may take a couple months before swelling is totally eliminated and your incision lines heal and mature. You should always remember to protect your face, neck, and skin from the sun after facelift surgery. Also, be sure to lead a healthy lifestyle so your results can be optimally maintained over time.

Useful Resources

Prior to choosing to have a face or neck lift, it is important to do your research and ensure the procedure is a good fit for you. Here are a few resources available to you online:

More About Dr. John Kim

Dr. John Kim is an American Board of Plastic Surgery-certified aesthetic and reconstructive surgeon in Chicago who offers the range of surgical and non-surgical treatments for the skin, body, face, and breasts. In particular, Dr. Kim is a top breast surgeon, and many patients seeking breast augmentation, lift, reduction, or cancer reconstruction choose Dr. Kim. He also performs abdominoplasty, mommy makeover, and arm lift surgeries. Learn more by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Kim by calling (312) 695-6022.

Galter Pavilion Suite 19-250
675 N. Saint Clair, Chicago, IL 60611
T: 312.695.3615 | F: 312.695.5672
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John Kim, MD
675 North Saint Clair St. #19 Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 695-3615
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