Expert Doctor

Neck Lift vs. Neck Liposuction

Posted January 30, 2017

Rudolph Dolezal, MD

Arlington Heights, IL

Neck Lift vs. Neck Liposuction

When discussing a neck lift and neck liposuction, it is important to understand that both procedures are invasive. While both of them are surgical procedures, one is less invasive than the other.

The neck lift is really a lower half or lower third facelift that involves making scars around the ear, undermining the skin to variable degrees and even working on the tissues underneath the skin. The neck lift is frequently accompanied by some liposuction although some people are just candidates for liposuction.

Neck liposuction is when the doctor basically makes stab wounds which are much less invasive. The doctor makes stab wounds and then uses a suction device to extract fat from the subcutaneous area.



There is actually no advantage to using one procedure over the other. It all has to do with the patient’s deformity and the judgment of the surgeon. In other words, there are people who are not candidates for liposuction if they have loose skin. The doctor has to pick the proper procedure for the needs of the patient. Younger patients are generally better candidates for liposuction because they have more elasticity in their skin. However, there are older patients that can benefit from liposuction. The doctor has to evaluate the patient properly to pick the right procedure.

Patients that have loose skin are not good patients for liposuction alone because it is a sign of loss of elasticity. They might be a candidate for a neck lift with liposuction, but not liposuction alone. It is a matter of evaluating whether somebody has the proper elasticity in their skin which will allow them to improve their contour with liposuction alone. The amount of skin and fat that can be removed is a surgical judgment because each patient ages differently and has different types of skin with fat deposits in different places.



The limitations of liposuction have a lot to do with the patient’s age and skin elasticity. Some people can have good elasticity even though they are a little older and younger people can have poor elasticity because of various factors.

As far as a neck lift is concerned, someone who is already in their 60s or 70s with a lot of loose skin is really only a good candidate for a neck lift. The neck lift will not last nearly as long as it would on a younger patient. In general, the younger a doctor can operate on someone, the longer the results are going to be.



With a neck lift, which is more like a facelift, there is a greater chance of a hematoma or a seroma. With either procedure, there can be an untoward outcome. The liposuction of the neck does help reduce the lumpiness that can occur after the surgery from scarring. It can also make the procedure more comfortable for the patient.



Neck operations, after the doctor has performed the liposuction, creates a situation with good elasticity of the skin, but it does not stop the aging process. Because of gravity, in either procedure, a patient would probably benefit from a repeat procedure later in life. The time for the repeat procedure depends on the age of the patient and the shape of the skin at the time of the procedure.



The recovery time is quicker in liposuction than in a neck lift because a neck lift involves longer scars and an undermining of the skin itself. It takes a little longer for that to heal. The complication rate is a little higher in male neck lifts as opposed to females but it can occur in either one. A person can have complications with the liposuction of the neck but it is far less of a number.

The liposuction of the neck can be performed on a Friday and the patient can go back to work on a Monday. The neck lift would require the patient to take a week to 10 days off of work since it is more involved. A neck lift may have to extend the scars behind the ear and even all the way back to the nape of the neck. The greater the undermining involved in the procedure, the longer the recovery period. With the liposuction of the neck, there is a limited amount of undermining because the surgeon is just suctioning the fat in the neck itself.



The scars from the neck lift are more extensive and more visible. The liposuction is more like stab wounds so there are still scars but they are small scars. When they fade it is pretty difficult to see them unless a person is actually looking for them. It is much easier to detect the scars from a neck lift procedure than a liposuction procedure.



How long the results last has to do with the aging process and how well somebody takes care of their skin. Patients need to keep themselves well-hydrated, stay out of the sun, and be non-smokers.

Another important factor is the age of the patient. All things equal, the earlier the age when someone has a procedure done, the longer it will last.  



The first step in deciding between a neck lift or neck liposuction is consulting with a board-certified doctor. The doctor will do a thorough examination of the patient while taking into account the age and skin elasticity of the patient. All of these factors help determine if the patient is a better candidate for the lift or the liposuction procedure.


Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team- MA

Based on exclusive interview with Rudolph Dolezal, MD in Arlington Heights, IL 

Article Last Updated on January 30, 2017