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Background:  One of the most bothersome signs of facial aging is what happens to the neck. As the skin becomes more loose, the once sharp neck angle changes from acute to more obtuse. The chin may appear smaller as the neck angle opens up. This loose skin, combined with fat that has collected and a midline separation of the platysma muscle, can really put age on one’s appearance. But this neck aging process is a gradual one that begins with the appearance of some jowling and a little loosed neck skin. The trend today is to address these issues earlier, rather than waiting until the condition is more advanced and obvious.

Case Study: This 51 year-old female began to notice some loose skin in her neck. While she looked remarkably well for her age and had excellent facial bone structure, this saggy neck skin and the appearance of jowls was not met with enthusiasm. Based on internet information and what she had read in newsstand magazines, she believed that non-surgical treatments such as Botox, injectable fillers, and laser treatments could tighten up this lax skin.


During her plastic surgery consultation, she was surprised to learn that such injection and laser treatments would not address her concerns. When the concept of a facelift was brought up, she was incredulous that such a ‘major’ procedure would be necessary for the degree of her jowl and neck issues. She was further surprised to learn what a facelift really was, a procedure that changed on the lower third of the face…the neck and jowls. Furthermore she was unaware that facelifts can be done in different ways, adjusting the location of the incisions and the amount of skin lifting.


With just small amounts of loose jowl and neck skin, the limited facelift has become popular in the past decade. While the procedure has been around for decades, it was historically reserved for secondary or tuck-up facelifts. It is now used for younger facial aging patients and those older whose age overstates the jowl and neck changes that have occurred. It has been popularized through franchise and branding efforts as the Lifestyle Lift and Quicklift, but they are more well known as limited or mini-facelift.


She underwent a limited facelift without any other facial procedures being done. (nothing else bothered her) Using fine incision that run along the side burn hairline, ducking into the ear above the tragus and then out again below it, it ends behind the earlobe. Using this incision, skin is undermined down to the jowl and neck. Underlying loose fat is either rmoved or sutured back up and loosed skin pulled back and trimmed around the ear. The entire procedure takes just 90 minutes. No drains are used and the head dressing applied is removed the next day. Dissolveable sutures are used so none needs to be removed later.

While there is some minor swelling and bruising, one can expect a full recovery in just a week to ten days. Even the next day when the dressing is removed, the change is immediate. Once can easily go out in public within a week after surgery.

While no facelift procedure is permanent, one can expect to ‘turn the clock back’ five to seven years, if not more.

Case Highlights:

1) Facelift surgery changes the jawline and neck, eliminating the jowls and providing some tightening of lax neck skin. Facelift surgery is modified to the amount of jowl and neck changes that one has.

2) The limited facelift is a tuck-up procedure that is easy to go through with a quick recovery. One can look completely recovered in as little as ten days after surgery.

3) The scars from a limited facelift are very discreet, tucking inside the hairline and ear and back up behind the earlobe.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana













































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