Facelift & Necklift

What is the best age for a Facelift & Necklift?

There is no exact age. As long as you are healthy and able to tolerate surgery, a facelift might be the perfect surgery at 36 for one patient, while you may not need a facelift until you are 50. We all age in 3 ways. Our skin gets sun spots, we lose volume (mostly fat), and we lose elasticity. The rate at which these occur depends on your heritage and your degree of exposure to the environment (Mostly sun and smoke).

Systematic approach for optimum results

Don’t think about a procedure specifically, start your discussion with Dr. Rankin by describing what bothers you. You can then discuss the best way to address those changes naturally. Each procedure is a tool that will allow us to help you achieve your goals.

Do you want a smooth jawline? Would you like to get rid of loose skin on your neck? Is there excess fat in your neck or cheeks that is bothering you? Note that none of those questions asked about your age.

Evolution of Facelift & Necklift surgery

The word “Facelift” makes some people nervous given that historically, facelifts led to a tight or “windblown” appearance that was anything but natural. Older procedures that focused on pulling the skin tight were short sighted and did not provide durable or natural results. Newer procedures focus on deeper tissues and fat transfers. The goal is always to make you look like a younger version of yourself, not someone else.

Our goal is to empower you to make the right decision for you.

Think of us as a guide. Most of our patients have concerns about facial aging. This begins to occur when there is discord between the image you see in the mirror and your own self perception. We believe that we can maximize your quality of life by rectifying this discord.

Holistic Approach

I like to think of the face as a whole. Though we will discuss different areas of concern, it is usually critical to address the face as a whole in order to avoid a “surgical” appearance.  Imagine a smooth neck. As you begin to shift the skin on your neck and jaw up, it may appear to bunch on your cheeks, so we have to then lift the cheeks, and then the lower eyelids…. Etc. So while a more extensive procedure may sound intimidating or less natural, it is usually this holistic approach that gives us the most natural outcomes.  

 The Procedure

There are many ways to rejuvenate the face. Any facelift is distinguished by 3 basic components:

  • The incision
  • How the deeper layers (SMAS- superficial muscular aponeurotic system) of the face are lifted, and
  • How the neck is refined.

My preferred incision is hidden along the sideburn, along the edge of the ear and then wraps around behind the ear. As far as the deeper layers are concerned, I like to use a “High SMAS” facelift that is able to reposition the deeper layers of the face into a more youthful position that looks very natural.

Neck and jawline

The neck is refined by creating a smooth elegant foundation. The neck is composed of layers. With age, we lose fat in the layer just under the skin (subcutaneous fat). There are very few patients that benefit from liposuction of the neck. A “young” neck is smooth and free of lines or veins. An older appearing neck tends to have all of the above. The difference between the 2 is the amount of subcutaneous fat. So while neck liposuction can provide a temporary improvement for some patients, it can accelerate the aging process. My approach focuses on contouring the deeper structures of the neck (platysma muscle, submandibular glands, subplatysmal fat, and digastric muscles) while leaving the more superficial, “youthful” fat unharmed. I believe this creates a very natural appearance.

Additional Procedures

A natural rejuvenation requires that all areas of the face appear to be the same age. My patients benefit from combining fat grafting, an eyelid lift (blepharoplasty), brow lift, or laser resurfacing with their facelift in order to create a naturally young appearance. For example, a refined jawline and youthful cheeks may be noticeable if your forehead still appears wrinkled. The human eye is incredibly sensitive. We have to ensure that there are no incongruencies. You may decide to share the details of your procedure, but no one should be able to tell that you’ve had surgery.


The typical downtime from a facelift is about 2 weeks. Between local anesthetic and the fact that facial surgery is not painful, recovery is usually quite easy. Our post operative dressings are very minimal (A hat, sunglasses and a scarf). The surgery can be performed as a same day surgery or you may opt to spend the night. There will be some bruising and swelling, but a stranger would not be able to tell you’ve had surgery within 2 weeks.

If you are preparing for an event (wedding, birthday, vacation, reunion, etc), we recommend facial rejuvenation no less than 8-12 weeks before your big day, in order to ensure appropriate healing and full activity.


Ask Dr. Rankin

If you are interested in facial rejuvenation, I encourage you to reach out to Dr. Rankin or one of the patient coordinators. We would be happy to answer your questions and schedule a complimentary consultation.

    Male Facelift Before and After Scottsdale AZ
    ”Dr. Rankin is a highly professional plastic surgeon. My after surgery results are the best ones I have ever seen! Great before and after care and during healing. He is there every step of the way to answer and help with all the questions and concerns.”

    Best Breast lift

    K.T. Patient
    ”Dr. Rankin is one of the best young surgeons! He is very caring - listens - just a fantastic personality! Highly Recommended. Dr. Timothy Rankin!!”

    Dr. Rankin is Caring

    B.L. Patient
    ”Dr. Rankin transformed my neck from a severe triple chin to one that is well sculpted with appropriate muscles clearly visible. I highly recommend him.”

    I had a Triple Chin...

    Alan B. Physician/ Patient

    Want to Read More?

    The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has compiled an excellent resource for patient education.