Can A Necklift Be Done By A Simple Skin Tuck?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have a necklift question. I want to know why you can’t just make an incision behind the ears and pull the skin up. When I pul the skin back along my jawline all my wrinkles disappear. This seems like such a simple thing to do so why is a necklift not done this way?

A: You are basically describing how a necklift (lower facelift) is done. There are variations of where the incisions are placed around the ears and whether the deeper tissues are manipulated and tightened . When you use your fingers to create a ‘facelifting’ effect, here is the trick to see where the incisions must be placed. First, the finger traction test must be done right next to the ear not more forward along the jawline as that creates a false result with too much of a change. The fingers must be placed from where the point of pull actually comes from by the ears. Secondly, put your fingers in front of the ear as well as behind the ear and do the lifting. You will see that a far more effective change occurs in both the jowls and neck when the pull is done from the earlobe and upward. This indicates that all effective lower facelifts must have an incision along the front of the ear to create an adequate skin movement. How far the incision goes on the back of the ear is determined by the severity of the neck sagging problem. In short, you can not have an effective lower facelift by an incision limited to just the back of the ear.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana