Jowl Correction with the Short Scar Facelift

As people age, two of the most noteworthy and bothersome facial changes is what occurs along the jaw line and neck. These two changes are usually progressive, first comes the jowls then goes the neck.  Like wax melting off of a candle, cheek skin and fat begins to slide off of the face creating those fleshy droopy folds at the jaw line known as the jowls. Recent research also indicates that it is more than just gravity that causes jowls, it is the shrinking of facial fat as well.

The appearance of jowls will eventually occur in everyone with enough time. Jowling creates an undesireable change in facial shape, making it wider and more rectangular in the lower face which is characteristic of  an older person. It also causes a distinct disruption of a smooth jaw line from the chin on back, which is characteristic of a more youthful appearance.

Jowl correction is generally part of a facelift procedure. This is done during a facelift by either trimming the jowl fat, suturing the jowl fat back up to a higher level,  or some combination of both of these manuevers. Facelifting is a relatively common procedure as evidenced by the 95,000 performed in the U.S. in 2009 according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery.

When only jowls are present and the neck has minimal loose skin, a different variation of a facelift can be done. Scaling back the ‘size’ of the facelift procedure can very effectively eliminate those troublesome jowls. Known by a wide variety of different names, the limited or downsized facelift tucks up the hanging loose jowls with very minimal recovery. Unlike a traditional facelift where incisions are made in front of and on the back of the ears, the jowl facelift only uses a fine incision in the front. The lack of any significant recovery is noted by the different names that are used to describe it, such as Lifestyle Lift, Swiftlift and EZ Lift. Expect one week for the significant recovery period of some mild swelling and bruising.

One of the great advantages of a jowl lift or ‘short scar facelift’ is that it also addresses a common facelift fear, that of looking unnatural. Few patients that I have ever met want to look like they have had  a facelift.  These procedures have no risk of that ever happening as they deliver a more subtle and less dramatic result. One will never look have that windwept or overdone look as, by definition, the procedure is more limited.