Different Types of Facelift And Neck Lift

Facelift and Neck Lift Options for the Best Facial Rejuvenation

With evolving surgical techniques, there are now many different variations of facelift and neck lift procedures. To help you understand different types of facelift and neck lifts, here is a comprehensive list of the most popular facial rejuvenation procedures. These procedures can help improve the look of your face, erase some of the signs of ageing and help correct other facial imperfections.

Plastic Surgeon Dr Scott Turner is one of Sydney’s top facelift plastic surgeons and is an expert in creating facial harmony and restoring a youthful natural-looking appearance. He can create a customised facial treatment plan that’s perfect for you.

Why is Facial Rejuvenation so popular?

What is the first thing you notice in people? It is probably their face. The face is your first impression and provides an insight into your personality. It tells how happy or sad you are and also gives an idea about your age. You are being judged on your face. This is why aesthetic face and neck procedures are in strong demand as you age and you see yourself more often on a screen.

Just a few decades ago, facelifts weren’t a real thing for most people. They were considered to be just for celebrities and the famous. Times have changed since then and today the facelift is considered among the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures. Thousands of people undergo facelift surgeries every year to reverse the clock and look younger.

Why Are There Different Types of Facelift Procedures?

The first thing you need to understand is that procedure names are not standard and the meaning of one term can mean very different things to different surgeons. For instance, the term S-lift can mean skin-only lifting to one surgeon and SMAS lifting to another. In order to understand different types of facelifts and neck lift procedures, it is essential to understand the basic anatomy of the face.

Your face has skin, fat pads and muscles. The superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) working underneath your skin essentially holds the components of your face in place. When the SMAS and overlying skin loses its elasticity, you begin to show signs of ageing.

Different Types of Facelift Procedures

Facelifts can be divided into different categories based on the degree of SMAS lifting, size and placement of the incision, and which part of the face needs to be addressed. Let’s look at the simplified list of the different variations of facelifts:

1. Skin-Only Facelift

As the name suggests, the skin-only facelift is aimed at lifting your surface facial and neck skin. This facelift procedure does not involve facial muscles and SMAS lifting. Skin-Only Facelift surgery gained a lot of popularity in the early 90s. With the advancement of technology, this technique is rarely used today. As the technique revolves around lifting the skin, it ignores the most important aspect of a facelift- SMAS. SMAS sagging and laxity are the main cause of facial ageing and Skin-Only Facelift will provide short-term, minimally satisfying results. Your surgeon will create a 1-2 cm incision in front of the ear, tightly pull the skin, and remove excess.

On the upside, it is a quick surgery that involves a small scar, minimal downtime and swelling. On the downside, the results are generally only short-term and don’t look very natural, and the aesthetic improvements are limited. Many “walk in walk out” cosmetic clinics offered this quick lift in the USA – with generally poor results.

2. Mini Facelift

A Mini Facelift has become increasingly popular due to its rejuvenating effects and minimal downtime. It is perfect for individuals dealing with mild to moderate signs of ageing, mainly in the middle and lower face. It addresses facial wrinkles, droopy jowls, lax skin in the upper neck, and saggy cheeks. The surgery helps you with all these concerns so you can look youthful and refreshed.

The surgery involves a small incision that is made in front of each ear and extends behind the earlobe. After that, SMAS is pulled up and lifted, excess skin is removed, and incisions are closed with the help of fine sutures. Smaller incisions and quicker healing time are some of the top benefits of the procedure. The results are definitely less dramatic than a traditional lift and the procedure doesn’t address upper face wrinkling.

Many younger women are choosing to have a Mini facelift each decade to slow ageing, rather than a fuller traditional facelift at a later age.

3. Traditional Facelift – The SMAS lift

Traditional facelift or SMAS lift is one of the most popular and effective facelift procedures. It is a very good procedure for people dealing with moderate to severe signs of ageing and can give you back your youthful look. This procedure can help transform your entire face and neck area. It can restore the youthfulness of your cheeks, eliminates wrinkles, and get rid of droopy jowls, marionette lines, and sagging skin.

A traditional Facelift is a fairly extensive procedure that can take anywhere from 3 to 4 hours to complete. Dr Turner will create incisions on each side of the face – the incision typically starts at the temple along the hairline, at the back and front of the ear, around the earlobe, and a little back along the hairline. The surgeon will release the skin from SMAS, muscles and fat. The SMAS and deep tissues are pulled up to the normal position. This lifts up your entire face and neck muscles and eliminates all signs of ageing. While the procedure is comprehensive and associated with a recovery time, the results are long-lasting.

Some patients combine a facelift with other surgery at the same time such as nose surgery or blepharoplasty (eyelid lift).

Have a look at Dr Turner’s results in the complete Facelift Photo Gallery.

4. Deep-Plane Facelift

A Deep plane facelift or composite facelift is the most complex type of facelift surgery. The surgery involves extensive dissection of the tissues underneath the SMAS. The defining feature of this procedure is that it offers incredible lifting of the cheeks.

Many patients are seeking out deep plane facelifting for a better and longer-lasting result than a SMAS lift.

5. Mid Facelift

Mid Facelift or cheek lift is a good procedure for those individuals who want to address sagging cheeks and mid-face volume loss associated with ageing. The procedure aims to reduce nasolabial folds and lift your cheeks. This procedure does not help with saggy skin, jowls, neck or major wrinkling elsewhere. If your goal is to get prominent cheekbones, this surgery is perfect for you.

Dr Turner will create two vertical incisions on either side of your face behind your hairline. He will then secure the SMAS and pull it higher. The excess skin will be removed and incisions will be closed with the help of the sutures. The entire procedure is completed in less than two hours. The cheek lift surgery can be similar to a mini-facelift.

6. Brow Lift or Forehead Lift Surgery

A brow lift also referred to as a forehead lift can be considered a type of facelift surgery that only focuses on your forehead. There are certain facelifts that do not address the ageing concerns of the eyelids and forehead, this procedure is a great solution for people dealing with forehead wrinkles. The surgery eliminates the wrinkles and folds and pulls up the upper eyelids and gives you more youthful-looking eyes. Multiple techniques are used to perform the surgery. Coronal lift is the most commonly used one- it involves a horizontal incision that runs along the forehead hairline. The subcutaneous tissue is pulled up and fixed into place with the help of sutures. Dr Turner will remove any excess skin and close the incisions.

7. Liquid Facelift – A Non-Surgical Facelift done with Fillers

A so-called “liquid facelift” or a non-surgical facelift rejuvenates your face with the help of injectable dermal fillers. Dermal fillers are injected underneath your skin to plump up the volume and minimise the appearance of wrinkles. Dermal fillers can alter the contours of your face by augmenting your cheeks and giving your skin a tight, youthful look.

A liquid facelift also helps with wrinkles around the lips, eyes, temples, and jowls. The procedure is only suitable for those who have minimal signs of ageing and not for patients with moderate to severe ageing signs combined with excess skin.

On the upside, the procedure is quick, non-invasive, doesn’t leaves scars, and gives you a refreshed look. On the downside, it isn’t meant for everyone, doesn’t eliminate major signs of ageing, and the results of filler are usually short-lived (6 to 12 months) and require constant upkeep.

8. Thread Lift – done with injectable threads

A Threadlift is a non-surgical face rejuvenation technique that involves the use of PDO Threads. This type of facelift has recently gained a lot of social media popularity as a non-surgical alternative to a surgical facelift.

When compared with the surgical facelift, it is less invasive and has a quicker recovery. Thread lift is performed under local anaesthesia and patients are allowed to go home on the same day of the procedure. The sutures used during a thread lift are available from different brands.

During the process, a needle with a biocompatible thread is inserted through the skin into the fat planes and out of the skin. Then, the thread is pulled really tightly to straighten the skin and pull the underlying tissue. The threads hold their position for a few months prior to getting dissolved. During this time frame, the threads stimulate your body’s natural healing response and collagen production that reverses the signs of ageing.

It is an option for those with mild to moderate signs of ageing such as wrinkles, mild sagginess, droopy jowls, and hollow cheeks. A thread lift can give you a tighter, youthful-looking face and flatten out wrinkles for a short period of time. Many patients are dissatisfied with the feel and results of thread lifting.

Dr Turner does NOT recommend Thread Lifting as a substitute for a facelift.

Types of Neck Lift Surgery

A Platysmaplasty or lower rhytidectomy is a neck lift generally performed as a part of the full facelift surgery. It can also be done as a separate procedure as well if your neck has significant signs of ageing. A neck lift will give you a strong jawline, outline the neck angle, and eliminates excess skin, neckbands, and droopy jowls. It can normally be classified into two types.

Have a look at Dr Turner’s results in the complete Neck Lift Photo Gallery.

1. Full Neck Lift

The full neck lift is an ideal procedure for individuals who have moderate to advanced signs of ageing in the neck area. The incision of the neck lift starts in front of the ear and extends around the earlobe. In some cases, the incision also extends upward and backward along the hairline as well. Dr Turner will pull the subcutaneous fat tissue and fix it higher to flatten the neckbands and give your neck a tight, youthful look. Excess skin is then removed and the incisions are closed with the help of absorbable sutures.

2. Mini Neck Lift

A mini neck lift or submental platysmaplasty or single incision neck lift might be a good choice for women and men who only have an isolated problem in their neck area. The surgery is ideal for people struggling with a double chin, mild signs of ageing, excess fat, and minimal skin sagging. Those who have major signs of ageing could benefit more from a full neck lift.

It is less invasive compared to a full neck lift and can be done with the help of a single incision made under the chin. With the help of this incision, the surgeon will pull the platysma muscle and deeper layers and fix them up with sutures. During the process, excess skin will not be removed and skin will redistribute itself.

On the upside, this technique entails a shorter recovery time, has a smaller incision, and will cost less. On the downside, this surgery may offer less comprehensive results, is suitable for mild to moderate signs of ageing only, and does not really address the problem of a double chin or heavy jowls. 

Next Steps

Always Do Your Research

  • Enquire to find out more about your surgery
  • Please read our website to learn more about your intended procedure

Do you need a Medical Referral to see Dr Turner?

  • A GP Referral is required to Consult with Dr Turner (under new AHPRA Regulations)
  • Please obtain a referral from your GP or Specialist if you want a consultation for an MBS item number surgery.
  • Please note that your Medicare Rebates will NOT be claimable without a valid recent Medical Referral

Making The Most Of Your Consultation

  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly examine all the documents provided

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

How to Book Your Consultation

  • You can book your initial consultation by paying the $350 cosmetic consultation fee in advance – when you make your appointment


  • To find out more information about surgery you can book a FREE 15-minute phone conversation with our Friendly Patient Care team via Calendly- Book Consultant 1 or Book Consultant 2

Contact us or call on  1300 437 758  to arrange your surgeon consultation in Sydney.

Email us for more information:  enquiries@drturner.com.au