Time and gravity takes a toll on the face and neck, causing the skin to become loose and crepey. The face soon starts to look older as the muscles and tissues descend, resulting in sagging jowls that are often corrected with a face or neck lift. But can jowls come back after a lower facelift/neck lift.
Facial Aging and Sagging Jowls
Most people start to experience noticeable changes in the face and neck by their early 40s. This is due to the decline in collagen and elastin, which are vital proteins that the skin needs to keep it firm and smooth.
Facial aging is usually marked by sagging and deflation of the cheeks, drooping of the jawline and neck, and isolated deposits of fat under the chin and jaw. In addition, the tissues in the face weaken, resulting in a loss of skin tone and sagging jowls.
Drooping jowls are primarily due to the natural aging process. The fat in the lower cheeks often migrate to the jowls, as a result of the increased laxity of the skin. However, there are also a multitude of factors that can contribute to sagging jowls including lifestyle choices such as smoking and poor diet, genetics, and excess sun exposure.
Surgical Options for Sagging Jowls
The problem of sagging jowls is usually addressed with surgery in the form of a lower facelift, neck lift, or combination procedure. In cases where the signs of aging are limited to the cheeks and jowls, a lower facelift is considered a more appropriate treatment choice, instead of a full facelift.
A lower facelift is intended to address visible signs of aging in the lower half of the face. It gets rid of excess skin below the jawline, and since the skin is pulled taut, sagging jowls are eventually eliminated.
The procedure can be done under general anesthesia, or local anesthesia with intravenous sedation. During surgery a single incision is made along the hairline, after which the skin is lifted, and the underlying tissues tightened.
Since the jawline is next to the neck, a neck lift can also correct sagging in the neck and jawline. It also reduces the appearance of bands of muscles in the neck that often become prominent with age.
In cases where there is sagging of the jowls, the skin of the bottom half of the face and the neck are redraped in a single procedure.
Can Jowls Come Back?
A lower facelift/neck lift can be expected to last approximately 5-10 years. The procedure tightens the tissue in the jowls, so that they are firmer and tighter. It recontours the lower half of the face, and restores clean lines to the jawline.
However, it is important to remember that the face will continue to age as time passes. There is likely to be continued collagen loss that will make the skin looser and less elastic, so it is possible that there will be further sagging of the cheeks and jowls.
The quality of the skin can also influence the re-occurrence of jowls. If the skin is firm and elastic at the time of surgery, there is likely to be less stretching of the skin and descent of the cheeks, as time passes.
The technique is another determining factor that can cause jowls to recur, as sometimes the problem is not completely corrected by the lower facelift/neck lift. The procedure is most effective when the plane of facial soft tissue known as the SMAS is lifted during the procedure. This creates a more natural, youthful result that lasts a long time. For this reason, patients are advised to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon, and discuss all aspects of surgery, before doing the operation.
Lower Facelift / Neck Lift, Tupelo, Mississippi
Patients in Tupelo, MS, can contact board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Craig of Accent Plastic & Reconstruction Surgery. Dr. Craig will carry out a careful evaluation of your specific concerns, to determine the nature of the sagging jowls, and the most appropriate solution. He will then outline a treatment plan that is tailored for your specific needs. Call 662-377-6290 today to schedule an appointment.
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