A neck lift can tighten muscles and remove excess skin and fatty tissues from the neck area. This procedure is commonly used to restore youthful contours to areas of the neck and along the underside of the jaw line for patients who are beginning to show signs of aging. It may also be requested by younger individuals who have lost a significant amount of weight if their skin doesn’t have enough elasticity to become firm again on its own.
If you are bothered by the appearance of your neck because of drooping skin, deep wrinkles or fatty deposits that don’t respond to weight loss, you may appreciate the effects of neck lift surgery. Ideally, you should be in good health and have realistic expectations about the risks and typical outcomes of this cosmetic surgery. Smokers and individuals with health problems that could increase the potential for complications may not be good candidates for this procedure.
Patient Consultation Overview
Your plastic surgeon will decide on the best approach based on what issues you want to correct. There are two surgical procedures that may be done separately or together as part of a neck lift:
- Cervicoplasty – this operation removes excess skin to smooth out wrinkles and reduce drooping
- Platysmaplasty – this procedure tightens up underlying muscles and restores firmness to the neck
Liposuction is often performed along with a neck lift to remove unwanted pockets of fat such as those found under the chin. Botox may also be recommended to reduce the appearance of lines. Your medical history will be reviewed and you’ll receive detailed information about the benefits and risks of each procedure. Neck lift prices vary based on a number of factors including the techniques used. You can discuss ways to finance your neck lift cost with the patient coordinator.
Patients usually go home the same day after this surgery. The procedure itself takes 2 to 3 hours. To ensure safety and comfort, the type of anesthesia used (local, intravenous, general) will depend on the extent of the procedure and any specific health risk factors.
For both types of neck lift, the surgeon makes incisions under the chin and/or behind the ears. With a platysmaplasty, the surgeon may adjust the position of muscles or excise portions of muscle to change the contour of the neck. Permanent sutures may be used to hold the muscles in their new position. With a cervicoplasty, small areas of skin are removed along the incision line. The edges are lifted and stitched (or surgically glued) in place to create a firmer neck line.
Symptoms like swelling and bruising are normal side effects of this surgery. Sensations of tightness, tingling, burning, numbness and pulling are also common during neck lift recovery. You may experience these symptoms for several weeks. You’ll l wear a compression bandage for the first week to support your neck area and promote healing. Returning to sedentary work within a week is typical. If you’re very active in sports, you may need to take a break for three weeks or more before resuming your regular athletic routine. Your neck lift scars should fade and become less noticeable over the course of the next 1 to 2 years. However, they may still be visible depending on where they are located.
This operation carries many of the same complication risks as other types of plastic surgery. Potential complications that are unique to neck lifts include:
- Damage to the nerves that control the neck muscles
- Excessive buildup of blood or other fluids requiring surgical draining of the siteKeep in mind that aging, changes in body weight, and other factors may cause neck skin to begin drooping again
Many patients find that a neck lift gives their neck and jaw line better tautness and restored definition. This can make them look younger and slimmer while improving their self confidence about their appearance.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
American Board of Plastic Surgery
American Society of Plastic Surgeons