What is a Neck Lift?
Neck lift surgery is a cosmetic procedure through which the definition of the jawline and neck can be improved. There are two basic techniques that make this possible. Neck lift, or neck contouring, is a procedure that focuses on the removal of “neck bands” on the front of the neck. This neck lift technique tightens the platysma muscles, therefore improving the appearance of overlying skin. A neck lift tightens the platysma muscles and also the skin and superficial tissue of the jawline (jowls). Neck lift procedures may be joined by liposuction and other facial procedures, such as chin augmentation, to further enhance results.
Am I a Candidate for a Neck Lift?
Good candidates for neck lift surgery are adults who are in good general health and do not smoke. Dr. Schaffer conducts a thorough medical history and consultation during which the expectations of surgery are clearly discussed. It is important to know what is possible from cosmetic surgery and have realistic expectations based on this discussion.
You may be a good candidate for a neck lift if the tissue on your neck appears loose and weak with visible cords or bands. This procedure may also be right for you if you have a double chin. A more extended neck lift may be right for you if the tissue on your neck is loose and wrinkled; if you have a “turkey neck” or double chin and the skin along your jawline is loose and saggy.
Preparing for a Neck Lift
After our initial medical evaluation and consultation, we may request that patients under lab testing before neck lift surgery. Full pre-operative instructions are provided well in advance of surgery and include details such as:
- Avoiding tobacco
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Some patients may need to stop or modify certain medications
- Avoiding medications and supplements that may increase bleeding
- Fill prescriptions before the day of surgery
- Arrange reliable transportation to and from the surgery center
Neck Lift Procedure
Neck lift surgery is conducted under IV sedation or general anesthesia. The procedure takes place in an accredited outpatient surgery facility.
During surgery, underlying muscle is accessed through a small incision made just under the chin. Small instruments are inserted through incisions to tighten the platysma muscle. Excessed skin is removed to reveal a smoother surface and the incision is closed. This procedure typically takes 2 to 2.5 hours.
If a full neck lift is performed, the same incision will be made under the chin. An additional incision is made just in front of each ear. Through the chin incision, small instruments tighten platysma muscles and skin before the incision is sutured. Through the incisions at the ears, instruments are inserted to lift and reposition the tissue along the jawline and lower face. Excess skin is removed to reveal a tighter jawline, and incisions are sutured. This procedure typically takes up to 5 hours.
Neck Lift Before & After
Neck Lift Recovery
During the initial recovery after surgery, patients are monitored in the surgical center as anesthesia wears off. A compression garment is also applied around the neck and/or head. This garment supports healing during the first 24 hours and reduces post-surgical swelling. Patients need to leave the garment on for the duration of this time.
Healing is best supported when patients sleep on their back with their head elevated above their heart. This can then be made more comfortable by adding a second pillow beneath the head and shoulders. Swelling and bruising are expected and may appear worse the day after surgery. Depending on the extent of tissue manipulation involved in surgery, a drain may also be in place for a few days after surgery. This will be removed in our office during the post-operative follow-up visit. Patients are encouraged to take pain medication as needed and follow other surgical instructions provided by our team.
Post-surgical recovery details include:
- Wearing a compression garment for at least the first 24 hours after surgery.
- Sleeping in a slightly elevated position for approximately one week.
- Taking prescription medications as directed.
- Returning to work: 2 weeks after full neck lift.
- Returning to exercise: 2 weeks for low-level exercise, 4 to 6 weeks for the full return to exercise.
- Most bruising and swelling subsides within the first month.
Results of a Neck Lift/How Long Do Results Last?
Results from neck lift surgery can last 10 to 15 years, depending on contributing factors such as the patient’s natural aging process, lifestyle habits, and skincare.
Neck Lift Risks
Risks and complications of neck lift surgery include the general risks associated with anesthesia and infection. Furthermore, there is a risk of unfavorable scarring or poor cosmetic results.
“Dr. Schaffer did an amazing job! I am very pleased with the results. I highly recommend him if you need help. He has a great team that are very helpful and supportive. They make you feel like family. He is an expert hands down with his work.” Click here to read more patient testimonials.
Neck Lift Costs
The cost of a neck lift varies depending on contributing factors such as:
- Surgeon’s fee
- Procedures involved
- Medical screenings
- Anesthesia fees
- Surgical facility fees
- Post-surgical costs such as garments and medication