Neck Lift Myths and Facts

Having a youthful-looking neck and jawline is achievable. The best-certified professional surgeons can make your dream come true by performing a neck lift. It is a cosmetic surgery to remove excess fat and skin around your jawline, leaving you with a youthful-looking and more defined neck. Results can last for a long time; however, a neck lift can’t stop your skin from aging.

What Is a Neck Lift?

A neck lift is a set of surgeries to make your neck look beautiful and youthful. Lower rhytidectomy or submental lipectomy is a general medical term you might hear. Depending on the results you’re looking for, your surgeon determines the specific procedure or sets of procedures you should have. Neck contouring can be done alone if you’re not happy with the appearance of your neck, although it is part of a facelift.

Neck lift procedures involve:

  • Cervicoplasty to remove excess skin
  • Botox injections to correct problems with fullness or “bands.”
  • Platysmaplasty to alter or remove neck muscles
  • Liposuction to remove excess fat
  • Kybella injections to remove excess fat under your chin
  • Other neck-lift surgical techniques like ultrasound, lasers, fillers, intense pulsed light, and radiofrequency devices.

Why Neck Lift?

During your first consultation, you’ll consult with your surgeon and discuss your goals and what you want to change.

A neck lift can fix many common concerns including:

· Excess fat

· Turkey wattle neck

· Too much skin

It’s best if you’re in good health to be the ideal candidate for a neck lift.

What Can Neck Lift Surgery Treat?

  • Loose neck skin
  • Excess fatty deposits under the chin
  • Muscle banding in the neck caused by abnormal contours
  • Excess fat and skin relaxation under the chin creates jowls

Many factors cause the loss of youthful contours in the neck and face, including stress, heredity, gravity, and environmental conditions.

When some people see that the upper face is still pleasing, they decide that they’re not ready for a full facelift. However, as patients notice wrinkling on the neck skin, a double chin, turkey wattle, or jowl lines, they decide it’s time for some changes.

A neck lift is an excellent solution when you’re not satisfied with the appearance of your neck area.

Some cosmetic procedures can be performed along with a neck lift, like:

  • A brow lift that corrects a deeply furrowed or sagging brow,
  • Fat transfer surgery to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and add fullness to your cheeks and lips.
  • or eyelid surgery to rejuvenate aging eyes.

What Can’t Neck Lift Surgery Do?

A neck lift is a restorative surgery. In simple words, it cannot stop the aging process and does not change your structural and fundamental appearance.

It only is performed surgically. However, you can use topical treatments to help delay the need for a neck lift. Also, non-surgical treatments can complement the results of surgery.

What Are The Steps Of A Neck Lift Surgery?

To complete a neck lift surgery, your surgeon will go through the following steps:

Step 1 – Anesthesia

Right before the procedure, your surgeon gives you medications for your comfort. Depending on your surgery, you’ll either have intravenous sedation with local anesthesia or general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend what’s best for your case.

Step 2 – The Incision

Now, your surgeon will either do a limited incision neck lift or a traditional neck lift incision, depending on the degree of change you desire.

A traditional neck lift incision:

Usually, the incision begins at the level of the sideburn in your hairline. Then it goes around and down your ear and ends in your posterior hair.

Your surgeon may sculpt or redistribute fat from the neck and jowls. Then, he or she repositions the underlying tissue of the neck skin and tightens the platysma muscle. Skin is tightened over the uplifted contours, and excess skin is removed. Afterward, your surgeon cuts separate incisions under the chin for liposuction and the repair of the muscle. Finally, skin adhesives or sutures close the incisions.

A limited incision neck lift:

It may only include incisions around the ear. The incisions are shorter which makes the results more limited.

Step 3 – Closing The Incisions

When your surgeon is done, it’s time to close the incision lines using sutures and perhaps skin glue. If you have dissolving sutures, you’ll not need a visit for your surgeon to remove them.

However, if it’s undissolvable sutures, your doctor will have you scheduled for a follow-up to remove them after a few days. After recovery from a neck lift, the incision lines are usually well hidden within the natural contours of your ear and the hairline.

Step 4 – Enjoy The Results

As soon as the swelling and bruising heal, you’ll enjoy the visible improvements of a neck lift. Your final neck lift result will restore a more youthful and rested appearance and make you feel more confident about yourself.

Neck Lift Risks

Neck lift surgery, like any surgery, has risks that might include:

  • Infection
  • Open wounds
  • Skin loss
  • Hematoma (Bleeding under the skin)
  • Blood clots
  • Reaction to anesthetic
  • Nerve injury
  • Thick scarring

You might not be satisfied with your results, which is another possible risk after a neck lift. As a result, another surgery might be necessary.

How You Prepare

Before your surgery, your doctor will ask you to stop taking certain medications, including aspirin or other blood-thinning medications, for several days. Some medicines you need to avoid are heparin, warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), aspirin, and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, and others).

Other Precautions

Your doctor will recommend that you stop smoking before a neck lift since it slows both recovery and healing and promotes wrinkling of the skin.

It’s best to have a friend take you home after your surgery and stay over the first night after your surgery.

Before Surgery

Before a neck lift, your doctor will evaluate your health and discuss your surgical expectations and goals. Then, you will know which surgical method works best for you. He or she might find the need for additional procedures like skin resurfacing, brow lift, or eyelid surgery to help achieve the results you desire.

Your surgeon will examine and measure your face. Also, the medical team will take photographs to compare your face and neck appearance before and after surgery.

During Surgery

Depending on your case, your surgeon will decide whether to perform your neck lift with local anesthesia and sedation or under general anesthesia.

Recently, liposuction is the most requested procedure. Your surgeon makes a tiny incision under the chin and behind each ear. Then, he or she uses specialized equipment that sucks fat from beneath the chin and the jawline. So, liposuction can give you a more defined neck if you’re dissatisfied with your neck’s appearance due to fat.

However, you should understand that if you have any structural problems that contribute to your neck’s appearance, liposuction won’t correct them. Therefore, your surgeon will consider several factors before deciding the best type of surgery for you, while keeping in mind your desired goals with your neck and cost.

After Surgery

Most patients after a neck lift have swelling and bruising. So, to reduce swelling and compress your neck, your surgeon might suggest wearing a special garment. Also, you’ll need to keep your head straight and elevated above your heart. Avoid any twisting or bending of your neck.


Swelling and bruising might take several weeks to months to fully disappear while your incision lines might take up to six months to fade. During recovery, you should be careful, protect your skin from the sun, be gentle with your surgical incisions, and not wear clothing you need to pull over your face.

Neck Lift FAQ

At what age can a neck lift be performed?

Typically, people seek neck lift surgery between the ages of 30 and 70. However, it can be performed for anyone at almost any age. Your consultation with one of our certified surgeons at Hospitalista will determine what’s best for you.

What does a typical neck lift consultation involve?

Your surgeon will know what you want to change about your neck. Then, he or she will propose a professional solution to expect to address your concerns realistically. Of course, the surgeon will consider your medical history, medication, and previous surgeries you might have had. After that, he or she will explain the several techniques available for a neck lift, incision placements, and anesthesia options that may be most suited for you, the risks, and the costs.

How is a neck lift performed?

Usually, a neck lift is performed as an outpatient under light sedation and local anesthesia or general anesthesia, like many cosmetic procedures. If you have a “skin-only” neck lift, the surgeon makes two incisions; behind or under your ear, loosens your skin, redrapes it, and removes any excess skin or fat. However, a third incision is needed under the chin if you’ll get a platysmaplasty with a neck lift.

What should I expect post-operatively?

On the third day, you will experience swelling and bruising in your neck and lower face that will disappear over a week. It’s best to take it easy during the first few weeks after surgery or more as you recover.

When will the stitches be removed, and does it hurt?

Depending on your surgery and recovery progression, your doctor will keep your stitches in place for probably seven to ten days.

When can I see the results?

For several weeks, you’ll experience some swelling, after which you should begin to see the results of your neck lift show in a couple of days and, sometimes, after a few weeks.

What are the risks of a neck lift?

It is no surprise that a neck lift is like any surgery and has its risks and complications. Potential risks include lumpiness, infection, allergic reaction to the anesthesia, cording, hematoma or numbness, seroma, asymmetry, mottling of the skin, and dissatisfaction with the results.

Are the results permanent?

Sadly, your neck lift results will not last forever because surgery cannot stop aging. However, you’ll enjoy the results for several years before you notice any loose skin again in your neck. You should know that a significant weight gain could cause neck sagging and fullness.

Can a Neck Lift Be Used to Remove a Turkey Neck?

Neck lift surgery helps patients remove a turkey neck when the skin is wrinkled, or sagging under the neck. Your surgeon will, therefore, request an evaluation to determine if you can benefit from a neck lift.

Can a neck lift be combined with other cosmetic surgeries?

Some patients decide they want a facelift along with a neck lift to optimize results and eliminate the need for additional cosmetic surgery. Also, your surgeon will help you during your consultation to determine which cosmetic surgery is right for you.

What is the typical recovery time?

After a neck lift, your surgeons advise patients to avoid twisting or turning and keep their heads still for the first couple of days. You can minimize swelling and bruising by applying cold compresses, and keeping your head elevated for the first 48 hours. However, swelling and bruising can last up to ten days. Usually, your surgeon removes the sutures after seven days, and most patients can get back to work and normal daily activities after two weeks of surgery. It’s best to avoid any strenuous activities like exercise for four to six weeks.

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