Many people are pleased with the appearance of their neck, but others, both young and old, are very self-conscious about the appearance of their neck. Some complain their neck looks too fleshly, or that it lacks definition. Most refer to the problem as a "turkey neck."

This unattractive neck can result from a variety of conditions. Overweight is one condition that can cause the neck to appear obtuse. Other causes may be a genetic predisposition to having a significant amount of fat in the jaw. Age can also cause the skin to droop and make the jawline appear jowly. Then there are those suffering from a condition known as retrognathia, where the jaw recedes and makes it look as if the person has no chin or jawline.

A neck lift provides a solution to people searching to improve the appearance of the neck and under the jaw line. This is designed to reduce the look of loose, sagging skin. Keep in mind that this procedure will not rejuvenate the facial area. A neck lift can be performed alone, or in conjunction with other procedures including face lift and chin augmentation. Combined, these procedures can provide a complete facial makeover. A neck lift can even give some people the appearance of lost weight.

With the increasing popularity of cosmetic surgery, including neck lift, it is important that the prospective patient research and understand different issues like what the procedure can and cannot treat, inherent risks, costs, and other factors. Keep in mind, cosmetic surgery is just that - a surgical procedure whose results cannot simply be erased. While the information contained in this website will provide you with a good introduction to neck lift, when considering this or any other cosmetic procedure, we recommend that you consult a qualified provider with significant experience. Some important elements you should understand regarding neck lift surgery include the following:

Who would best Represent an Ideal Candidate for Neck Lift? 

A neck lift can improve upon the appearance of the neck by creating more definition of the angle of the jaw. Undergoing this procedure can provide a boost to one's self-confidence and self-esteem. A neck lift can be performed on individuals above 18 years of age who feel the need to improve their necks. Typical patients range between the ages of 30 and 70. A neck lift can address various cosmetic issues, including: 

- Turkey neck 

- Excess fat and/or skin in the neck 

- Retrognathia

If you are self-conscious about these issues, you can be considered a good candidate for a neck lift. However, patients who undergo this procedure should also have realistic goals and expectations as well as be physically and mentally stable. People must remember that cosmetic surgery is meant for improvement, not perfection.

How is a neck lift performed? 

A neck lift may be performed in the cosmetic surgeon's office-based facility, an outpatient surgery center, or at a hospital. This procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis and performed under general anesthesia, allowing the patient to sleep during the operation.

The neck lift takes about two to three hours for the doctor to perform. If multiple procedures are performed, it takes longer. The neck lift is actually a combination of procedures. The first is cervicoplasty, where excess skin is removed. The other is platysmaplasty, where neck muscles are removed or altered. Surgeons may also perform liposuction on the neck to remove fat deposits from the neck.

During cervicoplasty, two incisions are made either under or behind the ear. When combined with a platysmaplasty, a small incision is made under the chin. Sections of skin are trimmed, lifted into place and sutured. Then, a section of fat and muscle is removed and the ends are sutured together at the mid-anterior (front) section of the neck. The skin can be brought together under or behind the ear to further firm up appearance of the neck.

Are there other options to improve the appearance of the neck?

A necklift is a combination of various procedures, but for some, one procedure alone could improve the appearance of the neck.

Neck Liposuction: Removing fat alone can improve problems in the neck. However this is only available to patients who have little excess skin in the neck region. If they do not have excess, droopy skin, neck liposuction will present a beautiful result. 

Facelift: A facelift removes excess fat and skin from the facial area, including the neck. This procedure can tighten a jawline that grows slack and jowly and those with folds and fat deposits around the neck. This is more beneficial to those wanting to improve upon signs of aging in their face as well as the neck. A facelift also helps those who have no excess fat in this region, but possess a significant amount of excess skin.

Chin implant: This is for people who have a weak chin and, as result, the neck looks overly fleshy. Chin implants can also help those with retrognathia, a condition where the jaw is receding.

Please discuss with your surgeon as to which procedure will work best to meet your needs.

How Much Pain is Associated with Neck lift? 

There will be some discomfort after undergoing neck lift surgery, which can be lessened with prescribed pain medication. Some degree of swelling and possibly bruising can be expected, but this is only temporary. It is recommended that you stay home for at least a week after surgery and take it easy for the first three weeks following surgery.

What happens after undergoing a Neck Lift operation? 

During the recovery period, doctors usually have patients wear a compression garment for several days. This garment helps improve blood circulation, minimize swelling, and flush out potentially harmful fluids. The compression garment can allow the patient to heal from their necklift faster and minimize the amount of downtime while providing comfort and support to the neck.

Even though swelling takes a few weeks to subside, patients should be able to start seeing the results of their neck lift within a week following surgery. Patients will notice more definition in their neck and under the jaw line.

The duration of the results depend on the type of procedures used. The neck lift procedure can last about five to ten years, but this varies from patient to patient. A facelift also lasts about the same amount of time. Patients can choose to undergo another facelift and necklift when they start to notice their results fading. Otherwise, their appearance will revert to a pre-surgical state. Liposuction permanently removes fat deposits from the neck. Fat can still grow in other areas, and that is why it is important to stay in shape even after undergoing liposuction.

What Are the Risks and Limitations of Neck lift?

With any cosmetic procedure, there is always the possibility of risks. A neck lift may involve multiple procedures, so, there is an increased risk. The most common risk for any cosmetic procedure is allergic reaction to the anesthesia and infection. Another potential complication is accumulation of blood under the skin (hematoma). Yet another risk is injury to the nerves that control muscles in the treated area. Excessive scar tissue is another possible cause for concern, however, scar revision procedures can help.

These risks can be reduced when the procedure is performed by a qualified surgeon, with extensive experience in performing neck lifts and if patients follow their doctor's pre-op and post-op instructions. Note: Smokers should stop smoking two weeks before surgery because this contributes to poor healing of the skin.

The Surgery

Neck lift surgery is actually a set of procedures used to enhance the appearance of the neck. Liposuction is employed when excess fat is the issue. For many patients, once the fat is removed, surgical skin tightening will be necessary, especially in patients over the age of 40.

For a skin tightening procedure (cervicoplasty). There will be then performed small incisions just behind each ear and one under the chin. The excess skin will then be trimmed and the edges lifted into place and stitched together.

For some patients, the complaint is a "turkey waddle" neck or "banding'. This appearance is due to weak or lax muscles of the neck. To correct this, your docter may recommend a platysmaplasty. Like the cervicoplasty procedure, small incisions will be placed behind the ears and under the chin to facilitate manipulation of the neck muscles. In some cases, removal of some of the neck muscle may be necessary to achieve the desired affect.

Neck lift procedures typically take two to three hours to perform. However, this time can vary depending upon which of the neck lift procedures are needed and if other facial surgeries are performed during the same setting. Recovery time can also vary, but generally patients can return to work in 10-14 days.

The Risks

Patients will experience bruising and swelling following neck lift surgery; this can last for several days. Patients may also feel tightness or tingling as well as different sensations including burning, pulling or numbness. This is entirely normal. Other potential risks can include asymmetry, general dissatisfaction, lumpiness in the skin, excess scar tissue. Should they occur, the issues will be discussed with you and a plan of corrective action employed.


See also

Let's meet

Are you curious about what we can do for you? Please feel free to contact us.