Also known as platysmaplasty or cervicoplasty
The neck is one of the first places where we show our age. Fatty jowls, a “turkey wattle,” vertical banding and horizontal creases all work together to make us look older than we feel. A neck lift enhances the appearance of the neck by tightening the skin and underlying muscles and improving the contour of the jawline. This procedure is often performed in conjunction with liposuction, a facelift, or a cheek lift but may also be done as a stand-alone procedure.
These are the top three pros and cons to weigh when considering a neck lift. If you want to focus on what is unique to you, please consult with your aesthetic plastic surgeon.
Are you a good candidate for a neck lift?
The following are some common reasons why you may want to consider neck lift:
If you are in good general health, have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, you are most likely a good candidate for this procedure.
If only minimal contouring is needed, this procedure can be done with liposuction alone.
The procedure for a full neck lift is as follows:
As a stand-alone procedure, your neck lift can be done with liposuction alone, if only fat is being removed and your skin quality is good. When there are more significant signs of aging, such as a turkey wattle, jowling, excess fat, sagging skin, and a prominent platysma muscle, a more extensive procedure is required that will address all of those problem areas.
There are various incision approaches, depending on the extent of the surgery and the structures being altered. If a corset platysmaplasty is planned (in which the platysma muscles are tightly sewn together to create a smooth neck contour) a small incision is made under your chin (submental incision) along with a limited facelift-type incision behind each ear. For younger patients who request a neck lift with minimal change to the face, the neck correction can sometimes be accomplished with only the submental incision or with only the incision behind each ear.
It’s important to choose your surgeon based on:
Members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery are experienced and qualified to perform your aesthetic procedure. Learn how to select a surgeon.
After finding a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area who is experienced in performing neck lift surgery, you will need to make an office appointment to set up your consultation. Generally, because of the in-depth nature of the consultation, there is a cost associated with the initial visit.
During your initial consultation, you will have the opportunity to discuss your cosmetic goals. Your surgeon will evaluate you as a neck-lift candidate and clarify what a neck lift can do for you. Understanding your goals and medical condition, both alternative and additional treatments may be considered. (See related procedures.)
You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your complete medical history. This will include information about:
Based on your goals, physical characteristics, and the surgeon’s training and experience, your surgeon will share recommendations and information with you, including:
For a general list of questions to ask your surgeon about his or her background, to find out about plastic surgery safety, and to plan your procedure, visit the Planning Toolkit.
We developed these questions to help you:
It is important for you to take an active role in your surgery, so please use this list of questions as a starting point for your initial consultation.
Your surgeon will provide thorough preoperative instructions, answer any questions you may have, take a detailed medical history, and perform a physical exam to determine your fitness for surgery.
In advance of your procedure, your surgeon will ask you to:
Neck lift may be performed on an outpatient basis, particularly if only liposuction is performed. However, if more extensive surgery is planned, you will likely have an overnight stay in the hospital so that you can be monitored for possible problems. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home when you are released from the surgical facility and to stay with you at least the first night release from the hospital.
What can I expect on the day of neck lift surgery?
Your neck lift surgery may be performed in an accredited hospital, free-standing ambulatory facility, or office-based surgical suite. Neck lift procedures can range from one hour to three hours or longer, depending on the complexity of the procedure and whether the platysma muscle is manipulated.
You may be required to stay overnight for observation unless you and your plastic surgeon have made other plans for your immediate postoperative recovery.
Your surgeon will discuss how long it will be before you can return to your normal level of activity and work. After surgery, you and your caregiver will receive detailed instructions about your postsurgical care, including information about:
See options for short-term recovery locations in Aftercare and Recovery (Planning Toolkit).
How will I look and feel immediately following neck lift?
Immediately after surgery, your neck will be bruised and it will feel tight and numb. The bruising will resolve over the next four to five days but the feelings of tightness and numbness may remain for several months, if not longer.
Recovery time frame after neck lift
It is vitally important that you follow all patient care instructions provided by your surgeon. This will include information about care of your drains and type of activity that is safe. Your surgeon will also provide detailed instructions about the normal symptoms you will experience and any potential signs of complications. It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.
Under normal circumstances, the results of your neck lift surgery will be long-lasting.
Maintain a relationship with your aesthetic plastic surgeon
For safety, as well as the most beautiful and healthy outcome, it’s important to return to your plastic surgeon's office for follow-up evaluation at prescribed times and whenever you notice any changes in your neck lift. Do not hesitate to contact your surgeon when you have any questions or concerns.
The cost of a neck lift varies from doctor to doctor and from one geographic area to another.
These numbers only reflect the physician/surgeon fees last year and do not include fees for the surgical facility, anesthesia, medical tests, prescriptions, surgical garments or other miscellaneous costs related to neck lift.
Because a neck lift is elective surgery, insurance does not cover these costs. Many surgeons offer patient financing plans to make the procedure more affordable.
Choose your surgeon based on quality, training, and experience—not cost.
See why ASAPS members are widely recognized for upholding the highest standards in the area of aesthetic plastic surgery by viewing their basic credentials, training, and certifications.
Fortunately, significant complications from neck lift are infrequent. Your specific risks of neck lift will be discussed during your consultation.
All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Some of the potential complications of all surgeries are:
Other risks specific to neck lift are outlined below:
You can help minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions of your board-certified plastic surgeon, both before and after your neck-lift surgery.
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