What is a Necklift?
Frequently performed in combination with a face lift and eyelid surgery, a neck lift is a surgical procedure designed to reduce sagging skin in the neck and under the jaw line. Performed with minimal incisions well hidden behind the ear, a neck lift is actually a set of procedures used to enhance the appearance of your neck:
- Cervicoplasty is the procedure used to remove excess skin
- Platysmaplasty removes or alters neck muscles
For many individuals, the neck is often one of the first areas of the face to show the signs of age. Over time as the skin loses it elasticity, wrinkles and folds may develop in the neck while the chin and jaw line may become slack and lose definition. Excess or sagging skin in the neck can lead to what many refer to as a “turkey neck” or “wattle”.
The neck lift is an ideal procedure for individuals whose aging concerns are limited to the neck. If aging conditions are present in the face as well, a full face and neck lift may be more appropriate. Dr. Rubinstein is very careful when performing the neck lift to create a natural rejuvenated appearance by tightening the underlying neck muscles and removing excess skin and fat. The result is a smoother, firmer, more youthful looking neck area.
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
Neck Lift – The Procedure
The neck lift is commonly performed with local anesthesia and sedation, though general anesthesia may be used if the patient prefers. The surgery typically takes one to three hours to complete. Incisions may be located underneath the chin within a skin crease as well as behind each ear. Through these incisions, Dr. Rubinstein removes excess fat using liposuction or direct excision techniques, tightens the underlying muscles, and removes excess skin before closing the incisions.
The neck lift is a generally safe procedure. However, as with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and these may include bleeding, infection, numbness, asymmetry, nerve injury and scarring. You can minimize potential problems by carefully following your doctor’s pre- and post-operative instructions.
After Surgery: What to Expect
Patients can expect a recovery period of about one to two weeks following the neck lift. Work and most other normal activities can usually be resumed at this time, though exercise and strenuous activities will need to be postponed for several weeks. A bandage is typically applied after surgery which will be kept in place for several days. If surgical drains are used, they are typically removed within twenty-four hours. Patients often experience a tight feeling in the neck, though this resolves within a few weeks. Discomfort may also occur and this can be managed with medication. Swelling and bruising will fade within a few weeks.
Neck Lift FAQs
There are different types of neck lifts, all of which primarily address the neck more than the jaw line.
a. Mini neck lift: Only sagging skin is addressed thru a small incision behind the ears.
b. Neck lift with platysma muscle tightening: the sagging underlying muscles are lifted as well. The neck bands created by muscle cords are also addressed thru a small incision under the chin. Sedation is usually required.
c. Direct neck lift: excess skin is directly removed in the mid-line of the neck rather than big incisions behind the ears and into the hairline. The advantage is that by addressing skin where it is sagging the most, in the middle of the neck, a better neck lift result can be obtained.