A neck lift is a surgical procedure that smooths and tightens the neck’s skin, which can sag from aging or weight loss. There are usually two components to a neck lift: cervicoplasty, which removes excess skin, and platysmaplasty, which removes or tightens muscles in the neck. A neck lift can be performed alone or as part of a facelift. A neck lift candidate is in good physical and emotional health, and has realistic expectations about the outcome of surgery. The results of a neck lift can last up to 10 years.
Neck Lift Procedure
A neck lift begins with a small, inconspicuous incision directly below the chin (platysmaplasty) and/or in front of the ear lobes, looping behind the ears and ending in the scalp near the back of the neck (cervicoplasty). Sagging skin is trimmed away and lifted during cervicoplasty; loose muscles that cause the “bands” around the neck to be prominent are tightened during platysmaplasty. In some cases, it is necessary to perform only one of the two procedures. Liposuction is sometimes used to remove excess fat; if so, it is performed before the neck lift. A neck lift usually takes 2 to 4 hours to perform, and the patient is given either general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. Most neck lifts are performed on an outpatient basis but can be performed in-office.
Recovery from a Neck Lift
Swelling and bruising from a neck lift can last up to 10 days. Keeping the head elevated for the first week following surgery minimizes swelling. Keeping the head still, and avoiding turning or twisting it for the first few days post-surgery, is recommended. Dr. Sunder specific pre and post-care instructions allow patients to recover as fast as possible with minimal scarring.
Most people return to work and other normal daily activities within 2 weeks, after which bruising and swelling have subsided. More strenuous activities should be avoided for 4 to 6 weeks.
Risks and Complications of a Neck Lift
Although rare, possible risks and complications of a neck lift include the following:
- Excessive bleeding
- Skin discoloration
The chance of complications is minimized by choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience in performing neck lifts. With Dr.Sunder’s exceptional accolades, patients can rest assured that they are in the greatest of hands.
Neck Lift and Facelift: The Ideal Combination
For optimal results, surgeons commonly recommend a facelift in conjunction with a neck lift. Since most people who have signs of aging in the neck also have telltale signs of aging in the face, these two procedures typically go hand in hand. Also, in most cases, it’s impossible to remove neck skin without leaving redundant cheek and face skin, so a subsequent facelift is often necessary.
Many people consult a plastic surgeon when they want to correct a single aspect of their appearance, such as the jowls or a “turkey wattle.” But as with all procedures, it’s Dr. Sunder’s looks at the whole picture—how one feature plays off or enhances another—with the ultimate goal of giving you the most flattering and natural results possible.