How Is a Neck Lift Procedure Done?

It’s not just your face that portrays your age–in fact, the neck is often the first area to show signs of aging. Many people notice sagging skin around their throat and neck bands long before any facial wrinkles. Fortunately, just like you can rejuvenate your face with a facelift, a surgical neck lift can provide a smoother, younger neck to take years off of your appearance.

What is a Neck Lift?

As we age, the skin on our neck tends to become less elastic and may start to sag, leading to a “turkey neck” appearance. A neck lift is a cosmetic surgery designed to address this issue by tightening the skin and underlying muscles in the neck area, resulting in a smoother, more youthful appearance.

Typically, a neck lift can improve:

  • Sagging skin in the neck area
  • Neck bands
  • Submental fat (double chin)
  • “Turkey neck” or “turkey wattle”
  • Weakened or separated platysma muscles
  • Jawline definition

A neck lift can be performed as a standalone procedure or in combination with other cosmetic surgeries at Specialty Aesthetic Surgery, such as a facelift or eyelid lift, for a more comprehensive rejuvenation of the face and neck. If a double chin or neck fat is also a concern, we may recommend neck liposuction to remove unwanted fat.

How Does a Neck Lift Work?

A neck lift is typically performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation, depending on the extent of the procedure. Your surgery may take up to five hours, and you’ll be able to return home afterward with the help of a family member or friend.

Your surgeon will make incisions either behind the ears or under the chin, depending on your specific needs and goals. This way, any resulting scars will be well-concealed. Neck surgery is customized to each patient’s needs and may involve multiple components and techniques.

If age or weight loss has caused loose skin around your neck, the procedure will include cervicoplasty to remove excess skin. Your surgeon will also tighten the remaining skin, creating a smoother appearance and eliminating wrinkles and bands. For some patients, platysmaplasty will also be necessary to repair platysma muscles that have separated with age. Most patients also have excess fat removed via liposuction to help eliminate a double chin and sagging.

Once the procedure is complete, your surgeon will close the incisions using sutures or surgical glue. A compression garment may be placed around the neck to help reduce swelling and promote healing.

Recovery After a Neck Lift

After a neck lift, patients can expect some swelling, bruising, and discomfort in the treated area. We will give you detailed instructions about recovery and may prescribe pain medication for the first few days. Since each neck surgery is tailored to the patient, healing time varies.

In-office neck lifts may only require five to seven days of downtime, while more extensive procedures typically require up to two weeks. Full recovery takes longer, and it is important to avoid any strenuous activity or heavy lifting for several weeks following the procedure to allow the body to heal properly. 

Neck Lift Results

You may not be able to see your results at first because of swelling and bruising. Patients typically see most of their results within a month of surgery, and these continue to improve over the following months.

The results of a neck lift can be dramatic and long-lasting, with many patients reporting a more youthful, refreshed appearance. Your exact improvements will depend on your unique procedure, but a neck lift typically lasts 10-15 years. Your neck will continue to age and may eventually begin to sag again. However, for most patients, their neck still looks better decades later than it would have without the procedure.

The longevity of your results can also be improved by keeping your skin healthy and maintaining a steady weight. Weight gain can undo the benefits of fat removal during neck surgery, so eating well and exercising are essential. Protecting your skin from sun exposure and keeping it healthy and hydrated will help prevent skin laxity that leads to sagging and wrinkles.

Am I a Good Candidate for a Neck Lift?

The ideal candidate for a neck lift is someone who is in good overall health and has realistic expectations for the outcome of the procedure. Candidates should also have excess skin and/or fat in the neck area that is contributing to a sagging or aging appearance.

During your consultation at Specialty Aesthetic Surgery, one of our expert surgeons will discuss your goals and assess your neck area to determine the best treatment option. We will answer any questions you have and recommend alternative treatments if appropriate.

Take the Next Step – Request a Consultation

Want to learn more about facelifts? Schedule your consultation online or by calling Specialty Aesthetic Surgery at (212) 737-8700. We look forward to working with you!

Specialty Aesthetic Surgery serves the greater NYC metro area.

About Our Surgeons

Bruce Moskowitz is an experienced oculoplastic surgeon. His practice encompasses all areas of oculoplastic cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. He has a well-known reputation for revision surgery, and a large portion of his practice comes from other colleagues to revise sub-optimal outcomes.

Grigoriy Mashkevich is an experienced and double-board certified facial plastic surgeon. He belongs to a highly select group of surgeons with a focused specialization in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the nose, face, and neck. 

Dr. Anna Frants is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon who is experienced in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Her areas of surgical specialty include the face, neck, nose, eyelids, eyebrows, and ears. 

*Individual results may vary. 

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