Neck lift surgery is a less invasive alternative to facelift surgery that lifts, defines and rejuvenates the lower face and neck. It is often performed to remove excess fat beneath the chin and tighten loose skin in the neck.
The goal of this cosmetic procedure is to slim your neckline and enhance the definition of your jawline to restore a more youthful facial appearance that is both cosmetically pleasing and rejuvenating.
Common Patient Concerns
Many patients want a neck lift procedure done to address specific concerns, such as:
- Turkey Wattle Neck (loose skin under the neck)
- Excess Fat
- Too Much Skin
These conditions are often the result of aging, but may also be due to weight gain or weight loss, genetics, unprotected exposure to the sun, smoking, and improper nutrition–all of which contribute to or exacerbate unwanted cosmetic changes to the neck region.
The Neck Ages Faster than the Face
As we age, there is a decreased production of collagen and elastin–the two proteins essential to the skin’s architecture and appearance. As a result, the skin begins to lose its thickness, firmness, and elasticity, and it starts to thin, loosen, and wrinkle. Since the neck contains thinner skin than the face, lines and wrinkles form more easily on the surface. And since the neck muscles are weaker than that of the face, the neck skin is more vulnerable to sagging due to gravity with age.
Other factors that may also intensify the appearance of wrinkles in the neck include:
- Sun Exposure
Causes Textural and Internal Damage to the Skin
- Smoking and Drinking
Accelerates the aging process of the skin
Affects the skin’s elasticity
Choosing Between a Neck Lift or a Facelift
If you are not sure whether you should have a neck lift or a facelift, you should schedule a consultation with Dr. Colin Pero to discuss your concerns. He will examine your face and neck, listen to your concerns, help you make an informed decision, and develop a personalized treatment plan that best meets your needs and desired results.
Essentially, neck lift surgery is appropriate for anyone who is in good general health, has unwanted cosmetic changes in the neck, and wants to improve the appearance of the neck. Whatever your reason for considering this surgery, Dr. Pero will help you make an informed decision.
Know Your Aesthetic Goals
When you go for a consultation with Dr. Pero, know your specific aesthetic goals. Some younger patients in their 30s may opt for this less invasive procedure just because it doesn’t involve the face, and because they want to improve the appearance of their neck. Other patients may choose a neck lift surgery to get rid of the excess skin resulting from dramatic weight loss. What are your specific goals? Do you want to
- Remove Excess Skin
- Remove or Alter Neck Muscles
- Remove Excess Fat
- Address Problems with Fullness or “Bands”
- Remove Excess Fat Under the Chin
Knowing and communicating your aesthetic goals with Dr. Pero will help him tailor your treatment plan to meet your desired cosmetic results.
Neck Lift Procedure Options
Several neck lift procedures can be done to resolve many aesthetic problems in the neck region. Some procedures can even be combined to meet your overall desired results.
Because neck liposuction is performed over a small area, the procedure is often more gentle and requires less recovery time. Older patients usually have it done as one component of a neck lift enhancement, and younger patients typically have it done as a standalone procedure. (Younger patients tend to prefer this less invasive option to get rid of the surplus fat in the neck region.)
The platysma is the thin, broad layer of muscle situated on each side of the neck. As we age, the elasticity of the platysma begins to decline, causing the development of unsightly neck bands and cords. A platysmaplasty procedure is a neck lift technique done to reconstruct the neck muscles and lift and tighten the platysma to eliminate neck banding and cords.
Involves tightening the platysma (neck) muscle at its loosest point (under the chin) with multiple rows of surgical stitches in the same fashion as one would tighten a corset. This technique serves to firm the neck musculature and decreases any appearance of a double chin, producing a more youthfully defined neck. The result is a sharp transition
between the neck and jawline.
A cervicoplasty surgery is done for patients who have excess skin on the neck. The surgeon trims parts of the skin and lifts it into place, securing it with tissue glue or stitches.
Non-Surgical Options Available
There are several non-surgical options available for improving the appearance of the neck.
Botox Injections Address Problems with Fullness or “Bands”
- Laser Skin Treatments
Fractionated CO2 Laser Stimulates Collagen Growth
Skin-Rejuvenation Techniques Lift and Tighten the Skin
These non-surgical options don’t provide outcomes equal to surgery, but they do provide beautiful, noticeable results on average within 5-8 treatments scheduled at one-week intervals, and maintenance treatments every 8-12 weeks. Of course, each patient is unique, so individual results may vary.
Location of Surgical Incisions
Location of surgical incision depends on the approach taken for the neck lift surgery. Generally, the incision is made under the chin, in front of the ear, or at the base of the scalp. Proper postoperative care will ensure a very faint, barely noticeable scar.
Preparing for Neck Lift Surgery
There are several things you can do to prepare for neck lift surgery:
- Tell your doctor of any drug allergies you may have. Although it is rare, you could have an allergic reaction to the anesthesia.
- Quit smoking at least 4 weeks before and after the surgery to ensure proper healing.
- Avoid certain medications, like blood thinners (e.g., aspirin), before surgery to reduce the risk of excessive bleeding.
- Eat a healthy diet, as it helps your body heal.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing, preferably a button-down blouse or shirt that you don’t have to pull over your head and neck.
What to Expect After Surgery
You should have someone stay with you for the first 24 hours post-surgery.
After surgery, you may notice bruising, swelling, numbness, or tightness around the neck, ears, and jawline. (Use ice packs for any signs of swelling.) The bruising usually goes away within 4-7 days, but the neck tightness and numbness may persist for several months–this is all normal.
Side Effects and Complications of Neck Lift Surgery
As with any surgery, infection is always possible. If you think you have a fever, take your temperature and call your doctor. If you have unusual discharge, such as pus, from the surgery site, call your doctor.
Recovery Time for Neck Lift Surgery
Generally, it takes patients anywhere from 10 to 14 days to recover from neck lift surgery, and then they can return to their normal activities. Your doctor will confirm the recovery time needed during your consultation.
Visible Results Immediately
You will notice the results of your neck lift immediately after surgery, and these initial results will continue to improve over the next few months. While the results are not permanent, patients can expect to enjoy the aesthetic changes for anywhere between 5 and 10 years before they begin to see signs of aging re-emerge. Patients can also sustain results for an extended time period with proper care–eating a balanced diet, maintaining a stable weight, and practicing proper sun protection habits.
Choosing a Good Facial Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Pero is a double board certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. He has performed hundreds of cosmetic procedures. Dr. Pero goes to great lengths to ensure that his patients understand the full range of surgical and non-invasive treatment options available to them, and will not proceed until you are 100% satisfied with your personalized treatment plan.
Dr. Pero is a surgeon you can trust:
- He is trained and experienced in all facial plastic surgery procedures;
- He operates only in accredited medical facilities;
- He adheres to a strict code of ethics; and
- He is board certified by The American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS).
Click here to request your consultation with Dr. Pero