A neck lift is a cosmetic surgery used to remove excess fat and skin around the jaw line. This procedure creates a more defined and youthful neck. The results are long-term, as long as you maintain your weight. The surgery is sometimes performed along with a facelift.
Candidates for a Neck Lift
You may need a neck lift is you:
- Wish to remove excess tissue from the jaw line.
- Have a “turkey neck” and feel that it makes you look older.
- Desire a more youthful appearance.
- Wish to improve your self-confidence.
- Have maintained a steady weight for years.
- Are in good physical health.
Before the Procedure
Before scheduling the surgery, you will meet with the plastic surgeon for the initial consultation. At this time, the doctor takes a medical history, performs a physical examination, takes photos of you for your medical record, and discusses expectations. Because of decreased healing issues, you must refrain from smoking for 6 weeks. In addition, certain medicines that thin the blood are to be held for several days before surgery, such as Coumadin, Plavix, ibuprofen, over the counter herbal supplements/vitamins, naproxen, and aspirin.
You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home from the surgical center, and plan to take some time off from work (if applicable). We recommend a high-protein, low-sodium diet after surgery, so stock up on premade meals and caffeine-free beverages.
During the Procedure
A neck lift is often done under general anesthesia, but the doctor uses injections of a local anesthetic to help with postoperative pain. The techniques used for the procedure vary, depending on the individual, but they generally include:
- Liposuction – A tiny incision is made under the chin and behind the ear. The doctor inserts a small, hollow cannula and suctions fat from the jaw and neck regions. Incisions are closed using sutures.
- Cervicoplasty – This involves tightening the neck muscles and chin skin. The incisions are behind the ear and under the skin. Incisions are closed using sutures.
- Submental Platysmooplasty – The doctor makes a small incision at the neck region and tightens the neck muscles. This alleviates loose neck skin and fat tissue. Incisions are closed using sutures.
After the Procedure
You will be monitored in the recovery area for 30-45 minutes. Expect to have some soreness, bruising, and swelling. Bandages and a special garment are applied to reduce swelling and support the healing tissues. You are not allowed to return to heavy activities for 2-4 weeks, but are encouraged to move about your home. The surgeon will have you return to the office in 13-7 days to remove bandages, drains, and sutures.
Surgical results vary from patient-to-patient, but most all people are happy with the procedure. A neck lift usually offers long-lasting results. Some patients use Botox injections to the neck muscles after the procedure to keep wrinkles away and offer taut skin, but it usually is not necessary. To maintain a youthful neck appearance, we recommend regular exercise and a low fat diet.