Neck lift or lower rhytidectomy or cervical rhytidectomy is a surgical procedure that reduces signs of aging.
Neck lift can correct loose and sagging skin, minimize vertical bands on the neck, tighten the neck and jawline therefore eliminating jowls. The fat under the skin of the neck (turkey neck) is removed by way of liposuction or direct excision to rejuvenate and slim that area. The combination of these techniques improve the contour of the neck and jawline and create a more youthful profile.
The Benefits of a Neck Lift
Removes Excess Fat Deposits
Fat in the neck is found under and above the thin muscle that spans the neck. The fat can become displaced with aging in the neck, along the jawline, and on the underside of the chin. This fat can be removed in a surgical neck left to to produce a slender and better defined lower face and neck.
Eliminates a “Turkey Neck”
The turkey neck is a result of loose, sagging skin which is compounded by fat in this area. The fat is treated by direct excision or removal by liposuction but the skin must be tightened to eliminate a “turkey neck” and reveal smooth, wrinkle-free neck contours.
Defines Your Jawline
The jawline which is an area of concern for most people due to blending of the neck and jawline. The sagging of the face over the jawline can be corrected by a facelift, when combined with a neck lift can chisel the jawline that distinctly separates your lower face from your neck.
Corrects Muscle Banding in the Neck
Vertical bands on the neck caused by a stretched platysma muscle are corrected as the muscle is tightened in the midline, and natural, youthful results are achieved.
How do I know when I’m ready for a neck lift?
If you would like to experience the benefits of a neck lift, now might be the right time if you:
- Are unhappy with your jowls or the appearance of a “turkey neck”
- Have been unable to obtain satisfying results from nonsurgical treatments
- Are in good overall health and a non-smoker
Types of Neck Lifts
Full Neck Lift
During a full neck lift procedure, incisions are made under the chin and behind the ears. The platysma muscle is tightened (platysmaplasty), excess fat is removed, and the tissues are repositioned before excess skin is carefully trimmed away. The new contouring is secured with sutures, and the incisions are closed.
- An undefined jawline (jowls)
- Neck bands
- Sagging and wrinkled skin
- Displaced fat
Liposuction Neck Lift
Patients with good skin quality and whose main signs of aging in the neck are due to excess or displaced fat can benefit from liposuction alone. Small, inconspicuously placed incisions are used to suction out fat through a cannula (thin, hollow tube).
- Fat along the jawline
- Displaced fat that hangs in the neck
- A double chin
The Facelift Process
Once you fill out the online questionnaire, you will be contacted to confirm an appointment for a one-on-one consultation with the surgeon. You may also provide photos through our HIPAA compliant system and during your visit your surgeon can provide a personal 3D simulation of different neck lift techniques using your own photos.
This appointment also includes an analysis of your health history, any medications you are taking, and what you desire to achieve with the procedure. Please have all of this information with you when you come to your appointment. All of which can be submitted electronically through our HIPAA compliant patient portal.
The surgeon will discuss the techniques that will best provide you with the results you desire and answer any questions you may have.
Your surgeon will review in detail all of the information you need to know prior to surgery.
Generally, patients should avoid nicotine products eight weeks before surgery and stop taking anti-inflammatory medication (e.g., aspirin and ibuprofen) for at least two weeks before surgery. Some vitamins and supplements may also cause problems during or after surgery, so it is best to avoid them or to talk to your surgeon about potential side effects.
You may be asked to bathe using an antibacterial soap before your procedure.
Eating and drinking restrictions include:
- 8 hours before the procedure – stop eating heavy meals or foods, such as meat, fried foods, or fatty foods.
- 6 hours before the procedure – stop eating light meals or foods, such as toast or cereal.
- 6 hours before the procedure – stop drinking milk or drinks that contain milk.
- 2 hours before the procedure – stop drinking clear liquids.
You may be asked to obtain blood tests.
Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home and care for you for the first 48 hours after your procedure.
During the Procedure
Neck lift surgery is performed with general anesthesia, in a surgery center, and takes one to two hours to complete. An IV will be inserted into one of your veins. Based on the techniques agreed upon during your consultation. Incisions are most commonly made in the hairline at the level of the sideburn, continues down and around the ear and ends in the posterior hair. In most cases drains are used and removed the next day.
After surgery, your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and blood oxygen level will be monitored until you leave the surgical center. You may continue to receive fluids and pain medicines through an IV.
You will have to wear compression stockings to help prevent blood clots and reduce swelling in your legs. You will be advised to wear a mild compression chin strap to aid with swelling and to keep you comfortable. Facial swelling will typically subside after about two weeks but may last as long as a few months.
Expect pain, bruising, and tenderness for which you will be provided pain medications as needed.
For the first few days after surgery you will need to get plenty of rest. You will be provided with massaging techniques to be performed during your recovery. Most patients are able to return to work in one week and resume regular exercise after about six weeks.
Your surgeon will give you more detailed information about what you can expect during your recovery.
Neck Lift FAQs
Q. What should I avoid prior to neck lift surgery?
A. Patients undergoing neck lift surgery should stop smoking six weeks prior to surgery, and they avoid taking anti-inflammatory medication (e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.) and herbal medications that can cause increased bleeding for two weeks prior to surgery.
Q. How will I feel after neck lift surgery?
A. After surgery, the neck will be bruised and feel tight. The bruising should resolve over a period of four to five days, but neck tightness may last several months.
Q. How long will my result last?
A. Neck lift surgery is a long-lasting solution as long as the patient maintains a healthy lifestyle. The area will continue to age naturally over time.
Q. What other procedures can I combine with my neck lift?
A. Many people combine facelift and brow lift surgery with their neck lift to achieve complete facial rejuvenation.