Neck Lift: The Things You Need to Know

As you get older, you may notice that your neck is no longer as delicate or defined as it once was. Saggy skin on the neck can make you look less elegant, older, heavier and more tired. 

You may not notice the change from one day to the next. While we look at ourselves in the mirror from the front view, others often see our profile. You may not even be aware of your sagging skin until you see a picture taken from the side. You may eventually also start to develop a double chin. This does not mean you are overweight, but it can certainly make you appear heavier.

A growing number of adults are turning to neck lift surgery procedures to enhance the appearance of the neck. These procedures range from minimally invasive, to more invasive procedures requiring more time off for recovery.

The aging of the neck usually comes from a combination of loose skin and muscle and some excess fat. To address your individual concerns, your surgeon will recommend one of the following options.

To make it easier for you, we have come up with a short checklist of questions that you should ask your surgeon before a Neck Lift procedure.
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Liposuction of the neck and jawline

During liposuction, your surgeon will make a small incision below the chin, and the excess fat will be removed. This procedure is often done alone are may be performed as part of a neck lift or facelift.

If this is the only procedure you’ll need, it should take about an hour. Your incisions will be stitched and bandaged. This procedure requires an anesthetic and you should allow five to ten days for recovery.

What is involved in a neck lift surgery procedure

Sometimes called a cervicoplasty or neck lift with platysmaplasty, the neck lift procedure will last two to three hours.

Your surgeon will make a small incision under your chin and possibly in front of and/or behind your ears. These incisions allow access to the platysma (neck muscle) and any fat in the neck. The neck muscles can then be tightened and any excess fat removed. Your surgeon may choose to remove the fat with liposuction or by trimming it away. The incisions near the ears also allow for removal of any excess skin.

The incisions are closed with sutures. Your surgeon will let you know if the sutures will need to be removed or if they will dissolve on their own. It is possible your surgeon may place a drain under the skin on the neck to collect any fluid to minimize any swelling and discomfort. The drain may remain in place only a day or two. You will be given specific instructions on how to care for drains and incisions after surgery.

Your surgeon may fit you with a compression bandage that you will have to wear to help reduce post-operative swelling. This is usually worn night and day for at least five to seven days and then only at night for a longer period of time. It’s important to follow instructions to ensure proper recovery.

What is recovery like after a neck lift?

Recovery takes time. You should have someone stay with you for at least the first 24 hours to assist you with your regular daily activities. You will be given medication to assist with any discomfort and to minimize swelling.

It is important that you are patient with the healing process. Most people can return to work in 10 to 14 days. If you participate in sports or are physically active, you will have to wait at least three weeks, if not longer, to resume those activities.

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