What is a Neck Lift?
The neck begins to sag with age as supportive tissues deteriorate. Many patients have concerns with loose skin on their neck – “turkey neck” – as well as the jaw line. A neck lift is a surgical procedure that enhances the appearance of the neck by tightening the skin and underlying muscles (platysma bands) and smoothing out the contour of the jawline. The procedure can provide you with a more youthful profile creating a much younger looking appearance.
Detailed Procedural Info
The platysma muscle (neck muscle) starts to weaken as we age and appears as banding for some, but for others with excess fat cells in the neck, the fat will concentrate in the middle of the banding or weakened platysma muscle. Smoothness can be restored in your neck by taking the loose muscle and bringing it together in the center to uplift the skin. An incision will be made underneath the chin to tighten the neck muscles and excess fat will be trimmed away. Each procedure will be performed based on the patient. By booking your consultation with us, we will be able to discuss the best procedure to fulfil your desired outcome. The neck lift procedure can be combined with other procedures if necessary. The most common procedure that a neck lift is paired with is a facelift but can also be performed in conjunction with a brow lift, eyelid lift, chin implant and/or fat grafting.
Neck lift surgery is performed in the OR and to safely provide you with the best results, an anesthesiologist will administer anesthesia before the procedure. While some neck lift patients require only skin tightening, others need a combination of skin and muscle tightening to achieve the best possible outcome. As a result, time in surgery can last from 4-6 hours. We will leave small drains in the neck for about a week after the procedure.
The procedure for a full neck lift is as follows:
- Incisions are made under the chin and/or behind the ears depending on the procedure that has been chosen.
- The platysma muscle is tightened and sutured together.
- Excess skin and fat are carefully trimmed away.
- Tissue and skin are repositioned and secured with sutures.
- Incisions are carefully closed.
- A light head dressing is applied after surgery and is removed the next day while the drains are removed after about a week.
- An elastic bandage is then worn for about a week as well.
Aftercare and Recovery
Immediately after surgery, your neck will be bruised and it will feel tight and numb. The bruising may resolve over the next four to five days but the feelings of tightness and numbness may remain a bit longer. The incision site(s) will be covered with medical bandages to provide gentle pressure to minimize swelling and bruising. All bandages will be removed the following day and you can start showering 24 hours after the procedure. You will also be asked to stay at our adjoining hotel or nearby for the first night.
After surgery, your surgeon will discuss how long it will be before you can return to your normal level of activity and work. Usually 3-4 days is about how long it takes most patients to resume their daily at-home activities. However, bruising and swelling may take up to two weeks to subside. Medication will be prescribed to minimize discomfort during the recovery period. The incision lines heal amazingly well and are nicely hidden behind the ear or with hair.
How Long will the Results Last?
The reported life expectancy of a neck lift is anywhere from 5 to 10 years; however, your skin quality and maintenance are important factors in the longevity of your neck lift.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Neck Lift?
A neck lift can be an effective method to improve appearance and boost self-confidence. Scheduling for a consultation is important because the medical personnel will advise you if you’re a good candidate for a facelift or if an alternate procedure would best be suited. The best neck lift candidates share the following factors:
- Lax skin in the midface and/or jawline
- Fatty accumulation under the chin
- Lack of definition in the jaw line
If you would like more information about our neck lift procedure, please reach out to our Carlsbad plastic surgery office for a complimentary consultation. Iconic Plastic Surgery proudly serves Carlsbad, Vista, Oceanside and areas north of San Diego, CA.