What is a Neck Lift?
Everyone is cognizant of the effects of aging on their face. But many people stop at the chin, overlooking the neck area. Unfortunately, the neck can be one of the first areas to show extensive aging, with banding on the neck and looseness under the chin. A neck lift with our four board-certified plastic surgeons at Specialists in Plastic Surgery can address these issues.
A neck lift, clinically known as a lower rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that targets the changes wrought by aging on the skin and muscles of the neck. Unlike a facelift, whose results can be mimicked with dermal fillers and neuromodulators in lieu of surgery, surgery is the only way to address aging issues on the neck.
Who Can Benefit from a Neck Lift?
The best candidates for a neck lift are in good health and wish to reverse signs of aging, sun exposure, and smoking in the lower face and neck.
A neck lift can treat:
- Excess fat deposits in the neck
- Sagging or excess neck skin
- Jowls or a double chin
Who is a Good Candidate for a Neck Lift?
For many people, the neck is the first place to really show aging. Excess wrinkling, neckbands, jowls, even the dreaded “turkey wattle” all come into play. These are the visible signs of aging that a neck lift addresses:
- Fat pockets and relaxed skin in the lower face
- Loose neck skin
- Fatty deposits under the chin
- Muscle banding on the neck
- Jowl lines
- Double chin
The realization of the need for a neck lift often comes in warmer weather here in North Carolina when we (particularly women) are exposing our necks and upper shoulders with summertime fashions. Suddenly it’s obvious that the neck has aged faster than the face. If that’s the case, you’re a good candidate for a neck lift with our team at Specialists in Plastic Surgery.
Patients often combine these procedures with a facelift, as well.
Neck lift surgery is a safe and effective way to tighten or remove underlying neck muscles to improve muscle tone. After a neck lift, your skin will appear tighter and smoother — creating a more attractive, youthful-looking contour.
Despite its many advantages, a neck lift may not be for everyone and, instead, a full facelift is needed. The best way to determine if you’re an ideal candidate is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified cosmetic surgeon.
What is the Difference Between a Neck Lift and a Facelift?
Full facelifts and lower facelifts usually involve some degree of a neck lift with the procedure. But these usually do not address the entire neck, instead usually focusing on the jowls and upper neck. A true neck lift is focused solely on neck aging.
What to Expect During Your Neck Lift
A neck lift takes between two to three hours to perform under general anesthetic or intravenous sedation. Your surgeon will begin by making two incisions behind or under the ears. The skin is lifted and trimmed away. An additional incision may be made underneath your chin to access the platysma (neck muscle). Your surgeon will manipulate or remove some of the muscle to improve contour.
Liposuction may be performed to remove excess fat from the neck area. The skin is then redraped tightly across the neck to give the lower face a more youthful appearance. The incisions are closed using fine stitches for minimal scarring.
What Will My Recovery be Like After a Neck Lift?
Recovery from neck lift surgery will take time. You will have elastic bandages around your lower face and neck when you return home. This will help minimize swelling and bruising. With this surgery, it’s important to keep your head elevated (a good rule to follow is to keep your head at a level above your heart), and you cannot twist your neck or bend it forward. You may think icing the area would be beneficial, but do not apply ice as this can restrict blood flow and damage skin recovery.
It’s important to try and minimize anything that elevates the blood pressure to your neck and facial areas. Doing so can impede your healing. That’s why you need to avoid strenuous activity for a few weeks.
Most patients can return to work in 10 to 14 days. Your results will be fully visible when the swelling has fully dissipated. This can take up to six months, however, so don’t expect instant gratification with a neck lift. Sports and strenuous exercises, particularly those involving any twisting of your neck, need to be avoided for at least six weeks.
Is Neck Lift Recovery Painful?
Pain after a neck lift is minimal. We prescribe pain medication, but you probably won’t feel you need it after more than a day or two. The tissues of the neck aren’t nearly as sensitive as areas such as the facial skin. These are not overly painful recoveries. As mentioned above, there is some degree of awkwardness due to the fact that you can’t turn or bend your neck, but the pain typically isn’t an issue for our patients.
When are my Stitches Removed After a Neck Lift?
Depending on your unique situation, we may place a mixture of permanent and dissolving stitches. You can expect any stitches that need removal to be taken out after about one week.
How Soon Will I See my Results After a Neck Lift?
You’ll be able to see your results as soon as your elastic bandages are removed, but you will have residual swelling across the area. This can last on and off for up to six months before it fully resolves. As your swelling resolves, your results will become more and more evident and they will be very satisfying.
How Long Will My Results From My Neck Lift Last?
The changes made by our Specialists in Plastic Surgery surgeons are permanent. We’ll tighten the skin, remove unwanted fatty deposits, and remove the neck banding involved with the platysma muscle. These are long-lasting results; your neck skin will never sag and loosen to the same degree again. Our patients from Raleigh and the surrounding areas find these procedures very satisfying.
Of course, nothing can stop the aging process, but future loosening will start from a much younger position. Generally, our patients can expect great results from our neck lifts for 10-15 years and longer. But you’ll see a difference for the rest of your life.
Why Can’t I Have Kybella Injections Instead of Surgery?
At Specialists in Plastic Surgery, we offer neck lift surgery and we offer Kybella injections. Some patients wonder why they would need surgery rather than simply using Kybella.
Kybella injections break down the fat under the chin that is weighing down the skin and creating a double chin. But for Kybella to be effective in tightening your profile, your skin needs to still have good elasticity. That enables it to tighten down once the fat has been dissolved and removed by the body.
But patients who need a neck lift have loose, sagging skin that has lost much of its elasticity. Removing the fat with Kybella could actually make the neck area look even looser for these patients. For these patients, the only way to tighten things up is with surgery, a neck lift.
How Much Does a Neck Lift Cost?
At your consultation, Kristen or Laura will provide you with a detailed individual estimate given your surgeon’s recommendations. Please click here if you would like a generalized price estimate.
Our plastic surgeons have over 75 years of combined experience in cosmetic plastic surgery. If you’re ready to learn more about Neck Lift (Neck Rejuvenation, please contact our office in Raleigh to schedule a consultation.
Call Us: 919-785-0505