Necklift

Quick Facts About Necklift

Average Treatment Cost: $3,500-$10,000
Procedure Time: 1-3 hours
In/Outpatient: Usually Outpatient
Anesthesia: Local with IV sedation
Recovery Time: 7-14 days; strenuous activity in 3-4 weeks
Duration of Results: Long-lasting
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What you should know

What Is A Necklift

Depending on your individual concerns, there are a different types of necklift procedures to choose from that can help improve the appearance of your neck:

  • Mini-Necklift
  • Neck Liposuction
  • Combination Necklift

It is common to combine a necklift procedure with other cosmetic surgery such as a facelift, chin lift or any procedure that improves the jawline, jowls and cheek area, which might involve liposuction.
During a necklift, one-inch incisions are strategically placed under the chin and/or behind the ears to tighten up neck muscles that have become loose over the years. Patients with greater laxity may require a longer incision behind the ears.

The procedure, usually performed under local anesthesia with IV sedation, first releases the muscle from the skin before the neck muscles are pulled tight. After the skin is tightened, excess skin is eliminated through additional incisions around the ear. “This can provide a very dramatic improvement to the neck, and it’s frequently performed as part of a facelift,” explains La Jolla, CA, plastic surgeon Robert Singer, MD.

A cheek lift and necklift—in which lax muscles are tightened and elevated to a more youthful position—combined with liposuction along the jawline can permanently restore definition to the lower face.

Excess neck skin removal (called cervicoplasty) is performed by making an incision under your chin and behind the ears. The surgeon will then cut back and lift the skin, which will be secured with permanent sutures or a special type of permanent adhesive glue.

Another necklift procedure, platysmaplasty, is performed to reduce the banded appearance of the neck. During the procedure, incisions will be made under the chin or behind the ears, or both. The surgeon will then insert a tiny instrument to either remove a portion of specific neck muscles or realign them, which will tighten the middle area of the neck. As with a cervicoplasty, your doctor will suture areas of the muscles in order to clasp them in the best position.

Mini-Necklift

A mini-necklift is an option for those with more limited signs of aging in the neck and this procedure can involve an incision under the chin, although some patients may still require the incisions around the ears.

 

Mini-necklifts are good for candidates who have a "turkey waddle" appearance to their neck.  This is a newer technique that involves excising the excessive neck muscle and skin through a small incision in the chin. 

Necklift With Liposuction

Liposuction to the neck area can offer an age-reversing solution, especially for those with extremely lax skin.

Liposuction can get rid of accumulated fat in the neck in those with good skin elasticity and tone, but it does not improve the underlying structure. As with any other surgical “lift” procedure, tightening of the muscle can only be addressed with a necklift.

Liposuction to the face takes about 20 minutes to an hour and is usually performed under light sedation with local anesthesia; unless another procedure is being done.  It is common to determine a combined treatment plan with your surgeon if you are considering a necklift.

Even if your skin and face are smooth and wrinkle-free, a sagging neck can be a dead giveaway as to how old you really are. But a combination of fat removal via liposuction or direct removal of the fat from the chin and neck followed by a necklift can give you a more youthful appearance.

Liposuction alone can treat accumulated fat in those with good skin elasticity and tone. With a very small incision less than one centimeter long, the fat under the chin and along the jawline is removed under local anesthesia with IV sedation. There may be some bruising, which Boca Raton, FL, plastic surgeon Jason Pozner, MD, says should subside in a few weeks. 

Combination Necklift

Those with excess skin around the chin, neck and jowls benefit the most from a necklift with liposuction. In most cases, this procedure is performed alongside a facelift.

To treat the excess skin and neckbands that plague women of a certain age, a necklift performed in conjunction with a facelift is a surefire way to restore a youthful appearance.

During the procedure, an incision is made under the earlobe, behind the ear and sometimes horizontally into the hairline to tighten muscle and eliminate excess skin, usually under IV sedation or general anesthesia.

If you’re having a facelift, it’s possible that your doctor will recommend a necklift, and often vice versa. Since the face and neck are so closely connected and tend to age at the same rate, it’s rare to see one boasting the signs of aging and the other area free of it. “When excess skin is excised from the neck, and not the face, it can create the appearance of excess skin on the face and vice versa, which is why the two surgeries are usually performed in conjunction,” adds Boca Raton, FL, plastic surgeon Jason Pozner, MD. 

Talk to your plastic surgeon about an individualized surgery that can tackle your aging concerns on both your face and neck.

If your skin is excessively saggy, or if there is a loss of muscle tone, “a traditional facelift which has been modified and improved so that the skin is not just pulled and lifted can include a cheek and necklift, and takes care of sagging and lack of volume by tightening up the muscle,” says Littleton, CO, facial plastic surgeon Brent Smith, MD. “It also gets rid of any fatty deposits and brings the underlying tissue back to a more youthful position, while getting rid of excess skin.” According to New York plastic surgeon Tracy Pfeifer, MD, the traditional facelift is best for addressing excess skin and general sagging of the mid-face, jowls and neck.

Who it is for

Naples, FL, facial plastic surgeon Kriston Kent, MD, warns that waiting too long to have a necklift performed can greatly affect the results you’ll achieve. “A necklift is best for healthy people who find themselves with neck laxity due to normal aging. These patients generally do not have a great deal of excess fat or large muscle bands, and they do not wait until the condition is quite bad,” he says, stressing that, while every patient is unique and cannot be categorized, the ideal time to have a necklift is before “10 years of aging” has occurred. In most, this is between the ages of 45 and 55. 

Who it is not for

Anyone who isn't experiencing saggy skin around the neck area.

What to Expect

As with any cosmetic surgery, you will of course look forward to the benefits it will make to your appearance.  However, taking time for healing and recovery is very important.

During your consultation, your surgeon will instruct you on what medications to avoid prior to your necklift. Certain medications and vitamins thin your blood and can cause increased bleeding.

If you are a smoker, you will need to quit at least two weeks before the surgery and two weeks after. You cannot just plan to cut down. You must not smoke for this time period to ensure proper healing.

You should plan to take at least one week off from work to recover. However, your doctor can determine this based on your personal situation.

Post-Treatment Care

Your neck, jaw and ears may be bruised and continue to swell for up to 10 days. Oral pain medications and an antibiotic can be administered to reduce pain and fight infection. Severe pain or abnormal symptoms should be reported to the doctor immediately.

You may experience some swelling and bruising for about one week after your surgery, and your sutures will stay in place for seven to 12 days, depending on how quickly you heal. According to Boca Raton, FL, plastic surgeon Jason Pozner, MD, “In just a few weeks, you’ll notice a dramatic difference and really look great.”

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