Neck Lift Procedure
*Content provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS)
What is a Neck Lift?
The loss of youthful contours in the face and neck can be due to a variety of factors, including heredity, gravity, environmental conditions and stress. Some people feel they are not ready for a full facelift because the upper face is still pleasing. However, many patients will note excess wrinkling of the neck skin, a “turkey wattle” or double chin and jowl lines. When the neck area doesn’t match the upper facial appearance, a neck lift may be a good solution. A neck lift, or lower rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that improves visible signs of aging in the jawline and neck, such as:
Excess fat and skin relaxation in the lower face that creates jowls
Excess fatty deposits under the chin
Loose neck skin
Muscle banding in the neck that contributes to abnormal contours
In general, good candidates for a neck lift include:
Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that impair healing
Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic expectations
Rejuvenation procedures that can be performed in conjunction with a neck lift include brow lift (to correct a sagging or deeply furrowed brow), fat transfer (to add fullness to the lips and cheeks and reduce the appearance of wrinkles) and eyelid surgery (to rejuvenate aging eyes).
What It Won't Do:
As a restorative surgery, a neck lift does not change your fundamental appearance and cannot stop the aging process. A neck lift can only be performed surgically; non-surgical rejuvenation treatments cannot achieve the same results, but may help delay the time at which a neck lift becomes appropriate or complement the results of surgery.
Step 1 – Anesthesia:
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 – The Incision:
Depending on the degree of change you’d like to see, your neck lift choices include a traditional neck lift incision or a limited-incision neck lift. A traditional neck lift incision often begins in the hairline at the level of the sideburn, continues down and around the ear and ends in the posterior hair. Fat may be sculpted or redistributed from the jowls and neck. The tissue underlying the neck skin is repositioned, and commonly the platysma muscle is tightened. Skin is redraped over the uplifted contours and excess skin is trimmed away. A separate incision under the chin is often necessary for liposuction of this area and for repair of the muscle. Sutures or skin adhesives close the incisions.
A limited-incision neck lift may involve incisions only around the ear. While the incisions are shorter, the results may be more limited.
Step 3 –Closing the Incisions:
Incision lines are closed with sutures and possibly skin glue. Sutures may be dissolving, or may need to be removed after a few days.
Once healed, the incision lines from a neck lift are usually well concealed within the hairline and in the natural contours of the ear.
Step 4 – See Results
The visible improvements of a neck lift will appear as swelling and bruising subside. Your final result should not only restore a more youthful and rested appearance, but also help you feel more confident about yourself.