A neck lift enhances the appearance of the neck by tightening the skin and underlying neck muscles and improving the contour of the jawline.
This procedure is often performed in conjunction with liposuction, a facelift, or a cheek lift but may also be done alone.
Am I a good candidate for a neck lift?
The neck is one of the first places where we show our age so if you have lost the distinct jawline or developed wrinkles, if you have excess skin and fat in your neck, if your self-esteem would be better if you do this operation, if you are in good general health then you are a good candidate for a neck lift.
How is Neck Lift is performed?
Your surgeon will make incisions starting in front of your earlobes and continuing around behind your ears in your lower scalp. There will also be a small incision underneath your chin.
Modified incisions include variations of the short scar with shorter incisions around the ear.
Facelift scars can be virtually invisible: narrow, flat, and well placed behind the ear so you can wear your hair close-cropped.
Your board-certified surgeon will place the incision in areas that are hidden and in areas where the scars look like natural wrinkles. Incision healing depends on surgical technique, infection prevention, reduction of tension, your nutrition, any known or unknown underlying medical conditions, no smoking, and your genetic tendencies.
There is a risk of ‘hypertrophic scars’ and ‘keloids’ anytime the skin is cut. This risk is greater in darker-skinned people such as Blacks and Hispanics. Injections of a corticosteroid medication or other treatments, might be used to improve scar appearance.
If only minimal contouring is needed, this procedure can be done with liposuction alone.
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 sewn together (corset platysmaplasty) similar to the way shoelaces are cinched.
- Excess skin and fat are carefully trimmed away
- Tissue and skin are repositioned and secured with sutures
- Incisions are closed and drains may be placed before the wounds are bandaged
What are my options?
As a stand-alone procedure, your neck lift can be done with liposuction alone, if only fat is being removed and your skin quality is good. When there are more significant signs of aging, such as a turkey wattle, excess fat, sagging skin, and a prominent platysma muscle, a more extensive procedure is required that will address all of those problem areas.
What will my neck lift incisions and scars be like?
There are various incision approaches, depending on the extent of the surgery and the structures being altered. If a platysmaplasty is planned (in which the platysma muscles are tightly sewn together to create a smooth neck contour) a small incision is made under your chin (submental incision) along with a limited facelift-type incision behind each ear. For younger patients who request a neck lift with minimal change to the face, the neck correction can sometimes be accomplished with only the submental incision or with only the incision behind each ear.