A neck lift is a surgical procedure that smooths and tightens the skin on the neck, which can sag from aging or weight loss. There are usually two components to a neck lift: cervicoplasty, which removes excess skin, and platysmaplasty, which tightens muscles in the anterior neck.
A neck lift can be performed alone or as part of a facelift. A typical neck lift candidate is in good physical and emotional health, and has realistic expectations about the outcome of surgery. The results of a neck lift can last up to 10 – 15 years.
Neck Lift Procedure
A neck lift begins with a small, inconspicuous incision directly below the chin and in front of the ear lobes, looping behind the ears and ending in the scalp behind the ears. Excess skin is removed and the skin over the neck is redraped so there is a smooth contour. Loose muscles that cause the “bands” in the anterior neck to be prominent are tightened during the platysmaplasty portion of the procedure.
A neck lift usually takes 2 to 4 hours to perform, and the patient is given either general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. Neck lifts are performed on an outpatient basis. Bandages covering incisions are removed after 24 hours.
Recovery from a Neck Lift
Swelling and bruising from a neck lift can last up to ten days. Applying cold compresses and keeping the head elevated for the first 48 hours following surgery minimizes swelling. Keeping the head still, and avoiding turning or twisting it for the first few days post-surgery, is recommended. Medication is prescribed to help alleviate discomfort.
Most people return to work and other normal daily activities within two weeks, after which bruising and swelling have subsided. More strenuous activities should be avoided for 3 – 4 weeks.
How does the cost of the necklift compare to the cost of a facelift?
The facelift is somewhat more expensive because more surgery is performed. A neck lift is a more limited procedure.