Many individuals find that the natural aging process causes their neck muscles to become lax and fatty deposits to build up in the area around the chin, neck, and jaw. Often accompanied by loose skin, these concerns can hide the jaw’s natural angles and make the neck look droopy and aged.
A neck lift can effectively contour the neck region to remove excess skin, tighten lax musculature, eliminate fat, and decrease the appearance of a “double chin.” This treatment is often done in conjunction with facelift surgery, but can also be performed as an isolated procedure. Whether conducted alone or as a complement to other surgeries, the final outcome can be a more youthful neck appearance with improved jawline contour and definition.
Benefits of a Neck Lift
Both women and men can typically enjoy a rejuvenated appearance in their neck following this aesthetic procedure. More specifically, patients can often achieve favorable cosmetic results such as:
- A more distinctly defined jawline
- Smoothed and tightened skin around the neck
- A more prominent chin
- Decreased, if not eliminated, neck folds
Sometimes, if excess skin is less of an issue than a buildup of neck fat, patients can opt to undergo liposuction in the neck, rather than a full neck lift. Facial plastic surgeon John Hilinski, MD can help you decide which procedure would be more beneficial depending on your unique needs.
Candidates for Neck Lift Surgery
This procedure is typically designed for individuals seeking to target excess fat and loose skin around the neck for a tighter neck appearance and improved jawline contour. Patients with neck folds and deep creases generally find success in rejuvenating their neck, under-chin, and jawline with a neck lift procedure. Ideally, candidates should be in relatively good health and not smoke. If you do use tobacco products, Dr. Hilinski may recommend you abstain for at least a month before and after treatment, so as not to impede the healing process. For more information about candidacy, please visit our neck lift FAQ page.
The Neck Lift Procedure
In many cases, neck lift surgery can be done on an outpatient basis. Usually, a hidden incision is made beneath the chin, through which the muscles are tightened and fatty deposits are removed. In some cases, an additional hidden incision is required around the bottom of the ear to remove excess skin.
When the neck lift is performed on its own, it may be done so as an office-based procedure using local anesthesia. When performed in conjunction with a lower facelift, it is usually done in an outpatient surgery center under deep sedation or general anesthesia. Depending on the approach being used and how much work is being done, the surgery can take anywhere from one and a half to three hours to perform.
Neck Lift Risks
All surgical procedures have an inherent risk of complication; however, a neck lift is typically safe and successful when performed by a highly trained and experienced facial plastic surgeon. Individuals may experience temporary swelling or numbness around the ear, but these symptoms generally dissipate with time. Due to the anatomy of the treatment area, there is a small chance of damaging the nerve responsible for movement of the mouth region during the operation. Nevertheless, the risk of this area being affected by surgery is greatly minimized by knowing where the nerve is located.
Recovery from Neck Lift Surgery
Recovery after the neck lift procedure takes place over a few weeks, during which time a compressive bandage is worn around the neck. Any pain that patients experience is well controlled with low-dose prescription medication. Swelling and bruising may be noticeable for up to ten days after the procedure. Patients are typically able to return to work within seven to ten days, or sooner for those not bothered by residual swelling.