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The first visible signs of aging usually manifest around the eyes, followed by the neck and lower face. The extent to which aging affects the neck can vary from person to person. It can cause alterations in the size and shape of the jawbone, the distribution and amount of cervical fat, the positioning of the hyoid bone, and the thickness and anatomical diversities of the platysma muscle's medial fibers. In case you are concerned about sagging and loose skin on your neck, undergoing a neck lift operation may be a suitable option. A neck lift, also known as cervicoplasty (for removing excess skin) or platysmaplasty (for tightening loose neck muscles), can be performed by cosmetic surgeons to correct sagging skin and restore a smoother, firmer, and more defined appearance to the neck. By eliminating extra fat and skin from the neck, a neck lift surgery can address age-related wrinkling and creasing to create a smaller, sleeker profile. However, there are potential risks associated with neck lift surgery, including hematoma, negative reaction to anesthesia, thick scarring, blood clots, infection, nerve damage, skin loss, or open wounds.

What Is Neck Lift?

A neck lift involves a sequence of surgeries aimed at enhancing the appearance of the neck area. The typical medical names for the procedure are lower rhytidectomy or submental lipectomy. The technique or procedures used to achieve the desired results are determined by individual preferences. Usually, neck contouring is performed alongside a facelift, but it can be done independently if an individual is content with the facial appearance. The techniques used for a neck lift may entail the elimination of excess skin (cervicoplasty), modification or removal of neck muscles (platysmaplasty), removal of surplus fat using liposuction, or the application of Botox or Kybella injections to deal with fullness or bands. Other neck lift approaches exploit lasers, ultrasound, radiofrequency devices, intense pulsed light, and fillers.

Types of Neck Lifts

The first type of neck lift, also called platysmaplasty or lower rhytidectomy, is a comprehensive surgery that involves raising the neck in conjunction with a facelift. It can also be done separately but has a longer recovery time and larger scars compared to the second type. The second type, known as a mini neck lift or submental platysmaplasty, is suitable for patients with mild neck aging symptoms and involves making a single small incision behind the chin to lift and secure the platysma muscle. This procedure has a shorter recovery time and is less invasive but does not provide as significant improvements as the first type. Regardless of the type, other treatments like liposuction, dermal fillers, and skin rejuvenation therapies are commonly paired with neck lifts to achieve the best cosmetic outcomes.

What Benefits Can I Expect From Having Neck Lift Surgery?

The success of your neck lift treatment will depend on the surgical components chosen by you and your doctor. If you want to remove excess skin around the chin area, a cervicoplasty will be performed, while a platysmaplasty will tighten the platysma muscles for better definition. Sometimes, both treatments are combined in a single neck lift surgery. A neck lift can effectively eliminate a double chin, excess fat or skin (commonly referred to as a "turkey neck"), wrinkles and creases, producing long-lasting and natural-looking results. This procedure can also be combined with a facelift for a more comprehensive 

Who is Ideal Candidate for Direct Neck Lift Surgery?

The most suitable person for a neck lift surgery is an individual who is bothered by the signs of aging on their neck and is physically fit. To undergo the neck lift procedure, potential patients must not smoke and have no allergies to anesthesia, medication, or any other factors that could pose challenges during or after the surgery. An optimistic outlook towards the surgery and sensible expectations regarding the outcome are also essential characteristics of ideal candidates.

Who Should Not Have This Procedure?


A neck lift may not be suitable for individuals with significant cheek or jowl drooping, and they may benefit more from a different type of treatment such as a facelift. Moreover, individuals with thin skin or limited laxity may not be suitable for a neck lift due to the surgical technique's requirement for skin stretching. It is imperative for patients to have realistic expectations of the outcome and understand that a neck lift procedure cannot entirely stop the aging process or transform their essential appearance. Patients with complications in their medical history or allergies to anesthesia are not suitable for neck lift surgery, and smokers are encouraged to quit several weeks or months before the procedure to avoid complications during and after surgery. To understand the realistic expectations of the surgery, individuals can communicate with their doctor.

Steps of a Neck Lift Procedure

The procedure of lifting the neck typically involves several steps. Firstly, anesthesia will be administered either through intravenous sedation or general anesthesia to help you relax during the surgery. Your physician will determine which option is best for you. Secondly, the incision will be made based on your preference for either a classic incision, which begins at the hairline and ends at the back of the hair, or a shorter incision around the ear for a more minimal lift. Fat in the jowls and neck can be removed and the platysma muscle may be strengthened, while excess skin is cut away and the area is redraped. Thirdly, the incisions will be sealed using sutures or skin adhesives, and will typically heal within the natural contours of the ear or hairline. Finally, as swelling and bruising decrease, you will begin to see the benefits of a neck lift, which include a younger, more refreshed appearance and increased self-confidence.

What Should I Expect During My Neck Lift Recovery?

Following your neck lift surgery, a gentle bandage may be placed over your face and neck to minimize bruising and swelling during the recovery period. Additionally, drainage tubes may be used to eliminate any fluid or blood accumulation that might have developed beneath the skin. Specific directions will be given to you regarding the care of the surgical site and drainage tubes, as well as the use of medication orally or topically to expedite the healing process and minimize the risk of infection. Moreover, you should refrain from ice application to the neck, as this could obstruct blood flow and cause skin tissue death. Maintaining your head elevated above your heart, without over-twisting or bending the neck, might also aid in reducing inflammation. During your recovery, make sure to inquire about the details and timeframe of your recuperation plan, such as where you will be taken post-surgery, the kind of medication you will be given, the presence of bandages, the timing of the removal of the bandages, the removal of stitches, return-to-driving recommendations, exercise limitations and when you should plan to visit the plastic surgeon for follow-up care.

What Results Should I Expect After Neck Lift Surgery?

It's important to note that it can take several weeks to months for swelling to go down and up to six months for incision lines to fully form when assessing the results of your neck lift. As the swelling and bruises ease, you'll start to see the clear benefits of a neck lift. The ultimate outcome should be a more youthful and revitalized look, which will boost your self-confidence. While positive results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some cases, a single surgery may not be sufficient to achieve optimal results, necessitating another procedure.

How Much Does Direct Neck Lift Surgery Cost?

The price range of a direct neck lift is influenced by several factors such as the proficiency of the surgeon, the nature of the procedure performed, and the location of the surgery. Generally, the cost starts at $5000 and can go up to $10,000.

What is the Alternative Treatment?

The most effective procedures for tightening the skin of the face and neck are facelifts and necklifts, which do not eliminate wrinkles around the eyes, forehead, or mouth. Other treatments, such as Botox injections and therapies, may help with this. Although facelifts and necklifts do not change the texture or appearance of the skin, techniques such as laser resurfacing or chemical peels may be beneficial. To improve the appearance of the face and skin, fat grafting or lipofilling, where fat is extracted from another area of the body and injected into the face, can be used instead of or in conjunction with a facelift. Sagging brows can cause a lot of problems, and in this case, a brow lift can help tighten the skin on the face either alone or with a facelift or necklift.

Risks & Complications of Neck lifts

The procedure may result in scars, which will mostly be concealed by the hairline. Initially, scars are red, then purple, and gradually lighten over the course of 12 to 18 months. In some cases, scars may become bigger, thicker, redder, or uncomfortable, requiring additional surgery to repair. Extending scars may also result in hair loss along the hairline, though this is typically not visible. Heavy bleeding is rare but possible, and may require a blood transfusion or additional procedures to control. Any bleeding tends to occur immediately or shortly after surgery, and may cause skin abnormalities which usually resolve over time. Issues with healing may occur, especially towards the ends of the scar, but can often be treated with additional surgery. Skin may also lose blood supply during surgery, leading to tissue death and a lumpy or uneven surface. Changes in skin color may occur but can be concealed with makeup. Infections may require antibiotics or additional surgery and can impact the final outcome. Sutures may protrude through the skin, but can typically be removed. Swelling, bruising, and discomfort may persist for several weeks after the procedure. Asymmetry and changes in sensation in the face and neck are possible, and the procedure carries a rare risk of injury to deeper tissues such as nerves, vessels, and muscles, which may cause temporary or permanent harm. Patients may be dissatisfied with the outcome of the surgery if the appearance or form does not meet expectations. Finally, it is important to keep in mind that the appearance of the face and neck will continue to change over time due to aging or other factors unrelated to the surgery, and additional treatments may be needed to maintain the results. In rare cases, an allergic reaction to tape, stitches, or solutions may occur, requiring further treatment.


A neck lift cosmetic procedure involves eliminating excess skin and tissues from the neck region and tightening the neck muscles to produce a more polished and slender appearance with a smoother jawline. To achieve optimal aesthetic outcomes, a neck lift is frequently combined with other cosmetic procedures like neck liposuction, facelift surgery, or muscle relaxant injections; it is seldom performed as a standalone procedure. The most frequent concerns that can be resolved with a neck lift include having excessive skin, extra fat, and Turkey wattle neck. The recuperation period for a neck lift is lengthy, and most individuals can resume work after 10 to 14 days.

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