March 01, 2024 | Neck Lifts, Surgical Procedure

What You Need To Know About Neck Lifts

neck lifts

Neck lifts not only enhance the appearance of the neck but also the jawlines. It works by simply removing excess fat and skin to restore the youthful glow of the neck area. 

This procedure, however, needs precautions before deciding to go for surgery, as preparation is needed. 

Benefits of Neck Lifts

  1. Improved contour of the jawline.
  2. Reduction of saggy skin under the chin.
  3. Minimize the appearance of vertical bands on the neck.
  4. Neck lift results can last longer, especially if you shift to healthier lifestyle choices. You can look fresher and younger for a longer period. 

Beyond aesthetics, some find relief from discomfort caused by excess skin or weight around their neck after surgery. This could lead to better posture and reduced strain in that area.

The Procedure Explained

Anesthesia in Detail

The first step when the operation commences is receiving anesthesia. The operation requires cutting your skin, which means you have to feel numb, so they will be using anesthesia. The surgeon will determine whether local or general anesthesia will be used. 

With local anesthesia, only your neck area will be numbed. You remain awake but relaxed. General anesthesia puts you to sleep for the entire duration of the surgery. Your surgeon will recommend the best option based on your health and specific needs.

Choosing the right type of anesthesia is crucial for your comfort and safety. Discuss any concerns or preferences with your doctor before surgery day.

Incision and Lifting

The next step involves making precise incisions. These are usually made around your ears, extending into your hairline, depending on the extent of lifting needed.

Through these incisions, excess skin is removed or repositioned to achieve a more youthful appearance in your neck area. Fat may also be sculpted or redistributed as part of this process.

This method allows for significant improvements with minimal scarring hidden within the natural contours of your body. Recovery time varies from person to person, but expect some bruising and swelling initially.

Platysmaplasty Specifics

Platysmaplasty focuses specifically on tightening the platysma muscle in your neck. This can correct issues like “turkey neck” by removing excess skin and fat while restoring a firmer look.

The procedure might involve one or several small incisions under the chin or behind the ears to access this muscle effectively. Afterward, sutures are used to tighten these muscles, creating a smoother contour along your jawline and neck.

This technique often complements other facial surgeries for comprehensive rejuvenation effects. It’s important to follow post-operative care instructions closely for optimal healing.

The Role of Platysma Muscle

The platysma muscle plays a key role in neck lifts. Located just below the jawline, this muscle can sag with age or weight loss, leading to what many call a “turkey neck.”

During surgery, surgeons often tighten this muscle by bringing its edges together in the midline of the neck or removing part of it altogether if necessary for better contouring results.

This step is vital because it directly impacts how youthful and contoured your neckline appears after recovery.

Preparing for Surgery

Choosing a Surgeon

surgeon doctors

Look for board certification and experience in neck lifts. Review before-and-after photos of previous patients. This helps gauge potential outcomes.

Ask about their approach to surgery and recovery. A good surgeon explains everything clearly. They should make you feel comfortable asking questions.

Candidate Assessment

Not everyone is a suitable candidate for a neck lift. The best candidates do not smoke, are generally healthy, and have realistic expectations.

Your surgeon will evaluate your medical history and current health status. They check skin elasticity too. This assessment ensures the surgery’s success and minimizes risks.

Pre-Surgery Care

Follow your surgeon’s instructions closely before surgery. This might include stopping certain medications or supplements that can increase bleeding risk.

Patients are advised to avoid smoking for a few weeks before and after the surgery. Eating well-balanced food is also recommended to prepare the body for the operation. 

Managing Risks

Safety Measures

To ensure a smooth recovery and minimize risks, follow these safety measures:

  • Keep your head elevated even while sleeping for at least one week after surgery.
  • Avoid bending over or lifting heavy objects for a few weeks.
  • Use cold compresses gently on the neck area to reduce swelling.

Adhering strictly to these guidelines will significantly reduce potential complications and accelerate healing.

Potential Complications

While rare, complications can occur post-surgery. Being aware helps in managing them effectively if they arise.

  1. Infection
  2. Excessive bleeding
  3. Scarring
  4. Nerve damage

If you notice unusual symptoms such as fever, severe pain not relieved by medication, or unexpected changes in skin sensation near the operated area, contact your surgeon immediately.

Aftercare and Long-Term Care

Recovery Time

Healing after a neck lift is essential, as this can affect the result of the operation. The recovery period may differ for each patient. You should listen to your bodies, as it is important to get the rest they need before they can resume their normal routine. 

After the operation, you’ll have bandages around your neck and possibly drains to remove excess fluids. It’s vital to follow your surgeon’s instructions closely.

You should rest with your head elevated, as this lessens the swelling. Strenuous activity should be avoided as well to speed up the recovery.

Pain management is also important. Your doctor will prescribe medication to help with discomfort. 

Keep your wound clean and follow the instructions of the doctor on how to clean and dress your wound 

You can be back to your normal routine in two weeks, but it’s advisable to let your doctor know if there are any unusual changes. 

Long-Term Care

  • Protect your skin from the sun. UV rays can damage skin elasticity and negatively affect scar healing.
  • Maintaining a stable weight. Significant weight fluctuations can alter the results of your surgery.
  • Skin products that are recommended by a dermatologist should be strictly followed, as they might be specifically for mature or post-surgery skin types.
  • Regular check-ups with your surgeon ensure that everything is healing correctly and allow them to catch any potential issues early on.

Expected Outcomes Post-Neck Surgery

Neck lifts can dramatically change how you look and feel. They target sagging skin, excess fat, and muscle banding. 

This procedure results in a more youthful appearance. Your neck will look smoother and more toned after recovery.

These changes can boost your confidence significantly. You’ll likely find yourself feeling more comfortable in your skin.

Health Considerations

Surgery always comes with risks. Some are general, while others are specific to neck lifts.

  • First, there’s the risk of infection. It can happen after any surgery. Keeping the surgical area clean is key to prevention.
  • Blood clots pose another risk. They can form during or after surgery. If you have a history of blood clots, share this with your surgeon.
  • Negative reactions to anesthesia are also possible. Some people react badly to the anesthesia used during surgery. Discuss any past reactions with your doctor.
  • Scarring is inevitable but varies from person to person. Your surgeon will aim to minimize visible scars.

Types of Procedures

Traditional Lift

A traditional neck lift involves making incisions behind the ears and sometimes under the chin. Surgeons remove excess skin and tighten muscles to improve the neck’s contour. This procedure is ideal for those with significant sagging or loose neck skin.

In two weeks, patients can return to their normal routine, but some may take longer as it depends on how their body responds. Following the advice of the surgeon about aftercare is essential. 


Liposuction targets fat deposits in the neck area. It’s less invasive than a traditional lift and is often chosen by individuals with good skin elasticity but excess fat.

The procedure requires a small incision where a cannula removes unwanted fat. Recovery is generally quicker compared to a traditional lift, with many resuming daily routines in just a few days.

Non-Surgical Options

For individuals who are afraid of going under the knife but still desire to have their neck enhanced, they can opt for non-surgical choices:

These include:


Botox is one kind of neurotoxin injected into the neck muscles, which relaxes them to decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The effect, however, may only last for three to four months but can be repeated afterward. 

Ultrasound Therapy 

In this kind of therapy, the ultrasound waves stimulate the skin layer to produce collagen, which aids in making the skin look younger as it is stretched. 

Ultrasound therapy also comes with advantages and disadvantages: 

  1. Injectable neurotoxins: quick results but require regular maintenance.
  2. Ultrasound therapy: gradual improvement but needs patience.
  3. Radiofrequency treatments: immediate tightening effect yet may need several sessions for best results.

Deoxycholic Acid

Deoxycholic acid is another effective non-surgical treatment specifically targeting fat beneath the chin, known as submental fullness or “double chin.” 

It’s an injectable solution that breaks down fat cells that are naturally eliminated by your body over time.

The process involves multiple injections under your chin during each session. You may need two to four treatments spaced at least one month apart for optimal effects.

Patients often experience visible contouring of their jawline as excess fat diminishes after these treatments. However, deoxycholic acid does not address skin laxity directly; it primarily targets fat reduction.

Side effects can include swelling, bruising, pain at the injection site, numbness, or hardness in treated areas:

  1. Swelling
  2. Bruising
  3. Pain
  4. Numbness
  5. Hardness

Despite these potential side effects, many find deoxycholic acid a worthwhile alternative due to its ability to significantly reduce double chins without surgery.

Remember…Make Your Expectations Realistic 

  1. A neck lift can reduce signs of aging in the lower face and neck area effectively, but it does not stop aging altogether.
  2. Your lifestyle choices post-surgery will influence long-term results significantly.
  3. Smoking can accelerate aging.
  4. Sun exposure without protection can damage the skin further.
  5. It’s important not only to understand what improvements a neck lift offers but also its limitations:
  6. A neck lift improves appearance; it doesn’t change fundamental facial features.
  7. Results vary depending on the individual skin condition and age before surgery.

To learn more about neck lift procedures, contact us at the Sadeghi Center for Plastic Surgery so we can talk about the pros and cons of neck lifts. We are willing to discuss with you our terms and we can explain the procedure to you.