Last Updated: May 11, 2011
For many women and men, the neck is the first part of the body to show signs of aging. Loose skin, deep band lines, and excess fat all contribute to a sagging “turkey neck” – a problem for people of all ages. A neck lift usually involves a variety of procedures, all designed to bring your neck back into shape. These may include liposuction to remove excess fat, cervicoplasty to eliminate extra skin, and platysmaplasty to tighten neck muscles, a procedure that removes unsightly band lines.
Your surgeon may include a neck lift as part of a treatment plan in combination with eyelid surgery, a facelift, or brow lift. A neck lift may be performed endoscopically, where a device visually guides the surgeon through the procedure. Many doctors and patients prefer this method as there are smaller incisions, minimal bruising, and a faster recovery period.
After receiving liposuction during a neck lift, most patients will experience a bruised and swollen neck and jaw line for seven to ten days. During the cervicoplasty procedure, which removes surplus skin on the neck, an incision is made just below the chin and behind the ears. The skin is pulled back, lifted and secured with permanent sutures or special adhesive glue. To help control swelling, an elastic bandage is applied to your neck and head.
The platysmaplasty procedure involves a couple of incisions under the chin and/or behind the ears. Then, the surgeon carefully removes or realigns a specific portion of neck muscles, tightening the middle area of the neck. Permanent sutures are placed in the muscles to help secure them in their new position.
After a neck lift procedure, common side effects include numbness of the treated skin for several weeks. Other complications include scar tissue build up or bruising of the skin. A neck lift may be performed at an outpatient surgery center or the hospital. Since several procedures may be performed during a neck lift, time in surgery can vary from one to several hours. A neck lift may be performed under local or general anesthesia and typically does not involve an overnight stay.