Neck Lift

Why neck lift surgery?

The loss of youthful contours in the face and neck can be due to a variety of factors, including heredity, gravity, environmental conditions and stress. When the neck area doesn’t match the upper facial appearance, a neck lift may be a good solution.

A neck lift, or lower rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that improves visible signs of aging in the jawline and neck. A neck lift can treat:

  • Excess fat and skin relaxation in the lower face that creates jowls
  • Excess fatty deposits under the chin
  • Loose neck skin
  • Muscle banding in the neck, which created abnormal contours

Some people feel they are not ready for a full facelift because the upper face is still pleasing. However, many patients will note excess wrinkling of the neck skin, a double chin or “turkey wattle” and jowl lines.

Is it right for you?

As with any surgery, you should have realistic expectations. We will help you understand those at your consultation appointment.

A neck lift surgery candidate:

  • Is physically healthy and is a nonsmoker
  • Has a positive outlook and realistic expectations about improvements

As a restorative surgery, a neck lift does not change your fundamental appearance and cannot stop the aging process.

A neck lift can only be performed surgically; nonsurgical rejuvenation treatments cannot achieve the same results, but may help delay the time at which a neck lift becomes appropriate and complement the results of surgery.

Although good results are expected from your procedure, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.

Preparing for your consultation

The success and safety of your surgery depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. During your consultation, we will discuss:

  • Why you want surgery, your expectations and desired outcome
  • Your health status, including any previous surgeries
  • Your family health history
  • Your risk factors
  • Potential complications of surgery

Make sure you bring a list of your own questions and concerns. Please feel free to bring a supportive friend to help you listen or take notes. Become well informed before you make a final decision.

Preparing for surgery

Once you have completed your consultation and decided neck lift surgery is right for you, it’s time to prepare for surgery day. We might ask you to:

  • Have lab tests and/or a medical evaluation
  • Stop, start or adjust certain medicines and supplements
  • Stop smoking

We will also give you instructions on what to do the day before and morning of surgery, and instructions for self-care after surgery. You will need to arrange for a ride home on surgery day. Also, make sure someone stays with you at least the first night following surgery.

What to expect after surgery

During your recovery, a bandage might gently be placed around your face and neck to minimize swelling and bruising when your procedure is completed. A thin tube may be present to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect under the skin.

It is important to keep your head elevated above your heart to minimize swelling and to keep your head straight (no excessive twisting or bending of the neck). DO NOT APPLY ICE to the neck as this can compromise blood flow and result in skin death.

We will give you complete written instructions for a safe and comfortable recovery. Instructions will include:

  • When you can resume exercise, work and other activities
  • How to care for any bandages, wraps or stitches
  • Recommendations for pain medicines
  • Symptoms to watch for
  • How to care for your scars
  • When to schedule your follow-up appointments

It may take several weeks to months for swelling to fully dissipate and up to six months for incision lines to mature. As swelling and bruising subside, the visible improvements of a neck lift appear. Your final result should not only provide a more youthful and rested appearance, but also help you feel more confident about yourself.

Life-long sun protection and a healthy lifestyle will help extend the results of your rejuvenated, more youthful appearance. Following your plastic surgeon’s instructions is essential to the success of your surgery.

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