A neck lift is a procedure that lifts and tightens the skin and underlying support muscle (platysma) of your neck and repositions them in a more youthful position to rejuvenate your neck. Some excess fat may be removed as well. Neck lifts are usually done as part of a face and neck lift as this gives a better rejuvenation and a longer lasting result than either alone, but neck lifts can be done on their own as well.
If you are concerned by excess skin or jowling along your jawline. loose skin or sagging on your neck, you may be suitable for a neck lift.
If you smoke, are on blood-thinning medication, have high blood pressure or have significant health problems, this will need to be assessed and you may be advised to wait or not to have a facelift.
There are variations depending on your individual anatomy and goals. The standard surgery can be done under local anaesthesia and sedation or general anaesthesia depending on the extent of change needed. Smaller versions can be done under local anaesthetic alone. Skin incisions are placed as discretely as possible in some or all of the following as needed in your individual case; in front of the lower part of your ear at the junction between your ear and cheek, around your earlobe and behind your ear and/or underneath your chin. The skin is lifted up. Your platsyma neck muscle is tightened and/or repositioned. Sometimes excess fat in your neck is removed directly or with liposuction. Excess skin is removed. Direct neck lifts directly remove skin from the centre of the neck. They are only suitable for a small group of patients. Drains are sometimes used. Stitches will need to be removed 5 to 7 days later. A ‘haemostatic net’ of external sutures may be placed to help skin position and reduce the chances of haematomas or seromas. If used, these sutures will be removed 2 to 3 days later.
Neck lifts can be done on their own or in combination with other procedures. Common combinations include facelift, upper and lower blepharoplasty, brow lift, fat transfer, lip lift and other facial rejuvenation procedures.
1 to 2.5 hours depending on the extent of surgery. If other procedures are planned at the same time, the overall surgery time is longer.
You will have tapes over the ‘haemostatic net’ if used and under your chin. You may be asked to wear a support garment around your lower face and chin. Neck lifts are day case procedures. You can shower with care including washing your hair after 48 hours.
On average 2 weeks off work are needed. No heavy lifting or strenuous activity is allowed for 6 weeks. Reduce bending and stooping as much as possible and sleep on extra pillows at night to help reduce swelling. Some forms of exercise can be restarted at 4 weeks. Most exercise is restarted at 6 weeks. Driving is not allowed until you are safe to perform an emergency stop.
Unfortunately, complications can occur after all surgery and you need to be aware of this. Ms Nugent will do her utmost to reduce your risk as much as she can. This includes the health and procedure advice she gives you before surgery, the care and precautions she takes during surgery and the advice she gives you after surgery. Some of the complications that can happen include slow healing, infection, bleeding, poor scarring, asymmetry, pain, numbness or sensitivity in the skin, seroma (fluid build-up), damage to the facial nerve which can cause weakness of weakness of lower lip movement, recurrence of neck loose skin and sagging, visibility of submandibular glands, distortion of earlobe shape, loss of skin that has been lifted (higher risk in smokers or if you have high blood pressure or have a haematoma after surgery), pressure on your breathing if a large haematoma develops.
Most patients who undergo neck lift surgery are very happy with their results and find that it really rejuvenates and refreshes their neck appearance. However, if you have more than mild laxity in your neck tissues, you will usually have a better result with neck lift surgery if it is in combination with a facelift. Success depends on being prepared for your surgery, choosing the right procedure, the surgery itself and recovering well. All steps in the journey are crucial!
Download the detailed information booklet on this page to read more and book a consultation to discuss your individual circumstances with Ms Nugent!