What is a Neck Lift?
A neck lift can be performed on its own or in combination with a facelift procedure. A neck lift elevates and repositions drooping skin of the neck, while at the same time removing excess fat in the neck. A neck lift will also address “banding” of the neck, which is the result of a contracted muscle in the neck called the platysma. The goal of a neck lift is to recreate a youthful and well-defined jaw and neckline.
Who is a Candidate for a Neck Lift?
You may want to consider a neck lift if you have:
- Excess and lax soft tissues of the neck
- Excess fat of the neck
- Platysmal “banding”
- Loss of a defined jaw and neckline
How is a Neck Lift Performed?
A neck lift is typically performed under general anesthesia. If liposuction is required, the procedure starts with liposuction of the neck. After liposuction, the incisions are made. Most neck lifts require an incision under the chin, as well as incisions under the earlobes and into the lower hairline. When combined with a facelift, these incisions are incorporated into the facelift incisions. The skin of the neck is then elevated through these incisions and the underlying muscles of the neck are tightened and repositioned in a manner that improves the definition of the neckline. Neck skin is pulled back and tightened, and the excess skin is excised. Drains are placed and the incisions are closed.
All surgery is associated with risks. Risks associated with a neck lift include bleeding and hematoma (blood clot) formation. These risks are increased in patients with high blood pressure, therefore blood pressure is carefully monitored and controlled in the perioperative period. Additional risks include scarring, asymmetry, poor aesthetic outcome, and need for revisional procedures. Injury to facial nerves is a rare occurrence, but when it occurs, it can result in numbness and facial weakness that is frequently temporary, but can be permanent. It is important to talk with Dr. Rovelo about the risks of your surgery and how the risks can be minimized to provide the best possible outcome.
Neck lifts are performed in the outpatient surgical setting and can take from 2-5 hours, depending on whether additional procedures are performed at the same time. After the procedure, a soft head wrap will be placed. Drains are typically removed the following day and the head wrap will be removed at the first post-operative visit. Swelling and bruising can take up to 2 weeks to resolve, although complete resolution of swelling may take up to 6 weeks to resolve. Most patients can return to public life, light activity, and work after 2 weeks.