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Neck Lift: Procedure, Recovery and Risks

Neck Lift: Procedure, Recovery and Risks

by Azka Munir · September 13, 2021

Do you feel your jawline and neck sag? A neck lift can help reduce the signs of aging on your neck and jawline area.

This procedure is also known as lower rhytidectomy. It can reduce excess fat, loose skin and muscle banding.

As you age, your body loses youthful contours. Hence, in order to contour it, you will require a surgical procedure.

This article discusses the procedure and results of a neck lift. Keep reading to find out how this procedure can give you a youthful appearance.


What Is A Neck Lift?

It is a part of the facelift.

Whereby it improves the appearance of your neck and jawline, contouring it and reducing fatty deposits.

However, it does not alter your aging process so keep realistic expectations for the procedure.

neck lift treatment

What This Surgery Will and Won’t Treat

A lower rhytidectomy will treat the muscle banding on your neck.

Muscle banding adds some contours to your body which this cosmetic procedure helps to treat.

Furthermore, there are fatty deposits under your chin that the procedure can contour and treat.

Also, jowls form because of the presence of excess fat in the lower face.

The skin too loosens and relaxes when there is excess fat and sags forming layers of skin because of aging.

The contours and tightening in your skin can loosen because of your genetics, stress, aging and environmental factors.

However, aging will also keep going in the background even after you get the surgery.

Furthermore, it will not change the appearance rather contour your neck and jawline.

Hence, you should have realistic expectations when you set out for the procedure.

You may encounter this situation where your upper face looks fine but you still have jowls lines and wrinkles on the skin.

Adding to that, there can be a double chin.

Hence, if your upper skin looks fine but you only want to treat your lower face, then this procedure is appropriate for you rather than a surgical facelift.

Furthermore, this procedure is also ideal to complement other treatments without getting an entire facelift.

Therefore, you can get it with a:

  • brow lift– to lift it and correct sagging
  • eyelid surgery- rejuvenating eyes that are aging or going from monolid to double eyelid
  • fat transfer– it decreases apparent wrinkles and gives a full appearance to cheeks and lips

Furthermore, there are nonsurgical treatments like Botox and Fractional Laser which can reduce the wrinkles on your neck and improve the texture.

Fillers can add volume and micro-needling can overall help rejuvenate collagen production and tighten skin.

These procedures may not produce as long-lasting and quick results as a surgical procedure.


Neck Lift Procedure

After getting a consultation with your doctor, you can proceed with the neck lift surgery.

They will advise you to take some precautions to prepare for the treatment.

This includes taking care of medications and lifestyle right before the procedure.

Your doctor will recommend you to not take any blood-thinning medicines.

These could increase blood loss during the procedure.

Do not take herbal supplements and anti-inflammatory medicines as they too can increase bleeding.


neck lift surgery

Your doctor will prevent you from smoking and using tobacco products.

It not only slows down healing but also causes your skin to wrinkle.

Follow the instructions of your surgeon for any special precautions to take regarding your medical condition.

Also, someone should accompany you to drive you back home.

Once you are at your doctor’s, they will take your photos to compare the results.

Next, they will begin the procedure.

surgical procedure

Surgical Treatment

First, your doctor will give you anesthesia either local anesthesia or general anesthesia.

Hence, it is fine to numb only a part of your body during the procedure while you are awake.

You may get a traditional incision or a limited incision.

In the traditional method, your doctor makes the incision near the sideburn in the hairline.

Furthermore, it goes down around the eras finally ending at the posterior hair.

The limited incisions are only found around the ears.

Plus, these are much shorter so the results are not as dramatic.

In the traditional incision method, your doctor will sculpt the fat.

Also, they will redistribute it from the jowls and neck.

They tighten the platysma muscle.

Plus, change the position of the neck skin tissue.

Hence, it helps to reduce the appearance of the turkey wattle.

As it contours, the skin is placed back on and doctor removes excess skin by cutting it down.

They may also make another cut under the chin for liposuction.

It will suction fat from the jawline and chin.

This also helps to repair the muscles.

Hence, if your skin has a bulky appearance, due to fat, you will get liposuction.

However, it does not treat structural issues.

Furthermore, if there is just excessive skin then your surgeon will trim that and lift your remaining skin.

Hence, during your consultation, you will discuss what you need and your doctor will proceed with any of these procedures accordingly.

Finally, they close the incisions using sutures and adhesives.

They will either dissolve or you can come to remove them in a week.

You will not see these invasion lines as they lie in the hairline and behind the ears.

Though you will have to wait for swelling and bruises to subside to see the results of the procedure.


Recovery, Results and Risks

Like every surgical procedure, you will get swelling and bruising after it completes.

The healing time can be from weeks to months.

Your incision lines will only go away after six months.

After you heal, you will notice youthful contouring of your neck.

treatment results

Your doctor will place a bandage on your treatment area.

This can help decrease the swelling and bruising.

Furthermore, they will place a tube underneath your skin.

It helps to drain fluids and blood.

Your doctor will advise you to elevate your head above your heart.

Also, refrain from twisting and bending but keep your head straight.

They will provide you with medications to avoid infections and may also guide you about how to apply a topical medicines and care for the surgical site.

Do not subject your incisions to force or motion.

So, don’t wear clothes that will go over your head, rather choose those that you can button up.

Do not follow any home remedies unless your doctor suggests the same.

Using ice on the treatment area can affect the flow of blood and cause skin death.

As the swelling decreases, the results will become more apparent.

You can tell if your neck looks youthful over a period of months.

The incisions will completely heal in a period of 6 months.

Hence, once you see your contoured neck and jawline, it should not only look youthful but also give you confidence.

While you are waiting for the results to show up, do not forget about sun protection.

Protecting yourself from sun exposure will help you retain a youthful appearance and glowing skin for longer.

Hence use sunscreen whenever you are out.

Though, you may or may not receive satisfactory results by a single procedure.

In that case, you will have to undergo another procedure.

surgical risks

Surgical Risks

There are risks involved in any surgery, so are they in this procedure.

Hence, you need to analyze whether taking those risks is worth it as that could lead to complications.

Your doctor will highlight all of these risks to you beforehand.

Anesthesis is crucial for this surgery hence if there are any risks or allergic reactions related to that, your doctor will inform you.

Also, your treatment site can become numb.

Pain may persist for a long time and your swelling can last longer than you expect.

There is always a risk of infection and excessive bleeding.

This is why your doctor will give you antibiotics and suggest you skip aspirin and other blood-thinning medicines.

A nerve injury can cause your lower lip to become weak.

Moreover, deep venous thrombosis and cardiac pulmonary sequelae are also rare but possible.

There can be a facial asymmetry after the procedure.

Also, discoloration of skin and skin loss plus irregularities in the treatment area.

Wound healing can be slow also fluid may accumulate in the treatment area.

Other risks include:

  • Scarring
  • Sutures become visible and irritate the skin requiring removal
  • Hair loss of temporary or permanent nature on the are of the incisions
  • Blood Clotting
  • If you are not happy with your results then you may require another surgery

If you are fine with all of these risks and complications, you can begin the procedure.

neck lift surgical cost

Neck Lift Cost

The cost will depend on the procedure your surgeon recommends you to take.

You may need liposuction or just trimming of skin.

Hence, the incisions and the method will determine the procedural cost.

However, health insurance does not cover cosmetic surgery.

Hence, you will have to confirm with your insurance provider if you can get it covered.

Though if it is to correct a medical condition then your insurance can cover the costs.

Furthermore, your costs will depend on your plastic surgeon.

Make sure they are board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and belong to the American Society of Plastic surgeons or have relevant experience in these surgeries.

Plus, take a look at their previous surgeries to determine how your neck will look like after the procedure.


Your neck lift procedure can take up to three to four hours and healing can require 6 months.

However, once you heal, you will get a youthful appearance and become confident in your skin.

Hence, if you think the skin in your lower face is sagging and looks fat, it is time to visit your cosmetic surgeon.

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