A neck lift is a set of procedures to enhance the appearance of your neck. Procedures can include:
- Removing excess skin
- Removing or altering neck muscles
- Liposuction to remove excess fat
- Botox injections to address problems with fullness or "bands"
Know Your Goals
You must be in good health to get a neck lift. You'll consult with your surgeon in advance. For that meeting, have your goals in mind for what you want to change.
Here are some of the most common concerns that are addressed with a neck lift:
- Turkey wattle neck
- Excess fat
- Too much skin
During your consultation, you should go over your goals and learn about the options:
- Turkey Wattle: Your surgeon may recommend surgery, which involves making cuts under your chin or behind your ears or both to access a neck muscle called the platysma. Sometimes, that may even mean removing some muscle.
Newer procedures may let your surgeon make smaller cuts and use an endoscope (a small camera attached to a thin tube) to complete your surgery. Make sure you ask your surgeon for all your options during your consultation.
You and your surgeon will discuss what type of anesthesia to use, depending on your level of comfort. If you want to remain asleep during the procedure, you should request general anesthesia. Otherwise, your surgeon can use local anesthesia with sedation. It's up to you, however, to make that choice.
Instead of surgery or in addition to it, Botox injections can relax parts of the platysma that are responsible for the "band" appearance or look of fullness. Those injections can be done in 15 minutes on an outpatient basis, meaning no overnight stay.
- Liposuction: During liposuction, your surgeon will make a small cut below your chin and remove excess fat. If you are also getting other procedures, it is very common for plastic surgeons to begin with liposuction. You will be able to determine this with your doctor during your consultation.
If this is the only procedure you're getting, you should plan on the operation lasting up to an hour. Your incisions will be stitched and bandaged. It's important to make sure you understand and follow your doctor's instructions on properly caring for the stitches and bandage.
- Too Much Skin on Your Neck: Your surgeon will trim parts of the skin and lift it into place, securing it with tissue glue or stitches. This takes about two to four hours, depending on the complexity of your procedure. Again, your anesthesia will depend on your own personal comfort level.
Your surgeon will fit you with a compression bandage that you will have to wear for at least one week unless instructed otherwise.
Preparing for Your Neck Lift
Your surgeon will tell you to avoid certain medications before your surgery to reduce the risk of excessive bleeding.