Neck Lift

A neck lift is a cosmetic procedure that removes excess skin and fat around your jaw line, creating a more defined and youthful-looking neck. Results can be long lasting, but neck lift surgery can't stop the aging process.

Why it's done

A neck lift is done to reduce signs of aging in the lower part of the face. It's often done as part of a face-lift.

Results

It might take several weeks to months for swelling and bruising to fully disappear and up to six months for your incision lines to fade. In the meantime, be careful to protect your skin from the sun, don't wear clothing you need to pull over your head and be gentle with your surgical incisions.

How you prepare

Your doctor might ask you to stop taking aspirin or other blood-thinning medications several days before your surgery. These can include warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), heparin and aspirin and other medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others).

Because smoking tobacco promotes wrinkling of the skin and slows both recovery and healing, your doctor will recommend that you quit smoking before having a neck lift.

Arrange for a ride home after your surgery and for someone to stay with you the first night after your procedure.

Risks

Risks involved with neck lift surgery might include:

  • Bleeding under the skin (hematoma)
  • Reaction to anesthetic
  • Thick scarring
  • Blood clots
  • Infection
  • Nerve injury
  • Skin loss
  • Open wounds

Another possible risk of neck lift surgery is that you might not be satisfied with your results. In this situation, another surgery might be an option.

During the surgery

A neck lift can be done with sedation and local anesthesia, in which only part of your body feels numb, or under general anesthesia.

Liposuction is the most commonly used procedure. The surgeon makes a tiny incision behind each ear and under the chin. Specialized equipment suctions fat from the jaw line and beneath the chin. If your skin is resilient and the only reason for your dissatisfaction with your neck's appearance is fullness due to fat, liposuction can give you a more defined neck.

Liposuction, however, won't correct structural problems that contribute to your neck's appearance. Your doctor will discuss the type of surgery that will work best for you, depending on several factors, including your desired outcome, cost and what's causing your dissatisfaction with your neck.

After the procedure

After a neck lift, you're likely to have swelling and bruising.

You might need to wear a special garment that compresses your neck and helps reduce swelling. You'll also need to keep your head elevated above your heart and to keep it straight. Don't twist or bend your neck.

Before - After

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens during a neck lift surgery?

During a neck lift procedure, your Mercy surgeon will make small incisions near your ears and under your chin, removing the fat from around your jawline and under your chin. This operation can be performed using local or general anesthesia. 

What is a lower facelift ?

A lower facelift addresses those areas of the face below the corners of the mouth. It can also impact the contours of the neck and chin, in addition to the nasolabial folds (laugh lines) and jawline. 

 

What's a mini facelift ?

A mini facelift is an alternate version of a traditional facelift where your Mercy surgeon makes small incisions at your hairline to help raise the lower half of your face upward. It adjusts loose skin around your neck and jawline. 

How long is the recovery after a facelift procedure ?

Many patients can return to work or school approximately 2 weeks after their surgery. You may still experience swelling and tightness as late as 4 weeks from your actual surgery. Most patients return to normal activities completely after 1 month. 

What happens at my face or neck lift consultation ?

At Mercy, we understand that you’ve already come a long way on your weight loss journey. We work closely with the bariatric surgery team to address the unique challenges you’re facing. During your face or neck surgical consultation, we’ll answer your questions and ease any concerns you have. The consultation will include:

  • Discussion of your surgical goals, medical conditions, medications and previous surgeries
  • Health evaluation, including risk factors and any pre-existing conditions
  • Discussion of your options and recommended course of treatment
  • Review likely outcomes of the surgery and potential complications

What's a mid-facelift ?

For some people, a traditional facelift won’t address the upper cheek and lower eyelid areas of the face. Also known as a cheek lift, a mid-face lift raises the fat pad of the cheek, which can help the face appear more youthful. 

How to know if I need a mini or real facelift ?

The decision of whether to receive a mini or full facelift depends on what your goals are for the surgery. In general, a mini facelift is less invasive than a full facelift, with less tissue being removed or adjusted. 

What's the main purpose of neck lift cosmetic surgery?

A neck lift procedure, also known as a rhytidectomy, removes excess skin and fat from around the neck area. It restores the contours of the neck, so they align more closely to those of the face.  

How long does a surgical facelift last ?

While every person’s body is unique and can respond to surgery in different ways, in general, a surgical facelift should last about 10 years. Certain factors, like how you treat your skin and your dietary habits, may also impact this timeframe. 

Who is a good candidate for a facelift ?

Deciding whether to have plastic surgery of any kind is an immensely personal decision. Usually, good candidates for a facelift procedure are nonsmokers who are generally healthy and have realistic expectations for the outcomes of their operation. 

What are the benefits of facelift surgery ?

Facelift surgery can help raise loose or sagging skin in certain areas of the face and neck. For many people, this can result in them having a more youthful appearance and stronger facial contours than before.