Neck Lift

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It may not be the first part of their bodies that patients think of when considering cosmetic surgery, but the neck is one of the earliest places to bear the signs of aging. Hereditary issues can also play a role, as can frequent exposure to heat and wind, but the problem is always the same. Fat deposits develop underneath the chin, causing skin to sag and decreasing the neck's natural contour. This has a significant impact on people's faces and adds years to their overall appearance.

If you have sagging skin around your neck, whether the cause is in your genes or your age, you might want to consider having a neck lift. The procedure can involve different methods, such as reforming neck muscles, lifting sagging skin, and liposuction to remove excess fat. Your doctor will know which procedures are best for you in order for your neck to regain its contoured shape. This will enhance your facial features and improve your profile.

The following information will give you a good start on what to be aware of when considering undergoing a neck lift. After getting more familiar with what the procedure entails, you should schedule a consultation with a board-certified facial surgeon to discuss your personal case and ask any questions regarding neck lift surgery.


*The average total cost for a neck lift surgery is between $3,000-$7,000.

Neck lift is considered a cosmetic procedure and are not typically covered by insurance.

Platysmaplasty is the medical term used to describe Neck Lift surgery.









  1. What are some of the most common benefits of neck lift surgery?
  2. How is neck lift surgery performed?
  3. How long does the procedure take?
  4. Will I need to stay in a hospital?
  5. How much pain will I feel?
  6. What can I expect afterward?
  7. What is the recovery period like?
  8. What is the long-term outcome like for most people?

What are some of the most common benefits of neck lift surgery?

An interesting thing about the neck is that if it looks good no one really notices it. Typically, it is only when the skin looks weathered or is sagging that people pay attention. This is why we may not always think about the neck when considering plastic surgery, but when someone has a double or even triple chin, the effects have a major impact on the face.
Having a neck lift done creates dramatic changes to the face by making it appear more youthful. And that is one benefit that is not just skin deep. When we look more youthful, it follows that we make more of an effort to keep the rest of our body looking that way. After undergoing cosmetic surgery, patients have more incentive to keep healthy habits in their diet and physical activity. Additionally, having a trimmer neck can make you feel more comfortable in wearing different clothing and jewelry. With a younger looking neck, people are not as self-conscious to bring attention to it with low neckline shirts or necklaces.

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How is neck lift surgery performed?

It depends on what type of neck lift you are undergoing, either a platysmaplasty or a cervicoplasty. In the former, your surgeon will begin by making tiny incisions in the skin under or behind the ear, or under the chin. This will give him or her access to your neck muscles so that they can be manipulated and tightened accordingly. Sometimes this involves removing some of the muscles. He or she will then quilt sides of the muscles together to create a new neckline. Your surgeon might also use sutures to hold the tissues in place.

With a cervicoplasty, your doctor will again make small incisions and lift your skin into place. He or she will secure it using tissue glue or stitches.

Your surgeon might also begin the procedure with liposuction. To do so, he or she inserts a thin tube called a cannula into the fatty area. The cannula is used to break up the fat deposits and sculpt the area to the desired contour. The unwanted fat is removed with a high pressure vacuum, leaving the skin, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels intact.

In the super-wet liposuction technique, a saline solution containing a local anesthetic and adrenaline is injected into the area to be treated, which makes the fat deposits easier to break up and extract. This extra fluid also minimizes trauma to the surrounding tissue, reducing swelling and post-operative pain. The administration of adrenaline also decreases bleeding during surgery, further reducing risks.

The tumescent liposuction technique, in which even larger amounts of liquid solution are injected, has similar benefits.

A relatively new method, ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL), uses sound waves to liquefy the fat after the injection of fluids. Like the super-wet and tumescent techniques, UAL minimizes trauma, bruising and blood loss. UAL is particularly useful on fibrous areas of the body.

An earlier method of liposuction, called dry liposuction because no liquefying agent was used, required general anesthesia. This technique is not in frequent use today.

The technique chosen for your operation will be determined by a combination of factors, including the precise area to be treated, the amount of fat to be removed, your surgeon's training and experience, and your preferences.

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How long does the procedure take?

A platysmaplasty usually takes two to three hours, a cervicoplasty usually takes two to four hours, and neck liposuction last about one hour. If you are having other procedures performed, such as a brow lift or a face lift, the overall procedure will take longer as times vary regarding different treatments.

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Will I need to stay in a hospital?

Neck lifts are usually performed on an outpatient basis. Provided you have no existing medical problems, you will most likely be able to leave a few hours after your procedure, depending on how much time it takes you to recover from the anesthesia. Neck lifts are performed using local anesthesia with light sedation, local anesthesia and deep sedation, or general anesthesia. The longer the procedure is expected to take, the more likely that general anesthesia will be recommended.

If you have other medical problems, concurrent procedures, or a lengthier surgery performed under general anesthesia, it may be necessary to spend the night in the hospital so that your recovery process can be monitored by a medical staff.


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How much pain will I feel?

The procedure is usually performed under deep sedation or general anesthesia. However, local anesthesia is sometimes used, in which case the pain during the procedure is minimal and you may feel pressure, movement, or a vibrating sensation.

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What can I expect afterward?

When you are in the recovery room, you may feel cold, emotional, or nauseous. These are all perfectly normal reactions shortly after a surgical procedure, so be sure to talk with the hospital staff about any discomfort you feel and they will be happy to give you a blanket or medication to curb any nausea.
You will also be likely to experience discomfort in your neck area, such as swelling and soreness. Your doctor may prescribe you medication to relieve the initial discomfort, which should subside after a few days. He or she may also prescribe an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection at the incision sites. Your stitches will be removed in a week to 10 days, unless dissolvable stitches are used. You will be fitted with a compression band to cut down on swelling and to hold your neck in its new shape until the tissues have adjusted.

You may also feel temporary numbness around the incision marks made during surgery. The face might also feel a little tight afterward, and you could experience tingling sensations and some sharp pains, but these will typically subside within the first few weeks.

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 What is the recovery period like?

Most of the bruising and swelling should subside within three weeks. You should be able to return to work within a week and a half to two weeks. If you play sports or are involved in any rigorous physical activity, you should wait at least three weeks. You will be wearing a compression band for several weeks if your surgery involved liposuction to ensure that your neck stays firmly shaped. Also prepare to have someone drive you home the day of your surgery.

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What is the long-term outcome like for most people?

Most patients are pleased with the new contour of the neck and often feel a boost in energy and self-confidence. Although a neck lift cannot alter skin quality or muscle tone, and should not be a substitute for regular exercise and a balanced diet, your neck will always be slimmer than it would be if you hadn't had this procedure.

Ideal candidate:

In general, the best candidates for neck liposuction:
• Have specific fat pockets that are resistant to diet and exercise
• Do not have frequent fluctuations in weight
• Desire reshaping and not weight loss
• Have relatively firm, elastic skin
• Have had no previous surgery in the area where liposuction is desired
• Are psychologically stable
• Do not smoke
• Are well informed about the procedure
• Are accepting of any limitations, as discussed with surgeon
• Hold realistic expectations about the outcome

The above is only a partial list of the criteria that your surgeon will consider in determining whether or not this procedure is appropriate for you.
Neck lift surgery risks and complications

As with all surgical procedures, there are always some risks involved. These may include scarring, excessive bleeding, and skin loss. In addition, due to the anatomy of the area, there is potential risk of nerve damage related to the movement of the mouth region. However, this is quite avoidable with knowledge of where this nerve region runs. Any lasting numbness around the ear due to swelling of the area's sensory nerve is very rare.

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The information on this web site is only intended as an introduction to this procedure and should not be used to determine whether you will have the procedure performed nor as a guarantee of the result. The best method of determining your options is to consult qualified surgeons who are able to answer specific questions related to your situation.

*Disclaimer: Source: Most surgeons offer convenient payments plans for this procedure. Cost does not include anesthesia, operating room facility, hospital stay, and other related expenses. Costs may vary depending the extensiveness of the procedure, location, and other factors. Costs are provided solely for research purposes. We are not a plastic surgery company and do not represent any plastic surgeons. For specific estimates, please contact a qualified plastic surgeon.

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