Necklift surgery is a popular cosmetic surgical procedure that can help hide some of the signs of aging. Many people who have extra fat in the lower face or want to eliminate sagging skin often elect to have this type of surgery. This procedure can also restore youthful contours in the face and neck that have been lost due to age, environmental factors or genetics.

However, it should be noted that necklift surgery cannot completely reverse the aging process or change a person’s basic appearance. Even though some people may want to consider nonsurgical alternatives, these options are not as effective as surgery and will not provide the same long-lasting results.

Ideal Candidates for Surgery

Ideal candidates include nonsmokers and healthy people who are not taking medications that impair healing. The procedure is also beneficial for patients who do not want to get a full facelift because the skin on the upper face is not showing the same signs of aging. Even though this surgery is often performed on older patients, some younger adults can also benefit from having necklift surgery. Anyone who is considering having this type of surgery can meet with our plastic surgeon to learn more about the qualifying factors.

Surgical Procedure

Also known as lower rhytidectomy, necklift surgery is performed under intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. A traditional incision that usually begins in the hairline at the sideburn level and extends down and around the ear to the posterior hairline can be made. A necklift with limited incisions around the ear can also be performed, but the end results are often more limited. In some cases, another incision is made beneath the chin to remove fat with liposuction. Following the incision process, the neck’s underlying tissue is repositioned with fat sculpted or distributed differently around the neck and jowls. Any extra skin is trimmed away after the skin has been draped over the uplifted contours. Sutures are then used to close the incisions.

Recovery

The surgical areas around the neck and face are bandaged to limit swelling and bruising following the surgery. The head should remain elevated to a level that is above the heart, and the patient will want to avoid twisting or bending the neck immediately following surgery. Blood and fluid that has gathered under the skin can be drained through a thin tube. Ice should not be applied to the neck following surgery, because this can restrict the delicate blood flow and cause serious complications. The surgeon will provide additional aftercare instructions to facilitate the healing process.

The Weeks After Surgery

 

When bruising and swelling become less visible in the weeks following surgery, most patients will notice a reduction in neck wrinkles and excess skin that often resembles the dreaded “turkey neck.” Incision lines will usually fade within a year but are generally well hidden by the patient’s hair. The patient’s surgeon will also recommend maintaining a healthy lifestyle and provide other useful advice that will help the results last.