Neck Lift

Neck Lift

The earliest visible signs of aging typically appear around the eyes, followed by the neck and the lower part of the face. The effects of aging on the neck vary from patient to patient. Aging causes changes in the size and shape of the mandible, the quantity and distribution of cervical fat tissue, the positioning of the hyoid bone, and the thickness and anatomical variation of the medial fibers of the platysma muscle.

So, if you're concerned about sagging, loose skin on your neck, surgical neck lift may be a good option for you. Neck lift surgery is also known as cervicoplasty (for removing excess skin) or platysmaplasty (for tightening loose neck muscles). Cosmetic surgeons may perform one or both of these treatments to tighten the sagging muscles of the neck and remove excess, sagging skin, restoring the neck to a smoother, firmer, and more defined appearance.

Neck lift is a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the neck to address age-related wrinkling and sagging, giving a smoother, tighter, and more defined profile.

The risks of neck lift surgery include: bleeding under the skin (hematoma), anesthetic reaction, thick scars, blood clots, infection, nerve damage, skin loss, and open wounds.

Neck Lift: What Does It Involve?

A neck lift is a series of procedures designed to enhance the appearance of your neck. Lower rhytidectomy or submental lipectomy are the common medical terms. The exact technique or combination of procedures you use is determined by the results you are seeking. Neck contouring is often performed as part of a facelift, although it can be done individually if you are satisfied with the appearance of your face. Neck lift techniques may include the following:

• Removal of excess skin (cervicoplasty).

• Removal or alteration of neck muscles (platysmaplasty).

• Liposuction to remove excess fat.

• Botox injections to address fullness or "bands."

• Kybella injections to remove excess fat under the chin.

• Other neck lift techniques include lasers, ultrasound and radiofrequency devices, intense pulsed light, and fillers.

Types of Neck Lifts

1. Full Neck Lift:

Also known as platysmaplasty or lower rhytidectomy.

Since the platysma (neck muscle) is a component of SMAS, a neck lift is an integral part of an overall facelift.

It can be performed as a standalone procedure or in conjunction with less invasive facelift procedures.


• Dramatic improvements for a complete rejuvenation of the neck.

• Automatic inclusion in traditional facelift procedures.


• Longer recovery time compared to mini neck lift.

• Longer scarring compared to mini neck lift.

2. Mini Neck Lift:

Also known as submental platysmaplasty or one-incision neck lift.

Ideal for individuals with minor neck concerns, such as a small double chin, mild aging symptoms on the neck, some excess fat, and minimal skin sagging.

Patients with advanced aging indications and extra skin may benefit more from a full neck lift (or full facelift).

Compared to a full neck lift, the mini neck lift is less invasive, involving a single incision just behind the chin prominence.

The surgeon lifts the platysma muscle and deeper layers through this incision, securing them with stitches. The skin is not removed, allowing it to redistribute.


• Shorter recovery time.

• Single small incision.

• More cost-effective.


• Less dramatic improvements.

• Not suitable for those with moderate to severe signs of neck aging.

• Does not address excess skin.

• Regardless of the type of facelift or neck lift, liposuction, dermal fillers, and skin rejuvenation therapies are often combined to achieve the best cosmetic results.

Benefits of Neck Lift Surgery

The outcome of neck lift surgery will be determined by the components of the procedure you and your doctor have chosen. Cervicoplasty aims to reduce or eliminate excess skin behind the chin area, while platysmaplasty aims to tighten the platysma muscles to enhance definition. In many cases, your doctor may combine both treatments into one neck lift surgery.

If you wish to eliminate a double chin, remove fat or excess skin (sometimes referred to as a "turkey neck"), smooth out wrinkles, and reduce pronounced folds, neck lift surgery is likely to yield excellent results. The benefits of the neck lift procedure are often long-lasting, natural-looking, and permanent. Neck lifting can be combined with a facelift to ensure a more comprehensive revitalization of the face.

Who Is the Ideal Candidate for Direct Neck Lift Surgery?

The ideal candidate for a direct neck lift is someone concerned about aging symptoms in the neck area and is in good health. Patients undergoing a neck lift should also be non-smokers without allergies to anesthesia, certain medications, or other issues that may complicate surgery or the recovery process.

Ideal candidates will also have a positive attitude toward the surgery and realistic expectations regarding the results. Those who should not undergo this procedure include individuals with significant cheek sagging, who may benefit more from a facelift, combined lift, or another form of treatment. Additionally, because the surgical technique for neck lifting requires stretching the skin, it is not suitable for individuals with very thin skin that cannot be adequately tightened or those lacking a certain degree of skin laxity.

Who Should Avoid This Procedure?

Standard neck lift surgery is not recommended for those with substantial cheek sagging who would benefit more from a facelift, combined lift, or another type of treatment. Moreover, since the surgical technique for neck lifting involves stretching the skin, it is not suitable for individuals with very thin skin that cannot be adequately stretched or those without a certain degree of skin laxity.

Neck lift surgery, like any cosmetic procedure, is not recommended for candidates with unrealistic expectations about the results. Patients are advised to understand what to expect from a neck lift and what cannot be changed through the surgery. To be clear, a neck lift procedure will not transform your fundamental appearance, nor will it halt the aging process entirely. For a better understanding of what to expect from the surgery, consult with your doctor about being realistic in your expectations.

Patients with a history of complications, especially heart conditions or allergies to anesthesia, may not be suitable candidates for neck lift surgery. Additionally, those with unrealistic expectations for the surgery may not be recommended for the procedure. Smokers will be encouraged to quit for several weeks or months before the procedure to avoid complications during and after surgery.

Steps of the Neck Lift Procedure

Step 1 - Anesthesia: During the surgical process, medications will be administered to help you relax. There are two options: intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will advise you on the best option for you.

Step 2 - Incision: Neck lift options include a standard neck lift incision or a minimal neck lift incision, depending on the level of improvement you want to achieve.

The classic neck lift incision often begins at the hairline level with the sideburns, extends downward and around the ear, and finishes in the back of the hairline. Fat in the jaw and neck area can be sculpted or redistributed. The tissue beneath the skin of the neck is repositioned, and the platysma muscle is often tightened. Excess skin is trimmed, and the skin is redraped over the lifted contours.

A second incision under the chin may be required for liposuction in that area and muscle restoration. Stitches or skin adhesives are used to seal the incisions.

Limited neck lift incisions may involve cuts only around the ear. While the incisions are shorter, the results may be more restricted.

Step 3 - Closure of Incisions: Stitches and possibly skin adhesive are used to seal incision lines. The stitches may dissolve over time or need to be removed after a few days. Once the neck lift incision lines have healed, they are typically effectively concealed within the hairline and natural curves of the ear.

Step 4 - See the Results: As swelling and bruising subside, the apparent benefits of the neck lift become evident. The final result of the neck lift should not only give you a younger and refreshed appearance but also boost your confidence.

These steps outline the general process of a neck lift procedure. It's crucial to consult with a qualified medical professional to determine the specific details of your neck lift surgery based on your individual needs and goals.

What to Expect During the Recovery of Neck Lift

A bandage may be lightly placed on your face and neck during the recovery from the neck lift surgery to reduce swelling and bruising once the treatment is completed.

A small tube may be used to drain any additional blood or fluid that has accumulated under the skin.

You will be given specific instructions on how to care for the surgical site and drainage tube, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection, specific details to watch for, and when to consult your plastic surgeon.

To reduce swelling and keep your head elevated, maintain your head high above your heart (without excessive twisting or bending of the neck). DO NOT APPLY ICE to the neck, as this may compromise blood flow and lead to skin necrosis.

Remember to ask your surgeon specific questions about what to expect throughout the entire recovery period:

• Where will I be taken after the surgery is completed?

• What medications will be given or prescribed to me after the surgery?

• Will I have bandages/dressings after the surgery?

• When will they be removed?

• Are the stitches removed?

• When is it safe for me to drive?

• When can I resume normal activities and exercises?

• When should I return for follow-up care?

These questions will provide you with a clearer understanding of the recovery process and ensure that you follow the necessary steps for a successful and comfortable recuperation.

What Results Should I Expect After A Neck Lift Surgery?

Please note that it may take several weeks to months for the swelling to subside and up to six months for the incision lines to become less noticeable before you begin to appreciate the results of the neck lift. As swelling and bruising diminish, the apparent benefits of the neck lift become evident. The ultimate effect should not only give you a younger and fresher appearance but also boost your confidence.

While positive outcomes are expected from your surgery, there are no guarantees. In some cases, one surgical intervention may not be sufficient to achieve ideal results, and additional procedures may be necessary.

How much does a direct neck lift surgery cost?

The cost of a direct neck lift is determined by various factors, including the surgeon's expertise, the type of procedure performed, and geographical location. Prices typically start at 3000 euros and can reach up to 10,000 euros.

What does alternative treatment involve?

Facelift and neck lift are the most successful procedures for tightening the skin of the face and neck. They do not eliminate wrinkles around the eyes, forehead, or lips, which can be addressed with treatments like Botox injections and other therapies.

Facelift and neck lift do not alter the texture or appearance of your skin; however, treatments such as laser resurfacing (using a laser to burn the skin's surface in a controlled manner) or chemical peels (applying a chemical to peel off the skin's surface) can help.

To make your face and skin appear younger, fat can be injected into the face, grafted into specific areas to restore the volume it had in youth. This procedure, known as lipofilling, involves taking fat from another body area through liposuction, such as the thighs, abdomen, or hips, and injecting it into the face—either instead of or in addition to a facelift. Sagging eyebrows can be a source of many problems. In this situation, brow lift, whether performed alone or in conjunction with a facelift, can help tighten the skin of your face.

Risks and Complications of Neck Lift Surgery

1. Scarring: The procedure will leave scars, but most of them will be concealed within the hairline. Scars are typically red initially, then purple, gradually fading to become lighter over a period of 12 to 18 months. Scars may occasionally become larger, thicker, red, or uncomfortable, necessitating corrective surgery. If scars widen, they can cause a bald strip in the hairline, usually not visible.

2. Bleeding: Severe bleeding is rare but possible, requiring hematoma evacuation or another procedure (or both) to control the bleeding. Any bleeding usually occurs quickly or soon after the surgery. Small blood spots can create skin irregularities that typically resolve in the months following the procedure. Your surgeon will review all medications that increase the risk of bleeding before the operation, and it's crucial to keep your blood pressure under control. Men are twice as likely as women to experience significant bleeding.

3. Healing Problems: The edges of incisions may separate, especially towards the ends of the scars. Typically, wound care resolves the issue, but additional surgery may be required to remove tissue that hasn't healed adequately. Smokers are more prone to healing problems.

4. Loss of Blood Supply to the Skin: If blood supply is interrupted during surgery, some skin areas may die (a condition known as necrosis). This may require additional procedures, affecting the final result. The area affected by necrosis may have bumps or an uneven surface. Smokers are more likely to compromise their skin's blood supply during surgery, especially if the procedure results in detachment of a large amount of skin from the underlying tissue.

5. Change in Skin Color: Most patients may notice a change in the color of their skin where the surgery was performed. This is usually camouflaged with makeup.

6. Infection: If the wound becomes infected, you may need antibiotics or another surgical procedure. This can impact the overall result of the procedure.

7. Extrusion: Deep sutures protrude through the skin at this point. They are easily removed.

8. Swelling, Bruising, and Pain: After the procedure, there will be swelling and bruising on the face, which may take weeks to resolve. Long-term discomfort is uncommon.

9. Asymmetry: This is a condition where the sides of the face and neck are not symmetrical. Minor irregularities are common and usually disappear over time. Scars may sometimes alter the appearance of the earlobe or the cartilage in front of the ear (tragus), but these issues are typically corrected with treatment performed under local anesthesia.

10. Increased or Decreased Sensation: Most patients may experience some change in sensation in the face and neck after surgery, often numbness near the scars. In rare cases, sensory changes may be permanent.

11. Injury to Deeper Structures: Although rare, the procedure can cause damage to deeper tissues such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and structures in the neck. The facial nerve regulates normal movement of facial muscles. If part of the nerve is injured, movement of the forehead and mouth may be impaired. This damage can be transient or permanent.

12. Unsatisfactory Result: Patients may sometimes be dissatisfied with the outcome of facelift surgery. This can be due to the appearance or sensation of the face or neck or the shape not meeting expectations. It is crucial to discuss with your surgeon the appearance and shape you desire before the surgery. While facelift and neck lift are often effective and yield remarkable effects, they will not make you look 18 again, and you should be informed about the age limits they can restore before agreeing to the surgery. The later you do it, the less the age limit it will restore.

13. Change Over Time: The appearance of the face and neck will change over time due to aging or other circumstances unrelated to your surgery, such as weight gain, weight loss, fluid retention, and swelling. You may need additional surgery or other treatments to maintain the results of facelift or neck lift.

14. Allergic Reaction: Allergy to tape, sutures, or solutions is rarely described. If you have an allergic response, additional treatment may be required.


Cosmetic surgery for neck lift involves removing excess skin and tissues from the neck, as well as tightening neck muscles to create a younger, firmer appearance and a smoother jawline.

To achieve excellent aesthetic results, neck lift surgery is often combined with additional cosmetic methods such as facelift surgery, neck liposuction, or muscle relaxant injections. It is rarely performed as a standalone procedure. Some of the most common indications considered for neck lift include:

• Turkey neck

• Excess fat

• Too much skin

Recovery from neck lift takes time. Most people can return to work after 10 to 14 days.