Is a Neck Lift Right for Me?
The ideal patient for a cosmetic surgery like a neck lift is in overall good health. Patients must be non-smokers with a healthy BMI to avoid possible complications during surgery. If you have any history of adverse reactions to anesthesia or pain medications, or a history of surgical procedures with resulting complications, please inform your surgeon during your consultation so we can ensure that your treatments with us are appropriate and safe for your health. If a neck lift isn’t right for you at this time, we can advise you how to take steps toward the surgery, or we may be able to offer non-surgical alternatives depending on your particular concerns.
If your neck appears to be aging faster than your face, you are likely an ideal candidate for a neck lift. This situation can be frustrating because it makes your whole appearance look unbalanced — an aging neck can also make your face look older, even if your facial skin isn’t aging as quickly. A neck lift surgery is specifically intended for patients who have concerns about signs of aging on the neck. The procedure focuses on tightening the skin of the neck and, in some cases, the jowls or jawline. Some of the concerns that a neck lift can treat include:
- Drooping or sagging skin
- A double chin due to submental fat (fat below the chin)
- A “turkey neck” due to loose skin or muscle
- Lateral or vertical neck wrinkles
- Jowls or undefined jawline
If you are also experiencing wrinkles or sagging skin on your face, you can choose to combine your neck lift with a facelift, brow lift or eyelid lift for an overall younger look. Combining surgeries is routine and safe, and can save you recovery time and surgical costs. Be sure to communicate all of your concerns to your surgeon during your consultation so we can create a surgical plan that will address everything that is worrying you and completely restore your confidence in your appearance.
To find out for certain whether you are a good candidate for a neck lift, you will need to schedule a face-to-face consultation with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. We invite you to call for a complimentary consultation at our beautiful surgical facility in Fayetteville, Georgia just south of Atlanta. We also have convenient locations in Newnan, La Grange and McDonough. Our surgical coordinators will speak with you on your first phone call, answer your introductory questions, and schedule a consultation at one of our three convenient locations. At the consultation, you will see an educational video and meet with our friendly doctors, who will explain all your options, including the risks and benefits of a neck lift and any other appropriate procedures.
Your Neck Lift Procedure
If our board-certified plastic surgeons recommend a neck lift for you, we will perform the surgery in our state-licensed and certified surgi-center. We use general anesthesia to keep you comfortable during the procedure. After the procedure, you will spend 30–60 minutes in our recovery room before your discharge home.
Your neck lift procedure will be fully customized to meet your needs. A neck lift can address several different concerns using different techniques, and our surgeons will work with you to create a personalized surgical plan. All of our surgeons are experienced with neck lifts and can perform a full range of approaches to the surgery to provide your best results.
During a traditional neck lift, your surgeon creates small incisions hidden in the natural folds of skin near the ears and under the chin. Your surgeon then uses these incisions to access the fat and muscle underlying the skin of your neck. They can reposition pockets of migrated fat or muscle so that your skin will lay flat against the natural contours of your neck and jaw. Then, they pull the skin taut from the incision sites, trim away excess stretched skin and suture everything back into place. In some cases, liposuction may be included to remove excess fat from the neck or chin area. The platysma muscle of the neck may also be tightened to prevent a bulging or stringy look. The overall effect is a smooth, firm neck without wrinkles or sagging; a more sculpted jawline and the reduced appearance of chin fat. When your results have healed, you may be surprised at how much younger you look — the neck has much more of an impact on the appearance than many people realize.
Neck Lift Recovery and Results
After your procedure, your surgeon will monitor you in our recovery rooms until you are awake and alert after your anesthesia. You will need a designated, trusted friend or family member to pick you up from your surgery and bring you home. Your surgeon will meet with you and your responsible party to give you a prescription for pain medications and run through your customized recovery instructions (you’ll also be given a paper copy to take home with you). You’ll also need to schedule your first follow-up appointment so that your surgeon can monitor your healing progress.
Once you are home, you should make sure you have a comfortable place to rest that provides support for your head and neck. You will need to spend a week or two away from work and public daily activities. This time allows swelling, bruising or redness to subside. You may also experience some sensations of tightness or numbness in the area while you heal. These are normal side effects as your body adjusts to the surgery.
Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on when you can shower, what kinds of soaps or products you should use, how to change your dressings and how to care for your surgical scars. Following these instructions will ensure that you don’t experience complications and that your neck heals seamlessly and beautifully. You will have regular follow-up appointments so your surgeon can check to make sure you are recovering well, and we will provide you with contact information in case you have any concerns that arise.
After about two weeks, you should be cleared to return to work, school or family responsibilities. You will be able to cover any remaining discoloration or visible scarring with makeup. After about one month, you will likely be able to return to more strenuous activities like working out. Six weeks after your surgery, you will be able to see your final results emerging, and you will be ready for post-op pictures. It can take many months for your scars to fully flatten and fade, but they are typically well-hidden and most people do not notice them within a few weeks after surgery.
We encourage our patients to keep in mind that, since every neck lift surgery is unique, every recovery progresses at a different pace. Some people feel able to return to work in a week, while others require longer before they are comfortable being in public. Depending on your age, health, natural healing pace, lifestyle and surgical plan, you may experience aspects of your recovery that differ from the outline provided here. We will work closely with you throughout the recovery process to ensure your safety and satisfaction.
If you’re ready to pursue a neck lift in Atlanta, let the Advanced Aesthetics Plastic Surgery team guide you through the process. Our excellent plastic surgeons and their support staff are knowledgeable about all the surgical and non-surgical options available, and will help you navigate the maze of choices to craft a treatment plan customized for you.
Contact us to get started — call our surgical coordinators at 770-461-4000 to schedule your complimentary consultation.