How is a Neck Lift Done?

For people desiring a more defined and youthful-looking neck, a neck lift can be a worthwhile procedure that boosts confidence and quality of life. Our American Board of Plastic Surgery Certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Christopher Schaffer, is highly experienced in performing neck lifts and designs each procedure based on the unique goals and anatomy of the patient. Whether you are experiencing a double chin or turkey wattle, a neck lift can provide a more lifted, svelte appearance.

Technical Elements of a Neck Lift

The goal of a neck lift is to remove and redistribute excess skin and fat around the jawline to reduce signs of aging in the lower part of the face. The procedure also involves tightening and toning the skin and sometimes involves liposuction. Neck lifts begin with an incision in the ear notch extending down around the ear into the hairline behind the ear. A second incision is made under the chin to improve the contour of the neck. Next, the underlying tissue and muscles of the neck are tightened, the skin is re-draped and extra skin is removed. Temporary drains are placed under the skin to help prevent fluid from collecting. Well-concealed incision lines are closed with sutures or skin glue.

Combining Neck Lifts with Other Procedures

A common myth is that neck lifts cannot be performed as standalone procedures. Neck lifts can absolutely be performed on their own, but they are often combined with facelifts. Combining these two procedures will address lax neck and jowl tissues and sagging cheeks in a single procedure. A chin augmentation can also be added to further refine the neckline. When possible and safe, combining procedures can be a smart choice to reduce recovery time and time away from work.

What to Expect During a Neck Lift

Neck lifts are performed as outpatient procedures at Schaffer Plastic Surgery’s private, state-of-the-art surgical facility, which is certified by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities for adhering to the highest safety standards. Your procedure will begin with administering medications for your comfort during the surgery. Whether intravenous sedation or general anesthesia is used will depend upon the extent of your procedure, but either choice will leave you sound asleep for the duration of the procedure.

What to Expect After a Neck Lift

Swelling and bruising are normal to experience in the days following a neck lift. Individual recovery times vary depending on the extent of surgery, but most patients can return to daily activities and work within two weeks after surgery. Many patients describe a feeling of tightness in their neck for a few weeks, but this is no reason for concern if postoperative instructions provided by Dr. Schaffer are being followed. After the healing process is complete, you will enjoy looking many years younger even though it will not be obvious that you have “had work done.” A neck lift’s improvements to a person’s appearance are subtle yet dramatic. 

Non-Surgical Neck Lift Options

Patients who are hesitant to undergo invasive surgery for a neck lift may be interested in pursuing non-surgical fat reduction under the chin via CoolSculpting®. This procedure involves a scientific process called cryolipolysis, known as “fat freezing,” to permanently kill fat cells. Using a special applicator to reduce unwanted fat under the chin, CoolSculpting® can contour the neck with little to no downtime and without surgery. Although a series of treatments may be necessary, some patients achieve ideal results in just one to two sessions.

Call 205.278.7969 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Schaffer, where you can have all your neck lift questions answered.