A neck lift is one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures done in the US every year. The procedure aims at reducing wrinkles on the neck, saggy jowls, and turkey neck, as well as removing excess fatty deposits and skin. The results are a rejuvenated neck that looks at least a decade younger and a more satisfied you.
The question that first comes to mind for anyone other than the very wealthy, is the cost of the procedure, and what is involved, how long recovery takes, and what exactly it will fix.
This procedure is perfect if you feel that your neck has aged faster than the rest of your body. Indeed, the neck does age faster than the body because the skin is thinner, and there are fewer oil glands in the neck skin than elsewhere on the body, for example, on the face. At the same time, the skin on the neck is thicker than the skin on the face, so it does not get as much attention as the face does.
These factors make the neck especially vulnerable to aging. Add to these factors the fact that the neck is very mobile and is in movement throughout the day, and you’ve got the answer as to why the neck ages so fast. All the factors combine together to give a sudden aging effect, something that is seen rarely elsewhere around the body.
A neck lift procedure removes the damage caused by all these factors. It removes excess fat and the double chin. It tightens neck bands and gives a more youthful contour to your neck. In addition to all these, it also removes excess skin and removes the turtle neck. Combined with IPL lasers and good post-op care, it truly rejuvenates the neck and the chin, making you look over a decade younger.
As such, the neck lift is intended for anyone who may have:
- Genetics which make them susceptible to lax skin and tendons,
- Enjoyed prolonged sunbathing with no sunscreen in their youth,
- Was undergone multiple pregnancies, which tire the body,
- Excess fat deposits in their neck,
- Particularly lax tendons (neck bands),
- Lax neck muscles that seem to stay despite exercise,
- Entered the sixth decade of their lives.
A neck lift will correct all these issues. If an experienced, specialized plastic surgeon performs the surgery, you will be left with a rejuvenated neck that you can be proud of. Any laxity will be gone, and the tendons reaffirmed to ensure a truly youthful look. A good surgeon will also pay special attention to hiding all the scars and leave the body looking naturally younger.
This is the perfect procedure if, at any point, you feel ashamed of exposing your neck. Many people say that they have to avoid certain social events, such as going to the pool or to the beach, for the sheer reason that their neck is unsightly. We all age, and we all hope to reach that age when we can call ourselves grandparents, but we should accept aging gracefully. And a part of that comes from being able to walk the streets and go to the seaside without any fears of strangers’ looks and prejudice.
How Much is a Neck Lift
How much a neck lift costs depends entirely on your case and the scope of the surgery. More complex approaches with a longer downtime naturally cost more, while simple procedures done earlier in life will cost less. Although there is no consensus on the exact pricing, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons states that the average price of a neck lift is $5,774. Barely the money you spend on a good holiday.
4 Types of Neck Lifts
As we all age differently and have made different lifestyle choices, we may all need a different approach to neck lift. A person who has undergone massive weight gain and weight loss may need a simple skin laxity correction, while someone with lax neck bands may need a whole different approach. In any case, there are two basic types of neck lifts:
Cervicoplasty is a neck lift surgical procedure that removes excess skin from the neck area. It does not address any other issues, such as fat deposits or lax tendons and muscles. It rather focuses on the skin itself, removing turkey neck skin and restoring the basic contours of the neck. It can give limited results and is intended for patients who have undergone weight loss or have loose skin for other reasons (such as genetics).
Platysmaplasty, on the other hand, goes a step further. It reduced the appearance of neck bands by remodeling their position and perceived length. The platysmaplasty neck lift procedure restores deeper contours of your neck by also remodeling the muscles and how they appear on the outside. The neck is refreshed and recontoured.
As both these approaches, both cervicoplasty and platysmaplasty, have limited results, it goes without saying that the approaches to neck lifts are often combined. They can also be combined with other surgical procedures for more natural-looking results. Variations in the incision place and size also exist, all with the sole aim of hiding the scars and making the recovery period as short as possible.
When combined with neck liposuction, these procedures can remove damage to the neck coming from multiple sources. Damage from the Sun, for example, can make the skin lax, while lifestyle choices and habits can make the tendons and the muscles stretch over time and fatty deposits appear.
Neck Lift Procedure
As nobody receives damage to the neck, skin, and muscles from a single source only, a combination of the three approaches is the most common one. In this case, your specialized plastic surgeon will take a thorough look at the present state. They will determine how much fat and skin should be removed, where to place the incision, and how to best address the muscles and the tendons in the neck.
The procedure most often starts with a small, one-inch incision under the chin. The incision is used for neck liposuction, and it removes fatty deposits from the skin. A small incision can also be made in the muscle to remove excess fatty deposits from deeper layers. The surgeon then proceeds to make incisions along the hairline, tightens the skin, trims the excess, and proceeds to suture the incision.
For the whole duration of the procedure, you will be asleep and will not feel anything. The procedure, even in the most complex cases with a combined approach, usually does not last longer than 3.5 hours. It is usually suggested that you have a neck lift as soon as you think it is necessary to have one. Waiting for years for your first neck lift adds significantly to the recovery time.
Neck Lift Recovery
That being said, an average recovery after a neck lift procedure is no longer than three weeks. The swelling will start fading on the third day after the procedure, while the bruising will mostly be gone after two weeks. After a week or two, you can return to your daily activities and social life. After two to three weeks, you can return to your workplace. Heavy exercise and lifting should be postponed for as long as your surgeon says so.
How to Delay a Neck Lift
Irrelevant of the speed of the procedure and the short recovery time after a neck lift, delaying the procedure by making good lifestyle choices is the best solution for all. Despite genetic factors and stressful life, exercise and good dietary habits will keep your skin looking much younger for much longer. In addition to this, you should also get plenty of sleep and avoid stress as much as possible. Your skin will thank you for years to come. Here are things that you can do to ensure the longevity of your neck skin:
- Get plenty of sleep,
- Provide good nutrients for your skin through good food choices,
- Provide additional nutrients in the form of supplements,
- Avoid stress,
- Avoid sunbathing and any exposure to direct sunlight without a strong sun block, with a minimal SPF of 30 (50 is preferred), and
- Wear protective clothing.
How to Prolong Neck Lift Results
The same principles that apply to delaying your neck lift apply to prolonging its results. Do not forget that your skin keeps aging even after a neck lift. This procedure guarantees results for around 10-15 years to come, but you can use the same principles outlined above to extend this period by a few years.
How Long Does a Neck Lift Last?
A neck lift will easily last for around ten years. Depending on your lifestyle and how well you take care of the skin, it can last even longer. Always remember to take good care of your skin and your body. Besides a shorter downtime and a less uncomfortable recovery, you will also benefit from a more youthful, vigorous body and a neck that ages slower.
Does a Neck Lift Get Rid of Jowls?
Your neck lift addresses the neck only. If you want to get rid of the jowls, a combined approach is necessary. In this case, you should combine the neck lift with a lower facelift or S lift. Another approach, pioneered in 1994, called the SMAS approach, can also remove the jowls from your face and recontour your chin.
How Painful is a Neck Lift?
Your neck lift does not have to be painful at all. In general, following your surgeon’s recommendations and ensuring that you are healthy at the moment of surgery will reduce pain, swelling, and bruising to a minimum. Wearing restrictive garments and taking pain relievers when instructed is another thing that you can do to speed up the recovery and reduce pain.
Is a Neck Lift Included in a Facelift?
No, a neck lift is not included in a facelift. A neck lift and a facelift are two different surgical procedures, each with its own area of operation. However, you can ask your surgeon to combine the two procedures in one, to use the sedation and recovery times to the full.
Years of sun damage (photoaging), stretching, and environmental and genetic factors can all influence the way that your neck looks and feels to the utmost. Irrelevant of your age and the current state of your neck, you should consider getting a neck lift if you are not satisfied with the way you look. Combining multiple approaches, namely platysmaplasty and cervicoplasty, will give the most natural-looking results.