A neck lift is a surgical procedure to improve the contour of the neck, which may be less than perfect due to genetics, weight loss, but most commonly due to the ageing process. When we are young, the muscles of the neck, known as the platysma muscles, are taut and keep the area under the chin well supported, but they slacken with age.
If ageing is the issue, then it might be necessary to combine a neck lift with other surgical procedure such as a facelift but your surgeon will discuss all your options.
Neck Lift: Am I suitable?
Neck lift surgery is aimed at targeting either sagging caused by loose or weak neck muscles or excess fat or skin. It is usually undergone by older patients but there may be younger patients who develop a fat, sagging neck due to genetics.
If you still have sufficient skin elasticity then you may be more suitable for less invasive procedures such as a thread lift. A relatively new treatment that claims to offer a non-surgical neck lift option is The Nefertiti Lift, which utilises a combination of dermal fillers and Botox to provide a lift without the knife.
Your consultation with your surgeon will determine whether the neck lift op will give you the results you are expecting. Also a full medical history will be taken to check whether you’re physically able to undergo the procedure.
Neck Lift: What do I have to do to prepare?
Your surgeon will give you instructions to help you prepare for surgery and these may include guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications.
Neck Lift: What’s the treatment like?
Once the platysma muscle has started to lose its tautness it will appear as either a generally sagging neck or can appear as folds or bands that stretch across the neck. The skin and fat is separated from the muscle and the muscle is then either pulled to each side or stitched down the midline. Any excess fat is then removed and the skin is tightened. Liposuction might be used to improve the definition of the jaw line.
A neck lift procedure takes approximately two hours and is carried out under a general anaesthetic.
Neck Lift: What about after?
There will be some swelling and bruising but any discomfort can be treated with painkillers. The scars will take a year to two years to fade. You should be able to return to work after two weeks and resume more strenuous activities after a month to six weeks.
The results of a surgical neck lift procedure should last for anything up to ten years but a neck lift will not halt the ageing process and you should be careful to maintain a stable weight.
Neck Lift: Are there any risks or side effects?
As well as the usual complications associated with surgery, there is a chance of nerve or muscle damage.
Neck Lift: What will it cost me?
A neck lift is usually done with other procedures (either surgical or non-surgical) which will add to the cost, but as a standalone procedure it can cost from £3,000 to £5,000.