neck lift

Is a Neck Lift Right for You?

woman caressing neckIt’s no secret that as you age your appearance will change, too. Over the years, as your skin loses its elasticity it can wrinkle and sag, making you look older than you actually are. A neck lift can help erase signs of aging and restore your youthful appearance with a smoother, slimmer profile. Learn more about neck lifts so you can decide if this common procedure is right for you.

Who’s a Good Candidate for a Neck Lift?

A cosmetic surgeon can make treatment recommendations based on your specific goals and needs. All of those options should be considered before creating your treatment plan.

There are a number of options available today, from minimally invasive techniques, such as Botox®, Kybella® injections and dermal fillers, to more traditional neck lift surgery. While less invasive techniques may work well for most, neck lift surgery will likely provide more dramatic and permanent results for common problems like double chin, neckbands and sagging jowls.

If you’re in good health and want to improve the profile and appearance of your neck, you may be a good candidate for surgery.

Does Having a Neck Lift Mean I Also Need a Facelift?

The answer depends on your unique anatomy. Most of the time, patients can address their necks without making any changes to their face at all. Simply tightening the muscles and removing excess skin can effectively create a new profile along your jawline.

What Happens During a Neck Lift?

While a neck lift can usually be done as an outpatient procedure, the surgery can take several hours. During the procedure, your surgeon will make several small incisions, which will depend in large part on how much skin and muscle needs to be tightened or removed. These incisions are generally not noticeable and will be carefully placed by your surgeon for minimal scarring. Your incisions may be placed:

  • Along your hairline
  • Around your ear
  • Under your chin

Your surgeon will discuss where your incisions will be placed prior to your surgery so you know exactly what to expect.

How Long Will It Take Me to Recover From a Neck Lift?

After a neck lift, you can expect a recovery period of about two weeks. There will be some bruising and swelling along the front of your neck and behind your ears during the first week post surgery. Your sutures will likely be removed in the first week as well – between 7 and 10 days after surgery.

How Can I Improve Recovery After a Neck Lift?

It’s important to follow your surgeon’s instructions after your neck lift to ensure successful results and a healthy recovery. Your doctor and care team will share specific instructions to follow after your surgery. These may include:

  • Asking someone to stay with you during the first 24 hours after your surgery to help you rest and recover
  • Having a supply of gauze and towels to change any bandaging as directed by your surgeon
  • Keeping your head propped up in a comfortable position to promote circulation and reduce swelling
  • Taking at least one week off from work to help your body rest and recover
  • Using ice packs to reduce swelling
  • Wearing loose, comfortable clothing that can be easily pulled over your head or unbuttoned

Neck lifts are generally safe but, as with any surgery, carry certain risks of side effects. Contact your doctor immediately if you develop a low-grade fever or have unusual bleeding or swelling along your incisions.

Emory Aesthetic Center

The Emory Aesthetic Center has expert surgeons experienced in cosmetic procedures, including neck lifts and facelifts. We’ll evaluate your needs, discuss your goals and guide you toward techniques that will offer you the best results. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and speak to a surgeon about the approach that’s right for you.

About Dr. Miotto

Gabriele C. Miotto, MD, is an assistant professor of surgery in the division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Emory University School of Medicine, and the associate program director of the Emory Aesthetic Center Fellowship Program. She is fellowship trained in aesthetic and oculoplastic surgery and certified by the Georgia Composite Medical Board as well as the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and Brazilian Society of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Miotto is also certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners.


Request an appointmentor call us at 404-778-6880.

Is it Time for a Neck Lift?

If you’ve ever complained of a double chin, jowls or the dreaded “turkey wattle,” a neck lift might be just what you need. As far as cosmetic surgeries go, few other procedures can have as great an impact on a person’s appearance. After all, what good is a youthful, sculpted face if your eyes are immediately drawn to sagging skin just below? Luckily, there are a number of neck lift strategies available today, making it easier than ever for your surgeon to help you achieve the results you want.

Neck Lift Strategies

Since our faces and necks tend to age in harmony, chances are if your neck needs rejuvenation, you likely feel other areas of your face need a boost as well. However, if you notice your neck has aged significantly faster than your face, a neck lift may be all you need.

There are three key issues that contribute to an aged appearance of the neck — extra fat, excess skin and deteriorating neck muscles. A neck lift, or lower rhytidectomy, can address all three issues and be performed as a stand-alone surgery, or done in combination with other cosmetic procedures, such as a face lift, brow lift or dermal fillers.

Get Rid of Extra Fat

If you have extra fat between the skin and the muscles of your neck, known as subcutaneous fat, it can easily be removed using liposuction. However, if you have excess fat that’s deep down to the muscle, liposuction won’t work. This fat can only be safely removed with your surgeon making a one- to two-inch incision under your chin so that they can clearly see the area they are treating.

Repair Muscle Damage

The platysma muscles run down the sides of your neck from your jaw to your shoulder. The edges of these two muscles meet in the middle of your neck. Often with aging, these edges can separate — creating two bands that hang between the chin and the bottom of your neck. Your surgeon can repair the damaged muscles through a one- to two-inch incision under your chin. If excess fat is also a problem, it can be taken care of at the same time.

Remove Excess Skin

If you have extra skin, the only way to treat it is to surgically remove the excess. Your surgeon will need to make incisions behind your ears extending above your hairline at the top of your neck. Because of the positioning, scars will not be noticeable. If you also have excess fat and/or lax platysma muscles, they can be treated at the same time.

Choosing a Surgeon

Choosing a great plastic surgeon is your first step toward a safe surgery with the best possible result. You should look for expertise, experience and for someone you’re comfortable talking to about your aesthetic concerns. Though it’s true a physical exam is necessary — your surgeon will evaluate your skin, fat and muscle — the discussion that happens after the examination is often even more important. Remember that you and your surgeon are a team, working together toward a common goal. Rely on their expertise and experience to point you to the best techniques, but also make your voice heard. Be sure that procedures with limited incisions and scarring are considered first, and that your surgical plan is matched to the specific aesthetic problems you want to address.

Regardless of the surgical strategy you chose, your plastic surgeon should always explain the process, and show you before-and-after pictures of patients they’ve treated in the past.

Emory Aesthetic Center

The Emory Aesthetic Center has expert surgeons experienced in cosmetic procedures, including neck lifts and face lifts. We’ll evaluate your needs, discuss your goals and guide you toward techniques that will offer you the best results. Schedule your free consultation today.

About Dr. Zubowicz

Vincent Zubowicz, MD, assistant professor of Surgery, division of Reconstructive Surgery at Emory University, is a renowned leader in the Atlanta medical community where he has practiced for over 35 years. He is triple board-certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners, the American Board of Surgery, and the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Zubowicz is not only a leader in Plastic, Reconstructive, and Maxillofacial Surgery, but also a leader in patient communication. He is one of the Top 50 Contributors on Real Self, the nation’s premier online communication resource for patients, where he serves on the national media committee. As an advocate for open patient communication, Dr. Zubowicz has written over 18,000 individual answers to patients seeking insights on both surgical and non-surgical procedures. Dr. Zubowicz is a prevailing voice of medical expertise for the Atlanta media, most recently appearing on CNN to discuss the selection and safety of free-standing aesthetic surgery centers.

Request an appointmentor call us at 404-778-6880.