As we age, the skin on the face and lower neck may experience sagging due to the natural decline in collagen production and the accelerating effects of gravity.
You can lose the youthful contours in your neck and lower face from aging, heredity, stress, gravity, and other factors. But many people don’t want a full facelift yet because their upper face still looks young.
But if you have extra wrinkly skin in the neck and under the chin, you could be ready for a neck lift.
Dr. Smita R. Ramanadham is a double board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in neck lifts, facelifts, and related procedures. She will perform your neck lift with the skill and artistic sense necessary for the best, natural-looking result. Dr. Smita also performs other facial and body cosmetic procedures in the New Jersey area.
What is a Neck Lift?
A neck lift, also called lower rhytidectomy, is a cosmetic procedure that enhances the appearance of the neck and jawline by removing loose skin and tightening underlying tissues.
Some of the conditions a neck lift can treat include:
- Extra fat and relaxed skin in the lower face that can give you jowls or ‘turkey neck’
- Extra fat under the chin
- Lax neck skin
- Muscle banding in your neck
Smita R. Ramanadham, M.D.– Female Plastic Surgeon
Following a highly successful academic journey at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA, she is thrilled to have returned to her home state.
Dr. Ramanadham honed her skills in plastic and reconstructive surgery at the distinguished University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, TX, which has been nationally recognized as the leading institution in plastic surgery by Doximity. During her training, she had the privilege of working under the guidance of the world’s foremost experts.
She actively contributes as a valued member of The Aesthetic Society, an esteemed society that represents the most accomplished group of aesthetic plastic surgeons. Additionally, she is an active participant in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), where she cherishes the opportunity to advance the field of plastic surgery on a larger scale. Within the ASPS, she serves on several national committees, including Women Plastic Surgeons, Young Plastic Surgeons Steering Committee, Curriculum Committee, Social Media Subcommittee, Wellness Task Force, and Coding and Payment Policy Committee.
Neck Lift Procedure
The steps for a neck lift are:
Your surgeon will use general or IV sedation for the procedure. Your doctor will review the options and decide which is best based on your anatomy and overall health.
Talk to your doctor if you think you have allergies to any types of anesthesia.
The surgeon will do a traditional neck lift or limited incision neck lift depending on the changes you want.
A traditional neck lift starts at the hairline where the sideburns are goes around the ear and stops at the back of the rear hairline. Fat can be removed from the neck and jowls or moved around.
Next, the underlying tissue is repositioned, and the neck muscles may be tightened. The surgeon redrapes the remaining skin, and extra skin is removed. Another incision under the chin may be made, and liposuction removes extra fat.
A limited neck lift may only have incisions near the ear. The incisions are smaller, but you may have more limited results.
The surgeon closes the incisions with sutures or skin glue. They may use dissolving stitches, or they may need to be taken out after a week.
Neck Lift Benefits
Some of the many benefits of a neck lift include:
- Tightens the neck muscles and reduces loose skin,, and makes it look like you lost weight.
- Smoothes the neck skin by pulling it tighter. Wrinkles and lines are reduced and may make you look younger.
- Reduces excess skin, which improves your neck and lower facial appearance.
- Does what diet and exercise can’t do. Diet and exercise are essential for good health and appearance, but it won’t change sagging neck skin.
- Younger appearance: Nothing does more than a neck lift if you want to look younger.
- Minimal scars: Neck lift incisions are often hidden in the hairline behind your ears and under the chin.
- Short recovery: Most patients can be back to their regular activities after a week or so.
- More self-confidence: Patients often worry that their sagging neck skin makes them look old.
Ideal Candidates For Neck Lift
The best candidates for a neck lift are healthy people who don’t have any severe medical conditions, especially those that delay healing.
Also, you shouldn’t smoke at all, but must quit smoking several weeks before and after your neck lift. Further, you should have realistic expectations about the neck lift and know what it can and cannot do.
People who may not be ready for a full facelift may consider a neck lift. This procedure also has a dramatic effect on the lower face. It is a good option for people who have a pleasing upper face but show signs of aging in the neck and lower face.
You shouldn’t have a neck lift for anyone other than yourself. If you are having the procedure to please someone else, you should reconsider.
Surgery Preparation For Neck Lift
A neck lift is a serious procedure, so there are several things you need to do to prepare for it. Your surgeon may have you do the following:
- Have blood tests and a medical evaluation to determine if you are fit for surgery
- Take certain medications or stop taking certain medications
- Stop smoking as it can interfere with the healing process
- Not take aspirin and other drugs that can increase bleeding
Your surgeon also will advise you about things to do before you have surgery. For example, you should have a recovery area available in your home before the procedure so you can get plenty of rest.
Also, have your pain medication prescription filled, so it’s ready if you need it. Next, you will need someone to drive you home from the surgical center because you will be recovering from anesthesia.
You should take about a week off of work, but you may need more time if you have a physical job.
Neck Lift Risks And Complications
Deciding to have a neck lift is a personal one. You need to decide if the benefits of the procedure outweigh the risks. If so, you should talk to your surgeon about having a neck lift.
Some of the risks of a neck lift include:
- Allergic reaction to anesthesia
- Excessive bleeding from the surgical site
- Uneven result that can cause facial asymmetry
- Hematoma, also called fluid accumulation
- Infection at the surgical site
- Numbness in the face or neck
- Chronic pain
- Poor incision healing
- Long-term swelling
- Nerve injury that can affect the lower lip
- Skin loss
- Excessive scarring
- Subpar results that requires revision surgery
- Hair loss along the incision
- Deep vein thrombosis that can cause a lung or heart embolism
Neck Lift Recovery
After your neck lift, you will need someone to drive you home. Note that you cannot drive as long as you are taking prescription pain medication.
Your surgeon may insert a small drain into the neck to drain fluid that develops under the skin. The incision site will have sutures. You also may wear a compression bandage over the surgical site to reduce swelling.
It can take two or three months for the swelling to dissipate entirely. So, it will take time to see the results of your neck lift.
Most patients need about a week of rest to recover from this procedure. Be sure you have someone available to help you during your early recovery.
Some of the instructions your surgeon may give you for your recovery include:
- Keep your head elevated when you lie down to reduce swelling.
- Wear the compression bandage all the time for the first week except when you take a shower.
- Take your pain medication on a regular basis as your surgeon directs. Don’t take over-the-counter medications without consulting your surgeon.
- Use ice or cold compresses to cut down on pain and swelling.
- Don’t take long showers and baths for at least three months as these can cause swelling and increase the chances of infections.
- Don’t engage in strenuous exercise or weightlifting for at least two weeks.
Most patients can go back to work after about two weeks. If your job requires a lot of lifting, you may need to talk to your doctor before taking on a full time schedule again.
The surgeon will remove the drain after about two days, and stitches can come out after five to 10 days.
Neck Lift Cost New Jersey
According to the most recent statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a neck lift is $5,774. It’s important to note that this average cost covers only a portion of the total price, excluding expenses related to anesthesia, operating room facilities, and other additional charges.
To obtain a comprehensive understanding of your final fee, we advise consulting with SR Plastic Surgery office for personalized information.
One of the advantages of modern plastic surgery is you can have more than one surgery at a time. Doing so can be advantageous because if you are going to have anesthesia and recovery, why go through it more than once?
There are many procedures on the face that can complement your neck lift. For example, if you are having a neck lift, a facelift can provide substanial improvement to lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin in the upper face.
You also may want to have an upper eyelid lift and brow lift to raise skin and tissue in those areas. If you don’t want more surgery, consider Botox around the eyes and mouth to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Neck Lift Surgery FAQ
If you want a neck lift, it’s important to have as much information as possible. Below are some of the most common questions we see about neck lifts:
What is a mini neck lift?
A mini neck lift offers a minimally invasive surgical solution to address excess skin in the jowl area and under the chin, resulting in a more defined and youthful jawline and neck. This procedure is less extensive compared to a traditional neck lift, involving smaller incisions, reduced risks, and a faster recovery period. Enjoy the benefits of a contoured and rejuvenated appearance with this advanced, less invasive approach.
What is mini neck lift cost?
On average, a mini neck lift typically ranges from $6,500 on the lower end to $14,000 on the higher end. The total cost may vary, especially if you opt for additional cosmetic procedures during the same session, a popular choice for many individuals. As an elective surgery, a mini neck lift is not covered by insurance. Please consult with your surgeon to obtain precise pricing details and explore the best options for your desired results.
Who Is The Best Candidate For A Neck Lift?
The best neck lift candidate is one who has sagging skin on the neck and possibly fat deposits under the chin they cannot eliminate with diet and exercise. Other candidates may simply want a more defined jawline.
Can I Have Liposuction, Too?
Liposuction is often done with a neck lift because extra fat and skin are often in the same place. If you only have extra fat and good skin elasticity, your surgeon may only need to do liposuction.
Patients with looser skin on the neck will probably need a neck lift, too.
Will I Have Skin Numbness?
You will probably have some skin numbness in the neck and lower face after a neck lift. But this is only temporary, and normal sensation should return after a month or two.
Can I Take A Bath?
You shouldn’t soak your incisions in warm water as this may increase swelling and the chances of infection. However, you can take a shower every day. Hold off on taking a bath for about a month.
Will I Have Neck Lift Scars?
Fortunately, incisions for a neck lift are usually hidden in the hairline and are hard to see. However, you should avoid the sun as much as you can for a few months so the scars don’t darken.
How Long Will I Have Swelling?
You will have considerable swelling after surgery, with it peaking after four days or so. After this point, the swelling will decrease quickly at first. Then, the rest of the swelling will dissipate over a month or two.
Remember that it will take three or four months before you see your final results.
Is A Neck Lift Or Facelift Better?
Both procedures have impressive results, but their focus is different. A neck lift improves the signs of aging around the neck and upper face. But a facelift treats wrinkles, lines, and loose skin in the upper and lower face.
Many patients who have a neck lift also have a facelift. But if you still have a youthful-looking upper face, you might wait on a facelift. Instead, consider dermal fillers or Botox to reduce facial lines and wrinkles.
When Can I Start Exercising Again?
Most surgeons tell their patients to wait about four weeks after a facelift or neck lift to exercise again. Bleeding is uncommon, but anything that raises the blood pressure can increase the risk.
When you start to exercise after your neck lift, pay attention to your body. If you feel pain or soreness in the neck or face, back off and talk to your doctor.
You should go for a daily walk as soon as you can after a neck lift to increase your blood circulation.
Is A Neck Lift Worth It?
People who have excessive lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin in the lower face and neck may benefit from a neck lift. While non-invasive procedures can make some improvements to the face, sagging skin in the neck can only be treated with surgery.
Talk to your surgeon today to find out if a neck lift is a good fit for your needs.
Finally get rid of your “turkey neck” and get the firm and smooth neck you deserve. If you are embarrassed about folds and wrinkles on your neck, we invite you to contact us in New Jersey to speak with a patient coordinator. Neck lift treatment by Dr. Ramanadham has changed the lives of countless patients. We are thrilled to share this exciting cosmetic surgery with you.
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