A necklift is a procedure used to enhance the appearance of or correct some aspect of the skin and muscle of the neck. Generally a cosmetic procedure, it usually addresses the presence of excess skin, unattractive neck muscles and bands, and excessive fat under the chin and on the neck. While non-surgical procedures are performed on just the neck and chin area, surgical procedures are often performed as part of a facelift.
Types of Necklifts
Some neck lifts may be medically necessary, but most are cosmetic surgery. The longest- lasting type of necklift – excess skin removal, called cervicoplasty – involves making an incision under the chin and behind the ears, and the skin is then cut back and lifted.
Platysmaplasty reduces the banded appearance of the neck, and involves realigning muscles through an incision in the chin or behind the ears. Liposuction removes excess fat by vacuuming it out through an incision on the chin.
Non-surgical methods are available. Botox injections may correct excessive banding on the neck. Ultrasound therapy has been successful for skin tightening in some cases. However, both of these methods are not long-lasting.
Reasons to Get a Necklift
Most people get necklifts to improve their appearance, which often leads to increased self-confidence. Specific conditions often treated are:
- Turkey wattle – loose skin under the skin that is often one of the first signs of aging.
- Excess fat – in the form of a double chin due to weight gain, or it could simply be an inconvenient location where fat is stored on your body.
- Excess skin – can occur due to decreasing elasticity in the skin or due to weight loss.
- Banding – the platysmal muscle right under the skin of the neck may protrude excessively.
Reasons to Avoid Necklifts
- Poor health: smoking – your body needs to be healthy to heal itself adequately. Smokers, because of increased risk of poor recovery, should cease smoking 4 weeks before and after surgery. Other risk factors include those with high blood pressure or deficiency in blood clotting.
- Risks – if opting for surgery, any surgery may have complications. There is a risk of adverse reactions to anaesthesia, or infection at the surgical site, for example.
- Expense – surgery is expensive, and unless the surgery treats a medical condition, it is not covered by insurance.
- Unrealistic expectations – a necklift will not turn back that clock or stop you from aging.
- Healing time – you will need one to two weeks to heal. If you participate in sports, you’ll have to wait about 3 weeks before participating in those activities.
- Pain – there will be bruising and swelling around the surgical site, and it will likely be painful. Although you will be prescribed pain medications, some medications will restrict your ability to drive.
Because skin around the neck tends to wrinkle faster than skin on the face, necklifts are a good option for retaining a more youthful appearance. All concerns should be addressed with your doctor or surgeon beforehand. Include in the discussion your expectations about the surgery, any health issues you’ve had, or payment plans before you get any treatment.