Getting a Neck Lift: What to Expect and How to Prepare

Published on February 28, 2023
By Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery of Acadiana

Aging can cause various changes to the skin and underlying neck structures. The skin loses elasticity and collagen as you age, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin. The underlying muscles and fat can also begin to sag, leading to a loss of definition in the jawline and neck.


Additionally, age can cause the skin to become thinner and more susceptible to damage from sun exposure. These changes can make the neck appear older and less defined. If this is the case, a neck lift becomes a great option.


Aging and the Neck


The effects of aging on the neck can be further exacerbated by factors such as weight gain and loss and genetics. As a result, the neck may appear older, loose, and saggy. Furthermore, the skin on the neck may become less elastic and more prone to wrinkles.

The loss of subcutaneous fat can lead to a less defined jawline and a "turkey wattle" appearance on the neck. Overall, the effects of aging on the neck can be significant and greatly impact a person's self-confidence and self-perception.


What Is a Neck Lift?

A neck lift is an operation procedure to enhance the neck's appearance. It removes excess fat, tightens the neck muscles, and eliminates surplus skin. This procedure, performed by a skilled, experienced, board-certified surgeon, is often combined with a lower facelift.


The facelift improves the contour of the jawline and jowls. The cosmetic plastic surgery can significantly change the neck's appearance. However, it is invasive and requires considerable recovery time.


What to Expect From a Neck Lift Procedure



The first step in the neck lift procedure is the administration of anesthesia. Various forms of anesthesia—such as intravenous sedation and general anesthesia—are available to ensure patient comfort during the surgery. Your surgeon will discuss with you and recommend the best option based on your individual needs and preferences.



Step two of the neck lift procedure is the incision. The type of incision used will depend on the desired outcome and the individual's needs. There are two main options:



A traditional neck lift allows for sculpting or redistributing fat from the jowls and neck. It leads to repositioning the underlying tissue and tightening the platysma muscle. Any extra skin is scraped off before the skin is redraped over the elevated features. The incisions are closed with sutures or skin adhesives.



On the other hand, a limited incision neck lift involves shorter incisions around the ears. While the incisions are shorter, the results may be more limited. This option is usually chosen for patients with minimal signs of aging on the neck.


How to Prepare


Preparing for a neck lift requires following the surgeon's specific steps and guidelines. They will help ensure the best possible outcome and a smooth recovery.


  • Schedule a consultation

  • Stop smoking

  • Avoid certain medications

  • Get lab work and medical clearance

  • Arrange someone to drive you home and be at your side for the first day after surgery

  • Plan for time off work

  • Follow preoperative instructions


For more on what to expect and how to prepare when getting a neck lift, contact Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery of Acadiana at our office in Lafayette, Louisiana. Call (337) 504-3640 to book an appointment today.