Say goodbye to turtlenecks & scarves—you can love your neckline again

As people age, the effects of gravity, exposure to the sun, and the stresses of daily life can be seen in their faces. The jawline can grow slack and jowly while folds and fat deposits appear around the neck.

Neck lift surgery can rejuvenate your appearance by removing excess fat, tightening underlying muscles, and redraping the skin of your neck. A neck lift can be done alone, or in conjunction with other procedures such as a forehead lift, eyelid surgery, or nose reshaping.

Before & After » SEE Patient results in our gallery

What can a neck lift correct?

  • Sagging, heavy jowls
  • Loose neck skin
  • Fat accumulation under the chin

Are you a good candidate for a neck lift?

The best candidate for a necklift is a man or woman whose face and neck have begun to sag, but whose skin still has some elasticity and whose bone structure is strong and well-defined. Most patients are in their forties to sixties, but neck lifts can be done successfully on people in their seventies or eighties as well.

Planning for your surgery

Necklifts are very individualized procedures. In your initial consultation, Dr. Samaha will evaluate your face, including the skin and underlying bone, and discuss your goals for surgery.

We will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery go more smoothly.

  • If you smoke, it’s especially important to stop at least 6 weeks before and after surgery; smoking inhibits blood flow to the skin, and can interfere with the healing of your incision areas.
  • If your hair is very short, you might want to let it grow out before surgery, so that it’s long enough to hide the scars while they heal.
  • You should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and to help you out for a day or two if needed.

All Surgery Carries Some Uncertainty and Risk

When a necklift is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Still, individuals vary greatly in their anatomy, their physical reactions, and their healing abilities, and the outcome is never completely predictable.

Complications that can occur include bleeding underneath the skin, injury to the nerves that control facial muscles (usually temporary), infection, and reactions to the anesthesia. Poor healing of the skin is most likely to affect smokers. You can reduce your risks by closely following your surgeon’s advice both before and after surgery.

Dr. Samaha will review your medical history to ensure that you do not have any medical conditions that could cause problems during or after surgery, such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, blood clotting problems, or the tendency to form excessive scars. Be sure to tell any surgeon if you smoke or are taking any drugs or medications, especially aspirin or other drugs that affect clotting.

The Neck Lift Procedure

Dr. Samaha performs neck lift surgery in our AAASF accredited private surgery suite, which meets stringent standards for safety, staff qualification, and emergency preparedness. You can expect the same level of care you would receive in a hospital operating room. Your anesthesia will be provided by a board certified anesthesiologist.

A necklift usually takes several hours-or somewhat longer if you’re having more than one procedure done.

The exact placement of incisions and the sequence of events depends on your facial structure and your surgeon’s technique. Incisions usually begin near the earlobe, extend in a natural line behind the ear and continue toward the hairline. A small incision may also be made under the chin. Dr. Samaha separates the skin from the fat and muscle below. He will then tighten the underlying muscle and membrane and remove any excess, sagging skin or fat before redraping the skin in a naturally smoother, more youthful contour.

What is recovery like?

There isn’t usually significant discomfort after surgery, but Dr. Samaha will prescribe you pain medications to help keep you comfortable during your initial recovery. Some numbness of the skin is quite normal; it will disappear in a few weeks or months.

Your doctor may tell you to keep your head elevated and as still as possible for a couple of days after surgery, to keep the swelling down.Don’t be surprised if your face looks a little puffy or bruised during the first several days. Just keep in mind that in a few weeks you’ll be looking normal.

Most of your stitches will be removed after about five days. Your scalp may take longer to heal, and the stitches or metal clips in your hairline could be left in a few days longer.

Getting Back to Normal

You should be up and about in a day or two, but plan on taking it easy for the first week after surgery. Be especially gentle with your face and hair, since your skin will be both tender and numb, and may not respond normally at first.

Dr. Samaha will give more specific guidelines for gradually resuming your normal activities. Above all, get plenty of rest and allow your body to spend its energy on healing. Most patients are back at work about ten days to two weeks after surgery. If you need it, special camouflage makeup can mask most bruising that remains.

Your New Look

You’ll have some scars from your necklift, but they’re usually hidden by your hair or in the natural creases of your face and ears. In any case, they’ll fade within time and should be scarcely visible.

Having a necklift doesn’t stop the clock. Your face will continue to age with time, but your results will age naturally with you; years later, you’ll continue to look better than if you’d never had a necklift at all.