Our necks are often the first place to show signs of ageing and we get lots of enquiry about neck lifts.

A neck lift is the lower part of a facelift but addresses the neck only.

If you have any problems of jowling, or looseness along the jawline, or heaviness of the cheek, and a deepening of the line that runs down from the nose beside the mouth- you actually need a facelift.

For whatever reason, many women are still scared of a “facelift”, despite the fact that we all know at least one or many of our friends, relatives, or work colleagues that have had a facelift.
The fact that we don’t know they have had a facelift means it was done very well by a qualified cosmetic plastic surgeon.

Most women enquiring about a neck lift, actually need a facelift and if you can say yes to the jowling along the jawline and the heaviness in the cheek you should look at the facelift section of our website.

If however, your problem is just excess skin in the neck and/ or fat under the chin, then a neck lift is the correct surgical procedure for you.

The best candidate for a neck lift is a woman whose neck has begun to sag, with a marked loss of muscle tone, causing “banding” and loose excess skin.

Most women are in their forties to sixties, but neck lifts can be done successfully on people in their seventies or eighties, as long as you are fit and healthy.

A neck lift is the surgical removal of excess skin in the neck. If there is fat under the chin, this will be addressed using liposuction. Dr. McGovern may also do a platysmaplasty if you have the hanging bands that we all dislike. He will discuss this with you at consultation.

If you are not sure if a neck lift is suitable for you, give our experienced staff a call. They will answer all of your basic questions and can help you understand the difference between a facelift and a neck lift. Only after examination by Dr. McGovern will you know definitely which procedure will give you the results you want to achieve.

surgeryNeck lifts are very individualized procedures. In your initial consultation your surgeon will evaluate your face, including the skin and underlying bone, and your pattern of facial aging, and discuss your goals for the surgery.

He will check for 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 him if you smoke or are taking any drugs or medications, especially aspirin or other drugs that affect clotting.

Your surgeon will explain the surgical techniques and anesthesia he will use, the hospital where the surgery will be performed, and the risks and costs involved. Don’t hesitate to ask your surgeon any questions you may have, especially those regarding your expectations and concerns about the results.

Your surgeon 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 three 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. Get your hair coloured before surgery as you won’t want to do so for some weeks afterward.

Changing your hairstyle radically after your surgery will help to disguise your recent necklift.

You should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and to help you out for a day or two if needed.

Necklift surgery is sometimes done on an outpatient basis, under local anaesthesia and intravenous sedation. However considerable discomfort during this procedure is the rule. General anaesthesia is preferred.

A neck lift usually takes several hours and somewhat longer if you’re having more than one procedure done.

Every surgeon approaches the procedure in his or her own way. The exact placement of incisions and the sequence of events depends on your facial structure and your surgeon’s technique.

Early neck lifts simply pulled the skin tight, without addressing the underlying muscular structure. Many “cosmetic clinic” general practitioners use these simple techniques. Plastic surgeons use a “corset platysmaplasty” technique (as described by Joel Feldman of Boston) is used to reconstruct the neckline.

Incisions are hidden in the hair wherever possible. They usually start in the crease in front of the earlobe, extending back behind the ear and into the hairline. If the neck needs considerable work, a small incision will also be made under the chin .Your surgeon will separate the skin from the fat and muscle below. Fat is commonly trimmed or suctioned from around the neck and chin to improve the contour. Your surgeon will then tighten the underlying muscle and SMAS membrane, pull the skin back, and remove any excess. Stitches secure the layers of tissue and close the incisions, metal clips may be used in incisions hidden in the hair.

Following surgery, a small, thin tube will be temporarily placed under the skin behind your ear to drain any blood that might collect there. Your surgeon will also employ an elasticized compression garment over your cheeks and neck to minimize bruising and swelling.

recoveryThere isn’t usually significant discomfort after surgery; if there is, it can be lessened with the pain medication prescribed by your surgeon. (Severe or persistent pain or a sudden swelling of your face should be reported to your surgeon immediately.) Some numbness of the skin is quite normal, this will disappear in a few weeks or months.

Your surgeon will ask you to keep your head elevated and as still as possible for a couple of days after surgery, to keep swelling to a minimum. Ice packs applied frequently will also help to keep swelling and bruising to a minimum.

Your drainage tube will be removed one or two days after surgery. Your stitches will be removed in stages over the first 7 to 10 days.
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.

Your surgeon will give you more specific guidelines for gradually resuming your normal activities. Avoid strenuous activity, including heavy housework, for at least two weeks (walking and mild stretching are fine), limit your exposure to the sun for several months. Above all, get plenty of rest and allow your body to spend its energy on healing.

At the beginning, your neck may look and feel rather strange. Your features may be distorted from the swelling, your jaw movements may be slightly stiff, and you’ll probably be self-conscious about your scars. Some bruising may persist for two or three weeks, and you may tire easily. It’s not surprising that some patients are disappointed and depressed at first.

By the third week, you’ll look and feel much better. You may decide to take three to four weeks off work. Our nurse aestheticians can help you with makeup advice to cover any remaining bruising.

The chances are excellent that you’ll be happy with your necklift – especially if you realise that the results may not be immediately apparentYou’ll have some scars from your necklift, but they’re usually hidden by your hair or in the natural creases of your ears. In any case, they’ll fade with time and should be scarcely visible.

Having a necklift doesn’t stop the clock. Your neck will continue to age with time, and you may want to repeat the procedure one or more time – perhaps ten years or more down the line. But in another sense, the effects of even one neck lift are lasting – years later, you’ll continue to look much better than if you’d never had a facelift at all.

If you have further questions, write them down and ask your surgeon and his highly trained staff at your consultation.