The neck is an area that can all too easily show signs of aging. Whether from the natural aging process or from significant weight loss, loose and sagging skin can develop, creating the dreaded “turkey neck” look that we all hate to see in the mirror. Beyond the problem of sagging skin, the neck may also carry unwanted excess fat that lingers and causes an uneven or folded look.
For decades, the neck ranks highest on the list of areas both men and women want to improve about their appearance. If you’ve noticed that your neck has accumulated sagging, loose skin or excess fat that prevents you from looking your best, you should consider a neck lift procedure. Very often, people will get a neck lift as part of an overall facelift, but here at Facial Aesthetic Concepts, we can also perform a neck lift as an individual procedure.
Request a complimentary consultation to learn more about neck lift surgery and find the best procedures and treatments to help you achieve the look you want. We offer convenient appointment times at 3 locations in Southern California to accommodate your needs.
For over 20 years Dr. Gangnes has used his skill to assist me in maintaining a youthful appearance. By using his artistic talent and keeping up on the most innovative techniques, he enhances your attributes creating a naturally youthful appearance. The numerous friends I have referred to him have all been very pleased with their results. If you are considering improving your appearance.
Choose a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Not all doctors performing cosmetic surgery are board-certified. Choosing a board-certified facial plastic surgeon is crucial when having a facial cosmetic surgery procedure such as a neck lift.
Dr. Richard Gangnes and Dr. Shain Cuber are board certified plastic surgeons specializing exclusively in the science and art of aesthetic plastic surgery. They combine more than 50 years’ experience and have performed thousands of neck lift procedures.
What Is a Neck Lift?
Neck lift surgery is also known as a lower rhytidectomy. This procedure is used to improve and correct aesthetic problems that occur in the skin and underlying tissue of the neck. Such problems include sagging or relaxed skin that creates the appearance of jowls, excess fat beneath the chin, loose skin on the neck due to weight loss, and “bands” on the neck that create displeasing contours.
Best Candidates for a Neck Lift
Several cosmetic concerns on the neck can be corrected through a neck lift procedure. Good candidates have at least one of the following, if not several:
- “Turkey Neck” — This term for excess, sagging skin below the jaw perfectly illustrates the main cosmetic concern that a neck lift seeks to improve.
- Wrinkles and Creases — Neck wrinkles and vertical banding often occur due to muscle weakening, natural aging, and collagen breakdown.
- Double Chin — Excess fat on the neck can be removed as part of this procedure.
- Jowls — Skin hanging down over the neck may be improved with a neck lift, though it will often need to be combined with a facelift for better definition.
What to Expect
Feeling better about the appearance of your neck begins with a consultation. The consultation is your opportunity to ask questions and learn more about all your cosmetic options. During the consult, your surgeon will review your medical history, examine your facial anatomy, and ask questions to make sure he understands your aesthetic goals. He’ll also advise on possible risks and side effects of a neck lift. Be as open and honest as possible about what you’re looking to achieve so that your surgeon can develop a plan with the best information in mind.
If your surgeon determines that you can benefit from a neck lift, you’ll receive additional information, including detailed pricing for your procedure, pre-op instructions, and general office policies. Take the time you need to think things over and make the best decision. You’ll never be pressured into booking a procedure on the day of your consultation with us.
If you decide to move forward with surgery, our surgical coordinator will select a surgery date with you and make sure you’ve completed all the necessary paperwork. You’ll be given specifics including where your surgery will take place, how to prepare for surgery, post-op instructions, and much more.
What to Ask at Your Neck Lift Consultation
The consultation with your surgeon is your opportunity to voice any questions or concerns you may have about having a neck lift procedure. Here are some questions to help you get started as you make a list of what you want to cover in your time with the doctor.
What are your qualifications?
Dr. Gangnes is double board-certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery as well as the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He has decades of experience in facial plastic surgery procedures and is happy to provide a complete list of qualifications.
Dr. Cuber is a board-certified plastic surgeon with more than 20 years’ experience in aesthetic surgery. He specialized in aesthetic transformation of the face and/or body. His comprehensive approach to both facial and body plastic surgery provides his patients options to perform both facial and breast and body procedures together.
Is a neck lift the best option for me?
You very well may be a good candidate for a neck lift, but it may be the case that additional procedures or alternatives may be the best fit for your aesthetic goals. Your surgeon will evaluate your face and provide his opinion on the set of treatments that will most completely achieve your aesthetic goals
What type of anesthesia do you use?
General anesthesia is most often used for a neck lift procedure, though IV (twilight) sedation may be possible in certain circumstances. Your surgeon will be able to give you more specific information about the full range of anesthesia options during your consultation.
How long will it take to heal?
Everyone heals from surgery in their own way. Your incisions should heal in just a couple weeks, though you’re likely to have some amount of bruising and swelling for a bit longer. You should feel normal and ready to return to work after about 2 weeks, but remember to take it easy and follow your post-surgical instructions so that you heal completely and can achieve the best aesthetic results.
Can I see before and after photos of neck lifts you’ve done?
Take a look at previous plastic surgery work done in our online photo gallery to see for yourself what results other patients have achieved. We also encourage you to look at our stellar patient reviews so you can see how many of our patients are very happy with their results.
How to Prepare for Your Neck Lift
- Provide a list of all medications you take and your complete health history.
- Complete any lab tests or additional medical evaluations your surgeon requests.
- If you smoke, quit smoking in the weeks prior to your plastic surgery. Smoking can cause complications with anesthesia and interfere with the healing process, so always be honest about your smoking habits. If you continue to smoke, your surgery may be postponed. Your safety is our highest priority.
- Arrange for someone to transport you to your surgery and bring you home afterward. Also plan to have someone stay with you for at least the first day.
- Meal prep before your surgery and take care of as many errands and chores as you can before your surgery date. You can heal better if you are as focused as possible on your recovery.
Neck Lift Surgery Techniques and Additional Options
Neck lift surgeries can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours to perform, depending on the particular problems you are trying to address and correct. For those who are dealing with a more substantial amount of excess skin, longer surgeries are generally required. Regardless of the amount of excess skin, the neck lift technique remains the same.
Your surgeon will begin your neck lift by making incisions to the neck. The exact location of your incisions will depend on your individual cosmetic concerns as well as what is being corrected or improved. Once those incisions are made, the surgery begins. During lower rhytidectomy surgery, excess fat in the neck can be sculpted, redistributed, or removed (often with the help of liposuction). Tissues underlying the skin of the neck can be repositioned as needed. Your platysma muscle, which stretches from your pectorals and deltoids up along the sides of the neck, may be tightened. After those steps are done, the skin of your neck is re-draped and smoothed over the new, more aesthetically pleasing contours, and any excess skin is removed. Finally, your surgeon will close the incisions with either sutures or skin adhesives.
It’s very common to do a neck lift as part of a traditional facelift (also known as a rhytidectomy), but the truth is that a full facelift isn’t necessary for everyone. Particularly when drooping and wrinkled neck skin comes from things like significant weight loss in people who are under 60, the problem is very specific to this area of the body. We understand that, which is why we perform neck lifts as independent procedures as well as alongside other cosmetic procedures.
We also offer a few non-surgical options to treat some specific concerns on the neck. BOTOX® Cosmetic can also improve the appearance of certain types of wrinkles on the neck.
Neck Lift Recovery
You will need some time to recover after this type of surgery. The average length of time for recovery is 2 to 4 weeks, but if you have had a neck lift as part of a facelift or in combination with any other procedure, your recovery time may be longer. You will be advised to take time off work in order to facilitate healing, reduce the risk of any post-operative complications, and allow your body to recover under the most relaxed circumstances. Our team will go over your post-operative and recovery plan in detail both before and after your procedure, and we are always available to answer your questions.
Neck lift surgery results can last 10 years or more. To make the most of your results, always apply sunscreen regularly when outdoors, eat healthily, and exercise regularly.
You will be provided with a detailed set of instructions to follow after your procedure. If you ever have questions or concerns during your recovery period, we are available to provide answers and schedule any follow-up visits if needed.
Some of the main items to keep in mind for post-operative care include:
- You may have dressings placed after surgery. You’ll receive details regarding changing the dressings and keeping the surgical area clean to minimize the risk of infection.
- We recommend having someone stay with you at least the first night of your procedure.
- You can expect some tightness and bruising in the neck area. Cold compresses can be used to minimize swelling and discomfort.
- Contact us if you are experiencing significant discomfort after the procedure and the pain is getting worse, or if you develop a temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Take only antibiotics and pain medication that have been prescribed by our office. Do not take any aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after your surgery unless otherwise directed.
- If you smoke, you will be told when you are cleared to start smoking again if you so choose. Keep in mind that smoking and chewing tobacco inhibit your circulation and can negatively affect your surgical outcome.
- Avoid vigorous exercise and strenuous activity that could possibly put any strain on your head and neck area for at least 3 weeks after surgery. It’s best to ease back into light exercise.
- Do not massage, rub or place any tension on the area of the incisions for at least 4 weeks after your surgery.
Please use the entrance to our surgery center at 100C for all post-operative appointments. Ring the doorbell and our office staff will assist you. This entrance allows us to accommodate your need for privacy and comfort.
What anesthesia is used for the procedure?
Our surgeons perform neck lifts with the patient under IV sedation or general anesthesia.
Where will the incisions be located?
Most neck lifts require a small incision under the chin in order to access the tissue of the neck for muscle tightening, fat removal, and skin excision if needed. With proper care after surgery, this incision should be barely noticeable. Note that additional incisions may be needed on other areas of the face, typically behind the ears, if you are combining a neck lift with a facelift. Dr. Gangnes will explain exactly where incisions will be placed during your consultation.
When will I be able to return to work?
Our patients are usually ready to return to work within 2 weeks after neck lift surgery.
What are the risks?
All surgery carries some level of risk of complications. These may include a bad reaction to the anesthesia, excess bleeding or scarring, infection, and asymmetry in your final results. A complete list of possible complications will be reviewed with you prior to surgery so that you know what to look out for.
Would liposuction work on my neck?
It depends. Most people who don’t like the look of their neck are experiencing loose, sagging skin, which won’t be corrected with liposuction alone. But very often, liposuction is used as part of a neck lift to remove fat cells in the submental region – particularly for people who have a “double chin.” Younger people who just want better definition below their jawline are the most likely patients to have liposuction alone without additional surgical correction.
Would a non-surgical procedure improve the appearance of my neck?
In some cases, BOTOX® Cosmetic can be used to improve the appearance of “banding” or wrinkling on the neck. However, if you have loose, sagging skin on your neck (the dreaded “turkey neck”), a non-surgical procedure alone is unlikely to provide the amount of cosmetic correction you seek.
Call Us Today for a Free Consultation
When deciding to have any plastic surgery procedure, you want to find the best, most qualified plastic surgeon and surgery team in Southern California. At Facial Aesthetic Concepts, we use state-of-the-art technology combined with the latest medical training and techniques to give you the best results possible. Our distinguished surgeons and surgery center have served Orange County for over 30 years, and we’ll provide you with a complete skin analysis and develop a specific treatment plan to address your concerns.
Contact us online or call us today at (888) 713-7814 to request your complimentary consultation or to find out more about which face-refreshing options are right for you.