Neck Lift Procedure

For many, an obvious sign of an aging face is the excess skin and fat that hangs down under the chin and in the neck area. A neck lift (submentoplasty) is a surgical procedure that lifts and rejuvenates a sagging and/or full neck and jaw line. This procedure can consist of a variety of surgical techniques that are selected based on the specific needs of each patient.

Who is a good candidate for a Neck Lift?

The best candidates for a neck lift include healthy men and women who are bothered by unwanted sagging skin in the neck area. Many patients complain that the excess skin that drapes down below the jaw gives them a prematurely aging face, and it can be an undesirable feature. Before being considered for any type of neck lift, patients should be in good general health, and within 10 pounds of their ideal weight.

Liposuction of the neck

This is a non-surgical procedure called Tumescent Sub-Mental Liposuction, or Liposuction of the Neck. Patients must first meet certain criteria before being considered for this type of neck lift and being in good general health is foremost. During the procedure, the patient is injected with a solution of diluted local anesthetic that causes a temporary reduction of the blood vessels resulting in less bleeding and bruising, but increasing the thickness of the skin. Small cannulas (surgical steel tubes) are then inserted into tiny incisions on either side of the neck allowing for the accurate extraction of fat and better contouring of the neck and chin. In the process, the cannulas create “tunnels” that will eventually compress and grow together, resulting in a firmer and more contoured neck.

Direct Neck Excision with Z-Plasty or W-Plasty

This type of neck lift procedure is most often performed on men, but some women can also be good candidates. This procedure directly removes sagging skin, muscle, and fat from the front of the neck, and the incision is closed into a “Z” or “W” shape. This type of incision usually heals very well, and much of it is hidden in the natural creases of the neck. It can also be a good follow-up procedure to a full face lift to remove any excess skin that is still apparent after healing. It is performed in our office under local anesthetic and takes about 1 hour.

Traditional Neck Lift

Predominantly performed in conjunction with a full face lift, in this procedure Dr. Cole separates the skin of the neck from the underlying tissue so the platysma muscle is exposed. He then pulls the back edges of the muscle upward and secures them to the bone just behind the ear with a short incision along the front of the ear. We perform this procedure in the outpatient surgery center under general anesthesia when combined with a full face lift or other procedures like a brow lift or eyelid lift.

What is the downtime for a Neck Lift?

Your recovery time will depend on which neck lift procedure you and Dr. Cole choose as the best solution to meet your goals. For the traditional neck lift, you should plan on 2 weeks of downtime and 3 weeks to return to normal activity. If you are having liposuction of the neck, your downtime may be as short as 2-3 days. Our staff will provide more information to you to facilitate your speediest recovery.

To schedule a consultation or book your treatment, call us at 360.613.2600.


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