Neck Lift: The Answer to Premature Aging of the Neck

Unfortunately, in life, people don’t get to choose what area of the body begins to reflect their age first. For some, the hands may show early signs of aging; while for other, it may be the chest and arms. Still other may develop a sagging chin or deep circles or bags under their eyes and extreme wrinkles on the face. Even the neck may become the neon light that ages prematurely, creating a mismatched appearance with the rest of your face. “Turkey wattle” may be something that runs in your family, and you just don’t like the way it looks. Stress or the ever-present pull of gravity may be the cause. Whatever the reason, if the appearance of your neck is a source of distress for you, you may want to consider a neck lift.

What is a neck lift?

A neck lift is a surgical procedure that improves the visible signs of aging in the neck. A board-certified plastic surgeon will remove excess skin and tissue (cervicoplasty) and tighten the remaining skin (platysmaplasty). A neck lift involves shaping and defining the underlying muscle and tissue in the neck to help improve the appearance of your profile.

What can a neck lift treat?

A neck lift won’t cure everything, but it is effective when treating

  • Turkey neck or turkey wattle.
  • Excess wrinkles or deep creasing in the neck.
  • Vertical neck bands.
  • Excess fat on the neck.
  • Fatty deposits under the chin (the double chin appearance).
  • Loose neck skin.
  • Abnormal contouring in the neck.

Once you address the aging issues in your neck, you may find that it appears younger than your face. To keep the appearance of the face and neck balanced, you may want to consider combining your neck lift with other procedures such as a mini face lift, a brow lift, a fat transfer, or eyelid surgery.

What does a neck lift entail?

A neck lift is a surgical procedure. As such, it requires a skilled physician to perform the operation. Dr. Tolson is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons and is a member of the American Society for Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Generally, the procedure is considered an out-patient surgery and can be performed in a hospital, a free-standing ambulatory facility, or a certified, office-based surgical suite. Dr. Tolson performs the surgery in his AAAASF-certified suite adjacent to the Cumming, Georgia, office where his patients are already comfortable and familiar with the surroundings. The procedure can take anywhere from two to three hours, depending on how much is actually being done. Physicians tend to perform neck lifts using general anesthesia or sedation administered through an IV. Vitals, such as heart rate, blood pressure, pulse and oxygen, may be monitored. After the procedure is complete, you will be taken to a recovery room and monitored to ensure everything is fine before being allowed to go home.

If the doctor feels all is going well, you will be discharged and allowed to go home. You need to have someone to drive you home from the surgery. Dr. Tolson or part of his staff will go over your post-operative care instructions and recovery tips with you before you leave. If drains have been inserted, you’ll be informed and care instructions will be given. Someone will also inform you of any signs of complications.

What are the typical side-effects from a neck lift?

Swelling is a common side-effects and should subside within five to ten days. A feeling of tightness and temporary numbness may also be experienced. These may take several months to completely subside. You will want to take ten days to two weeks off of work to recover and to allow the bruising to disappear. Please remember that the extent of bruising and swelling depends on how complicated the procedure is and your individual makeup. You can expect to see the full results of the surgery in several months.

How do I prepare for a neck lift?

Choose a physician

If you’re considering a neck lift, the first thing you need to do is find a board-certified surgeon. The doctor needs to understand the relationship between the face and neck and how the aging process works. He or she needs to have experience in multiple facial cosmetic procedures and an aesthetic eye. Dr. Tolson has [x] [SM1] years of experience performing facelifts and neck lifts. His patients are highly satisfied. Be sure to ask to see some of the before and after pictures for an idea of what to expect.

Have a consultation

Next, you need to schedule a consultation. Dr. Tolson will discuss your medical history, your cosmetic goals, and evaluate whether you’re a good candidate for a neck lift. He’ll go over the things you need to do to prepare for the procedure.

  • If you smoke, you’ll ideally need to stop six weeks prior to your neck lift.
  • You’ll need to stop taking aspirin and/or any anti-inflammatories or herbal remedies that can increase your chances of bleeding.
  • Be sure to drink plenty before the procedure, as hydration is extremely important to any surgery.
  • Arrange to have someone drive you home and stay with you the first night after the neck lift is complete.

The neck is one of the first places to show signs of age, but fixing the neck only may cause other aging to stand out even more. Dr. Tolson has the skill and experience to know if doing just a neck lift is all you need. Under his care, your neck and face can once again agree upon your age. 

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    Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

    Dr. Michael Tolson is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Put Dr. Tolson’s years of cosmetic plastic surgery experience to work for you.

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