Neck Lift

A neck lift, or platysmaplasty, is a surgical procedure done to remove excess fat and skin from under the neck. It also tightens the platysma muscle and removes abnormal contours from the area. The platysma is a thin layer of muscle found on each side of the neck. Separated by two distinct sides down the middle, the platysma is linked to connective tissue fibres and overlying skin. Due to the effects of aging, the environment and heredity, the skin in our necks can lose elasticity causing the platysma to weaken. This comes in the form of a double chin, fatty jowls, sagging skin, turkey neck and unpleasant neck bands that look like chords. A neck lift can correct these neck issues and rejuvenate your appearance.

Who is a good candidate for a neck lift?

Individuals with loose or sagging skin on their neck (turkey neck) are ideal candidates for a neck lift. Also, people with the following neck issues are ideal neck lift candidates; deep horizontal bands or creases, displaced fat pockets and multiple chins regardless of being at a healthy weight. A neck lift is equally beneficial to those who have lost a significant amount of weight. Extreme weight loss can leave the skin in their neck saggy and unsightly.

Your surgeon will assess your overall health to determine your candidacy. People who undergo neck lifts must possess some degree of skin elasticity and be in general good health. Smokers will be required to quit at least two weeks prior to surgery and remain smoke free as they heal. Smoking interferes with the body’s natural healing process and can increase the risk of infection.

What does the recovery period following a neck lift look like?

Following a neck lift procedure, you should rest. Most people take 10-14 days off work in order to ensure ample healing time. Your doctor will prescribe painkillers and antibiotics (if necessary) to help you deal with any post-surgery discomfort. Do not take any medication that was not cleared by your doctor.

Exercise can only be resumed after three weeks. However, you can engage in some light walking as you heal to keep you from being too sedentary. Everyone heals at their own pace so if you feel that three weeks isn’t enough time to fully recover then do not attempt to exercise until you’re ready.

What to look for in this type of surgeon

There is only recognized body of plastic surgeons in the country, CSAPS. Your surgeon must be a member of the Canadian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (CSAPS) and certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Likewise, a surgeon must possess ample experience in performing neck lifts and make you feel at ease when you meet them. Establishing trust with your surgeon is important and if they do not have a decent bedside manner then you shouldn’t allow them to operate on you.

Here are three questions to ask potential surgeons to give you a sense of who they are and their skill level:

1. Where did you do your training?

2. How long have you been a practicing surgeon?

3. How many neck lift procedures have you completed?

What happens during a neck lift?

A neck lift usually takes between 2-3 hours and you will be administered anesthesia for your comfort. Incisions are made at the hairline level around where the sideburns lie and continue down around the contour of the ears, landing at hair’s posterior. Depending on the amount of loose skin that needs to be excised, liposuction alone may be enough. In other cases, liposuction in tandem with skin excision is done. Additionally, the platysma muscle is tightened and the jowls and neck are reshaped to create a taut appearance. Sometimes a separate incision is made under the chin in order to reshape the muscles and remove excess skin and fat that has built up there.

Although there is no age limit for undergoing a neck lift, it is generally done on those who are over 35. However, if you are younger and have lost a significant amount of weight that has left the skin in your neck loose, a neck lift can take care of that. Furthermore, in order to have a neck lift done when you are in your 70s or 80s, you will need to be in exceptionally good health. Please refer to the above section on neck lift candidacy for more information.

Many people undergo multiple procedures at the same time as a neck lift. These procedures include a brow lift, nose job, eyelid surgery and facelift since the areas being treated are all within the same region.