A neck lift can decrease signs of loose, excess skin in the neck and under the chin to create a smoother appearance. It is very common for the skin to lose elasticity in this area over time, leading to noticeable changes in facial and neck aesthetics, as well as a less defined profile. Our experienced plastic surgeon here at The Layt Clinic can address these concerns and provide the neck with tightened and defined contours.

What is a Neck Lift?

A neck lift (usually combined with a lower facelift) is a surgical procedure which aims to reduce the signs of time, sun and environmental effects and weight loss in the neck and lower jawline region. The neck and jawline are shaped by a sheet of muscle called the platysma. The platysma combines with the muscles of the lower face and contributes to facial expressions such as smiling. The platysma and overlying skin tends to slacken with age until the jawline is no longer clearly defined from the neck. Neck lift surgery can improve these conditions and provide significant rejuvenation in the area. In most cases, a neck lift is combined with facelift surgery for more comprehensive enhancement of the lower face and upper neck regions. Sometimes, liposuction may also be combined to remove any pockets of stubborn fat.

Who is a candidate for a neck lift?

The neck lift procedure may involve tightening the skin, removing excess fat, reducing neck, reducing jowls, and defining the jawline. If you have the appearance of excess skin below the jawline on your neck, or fatty deposits under the chin, a neck lift may be of benefit. During the initial consultation with our plastic surgeon, your needs will be evaluated and your candidacy for neck lift surgery can be determined. If this is the right option for your needs, our surgeon can create a customised treatment plan designed to achieve your goals.

What is involved in the neck lift procedure?

A range of procedures are available in performing a neck lift, and our plastic surgeon will recommend the best technique required for your desired outcome. The exact techniques required will determine the site and degree of the excision, which, where possible, will be made in the skin’s folds so that scarring will be less noticeable. Skin and fat may be removed and muscles may be tightened or fixed to encourage a smooth and tighter appearance of the neck.

This treatment is generally performed as a day case under general anaesthetic.

What can you expect after the neck lift operation?

A pressure garment is usually worn after the surgery for compression. We advise that you avoid straining for the first 48 hours, limit strenuous activity for the first week, and avoid any heavy lifting for three weeks following your surgery. After this time, normal activities can be gradually resumed, and most patients will feel well enough to return to work within two weeks. Complete healing and recovery, however, may take a few months.

Risks and Complications

Surgery is not an exact science. Incisions and scars are part of any surgery and the location and extent of the incisions will be discussed with you. Every effort is made by the surgeon to minimise scarring. Scars will fade over time, but they are permanent. They can also become hypertrophic or keloid. Scars vary from person to person and are related to each individual’s skin type, genetics and the ability of their skin to heal.

Every surgical procedure involves certain risks and complications (as per the ASPS brochure) including, but not limited to:

Asymmetry is evident physically in every person.  No two sides of the body are ever exactly symmetrical in shape, position or size and the surgeon will make every effort to achieve as close to symmetry as possible but some asymmetry is normal.

Delayed Healing, Infection and Suture Reactions can all be possible healing issues and may require antibiotics or in some cases surgical exploration.

Bleeding, Haematoma or Seroma Collections may resolve themselves but, in some cases may require further surgery.

Loss of Sensation and Numbness may also be experienced. In most cases this will improve over time on its own. In some cases this can be permanent.

Bruising and Swelling may also be a short term effect from surgery and will usually settle in one to two weeks.

Allergies to dressings, medical lotions, sutures or other materials can occur with some patients. You will be advised to cease the use of the dressing, lotion or material that is causing the reaction. In some cases anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed.

Breathing Difficulties may be due to a general anaesthetic or breathing tube during the operation which has caused some swelling, noisy breathing or discomfort.

Blood Clots can also occur in some surgeries and may require urgent treatment and hospitalisation.

Pain thresholds vary from patient to patient. This may lead to different pain management and/or different recovery times to resume normal activities.

Achieving excellent results with minimal risk is a joint effort. It is important to disclosed to the surgeon and clinic and understand the following:

Full disclosure of your medical history including: allergies, personal, physical and mental history, previous surgeries, current medications and co-morbidities (including but not limited to, smoking, vaping, diabetes, prescription and illegal drug addictions, blood or heart disease, obesity or anorexia).

Co-morbidities may impact on outcome and healing post surgery.

Smoking, vaping, or taking recreational drugs must be ceased in the 6 weeks prior to some operations and during the healing phase. Failure to do so may increase the risk of complications, decrease your healing ability and affect your surgical outcome.

You should not take aspirin based prescription drugs 14 days prior to surgery and during the healing phase of the operation unless advised otherwise by the surgeon.

As per the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), all non-rebatable (cosmetic) procedures require a validated screening of Body Dysmorphia to be undertaken.

If Dr Layt is concerned about your mental state or physical state prior to the procedure, he may request evaluation by a psychologist, psychiatrist, general practitioner or other specialist. This referral is to assess your suitability, increased risks during surgery or any underlying physical or psychological problems which may affect your recovery or mental health.

In some cases this may require surgery to be postponed or cancelled by the doctor in his primary role to consider your care and personal well-being.

All surgery carries risks and it is important to understand these.

Every patient is an individual and therefore final surgical results will vary from patient to patient. Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified practitioner.

If you would like additional information on neck lift surgery or other options available at The Layt Clinic, please contact us today.