A necklift is a surgical procedure to improve the visible signs of ageing in the neck and jawline.
In the majority of cases a neck lift is performed along with a facelift as part of a complete facial rejuvenation. However, in the rare situation (usually in younger patients in their 30-50s) where a patient has only sagging of the neck and loss of definition of the jawline, then a neck lift is the perfect operation.
Like facelift surgery, there are many different neck lift techniques described, but common to all is the adherence to a few key anatomical considerations.
- Liposuction of the neck fat just underneath the skin. This serves 2 purposes. The first and most obvious is that it removes the excess fat in the neck region. The second is once the fat has been removed, the skin re-drapes and retracts over the underlying musculature and gives definition to the neck and jowl area.
- Tightening and resuspension of the neck musculature. As we age, the retaining ligaments in the neck become stretched and lose their strength. This leads to sagging of the muscles and skin of the neck, much like a hammock. During a neck lift, the main supporting muscle, the platysma, is tightened. This is done by pulling and re-suspending the platysma muscle back to the dense tissue behind the ear in a vector which creates a more youthful neck line. In some cases, the ageing process leads to the left and right platysma muscles separating in the midline. Should this happen, then an extra incision is made just underneath the chin to re-approximate the two muscles.
- Re-draping of the skin under minimal tension to avoid unsightly scars. This is achievable following liposuction and muscle re-suspension. The resultant scars are hidden in the creases around the ear and in the hairline. Occasionally, there is a scar just underneath the chin crease, but this is usually inconspicuous.
How long does it take to recover from a necklift?
The neck lift surgery may take 1-3 hours under general anaesthetic with one night’s hospital stay. Small drains are kept in overnight and removed the morning after the operation.
Recovery time is usually two to three weeks, with final results being obvious after about two months.
The scars following a neck lift are generally unnoticeable as they are largely concealed within the hairline and hidden in the creases in front and behind the ear.
What are the potential risks and complications of a necklift?
Modern surgery procedures are typically safe, but there are risks and complications which may occur with any surgery, including a neck lift.
I will talk with you in detail regarding the possible risks and complications associated with your neck lift surgery including:
- Excessive bleeding at the incision site
- Additional surgery or antibiotic treatments may be required to treat an infection
- Allergic or hypersensitive reaction to the antiseptic, dressings or medications
- A blood clot which requires immediate drainage in the operating theatre may occur beneath the incision site and the neck skin flaps
- Bruising, pain and swelling may occur around the incision site
- Slow healing may occur, which is typically associated with diabetes or smoking
- Wound edges may separate
- Immediately following your surgery you may experience short-term nausea and vomiting due to the anaesthesia
- You may develop keloid or hypertrophic scars which are raised and thickened scars. This type of scarring may be unsightly, annoying and itchy. They are not threatening to your health and rare if you have no family history of the condition.
- Temporary and occasionally permanent, hair loss may occur around the scars behind the ear
- Swelling and bruising
- Earlobes may have deformity called a “pixie ear”, which may require additional surgery to correct
- Left side and right side of face may have a slight difference in appearance
- Incision sites may become numb, but in most situations the numbness is only temporary and will gradually improve over time
- In race cases, patients may experience facial nerve damage, which can result in the face appearing lopsided and/or partial loss of movement. The facial nerve is responsible for the movement and animation of the face. If there is any concerns about it being damaged, you will need additional surgery to identify the nerve and if damaged they will be repaired by me using microsurgical techniques.
How much does a necklift cost?
Costs associated with a neck lift varies between: $12,000-$18,000 depending on a number of factors:
- Anaesthetist’s fee
- Private hospital or day surgical facility fees
- Need for post-operative garments
- Length of hospital stay
- Whether you require liposuction or not
- Surgical assistant’s fee
- Need for other facial plastic surgical procedures, such as eyelid rejuvenation, facelift, brow lift or rhinoplasty.
After our consultation my staff will give you an itemised account of the total cost.