Gobble, Gobble! Wishing Your Neck Didn't Wobble?

Dr. Fiorillo Discusses Neck Lifts

A neck lift can give you a more youthful appearance. Getty Images

Fall is officially here, which means that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. This year, maybe you are thinking that the bird in your oven should be the only one at your festivities sporting a “turkey neck”! Chances are good that you’ve already tried plenty of expensive creams and other non-surgical methods for this issue to no avail.

PUT YOUR TURTLENECKS DOWN! Help is right around the corner.


It’s typical that as we age or lose weight, the skin on our necks begins to sag. Loose neck muscles can lead to an appearance of bands on the neck or drastic drooping of the skin. For most, the neck area tends to show the effects of gravity, heredity, stress and environmental factors before the face. If you don’t quite need a facelift, but feel your neck is aging you, you can turn to a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss a neck lift.

What is a neck lift?

A neck lift, also known as a lower rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that drastically improves the signs of aging in the jawline and neck, and subtly changes a person’s overall appearance. Pockets of fat from the chin and neck area and drooping bands of muscle are eliminated and loose skin and muscles are tightened to help you regain a youthful appearance. A neck lift can be performed in conjunction with another procedure, such as a facelift or facial liposuction, or can be performed alone.

The results of a neck lift can last up to ten years.

How is a neck lift performed?

The neck lift procedure begins with a small, inconspicuous incision directly below the chin, and in some cases behind the crease of the ears as well. The neck lift includes both a cervicoplasty to remove excess skin and a platysmaplasty to remove or alter muscles in the neck.

Liposuction can also be used to remove excess fat during a neck lift. The incisions will then be sutured closed and the neck lift is completed.

The entire neck lift procedure takes two to three hours and may be performed under general or local anesthesia with sedation, depending on the preference of the patient. Most procedures are performed on an outpatient basis.

What can I expect during recovery?

You can expect to experience some swelling and bruising shortly after the neck lift procedure, which may last up to ten days. Applying cold compresses and keeping the head elevated for the first 48 hours following neck lift surgery can help minimize swelling. Prescription medication is also available to help alleviate any discomfort.

After a neck lift procedure, most people can return to work and other normal daily activities within two weeks. More strenuous activities should be avoided for about four to six weeks.

Are there any risks associated with this procedure?

Just like with any other surgical procedure, there are risks involved with a neck lift, although they are rare.

These risks include any side effects from anesthesia or infection. After the procedure, a patient may experience tightness, dry skin, and a burning or tingling sensation. There is also a risk of facial nerve damage that may occur during surgery and can result in muscle paralysis.

If you would like to learn more about a neck lift, and are curious if this procedure is right for you, make an appointment with a skilled, board-certified plastic surgeon in your area to discuss the pros and cons. Click here for questions you should ask during your consultation. 

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