What is a Neck Lift | Sydney Plastic Surgeon

What is a Neck Lift | Sydney Plastic Surgeon

People often seek rejuvenation of the neck to achieve a more attractive contour. 

The neck is made of three structures; the deepest being the muscles of the neck with an overlying layer of fat which is then covered with skin. Different proportions of skin, fat and muscle can create different contours to the neck, and a long slender neck with a crisp jawline is often been described as attractive. 

Who is a candidate for a neck lift?

Patients will come to me, both male and female, at many different ages seeking a neck lift.

In a younger patient, it is often due to a disproportionately large fat pad under the chin which can be addressed with liposuction.

With the signs of ageing, there can be laxity of the tissue and descent of tissue as well as splitting of the muscles in the midline of the neck which creates the classic “turkey gobbler deformity”.

All patients are assessed during a consult. The procedure chosen to achieve an improved neck contour will depend on the patients age and individual circumstances. 

The anatomy of the neck

To the external eye, we simply see the skin but underneath the skin lies the fat pad of the neck.  There are two fat pads, one being in front of the muscles of the neck located under the chin. Below this, the other muscles of the neck, known as the platysma, and deep to this a further deep fat pad.  Underlying the muscle with a fat pad is a deeper series of muscles related to swallowing as well as the salivary glands that are located under the jaw line. In different patients, different proportions of fat, muscle and skin will create a less well-defined neckline. It is these structures that are the target of different procedures to rejuvenate and improve the neck.

What is involved in a neck lift?

Patients who are considering improving the contour of their neck need to seek a surgical opinion and this is best performed in a consultation. During the consultation, the issues and concerns will be discussed, and the various components of their anatomy identified. A surgical procedure will be planned and performed at maximum safety to achieve the best possible outcome for the patient.

What options do I have?

  • Fat removal

    In some situations, if a patient is suffering from excess fat deposits in the neck, fat-dissolving injections such as Belkyra can be used. In cases where there is a larger volume of fat, liposuction may well be the solution to the problem, although liposuction relies on a younger skin type that will contract once this fat has been removed.

  • Neck lift

    A neck lift will address the deeper muscles of the neck and will involve an incision underneath the chin. During this procedure, the muscles, which are described as the “corset of the neck”, are often brought back together in the midline to support the deep structures.

    Often the separation of the muscles happens with ageing and the quality of the skin in these patients is often unable to contract to the new form of the neck so will require removal of the skin and tightening. Removal of excess skin in a neck lift is performed with an incision behind the ear which often then extends down the neckline.

Where are neck lift procedures performed?

The bulk of surgical rejuvenation of the neck procedures will involve a surgical technique and for this reason, they are best performed in hospital. I choose to perform the procedures in a fully accredited hospitals under general anaesthetic given by a fully qualified anaesthetist. 

How long does a neck lift take?

A surgical rejuvenation of the neck can take anywhere from an hour, if only liposuction is required, to a number of hours for a formal neck lift or platysmaplasty

A formal neck lift is often due to signs of ageing and many times, it will be combined with a facelift. If having a neck lift and facelift, the procedure will take between four and five hours.

What is the recovery time for a neck lift?

Recovery from a neck lift is approximately two weeks. At that time, patients can usually return to work though they will most likely not be comfortable attending social functions such as a wedding until the six-week mark. Full contact sport is allowed at approximately the three-month mark. 

Will a neck lift last forever?

A neck lift will rearrange the surgical anatomy of the neck to achieve a more defined contour. Patients will continue to live life and as such, the tissues will continue to age. As tissue is prone to the effects of gravity, in some cases, a revision of a neck lift may be required after 10 to 15 years.

Book your consultation with Dr Hunt

If a neck lift is something you’re considering, Dr Hunt can thoroughly explain all the options to you in a one-on-one consultation.

Book now

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health professional.

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