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Patient’s Guide to the Neck Lift Procedure

Plastic Surgery

June 16, 2019 | 3 minute read

Woman in profile with a defined neckline and her arms covering her chest

If you have visible signs of aging in your neck and jawline, you might be a good candidate for a neck lift procedure. The procedure can eliminate excess skin and remove or alter neck muscles that create abnormal contours. The plastic surgery is done so the neck can have the same youthful appearance as the face. Before scheduling a consultation for a procedure, learn more about what to expect.

The steps of a neck lift procedure

It is important for potential patients to understand the procedure as much as possible. Plastic surgeons usually follow three steps during the neck lift procedure. 


Plastic surgeons use general anesthesia or intravenous sedation prior to starting a neck lift procedure. The physician looks over the patient’s medical records and then recommends the type of anesthesia.

The incision

After the patient is sedated, the surgeon makes an incision. The surgeon has two options for this.

A traditional neck lift incision starts at the hairline, typically right at the sideburn, and ends in the posterior hair. This large incision allows the surgeon to sculpt the fat located in the neck and jowls and to reposition the tissue under the skin. The surgeon also trims away excess skin.

Surgeons often have to make another incision under the chin. This allows the surgeon to repair the muscle and remove fat.

A limited incision neck lift is the other option. The surgeon only makes incisions around the ear. The incisions are much smaller, so a drastic transformation is usually not possible with this incision.

Closing the incision

Next, the surgeon closes the incisions with skin glue or sutures. The incision lines are located within the hairline, so the scars should not be visible once healed.

Recovering from a neck lift procedure

Swelling, discomfort and tightness are common after a neck lift procedure. These side effects are usually gone within two weeks.

Patients need to take it easy during the healing process. They should relax for the first two days and can likely resume light activities by day three. People can usually go back to work within two weeks of getting the procedure.

Reduce the swelling

Swelling is often the patient’s biggest complaint after a neck lift surgery. This can be reduced by keeping the head elevated when relaxing. The head should be at a 45-degree angle.

Walking can also promote healing and reduce swelling. People should walk short distances at a slow pace during the healing process. It is important that patients do not push themselves. Their energy levels might be low right after the surgery, and they should not walk so much that they become out of breath.

Preparing for neck lift surgery

Now that you know what to expect from the procedure, you can take the next step and consult with a plastic surgeon. The surgeon will determine if you are a good candidate for neck lift surgery. If you are, your surgeon will help you schedule your surgery.

Are you considering a neck lift in the Yorba Linda area? Get more information at .

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