Recent Advancements in Neck Lift Surgery: Traditional vs. Modern Techniques

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder—or so the saying goes. There are a multitude of different reasons for someone to seek cosmetic surgery. Whether they are looking to address signs of aging, give themselves a confidence boost, or enhance their natural features, a trained clinician can provide the necessary treatment.

In cases where an individual has excess skin and/or fat around their jawline, the most likely recommendation would be a neck lift. This cosmetic procedure focuses on tightening the neck skin, typically creating a more youthful appearance. Although the results can last for a long time, it’s important to understand that neck lift surgery cannot prevent the aging process from happening naturally.

Neck lifts—also known as platysmaplasty—are either completed on their own or as part of a face-lift procedure. Before being approved for the procedure, patients must first meet with a clinician to discuss various types of factors that may impact the surgery. Once given permission to proceed, an appointment can be made to conduct the neck lift.


Traditional Neck Lift Surgery Techniques

In a typical neck lift surgery, there are four key steps:

1. Anesthesia: An anesthetic is administered to help with patient comfort during the surgery. You can choose to either have intravenous sedation or general anesthesia, but it is best to discuss with your doctor what the bestt option is for you.

2. Incision: The type of incision made during this procedure depends on how extensive you want the nose lift to be. The options include a traditional neck lift incision or a limited neck lift incision.

3. Closing incisions: Once the procedure is completed, the final step will be to close the incisions using sutures and, in some cases, skin glue. Whether the sutures are dissolvable or need to be removed later is determined on a case-to-case basis.

4. Results: After the healing process has finished, the patient can start enjoying their new, youthful appearance.


During the procedure, your doctor may choose to take one of four different approaches. Each of these depends on the specific needs or desires of the patient, as well as the state of the neck area. The options available include the following:

1. Liposuction: This procedure involves making a small incision behind each ear and under the chin in order to suction out the fat. This is recommended when the skin has retained enough structural integrity.

2. Anterior neck lift: Incisions are made under the chin, exposing the tissues beneath the outer skin. This procedure is recommended when only minor changes need to be made to the neck area.

3. Extended neck lift: This neck lift procedure is completed alongside a facelift, focusing on the deep structural tissues and lower face. The patient can also request that excess skin be removed during this process.

4. Z-plasty: Recommended for those who have an extensive amount of excess skin around the neck, a Z-plasty involves the direct removal of any excess skin from beneath the chin and the surrounding area.


The Rise of Modern Neck Lift Surgery Techniques

Facial cosmetic surgery—also known as facial rejuvenation—has become increasingly mainstream over the past several years. A combination of an aging population and a wider acceptance than in the past have made the demand for these procedures surge.

The growing interest in neck lift surgery has allowed clinicians to develop modern techniques that can be catered to the individual needs of every patient. Some additional options available include the following:

Neck tightening: This is a procedure focused on the vertical bands that form under chins.

Mini-neck lift: This is a less invasive procedure that helps reshape the neck for individuals who don’t yet have excessive loose skin or sagging beneath their chin.


Modern neck lift surgery is ideal for any healthy individual looking to improve the appearance of their skin and overall facial structure. Today’s procedures manage to address multiple signs of aging by:

- Removing sagging skin.

- Softening deep creases.

- Removing misplaced or excess fat.

- Addressing loss of skin tone, resulting in jowls.

- Removing excess loose skin and fatty deposits.


In order to ensure you receive the right care during the procedure, an extensive preoperative examination is conducted. This is especially true for anyone who returns for a secondary neck lift procedure. Before moving forward, though, it’s essential to understand the motivations behind why someone wants to complete this surgery or have a repeat one conducted.

The reasons for returning for an additional procedure may vary slightly from patient to patient, but common ones include psychological aging, dissatisfaction with a prior nose lift (rhytidectomy), or a combination of both. In cases where a repeat neck lift surgery is being performed, the technique used may vary depending on the previous outcome and current needs of the patient.


Real-Life Results From Recent Neck Lift Surgery Patients

During the recovery phase of a neck lift, patients have reported experiencing some tightness in the area around their neck. In the majority of cases, pain is not expected over the long term after a procedure has been completed.

Some possible bruising or scarring can be expected, which will either fade within a few weeks following the surgery or be hidden beneath your hairline, chin, and/or around the contours of your ears.

Any additional strain on the body runs the risk of either popping the stitches or damaging the incision areas. As a result, it is recommended that patients avoid lifting heavy items in the first few weeks following the procedure.

Most patients have noticed that any pain, swelling, and bruising issues resolve themselves in two weeks, allowing the new appearance of their face to become visible. However, some patients have reported that it took upwards of three months for the facial swelling to disappear entirely.


Doctors recommend very clear post-surgery instructions for those who undergo neck lift surgery, including the following:

- Avoid activities that involve excess lifting or too wide a range of motion.

- If an issue does occur, do not hesitate to contact your doctor.

- Schedule and maintain follow-up appointments to track your healing progress.


Why get a neck lift?

Neck lifts are a standard cosmetic procedure meant to help combat signs of aging, and provide additional confidence in outward appearance.

There are four different types of procedures available, allowing you to customize the surgery to your specific needs. Consulting with a qualified plastic surgeon will help you determine the most suitable approach for your unique case. 

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