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How Is a Neck Lift Procedure Done?

I rarely perform a neck lift alone. As people age, their neck skin becomes lax, sometimes along with fat accumulation and muscle laxity.  There can also be vertical banding from tight platysma muscles. However, the sagging neck often doesn’t occur in the absence of face sagging.

To do a neck lift alone without lifting the midface and the jaw line will just emphasize the skin laxity in the midface. More commonly I perform a lower 2/3 face lift where I lift the cheek, jaw and neck. There are occasions when I see a male who has a lot of hanging skin on their face, but they don’t really care about what that part of their face looks like. For them I may do a solo neck lift on them, but the incision is about as long as it would be for a lower facelift because the more redundant the skin that exists, the longer the incision has to be 

So for me I uncommonly perform a neck lift  lone, but not never.

How long does it take to recover from a neck lift?

The recovery time from a neck lift is a little less than recovery from a full face lift. The way I perform a neck lift is to make an incision behind the ear into the sulcus between ear and the head. For a woman, the incision goes behind the tragus, but for a man, the incision is in front of the tragus because we’re moving the beard back. 

If we make the incision behind the ear of a man, they would be shaving their beard inside their ears. In both men and women I use a long incision so I can redrape the skin and cut off the redundancy. I don’t like to move the hair line back in any way, so I work around that.

After surgery, I wrap my patients faces, to be kept in place for a few days. I do not use any drains like many other doctors. It’s not wrong to use a drain, but I like the fact that all my patients on whom I performed a neck lift alone or face and neck lift don’t need a drain.

The procedure takes about an hour and 45 minutes for a face and neck lift without eyelid surgery and I can perform the surgery either under sedation anesthesia or general anesthesia. 

If you have questions about your neck or  face, call or email me. We can talk about what you don’t like about the aging of your skin and we can rejuvenate and refresh your face without making it look like you’ve had surgery. I would love to talk to you and see you in my office. I see people like you every day, and I do many face lifts each week.

About Dr. Jonathan Sykes

Dr. Jonathan Sykes is a world-famous expert plastic surgeon who performs all cosmetic and functional plastic surgery procedures on the face and neck. He is a past president of The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and served on their Board of Directors for over 10 years. He is also a Professor Emeritus in Facial Plastic Surgery from UC Davis Medical Center, and the former Director of Facial Plastic Surgery at that institution.

He is known as the expert’s expert, and is often called to consult and advise other plastic surgeons in both Northern California and Beverly Hills. He has a special interest in eyelid and browlift surgery, facial rejuvenation surgery including facelifts, and rhinoplasty. He also has a particular interest in facial feminization surgery. Have questions? Email Dr.Sykes at: [email protected]