Neck lift procedures are designed to tighten the underlying tissues and muscle of the neck, and remove excess neck skin. Neck lifts are great for patients in their late 50s, 60s, to 70s to reverse some of the age associated changes to the neck, such as sagging excess skin and bands that appear when they show their lower teeth. Both gravity and diminished volume result in the facial features of aging. Most patients requesting evaluation for a neck lift feel that their neck can appear slightly distracting and older compared to the face, particularly when they still feel youthful and energetic. Many patients complain about lacking a defined neck, and the physiological changes at the root of these complaints vary by patient. Often the problem is not only the laxity of the skin but also the laxity of the underlying muscles. 

Dr. Hsu has a combination of different maneuvers he will use to target your specific problem. The goal is to get a more defined neckline so that excess skin is removed and tightened, in a way that looks natural and appropriate with the rest of the face.

Good candidates for this procedure:

  • Patients with excess skin and fat in the neck

  • Patients whose necks have developed folds and lines

What to expect: Consultation

All cosmetic consultations are complimentary and serve as a great opportunity to gain further insight by voicing your concerns and having questions answered. During the initial consultation, Dr. Hsu will ask some questions to get to know you and determine if you are a good candidate for a neck lift. 

During the consultation, Dr. Hsu will first ask about your medical history, including existing medical conditions, past surgeries, tobacco usage, daily medications, supplements, and allergies. After thoroughly examining your neck and assessing your medical history, Dr. Hsu will explain the next steps in going forth with the procedure. In order to best reach your aesthetic goals, both you and Dr. Hsu will work together to decide all the necessary details that will ultimately give you the best results.

A lot of our patients choose to get a facelift or mini-facelift in conjunction with a neck lift to get the most beneficial results. If you are also interested in getting a neck lift in conjunction with a facelift, please see our Facelift or Mini-Facelift procedure page for more information. 

Surgery Details:

On the day of surgery, arrive early to fill out paperwork, meet the anesthesiologist, and be prepared for surgery. Dr. Hsu will meet you in the pre-operative area before surgery to make markings on the areas planned for surgery and answer any last minute questions you may have.

Dr. Hsu will perform the neck lift while you are under general anesthesia for about three hours. He will make one incision along the front and back of the ear which will be well hidden and another small incision on the bottom of the chin. Rather than simply excising the excess skin, Dr. Hsu will lift up the skin to access and tighten the muscle. Often times, the platysma muscle can loosen significantly during the aging process, so Dr. Hsu will tighten the platysma muscle. He will also pull the muscle in the back of the neck and tuck it behind the ear. This technique provides a more natural and rejuvenating result without making your skin appear pulled.

Woman with necklift

Recovery & Post-operative Instructions: 

After the surgery, Dr. Hsu will wrap dressings around the surgical area which will remain there for the first week during healing. It is very important that you keep your head elevated at all times during your recovery period. An easy way to maintain the elevated position during rest is to sleep on two pillows at night. We also highly recommend wearing a handkerchief or shawl to cover the area so that you will be more comfortable going outside. For most patients, bruising and swelling has subsided substantially after a week, and at this point you can cover any remaining bruises with concealer. During the recovery period, walking assists with healing and minimizing the chance of developing blood clots.

The surgical area should stay dry until Dr. Hsu indicates that it is permissible to shower.  In the meantime, to clean the rest of your body, you can bathe from the shoulders down. Dr. Hsu will usually remove stitches during your first week follow up appointment. Swelling & bruising will peak about 48 hours after surgery but will gradually decrease in about two weeks. Most patients return to work after two weeks, but many return even sooner-- especially those who work from home. The biggest limitation for post-operative patients is driving, which should be avoided when on pain medication. Patients are usually off their pain medication after five days, so plan your work schedule accordingly. At six weeks post-operation, most patients can return to their normal routines including exercise and returning to the gym.

Dr. Hsu will be available 24 hours following the surgery through his personal cell phone number and is always happy to answer any questions. He will continue to follow patient progress for an extended period of time to ensure the patient is healing well. Most follow up appointments are scheduled one week, two weeks, and one, two, three, six, nine months to a year or two afterward.

Dr. Hsu's view on a Neck Lift.

In my experience, neck lift is almost always performed together with a facelift or mini-facelift.  It is not 100%, but it is quite close.  Still, I do occasionally have patients who specifically only want correction in the neck alone.

I enjoy neck lift surgery quite a bit because I think the results can be quite dramatic.  I do like to use my experience with neck lifts at both the muscle and skin layers to be able to choose which, or both, is suitable for each individual patient.  I would say that in my practice, I nearly always do some tightening of both layers.  Also, in some patients, I will tighten the muscle in the midline (underneath the chin); in others, I will do some tightening by pulling on the skin and muscle behind the ears; and in some, I will do both!  Again, this varies depending on each patient’s individual appearance and what specifically needs to be corrected.  This has worked well for me and given me longer-lasting results that I am very happy with.