What is Neck Lifting?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 February 2020
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Neck lifting is a cosmetic surgery procedure that tones and tightens the skin on the neck. Often, neck lifts are used in conjunction with face lifts to achieve a more youthful appearance. Except in situations where the neck lift occurs as part of reconstructive surgery after an accident, the procedure is considered elective surgery and is usually not covered by health insurance.

While neck lifting is usually referred to as single procedure, there are actually two procedures utilized to manage the neck lift. First, there is the process known as cervicoplasty. This procedure removes any amount of excess skin that may be present. Following the cervicoplasty, platysmaplasty is employed to restructure the muscles of the neck, including removing sections if necessary. In the event that excess amounts of fat are present, there is a good chance that the plastic surgeon will also employ liposuction before attempting to reposition the remaining skin and close the incision.

As with any type of invasive procedure, neck lifting includes some possible risks. Before a cosmetic surgeon will agree to perform neck lift surgery, he or she will make sure the patient meets the basic criteria for having the surgery, as well as help the patient understand the risks and have a reasonable idea of the potential results.


Generally, neck lifting candidates must be in reasonably good health. If the patient is currently using prescription medication to treat some ailment, the surgeon will consult with the attending physician to determine if any complications could result. This is especially true if the medication has the effect of inhibiting the ability of the body to heal from cuts or can thin the blood. Surgeons also prefer candidates who will agree to not use tobacco or alcohol just prior to the procedure and will continue to refrain from smoking or drinking during the recuperative period.

Once the surgeon is satisfied that the general health of the patient is acceptable, the next step is to help the patient understand the general risks that are associated with the procedure. Neck lift risks include the usual chance of developing an infection during or after the surgery, as well as the chance of an adverse reaction to the anesthesia used during neck lifting. It is imperative for the patient to realize that a neck lifting procedure is a serious procedure and carries many of the same risks associated with any type of surgery.

Along with qualifying the candidate for the physical rigors and surgical risks, the surgeon is likely to spend some time helping the patient understand what to expect in the way of neck lift benefits. While plastic surgery can enhance appearance, there are no guarantees that the individual will look exactly as he or she did thirty years ago. Candidates sometimes have unreasonable expectations that must be addressed before scheduling the procedure. Helping the candidate understand what to gain from the surgery helps to minimize the chances for emotional issues after the procedure is complete.

Neck lifting can make a significant difference in the self-esteem of an individual. Often, the patient experiences a renewed zest for living along with the enhanced appearance. However, not everyone will receive the same degree of benefit from the procedure. Working closely with a qualified surgeon will help the patient determine if the surgery is a good idea, and how much of a change in appearance is likely to take place.


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