What Is Involved in a Neck Lift?

What Is Involved in a Neck Lift 637366067471994546

Sagging skin, thick muscle banding, and the appearance of wrinkles on your neck are all signs of aging you may experience. A neck lift, or lower rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure designed to correct these issues and rejuvenate your neck and jawline, creating a smoother, tighter, more youthful appearance. To learn more, call Old Town Med Spa in Chicago, IL.

What Is a Neck Lift?

A person’s neck is an often overlooked area of the body when it comes to aesthetic surgery. Believe it or not, a lot of people don’t know that the procedure exists. Genetics, lifestyle, gravity, and weight fluctuations all play a significant role in how quickly and how dramatic your neck ages.

Lower rhytidectomy is an elective cosmetic procedure that addresses signs of aging in your neck and jawline and leaves you with a smoother, younger, and natural-looking appearance.

What Is Involved in a Neck Lift?

Primary Consultation

The first step to take in undergoing lower rhytidectomy is to schedule a primary consultation with one of our providers. At your consultation, you will discuss your aesthetic goals and decide upon the best option based on what you’re looking to achieve and the current state of your neck.

It’s important to be able to supply your provider with a complete medical history, including any current or past illnesses and any previous surgeries. Your provider will assess your current and past medical states and, provided there are no serious health concerns, move on with the process.

The Day of Your Surgery

Lower rhytidectomy procedures typically involve two parts. Part one is the removal of excess skin and part two involves tightening your neck muscles to eliminate any muscle banding that you’re experiencing. For some patients, liposuction is employed to remove excess fatty tissue.

The procedure is generally performed on an outpatient basis and can take two to three hours to complete. Local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia is used during the procedure. If you would prefer one over the other, make sure you mention this to your provider.

Areas a Neck Lift Will Improve

Double Chin

If excess fatty tissue and/or loose skin is causing you to have a double chin, the procedure can help eliminate it by removing excess skin and fatty tissue via liposuction.


Your face usually looks rounder when you’re younger and loses volume as you age, often leading to sagging cheeks, an undefined jawline, and sometimes jowls. A lower rhytidectomy will address this issue and create a more defined jawline.

Vertical Muscle Banding

As you age, the amount of subcutaneous fat that would normally hide your neck muscles dissipates, resulting in the appearance of thick bands of muscle. These neck muscles, known as platysmal bands, can be treated with a lower rhytidectomy by elevating the skin of your lower face while simultaneously tightening your platysmal bands and minimizing their appearance.

How Do You Know If You’re a Candidate for Surgery?

Everyone has cosmetic goals they’d like to achieve, and undergoing plastic surgery is one of the most comprehensive anti-aging and body contouring options available. However, some patients who desire the procedure may not be the best candidates for the surgery. Read on to find out if you meet the criteria for candidacy.

You’re Dissatisfied With the Way Aging Has Affected Your Neck

The effects of aging eventually become apparent to us all. If you look in the mirror and are discouraged by the appearance of your neck and you wish there was a way to make a change, you may well be a candidate for surgery.

You Meet the Age Requirements

Many of our patients are in their 40s, 50s, or 60s, and looking to turn back the clock on aging and achieve a more youthful appearance. That being said, if you’re younger than an average patient and you have significant fatty deposits in the area or sagging skin due to weight loss or other factors, you may be a candidate as well.

There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to the best age to undergo the procedure, though the older one gets, the more likely they are to choose cosmetic surgery. Younger patients who are noticing the beginning signs of aging may benefit more from non-surgical treatments, such as Botox, Sculptra, or Ultherapy – all of which are available at our medspa.

You’re Healthy Enough

The state of your overall health is a critical factor in your fitness for surgery. You’ll be able to discuss your current state of health during your consultation with your provider. Be sure to be open about your complete medical history. It is extremely important your provider is intimately aware of your health and any conditions you may have (or had) that could complicate surgery.

You should know that past or present medical conditions do not necessarily disqualify you. The numbers of health conditions that exist are many, and those that would hinder your ability to undergo cosmetic surgery are few.

You Don’t Smoke or Are Willing to Quit Temporarily

Smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products can cause complications by way of increased bleeding. If you’re a non-smoker and you don’t use other tobacco products, this doesn’t apply to you. However, if you do smoke, your provider will insist that you quit at least six weeks before your procedure, and for several weeks afterward.

The mandatory smoking cessation before surgery makes this an excellent time to quit. You don’t have to, but if you’re going to have to quit smoking for a while before and after your surgery, why pick it up again?

You Understand the Procedure’s Limitations

Cosmetic surgery can result in dramatic changes to your body, but it’s important to understand what each procedure does and does not do. Undergoing lower rhytidectomy will rejuvenate the contours of your neck and jawline, and eliminate wrinkles creating a much smoother and more youthful-looking appearance.

What the procedure does not do is address any issues you’re facing above your jawline. If your cosmetic goals require more than what the procedure can offer, you may want to pair it with another cosmetic surgery option for even more comprehensive results.

Neck Lift FAQs

Is the Procedure Complicated?

One of the biggest fear-factors concerning surgery (whether elective or not) is how complicated it’s going to be. Some surgeries are indeed complicated, and many of those require a great deal of downtime.

A lower rhytidectomy, though, is not one of them. It isn’t major surgery – it’s a routine cosmetic procedure that is performed every day all across the country.

How Long Do the Results Last?

Your neck and jawline are going to look years younger after surgery. However, the surgery itself is considered semi-permanent. While your neck and jawline will look much more youthful for a long time, it isn’t going to stop the aging process altogether. As time goes on and your skin continues to age, the results of your surgery may become less apparent.

You shouldn’t worry overmuch about the longevity of your results; they’re going to be with you for years as long as you take care of yourself. Also, when your neck begins to age, it will age from your post-surgery point. Your neck will not go back to the way it looked all at once; it will take years.

Can You Extend Your Results?

If you’re anything like our other patients, you want the results of your procedure to last as long as possible. You can aid in keeping your neck looking youthful and smooth by wearing sunscreen whenever you go outside (even in cloudy weather). The sun is the number one cause of premature aging, and protecting your skin as much as possible can help keep the sun’s damaging effects at bay.

Diet, exercise, and lifestyle also play a role in the longevity of your results. Eating healthy and exercising can limit or even prevent weight gain, which may be a limiting factor in the longevity of your results.

How Long Does it Take to Recover?

A general rule of thumb to go by is that the more invasive your surgery, the longer your recovery will be. While the procedure is technically considered to be invasive, it’s far less so than many other surgical options. As a matter of fact, most patients are able to go home the very same day.

People who live active lives won’t be hindered for very long after surgery. You should be back at work in a week or less. If you engage in regular exercise, you’ll be hitting the gym again shortly after.

Can You Pair It With Other Surgeries?

Your face, eyes, and neck all work together to create your facial appearance, and rejuvenating one area can emphasize the aged appearance of the other two. Patients who desire more than what lower rhytidectomy can provide may benefit from undergoing two procedures at once.

The results from pairing surgeries can be stunning. Undergoing two procedures at once can reduce the amount of recovery time needed as both areas will be healing at the same time. If you’re cosmetic goals extend beyond what lower rhytidectomy can accomplish, speak to your provider about pairing surgeries with one of the following options.


Numerous facelifts are performed in conjunction with some level of neck contouring. When you combine both a facelift and neck lift, you’re able to address jowls, sagging cheeks, and sagging or lax neck tissue all at once.

By combining both procedures, you’ll be able to refresh and rejuvenate your face and neck, and greatly reduce or eliminate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in both areas, resulting in a more youthful appearance from your eyes to your chest.

Neck Liposuction

If you have excess fat in your neck, chin, or jawline, pairing your procedure with liposuction will help. As a matter of fact, liposuction is often paired with neck contouring to remove unwanted pockets of fatty tissue under the chin, which causes the dreaded double chin.

Many patients who choose to undergo liposuction alone to improve their facial contours will require a fair amount of skin laxity to avoid loose skin post-liposuction. But, when you choose to undergo a neck lift at the same time, your skin laxity is less important because excess skin is removed.

Chin Implant

Dissatisfaction with your neck and jawline doesn’t have to stem from aging alone. It’s possible to have a custom-fitted chin implant inserted during your procedure should you elect to do so. You may have the option to undergo neck and chin liposuction at the same time, further emphasizing your stronger chin and younger-looking neck contours.


Balance is an important factor in your overall look. The shape of a person’s nose can have a significant impact on their overall appearance in addition to low self-esteem. Having your nose reshaped to better fit your face can dramatically improve your appearance by enhancing the balance of your facial features.

A neck lift seeks to address the signs of aging on your neck and jawline. It involves the removal of excess skin, tightening of neck muscles, and sometimes the removal of excess submental fat to eliminate a double chin. If these issues are causing you distress, a lower rhytidectomy can address them all. Call Old Town Med Spa in Chicago, IL to schedule your consultation.

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