Neck Contouring (Neck Lift)

Neck Contouring (Neck Lift)

Contrary to popular belief, a neck lift is not necessarily only for those trying to combat the visible signs of aging. Old and young alike may benefit from a neck lift, which is actually a set of cosmetic procedures used to remove excess fat, tighten loose skin and muscles and improve the overall appearance of the neck. In fact, neck lift procedures are especially helpful for those who have recently lost a lot of weight but whose neck has yet to catch up with the rest of their body. Whatever your particular circumstances, Dr. Vela can help you understand your best cosmetic options.

Neck Lift Procedures

Depending on a patient’s specific concerns, a neck lift may include:

  • Platysmaplasty – This procedure is often used to correct “turkey wattle” or the appearance of “bands” in the neck area that are the result of loose or weakened muscles. During the procedure, an incision is made behind the ears and/or on the underside of the chin to provide access to the platysma, or neck muscle, which is then manipulated and held in place with sutures.
  • Botox injections – May be used alone or in conjunction with a platysmaplasty to relax the muscles that create the appearance of “bands.”
  • Cervicoplasty – This surgical procedure is performed to remove excess skin from the neck area. As with platysmaplasty, cervicoplasty requires incisions be made behind the ears and/or under the chin. Loose or excess skin is then trimmed away, and the remaining skin is sutured into place or secured using a special tissue glue.
  • Liposuction – Is frequently used to remove excess fat from the neck area. A small incision is made just under the chin, and the fat is suctioned out using a tiny cannula (special liposuction device).

A neck lift can last anywhere from one to three hours. The more extensive the procedure, the longer a patient can expect the surgery to last. This is especially true if the neck lift is performed in combination with a facelift, eyelid lift, forehead lift, or similar procedure.


For several days after the surgery, patients can expect to experience some discomfort — especially bruising and swelling. Some patients will also experience sensations such as tingling, burning or numbness in the neck area. This is normal and should not be a cause for alarm. Most patients are able to resume normal activities after a week or two.

All surgical procedures carry certain risks. These will be fully explained during your pre-surgical consultations.