A necklift is performed to improve the appearance of the neck. It is usually done in combination with a facelift procedure but in some cases is done as a separate procedure. It is done to lift and tighten the skin of the neck, to address the platysma bands which are the linear bands that develop with age at the front and side of the neck and to improve the contour of the neck.
Necklift surgery is usually done when you are under general anaesthesia (asleep). A small incision underneath the chin is used to perform a platsymaplasty or reshaping of the platysma muscle bands to improve the contour and appearance of the neck. If there is extra fat in the area underneath the chin, this can be removed too. Sometimes liposuction is used to remove the fat and sometimes it is directly removed through this incision. It may be necessary to reposition or remove part of the under chin salivary glands to get the best contour for the jawline.
Looseness of the skin of the neck is best addressed via a skin incision at the base of the ear and running around the back of the ear into the hairline. This is the lower part of a standard facelift (SMAS facelift) incision and is one of the reasons why combining a neck lift with a facelift can often get the best result from both procedures. The platysma or neck muscle can also be tightened and lifted via this approach for additional improvement and support.
After a necklift procedure, you will usually stay overnight in hospital. There will be some swelling and bruising afterwards, which will settle in the following weeks and it will feel tight initially. You should see an improvement in the contour and appearance of your neck. Some of the risks of necklift surgery include infection, bleeding which occasionally necessitates a return to theatre to remove any collected blood (haematoma) and stop any further bleeding, irregularities under the skin, skin necrosis (loss of an area of skin) which is rare and weakness of the muscles that control some movements of the mouth (again rare and usually temporary).