Neck Lift Surgery (Platysmaplasty)

A neck lift, otherwise known as platysmaplasty or submental platysmaplasty, can be a series of cosmetic surgical procedures to lessen the sagging skin in the neck area to produce a tighter, more defined jaw line. Often, neck lifts are performed in conjunction with facelifts for a more complete visual rejuvenation. The procedures that typically make up a neck lift include:

  • Liposuction of excess fat
  • Removing or tightening of neck muscles
  • Cutting away excess skin
  • Botox injections (helps deal with “bands”)
Neck Lift Surgery (Platysmaplasty)

Who is a Good Candidate for Neck Lift Surgery?

Ideal candidates for a neck lift should be in good health, not have any on-going major health issues or diseases, be emotionally stable, and have realistic expectations for the procedure.

Neck lifts should be performed at a reputable plastic surgery office such as Clinic 360 in Toronto.

Prior to surgery, you will meet with one of our experienced facial plastic surgeons for a complimentary consultation to discuss your expectations and allow your doctor to thoroughly examine your neck in order to let you know if these goals are realistic. You should also inform your surgeon at this time of your full medical history, including allergies, previous cosmetic procedures, any medications and vitamins you regularly take, and whether you smoke. If you do smoke, you should be stopping at least a month prior to surgery as it can have negative consequences on healing.

Once you and your surgeon have decided that a neck lift is the appropriate plastic surgery for you, they will then go over your pre-surgery instructions including how to take prescriptions during recovery (antibiotics, pain relievers, blood pressure medication, anti-inflammatories, etc.), which medications you should stop taking at least two weeks prior to operation (Aspirin, stimulants, serotonin supplements, etc.), and how best to prepare your home. They will also go over which platysmaplasty technique and anaesthesia will best achieve your goals.

How is Neck Lift Surgery Performed?

When performed by an experienced plastic surgeon, such as those at Clinic 360 in Toronto, a neck lift generally takes 2 to 3 hours to perform. The anaesthetic used will either be general anaesthesia (i.e. totally put to sleep) or intravenous sedation in conjunction with local anaesthesia. This decision will be based on you and your surgeon’s preferences and chosen prior to surgery. Following being anaesthetized, you will be injected with a tumescent solution of lidocaine (local anaesthetic), epinephrine (blood vessel constrictor), and saline (salt water) in order to prevent your skin from bleeding excessively.

The neck lift procedure itself involves two incisions, under or behind the ears, while an additional incision may be made under the chin. Segments of skin are trimmed and elevated into a more ideal position before being reaffixed with sutures or tissue glue. In certain cases, sections of fat muscle may also be removed and the incisions sutured at the mid-anterior (front) of the neck. Any remaining loose skin can then be brought together under or behind the ear to further tighten the appearance of the neck. In order to maintain optimal results, your surgeon may also use additional sutures, mesh, or even an AlloDerm suspension hammock to keep the neck tight and wattle-free. Pressure dressing will be tightly wrapped around your head immediately following your neck lift.

Neck Lift Surgery Risks

As with any plastic surgery, there are certain risks of complications associated with neck lifts. Primary among these are:

  • Infection
  • Reaction to anaesthetic
  • Scarring
  • Temporary numbness, swelling, and bruising
  • Undesirable results (asymmetry, loose skin, etc.)
  • Hematoma (blood pockets forming under the skin)
  • Seroma (excess fluid forming under the skin)
  • Lumpiness/ mottling of the skin

Many neck lift complications can be avoided by being completely honest with your surgeon at Clinic 360 during your complimentary consultation. At this time, they will go over all risks in further detail with you as well. You also should be sure to carefully follow your doctor’s instructions, both prior to and after your neck lift surgery.

Neck Lift Surgery Recovery

Depending on your individual surgery and doctor’s preference, you may have to stay overnight following your neck lift procedure. Either way, you should have somebody come drive you home and stay with you at least 24 hours as the effects of the anaesthetic may not have entirely worn off by the time you leave. Though most patients do not experience excessive pain, your surgeon will provide you with pain medication just to be sure. You should have a recovery area set up at home prior to surgery including:

  • Ice compresses
  • Pillows to keep your head up
  • Gauze
  • Paper towel
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Antibacterial cream
  • Telephone in case of emergency
  • Thermometer

You should also wear loose clothing for the day of surgery and for the remainder of your neck lift recovery period in order to avoid straining your sutures. If you are a smoker, you will have to avoid the habit for at least another four weeks following your operation. You should also continue to avoid Aspirin and alcohol as these too can seriously affect healing. Many patients can return to work within the first two weeks though this depends on the activity level of your profession. Strenuous physical activity is not recommended for at least three weeks following a neck lift procedure.

Cost & Financing

Neck lifts are considered an elective cosmetic procedure and, as such, are not covered by health insurance. The cost of a neck lift at Clinic 360 in Toronto generally begins at approximately $8,000. If you are unable to pay for the procedure in its entirety up front, financing and payment plans are available.