Dr. High and Dr. Lyle at Raleigh Plastic Surgery Center specialize in Neck Lift and Facial Rejuvination Surgery in Raleigh, Cary and surrounding areas of North Carolina.

Rejuvenation of the neck is a critical part of a full Facelift. One of the largest benefits of the Facelift is improvement in neck appearance. There are some incidences where isolated rejuvenation of the neck can be performed without the need of a full facelift. This is generally for younger patients or patients without other advanced signs of facial aging. When only lifting of the neck need be addressed, this is known as Neck Lift surgery.  Sometimes liposuction can help a thick heavy neck but frequently a combination of fat removal and skin tightening is necessary. These procedures usually involve some degree of approach to the anterior neck through an incision under the chin, but skin removal is frequently performed by removing skin through an incision present behind the ear and into the hairline. Neck Lifts alone are much less common then neck lifts performed during a Facelift surgery.

In some instances, minimal surgery such as liposuction can be combined with skin tightening with noninvasive devices such as Thermage. Thermage alone also makes improvements in loose skin of the neck although not as dramatic as a surgical procedure. For more informaiton on Thermage as a non-vasive treatement for saggy skin under the neck, visit the MedSpa @ RPSC page.

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The Procedure

An isolated Neck Lift often involves the incisions behind the ear and sometimes into the posterior scalp hairline combined with an incision under the chin. These are performed under a general anesthetic. Careful resection of redundant fatty tissue and tightening of the neck musculature with removal of excess skin will require delicate suturing and usually the placement of a drainage tube to evacuate unwanted fluid collections in the first couple of days. The procedure is done in our AAAHC approved surgical facility under the care of a board certified, MD anesthesiologist.

The Recovery

The recovery of a Neck Lift is somewhat similar to a facelift, although, perhaps a bit easier. The drainage tube is generally removed in 2 days. There is some degree of tight sensation around the neck, but breathing and swallowing should not be effected. The incisions are generally hidden in the hairline and behind the ear and are a bit more noticeable until full healing occurs in 3 weeks. A compressive neck strap as often recommended in the first 2 weeks to assist with avoidance of fluid collections. The pain associated with a Neck Lift is generally minimal and easily managed with mild narcotics.


Q: Can you just remove the excess neck skin in the middle of the neck where I have a turkey gobbler?

A: In general, directly dressing excess skin of the neck by excising it in the front is avoided because of the noticeable ability of the scarring. This procedure is most often performed on males as they seemed to tolerate the scar better and can hide it in a beard. In addition, the skin of the male neck seems to scar better and is less noticeable in older men. This procedure is rarely performed on a woman. The direct excision of skin and fat from the middle of the neck also involves some degree of zigzag scarring to break up the appearance and make it less noticeable.

Q: My neck has wrinkles-does Botox work?

A: The use of Botox on the neck may help the appearance of excess muscle tightening. It is considered “off label” and is infrequently performed to rejuvenate the neck skin. Other non- invasive procedures such as Thermage can tighten neck skin and IPL may help skin coloration changes.

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