A neck lift, or platysmaplasty, is surgery to reduce the look of sagging, loose skin in the neck area and under the jawline. People who complain of having a fleshy neck, "jowls," neck banding or a "turkey wattle" can benefit from this procedure.
A neck lift can be performed at almost any age, although people usually seek it out between the ages of 30 and 70.
Like many cosmetic surgery procedures, a neck lift is usually performed on an outpatient basis with a light sleep sedation or general anesthesia. In a "skin-only" neck lift, the surgeon makes two incisions under or behind the ear, loosens the skin, re-drapes it and removes any excess. In a platysmaplasty with a skin lift, an additional incision is made under the chin.
You will most likely experience swelling and bruising in your lower face and neck that will peak on day three and then begin to dissipate. Your surgeon will advise you to take it easy for a couple of weeks or more as you recuperate.
Your stitches will probably remain in place for seven to 10 days, depending on how you are healing and your surgeon's preference.
Although some swelling will be present for several weeks, you should begin to see the results of your neck lift emerge within a week or so.
All surgery has risks and complications, and a neck lift is no exception. Potential risks include an allergic reaction to the anesthesia, infection, hematoma or seroma, lumpiness, numbness, mottling of the skin, cording, asymmetry and general dissatisfaction with the results.
Surgery cannot stop aging — nothing can — so your neck lift results will not last forever. However, they should last for several years before you start to see loose skin in the area again. Be aware that a significant weight gain could cause neck fullness and sagging.