Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery

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Neck Lift

A neck lift offers a smoother and more toned appearance to skin under the chin and neck area that has lost elasticity. An elegant neck contour is not only associated with a youthful appearance, but also with health and vitality.

Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center surgeons offer many neck lift procedures (also called a cervicoplasty) and complimentary cosmetic techniques for both men and women that result in a younger, more vibrant look – and overall outlook.

Before & After Photos



Am I a candidate for a neck lift?

Aging of the neck is usually a combination of loose skin and muscle and some excess fat. This combination results in the so-called “turkey gobbler.” For those who simply want this area treated and not the entire face, a neck lift can be beneficial. A neck lift can be performed on those who feel the need to improve their neck contour. Typical patients range between the ages of 30 and 70.

Good candidates for neck lift surgery include:

  • Individuals with excess skin under the chin and neck area that has lost elasticity
  • Individuals with excess fat under the chin and neck area
  • Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of surgery.

For a neck lift through a chin incision, the degree of profile improvement correlates best with skin quality. Therefore, good candidates for neck lift through a chin incision surgery include:

  • Young or middle-aged individuals
  • Individuals with minimal, mild or moderate skin excess
  • Individuals with mild to moderate subplatysmal fat

How do I prepare for a neck lift?

Preparing for your neck lift procedure at Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center will include discussing a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle with your plastic surgeon. He or she will evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors as part of this consultation.

To ensure the best results from your neck lift procedure, be prepared to discuss:

  • Why you want the surgery, your expectations and desired outcome
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
  • Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
  • Previous surgeries

Your plastic surgeon may also:

  • Examine and measure your face
  • Take photographs for your medical record
  • Discuss your neck lift procedure options and recommend a course of treatment
  • Discuss likely outcomes of a neck lift and any risks or potential complications.


Are there any limitations to what a neck lift can achieve?

Neck lifts deal only with the neck itself. They cannot correct problems of the brow area, which are better treated with a forehead lift, or problems with the lower two-thirds of the face, which is addressed with a facelift.

How long does an actual neck lift procedure last?

A neck lift typically takes between two and three hours to complete.

Are the results permanent?

Surgery cannot stop aging, so in all likelihood the results of your neck lift will not last forever. You will begin to see a little loose skin in the area in several years. Significant weight gain can also affect the results, causing neck fullness and sagging.

The neck often ages disproportionately when compared to the remainder of the face. This is often due to the lack of strength of the jaw line or the position of the breakpoint where the neck begins.

This is specifically differentiated from a facelift, which involves the lower two-thirds of the face, as well as the neck and undersurface of the chin. The neck lift is less involved than a facelift.

One of the best ways to decide if cosmetic surgery is right for you is by meeting with a cosmetic or plastic surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center.

During this first consultation, you and your surgeon will discuss your goals and expectations. Your surgeon will also:

How is a neck lift performed?

Neck lift surgery can be performed in a variety of ways:

  1. An incision can be made behind the ear or alternatively in front of and behind the ear, similar to a facelift incision. In this technique, excess neck skin is removed through the incision made behind the ear.
  2. An alternative method, popularized by Cleveland Clinic plastic surgeons, involves creating an incision under the chin without removing any skin and without the need for an incision in front of the ear. Release of the neck skin from the underlying muscles allows the skin to contract without skin removal. The platysma muscle (platysmaplasty) is also tightened through the chin incision.
  3. In the elderly, skin is removed directly from under the chin through a zig-zag incision. No incision is therefore made in front of or behind the ear. This reduces the complexity of the procedure.

What results can I expect?

The results of a neck lift procedure are visible almost immediately. Your final results may take several months for all subtle swelling to subside. Because of the minimally invasive approach used at Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center, scars from this procedure may be small in properly selected patients. Overall results are generally long lasting.

What is involved in recovery?

Recovery from a neck lift takes time, and it’s important that you’re patient with the process. Most people can return to work in seven to 14 days. If you participate in sports or are physically active, you will have to wait at least three weeks to resume those activities.

Your plastic surgeon may also recommend you wear a medical compression bandage to help reduce post-operative swelling. This is usually worn night and day for at least five to seven days and then only at night for a longer period of time. It’s important to follow instructions to ensure proper recovery.

Is a neck lift safe?

All surgical procedures carry some risk. Possible complications from a neck lift include:

  • Swelling and bruising that can last for several days
  • Tightness or tingling and different sensations including burning or pulling
  • Numbness on the skin, which is normal in the first few weeks following surgery
  • Risk of infection (At the first sign of a fever or unusual discharge from the incision site, contact your doctor)
  • Allergic reaction to medications given during or after your surgery (very rare).

Why Choose Us

If you’re considering a neck lift, look for a board-certified plastic surgeon with specialized training and significant experience performing neck lift procedures. Consider going to a plastic surgeon who is affiliated with a major medical center, such as Cleveland Clinic. Ask your plastic surgeon about credentials, training and how many neck lift procedures he or she has performed. Facial Cosmetic Surgeries at Cleveland Clinic

Facial Cosmetic Surgeries at Cleveland Clinic

Is this procedure covered by health insurance?

Like all cosmetic procedures, neck lift is not covered by health insurance plans. Ask to talk with a financial representative from Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center who can explain the costs of the procedure and payment options.

This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

Have Questions? Contact the Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center