What is a neck lift?

A neck lift is designed to address loose skin, excess fat and/or loose muscle in the neck area. The neck tends to be one of the earliest areas of the face to show aging, and recreating that youthful neckline can have a dramatic effect on facial appearance. 

This procedure can be done several ways depending on the degree of aging, either by a small incision under the chin or incisions in front of and behind the ear. That choice can be made between the patient and surgeon through a consultation.

Why choose us?

For best results, choose a surgeon with significant experience in cosmetic surgery. Ask your surgeon about their credentials, training and how many similar procedures they’ve performed. 

  • Learn more about Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center.
  • Before & After Photos

    Before & After Photos

    How to Prepare

    How to Prepare

    Am I a candidate for neck lift surgery (chin 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.” There are many approaches that can be used to address the neck alone or in combination with the jowl and cheek area. This decision is best made in consultation with your surgeon. The typical age of a patient to receive this procedure is between 30 and 70 years (or older).

    Good candidates for neck lift surgery include:

    • People with excess skin under their chin and neck area that has lost elasticity.
    • People with excess fat under the chin and neck area.
    • Healthy people who don’t have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase the risk of surgery complications.

    For a neck lift through a chin incision, skin quality may significantly affect the degree of profile improvement. So, good candidates for neck lift through a chin incision surgery include:

    • Young or middle-aged people.
    • People with minimal, mild or moderate skin excess.
    • People with mild to moderate subplatysmal fat.

    People with more significant skin aging can be treated by skin removal under the chin or by incisions made in front of and behind the ear.

    How do I prepare for neck lift surgery?

    Preparing for your neck lift surgery at Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center will include discussing a few questions about your health, desires and lifestyle with your plastic surgeon. They’ll evaluate your general health status and any preexisting health conditions or risk factors as part of a 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.
    • Any medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments.
    • Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco or drugs.
    • Previous surgeries.

    Your plastic surgeon will 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.
    What to Expect

    What to Expect

    How is a neck lift performed?

    Your surgeon can perform neck lift surgery 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 is also tightened through the chin incision (platysmaplasty).
    3. In older adults, skin is removed directly from under the chin through a zig-zag incision. So, no incision is made in front of or behind the ear. This technique reduces the complexity of the procedure.

    Is a neck lift safe?

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

    • Swelling and bruising that can last for several days.
    • Tightness, tingling ort different sensations (including burning or pulling).
    • Numbness on your 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 healthcare provider).
    • Allergic reaction to medications given during or after your surgery (very rare).


    What results can I expect?

    The results of neck lift surgery (chin lift) are visible almost immediately. But it may take several months to see the final results (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. Overall results are generally long-lasting. View our neck lift before-and-after photos to see results from actual patients.

    What is involved in recovery?

    Recovery from a neck lift takes time, and it’s important to be 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’ll have to wait at least two to three weeks to resume those activities (depending on the extent of the procedure).

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

    Insurance & Financing

    Insurance & Financing

    Insurance rarely covers the cost of elective cosmetic surgery and procedures. Please call 216.444.4004 and ask to speak with one of our financial representatives who can explain payment options, including CareCredit financing.