Neck Lift

Gregory Dumanian, M.D., a skilled Chicago neck lift provider, treats patients who are unhappy with the noticeable signs of aging that can appear on the neck. The neck is often the first region to show signs of aging, so even patients with a youthful-looking face may be frustrated with the appearance of their neck. As a person ages, excess skin or fat on the neck may develop. Saggy skin with no elasticity or band lines across the neck may also appear. However, these conditions are treatable with neck lift surgery.

Neck lift surgery is frequently performed in conjunction with facelift surgery, liposuction of the neck area or other facial rejuvenation procedures in order to achieve optimum results. However, some patients find that neck lift alone is enough to make them look rejuvenated and regain their self-confidence.

Suitable Candidates for Neck Lift Surgery

Individuals who are self-conscious about their neck and understand the risks and rewards of neck lift surgery may be suitable candidates for the procedure. Neck lift patients widely range in age. Younger patients have mostly excess neck fat, while older patients have a combination of either excess fat or skin excess. Suitable neck lift candidates should be in good overall physical and mental health, and should not smoke. Certain conditions may affect a patient’s ability to undergo neck lift surgery, so they should discuss any health concerns with Dr. Dumanian during consultation.

Neck Lift Preparation

Dr. Dumanian may do a medical evaluation of patients or have them get certain laboratory tests prior to neck lift surgery to ensure sufficient health and help avoid any complications. He may also prescribe certain medications for patients or have them adjust their current medications. For instance, patients should stop taking anti-inflammatory medications, such as Advil, Motrin or aspirin, prior to surgery, as these may increase bleeding.

Neck lift patients who smoke should quit well in advance of the procedure, as smoking impedes the healing process. They should also eat as healthfully as possible, as this will aid the body in the healing process.

It’s also important to have the following on-hand for use in the minutes and days after the procedure: ice packs, towels, gauze, a thermometer, petroleum jelly, antibacterial ointment, pillows, loose-fitting clothing (that does not need to be pulled over the head) and approved pain relievers.

Dr. Dumanian can usually perform neck lift surgery on an outpatient basis. As such, neck lift patients should arrange to have someone drive them to and from surgery. They also need someone to stay with them on the first night following surgery.

What to Expect During the Procedure

Depending on their aesthetic goals and individual anatomy, Dr. Dumanian may suggest neck lift surgery in conjunction with other cosmetic procedures. These may be surgical procedures such as liposuction or non-surgical procedures such as Botox injections. Because patients may undergo several procedures during neck lift treatment, operation time varies from one hour to a number of hours.

Again, Dr. Dumanian can typically perform neck lift surgery on an outpatient basis. However, he will employ either local or general anesthesia to ensure comfort during the procedure.

Dr. Dumanian may choose to perform one or all of the following techniques during neck lift, as discussed with the patient during consultation. Here is a brief run-down of what each technique entails.

Male Neck-Lift, or Cervicoplasty

Some older men specifically dislike excess skin that hangs immediately below and under the chin, but do not wish a full neck lift with incisions behind the ears. These patients can undergo a direct excision of this extra neck skin, with the scar hidden in subtle skin creases of the neck. These male neck-lifts are often performed in the office using local anesthetic and pills for sedation.

Neck Liposuction

For patients with excess fat in the neck area, Dr. Dumanian may suggest liposuction. If Dr. Dumanian performs liposuction during neck lift, this will usually be the first procedure he performs. With liposuction, he makes an incision in an area below the chin through which he inserts a cannula (a thin, hollow tube). Dr. Dumanian then uses the cannula to break up excess fat and extract it. Finally, Dr. Dumanian closes the incision with sutures. Liposuction of the neck can often be performed as an office procedure.


Dr. Dumanian may also perform platysmaplasty, which is a procedure used to correct bands that stretch across the neck. First, Dr. Dumanian makes an incision under the chin, behind the ears or both. He next removes a part of certain neck muscles or repositions them, causing a tightening effect in the mid-neck area. Dr. Dumanian may suture parts of the muscles to affix them permanently into place. Once he is satisfied, Dr. Dumanian will close the incisions with sutures or adhesive surgical glue as appropriate.

Neck Lift Post-Operative Care and Recovery

Recovery time varies by patient. Dr. Dumanian or his knowledgeable staff will advise patients about how to care for the treated area following surgery, as well as let them know what to expect during the recovery period. However, here is some general information regarding the recovery process following neck lift surgery.

Following neck lift surgery, patients may experience bruising or swelling of the treated area. This can last for 10 days. Dr. Dumanian may place a bandage on the treated area to lessen bruising and swelling. He may also prescribe pain medication to ease any post-operative pain or discomfort, as well as an antibiotic to fight possible infection.

Patients may also feel tightness, tingling, numbness, burning or other skin sensations following surgery. These symptoms should dissipate with time.

Neck lift patients should sleep with their head elevated for approximately two weeks to lessen any swelling. Patients can sleep with two pillows or on a recliner, but they should try to keep their head as still as possible.

They should take it easy in the first week following surgery and should ease back into normal activities as directed by Dr. Dumanian. It is also important to avoid anti-inflammatory drugs, alcohol — and of course, smoking — until Dr. Dumanian says otherwise. Typically, patients return to work about 10 days to two weeks following neck lift surgery.

Final neck lift results may take three to six months to be actualized, as swelling decreases and incision lines fade.

Are Neck Lift Results Permanent?

Neck lift surgery results are generally long-lasting; though they are not permanent. The neck and face will continue to age. No surgery can completely stop the aging process. However, avoiding excessive amounts of sun and being diligent about sun protection will help extend a patient’s youthful, refreshed appearance. Not smoking and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will also help a patient maintain the aesthetic results of neck lift surgery.

Neck Lift Risks

Dr. Dumanian takes every precaution to minimize any risks associated with neck lift surgery or plastic surgery in general. However, as with any surgery, there are inherent risks involved. For instance, skin numbness in the treated area may occur, and in rare instances, may be permanent. Other risks include infection, a buildup of scar tissue, skin puckering, persistent bruising of skin and any risks associated with the use of anesthesia, among others. Symptoms should generally be mild and should dissipate within a few weeks following surgery.

Is Neck Lift Covered by Insurance?

Neck lift surgery is considered an elective cosmetic procedure. As a result, it is not typically covered by medical insurance.

To learn more about how neck lift surgery can erase telltale signs of aging, or to schedule a personal consultation, please contact Dr. Dumanian at Northwestern Plastic Surgery by calling (312) 695-5660.

More about Dr. Gregory Dumanian

Dr. Gregory Dumanian is a board certified plastic surgeon in Chicago who offers a wide range of aesthetic and reconstructive procedures. To learn more about the treatment options available, contact Dr. Dumanian at 312-695-1999.