A neck lift surgery is a cosmetic procedure that minimizes the signs of aging on and around the neck and jaw line.  It is usually done as an integral part of a traditional facelift.  In the past, facelift surgery involved only the removal of excess facial and neck skin.  Today, there are several techniques used in facelifts, depending upon the problem each patient has and what the patient wants to achieve.  Each technique allows the surgeon to improve results and meet the needs of individual patients.  The most common patient concerns are the jowls that occur along the jaw line, lax skin in the neck, bands or “turkey gobbler” appearance of the neck under the chin, and an accumulation of fat immediately beneath the chin.  In order to correct these problems, all of the involved tissues must be corrected.  That is to say, not only is excess skin excised and fat removed with liposuction but the platysma muscle is lifted and tightened as well.  It is called the platysma cervical lift.  Excess muscle which causes bands under the chin can be removed, and the muscle to decrease or eliminate the jowls can be elevated.  By pulling the sagging muscle up, those muscles can be tightened and tension on the skin avoided.  The goal is to provide a more youthful looking chin and neck by restoring the correct chin/neck angle, and at the same time treating jowls and any skin laxity in the lower face and neck area.

The neck lift procedure is often performed to:

  • Remove excessive deposit of fats and the relaxation of the skin that creates jowls.
  • Eliminate a double chin due to fat deposits.
  • Tighten loose skin around the neck.
  • Reduce muscle banding and create a younger looking neck area.

There are many factors that cause the loss of youthful features along the neck and jaw line: Heredity, aging, stress, diet, smoking, poor skin care, and even environmental conditions all play a part.  When these factors are causing you to age prematurely or you want to turn back the clock a bit, a neck lift can be a good option recapture your youthful beauty.

Neck lift surgery risks and complications:

You must consider all the risks and complications that are associated with the neck lift surgery along with its benefits. You should be extremely careful before deciding upon undergoing a neck lift surgery because it may affect the overall physical features and the way you look. To keep the risk factor at a minimum, it is important that you have a highly skilled and experienced plastic or cosmetic surgeon.  Some of the risks and complications include:

  • Bleeding
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Skin discoloration
  • Skin irregularities
  • Surfacing of sutures on the skin, can cause rashes and irritation
  • Persistent pain
  • Unsatisfactory results may require a repeated process
  • Facial asymmetry
  • Poor wound healing
  • Numbness and skin sensation
  • Skin loss
  • Prolonged swelling
  • Infection
  • Nerve injury although it is unlikely and very rare
  • Can cause hair loss
  • Anesthesia risks

How to prepare for neck lift surgery:

In order to prepare yourself for the neck lift surgery, doctors recommend following these steps:

  • Get your medical test and evaluation
  • Quit smoking
  • No anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Stop taking aspirin or other blood thinners
  • Avoid herbal supplements
  • Determine steps to take prior to the surgery
  • Discuss post-operative care
  • Discuss the use of anesthesia
  • Discuss follow up procedures

Neck lift surgery: Recovery

After the operation is done, the surgeon may cover the surgical site, like your neck and some part of the face with bandages or compression wraps to keep it clean and to reduce the risk of swelling. A tube may also be placed to drain the blood or fluid from the area, but that is optional, a decision your surgeon will make. The surgeon will give you proper instructions on how to take care of the surgical site and also any medications that you may need.


For more information about the neck lift surgery or to contact a leading neck lift surgeon in Costa Rica, please fill out the “Help Me Find a Doctor” form in this page.  A participating medical specialist will contact you to discuss your case.