Your Ultimate Guide to Neck Lift Surgery for Early Signs of Aging

Signs of needing a Necklift

Did you know your neck may be aging you even more than your face is? It’s true. While facelifts have long been considered the gold standard of rejuvenation, neck lift surgery may be your secret to looking your best.

As board-certified plastic surgeons in Chicago, Dr. Thomas Mustoe and Dr. Sammy Sinno specialize in turning back the clock with natural-looking facial rejuvenation results. With neck lift surgery, they’re able to take years off a patient’s appearance without leaving behind any obvious signs of surgery.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss why neck aging happens, how neck lift surgery can help, and what you need to know before you schedule your consultation.

Why Does the Neck Age So Quickly?

Neck aging happens much in the same way aging occurs anywhere else on the face and body: The effects of gravity combined with a breakdown of collagen and elastin cause skin and fat to gradually droop and lose their structured or lifted look. The tissues in the neck, however, are especially thin and delicate. That means they’re more susceptible to changes, making the neck one of the first areas to show signs of aging in many cases.

What Causes Turkey Neck?

While neck aging may involve several different concerns, one of the most common issues is known as “turkey neck.” This refers to the neck’s drooping tissue and crepey texture that look similar to a turkey’s neck. The nickname may sound cutesy, but it’s no fun for people who feel it makes them look older and heavier than they really are.

No matter how proactive we are about preventing the signs of an aging neck, most of us experience it to some degree at some point in our lives. It’s a normal part of getting older. If, however, your find yourself unhappy with how your neck looks, you always have the option to rejuvenate it with a neck lift.

What Is a Neck Lift?

A neck lift is a plastic surgery procedure that creates a number of cosmetic improvements in the neck area, including:

  • Tightening excess skin
  • Reducing stubborn fat
  • Correcting neck banding
  • Smoothing the skin
  • Creating a younger, more slender appearance

If you would like to see examples of the results that are possible with a neck lift, please visit our before-and-after photo gallery.

How Do I Know If I Need a Neck Lift, a Facelift, or Liposuction?

With multiple options available for lower-face and neck rejuvenation, how can you decide which one is right for you? Here are some things to consider:

  • Neck lift: A neck lift may be your best solution if you are looking to tighten excess skin from the chin down and minimize the appearance of vertical platysmal bands.
  • Liposuction: Liposuction reduces excess fat in the neck, correcting the appearance of a “double chin.” However, you’ll need to have good skin elasticity as this approach does not tighten skin.
  • Facelift: If your primary concerns are jowls, facial sagging, and folds or wrinkles in the lower face, this may be the best solution for you.

Often, a combination of 2 or more of the procedures is the best way to achieve comprehensive and natural-looking results. To learn more about whether a facelift or neck lift is right for you, please see our previous blog post.


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A post shared by Sammy Sinno, MD (@drsammysinno)

Where Are Neck Lift Incisions Made?

Dr. Mustoe has developed his own approach to a deep-plane neck lift that he and Dr. Sinno both perform. They use incisions made either under the chin or behind the ears to lift and tighten the deeper tissues of the neck for long-lasting rejuvenation. These incisions are small and inconspicuous, leaving behind virtually no signs you’ve had a procedure done.

Can I Have a Neck Lift Done Under Local Anesthesia?

Dr. Mustoe and Dr. Sinno prefer to perform neck lifts using local anesthesia as this lowers risks associated with general anesthesia and minimizes recovery time. They combine this with light sedation to make sure you are comfortable and at ease from start to finish.

What Is Neck Lift Recovery Like Day by Day?

With Dr. Mustoe’s and Dr. Sinno’s quick-recovery technique, most people are back to work within 10 days. Your timeline may look like the following:

  • Day 1: You’ll have someone you trust drive you home the day of your surgery. You’ll focus on getting plenty of rest, sleeping with your head elevated, and gently applying ice to minimize swelling.
  • Day 2: You may have some soreness, which many people are able to manage with over-the-counter pain medication. It’s normal to feel fatigued, especially during the first few days.
  • Days 3 to 7: Your bruising and swelling will peak and then begin to subside. Your surgeons will see you for a follow-up visit to check on your healing and results.
  • Days 7 to 10: Your bruising and swelling will subside to the point they can be covered with makeup. Your energy levels will return to normal, and you’ll begin to resume your usual routine.
  • Day 11 and on: With your surgeon’s clearance, you’ll gradually resume light exercise and then more vigorous workouts. Your incisions will continue to heal and fade into thin, light, barely visible lines.


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A post shared by Sammy Sinno, MD (@drsammysinno)

How Much Does a Neck Lift Cost?

In 2020, the average cost of a neck lift was $5,774 (American Society of Plastic Surgeons). However, the cost of your neck lift may vary depending on:

  • The technique used
  • Your surgeon’s experience and expertise
  • The geographic region where your surgery is performed
  • Whether you combine your neck lift with other procedures

You can finance your procedure with companies like CareCredit® and ALPHAEON® Credit to break up the cost of your procedure into affordable monthly payments.

Are There Any Nonsurgical Neck Lift Alternatives?

While surgery is the gold standard for rejuvenating the neck, there are some nonsurgical alternatives that may be effective for those with early signs of aging:

These nonsurgical treatments are also excellent for maintaining your neck lift results following surgery.

New Neck, New You

Your best neck starts with a one-one-consultation to discuss all the possibilities. If you would like to learn more about neck lift surgery from a facial plastic surgeon in Chicago, please request a consultation online or call (312) 788-2560.


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