Over the course of a lifetime, our necks are subject to sun exposure and the effects of gravity, both of which naturally lead to the signs of ageing. The common signs of ageing in and around the neckline are a loss of structure, sagging skin, and occasionally neck thickening or band-link neck muscles which only plastic surgery can resolve. Necks, like arms and hands, often show the signs of ageing more prominently compared to other areas of our bodies, such as thighs and tummies, and while a sufficient and daily skincare routine can help, the signs of ageing on the neck are often impossible to avoid.

When the signs of ageing referred to as ‘turkey neck’ appear they can cause many people to feel self-conscious, and in serious cases can result in conditions such as anxiety and depression. What’s more, the neck often ages faster than the face (as do the eyelids), which can cause disparity between the two, with the aged neck giving a patient’s age away. Signs of an aging neck can begin in the late thirties and are often the reason for a patient to see a plastic surgeon. A necklift (platysmaplasty) cosmetic procedure can tackle the signs on ageing on the neck, resulting in a younger, healthier looking neckline.

Dr Dirk Kremer is renowned for his expertise in facial rejuvenation surgeries with healthy natural outcomes. A necklift procedure may be an excellent option to correct excess skin on the neck, any excess neck fat, and/or muscle banding. Necklifts are often performed in conjunction with a facelift, although they can be effectively performed as a standalone plastic surgery procedure. Based on your individual needs, Dr Kremer will perform a personalised necklift procedure to specifically address your anatomy, as well as your desired changes.

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The necklift surgery

If you are unhappy with the appearance of your neck, and are considering a plastic surgery procedure, before any operation is performed, you will meet with Dr Kremer in his office on Harley Street in London. During the consultation, Dr Kremer will discuss with you why you are seeking the cosmetic procedure, and what the surgery can achieve for you.

A ‘necklift’ is commonly performed under sedation, or general anaesthesia, by making an incision around the earlobes, behind both ears. In extreme neck rejuvenation, the incision ends in the hair behind the ears. First, the skin of the neck is undermined and the flat neck muscle (Platysma) with the overlying fat exposed. The muscle, or platysma, is then undermined almost to the midline of the neck from both sides and tightened by pulling the muscle up to the sides and held in place with a few internal but dissolvable stitches. As part of the operation, the neck muscle will be positioned so that it creates the desired swan-like angulation of a youthful neck. Platysmal bands of the turkey neck and jowels will be removed and the jawline smoothened. In a second step the skin of the neck is tension-free draped over the re-shaped neck and jawline by lifting the skin to the sides and up behind the ears with resecting the skin which is overlapping the incision around the ears. By doing this two-step approach to a necklift, Dr Kremer makes sure the angles of the mouth aren’t pulled and stretched to the side. The result is very natural with no tell-tale signs of a necklift.

In some surgeries, fat pods under the chin are also removed through targeted, submental liposuction of the deep fat deposits.

Before the necklift

If, after an initial consultation with Dr Kremer, you decide a necklift is the plastic surgery procedure for you, there are a few ways to prepare in order to ensure your surgery is performed efficiently and safely. First, you should avoid drinking alcohol and smoking or vaping at least a couple of weeks before the operation; smoking and drinking can result in serious complications during the operation and they can also lengthen the recovery process.

If you are taking any medications, it is vital that you inform Dr Kremer about these beforehand, along with any special dietary requirements. As the surgery is commonly performed as a day case, you should arrange beforehand for someone to drive you to and from the hospital, and to any post-operative appointments.

After the necklift

While not as invasive as a breast augmentation, tummy tuck or breast lift, a necklift is still classed as an invasive plastic surgery procedure, which means you’ll need to take some time off work to recover; this will of course be longer if you had a necklift combined with a facelift. You will likely experience some bruising and swelling in the neck area especially on the earlobes for the first 24-48 hours. You could also experience some tightness in the neck area, but any pain is mild and responds very well to pain medications A head bandage must be worn for the first night, but after this, no head band needs to be worn unless you combined your necklift with a submental liposuction. You should be able to return to work within 1-2 weeks, but you should avoid any strenuous activities such as heavy lifting or work-outs. Any scarring should subside over the weeks and months following the procedure, but some can take up to 1 year to fully heal. Since they are well hidden around the earlobe and behind the ears patients can even wear their hair up in a tale after a few weeks.

Complications of a necklift

Any cosmetic surgery procedure carries risk, and can result in complications. However, with suitable pre- and post-operative care, these complications are extremely rare. Complications arising during or after a necklift procedure are very rare but include post-operative bleeding with hematoma, infection, swelling, skin numbness and abnormal scarring and stretched scars or earlobes which can be revised through a minor corrective surgery. Smokers also suffer the risk of skin necrosis and must stop smoking at least 4 weeks prior to the surgery.

Necklift in a nutshell

  • Length of procedure: 1.5 hours
  • Anaesthesia: Sedation or general anaesthesia
  • Time in hospital: Day case
  • Recovery period: Short - 1-2 weeks
  • Average age of patients: 40+

Book an appointment with Dr Kremer today!

Based on Harley Street in the heart of London, Dr Dirk Kremer is one of the best plastic surgeons in the world, and was recently voted as the UK’s No. 1 for necklifts by Tatler, and the world’s best by W Magazine. To book your consultation with Dr Kremer, contact us today on 0845 519 7232, email, or fill in our easy and convenient online enquiry form.