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Neck lifts are conducted on an outpatient basis using either general anesthesia or a combination of local anesthesia with sedation. Incisions are made under the chin and behind the ears. The surgeon stretches the skin over the area to identify and remove excess skin. Liposuction may be used to remove excess fat. The neck muscles and surrounding tissue are tightened and the incision is closed. A newer endoscopic procedure offers the same results with a smaller incision and less scarring. Neck lift surgery lasts between 2 and 3 hours. If only liposuction is needed, the incision is made below the chin and the surgery lasts about one hour.
Compression bandages will be applied to the neck immediately following the surgery and remain for one week. This helps reduce swelling and discomfort. Swelling and bruising are normal and will subside over a few weeks. Numbness, pulling and/or a burning sensation are also common during the first few weeks. Most patients return to normal activity within 10-14 days, but may have to restrict strenuous activities for about 3 to 4 weeks.