Neck Lift

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Having a fleshy neck, otherwise known as a “turkey neck,” can make some individuals feel self-conscious about their appearance. This unattractive neck appearance can be the result of such factors as aging, genetics, and being overweight, just to name a few. Having a turkey neck has caused many individuals to seek out a plastic surgeon for a procedure that will help them enhance their appearance. A neck lift is such a surgical procedure that offers a solution.

There are two types of neck lift procedures to improve the appearance of your neck.

  • Cervicoplasty: this procedure is used to remove excess skin
  • Platysmaplasty: this procedure removes or alters neck muscles

During the neck lift procedure, excess fat and skin are removed from the neck and the neck muscles are either removed or altered. This results in a more defined neck and jawline appearance. This can be performed alone, or in conjunction with other procedures such as a facelift, liposuction or a chin implant in order to further enhance the appearance of the neck. One procedure alone like liposuction or a chin implant can bring about a better neck appearance. To find out what technique(s) can help you enhance the appearance of your neck, consult with your plastic surgeon.

Pre-surgery planning:

  • The surgery usually takes two or three hours. The time will vary according to whether or not the surgeon is removing skin or fat or both and whether or not the neck lift is being done in conjunction with another procedure.
  • In order to undergo a neck lift, you must be in a good general health, both physically and mentally.
  • Be frank with your surgeon about what you hope the surgery will do for you. There are limitations to every surgery and a good surgeon will explain all of the risks involved to you.
  • During your consultation, your surgeon will instruct you on what medications to avoid prior to your surgery.
  • If you are a smoker, you must quit at least two weeks before the surgery and for at least two weeks after to ensure proper healing.
  • Make sure you wear loose, comfortable clothing on the day of the surgery

“Turkey wattle” or loose neck muscles
If you have weakened or loose muscle, this may cause the “turkey wattle” or appearance of neck bands.
Your surgeon may recommend platysmaplasty surgery to correct this. The surgeon makes incisions under your chin and/or in front of your ears to access the platysma and manipulate it accordingly. The surgeon may also use permanent sutures to hold the tissue in place.
Your surgeon may be able to use either local or general anesthesia depending on your age.

Excess fat:

Removing excess fat in the neck area is usually done with liposuction where the surgeon will make a small incision below the chin through which he or she will remove the excess fat. This procedure takes approximately an hour. Your incisions will be stitched and bandaged.

Too much skin:

When excess skin is the main reason for wanting to undergo a neck lift the surgeon will usually make incisions behind the bottom part of the ear and extend them into the hairline, trimming excess skin and lifting it into place. It will be secured with tissue glue or stitches. This procedure is often completed in about two or four hours, depending on the complexity of your procedure. Again, the anesthesia used will be determined by you and your surgeon.


Patients may go home the same day of surgery. Most people return to work within a week. You need to wait for at least three weeks before you become physically active.


  • In the first 70-10 days after the surgery you will have swelling and bruising
  • You may feel tightness or tingling and different sensations including burning or pulling
  • You may also experience temporary numbness in the neck area.

Dr. Kearney will go over all of the risks of this procedure with you during your pre-operative appointment.

Our office is now open!

Your health (and ours) is our highest priority so we are making a few changes to our reopening so that you can feel safe and confident coming in to see us. We are of course following all federal and local guidelines such as wearing masks and conducting phone screenings prior to your appointment but we are also implementing the following:

      Increasing the frequency of cleaning and sterilization to not only include exam rooms but also the waiting room, restroom, all doors, counters, etc.

      Offering multiple hand sanitizer locations throughout the office

      Reducing the number of appointments per day as well as our office hours, to limit the number of people in the office, including staff members

      Minimizing patient overlap to allow for proper social distancing

      Testing all surgery patients for COVID-19 at their pre-operative appointments

      Asking patients to leave family members or friends at home, unless they are coming with their primary caregiver. Please leave children at home as well


How can you help?

      Come alone to your appointment, unless you need your primary caregiver with you

      Please wear a mask or face covering to your visit and keep it on unless you are asked by Dr. Kearney or an RN to remove it

      Postpone your visit if you have traveled by air or experienced symptoms in the last 14 days

      Use a pen from the holder marked “clean” and put it in the one marked “used” when you’re done

      Use the hand sanitizers in our office

      In the rare case there is someone at the front desk when you come in please take a seat until we call you and maintain proper distance throughout your visit

      Take advantage of our virtual consultations or follow up appointments if it makes you feel more comfortable

Please bear with us as we work to return to our new “normal” and feel free to call or email with any questions. We look forward to seeing you again soon!


Dr. Kearney and staff