Neck Lift

Neck lift treats excess fat or sagging skin of the jawline or neck

An neck lift, also known as a rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure to treat excess fat or sagging skin on the jawline or neck, creating a more youthful contour. While aging contributes to sagging skin in the neck and jowls, heredity, stress and the environment can also factor in.

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You may be an ideal candidate for a neck lift if you experience any of the following age-related issues:

  • Loose neck skin
  • Sagging jowls
  • Excess fat deposits under the chin, resulting in a “double chin”
  • Excess fat in the neck
  • A “turkey wattle”
  • Muscle banding in the neck

As with all medical procedures, excellent candidates are those in good overall health and who have informed, realistic expectations. We serve clients from Savannah, Hilton Head and surrounding areas.


An initial consultation with Dr. Minton is the first step to any procedure. There he will discuss your health history and closely examine your face to determine the precise changes to be made and techniques to achieve the most long-lasting and natural-looking results.


A neck lift is a very personalized process, and Dr. Minton will determine which technique will be used based on your goals; but there are three general steps, which include:

Anesthesia. Before the start of the surgery, local anesthesia with intravenous sedation or general anesthesia is administered to the patient to ensure there’s no pain or discomfort during the surgery. The type of anesthesia depends on the technique used and if any other procedures are going to be done at the same time.
Incisions. Again, there are many factors that determine the neck lift techniques Dr. Minton will use, including the degree of change desired by the patient and the nature of those changes.

A traditional neck lift incision begins at the hairline where a sideburn would be and continues down and around the ear, ending at the hairline on the back of the head. Often times this is combined with liposuction of the neck which is performed through a small incision under the chin.

Adjustments. A traditional neck lift incision allows Dr. Minton to sculpt or redistribute fat from the jowls and neck. He can also reposition the tissue under the neck skin and tighten the muscles. Skin is redraped over the uplifted contours and excess skin is trimmed away. A separate incision under the chin is often necessary for liposuction and to repair the muscle. Sutures close the incisions.
Sealing the incisions. The incisions will be sealed with sutures in order to help them heal and to keep out any germs, preventing infections.


After the neck lift, a bandage is applied, but will be removed the next day. The stitches will be removed a week after the surgery.

Dr. Minton will provide careful instructions regarding how to care for the incisions, what medications need to be taken during recovery and follow-up appointments.

In particular, you may want to rest your head at an incline for the first couple of days to prevent swelling. You will also be asked to avoid any intense physical activities, exposure to the sun, excess touching of the face, medicines such as aspirin and ibuprofen and smoking.

As time progresses, you will see visible improvements which include a younger and more rested appearance.


How long does a neck lift take?
A neck lift procedure usually takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

How much downtime can I expect after a neck lift?
Your bandages will remain in place for one day, after which you can shower as normal. Stitches are usually removed a week after surgery. Bruising and swelling may last for 7-10 days. Most patients can return to work 7 to 10 days after surgery; however, more strenuous activities should be avoided for 3 to 4 weeks. It’s important to limit sun exposure for several months.

Will it hurt?
The patient doesn’t feel anything during a neck lift. Post surgery, patients can experience swelling, bruising and discomfort that will steadily improve within 2 weeks. Dr. Minton can prescribe medication to address any discomfort.

Can I have other procedures at the same time as a neck lift?
Yes, some patients elect to have additional procedures while undergoing a neck lift, such as a blepharoplasty (eyelid lift), rhinoplasty or mini facelift. Having multiple procedures at one time can limit the amount of downtime overall and provide more dramatic results, depending on the patient’s goals.

Why would I get a neck lift instead of a facelift or mini facelift?
Patients who choose a neck lift over a facelift or mini facelift usually do so because the rest of the face does not show the same signs of aging as the neck. Whereas a neck lift tightens and sculpts that area area, a mini facelift treats the lower third of the face and a full facelift treats the entire face.

What other options are there to treat the neck area?
While a neck lift addresses the lowest portion of the face, a mini facelift will also address the cheeks and area around the mouth. Neck liposuction alone or a nonsurgical option such as Kybella are viable options for permanent change, but again, the results may not be as dynamic. Dr. Minton will address any alternative options during the consultation.

Will my scars be visible?
The goal for every neck lift is to provide the patient with the most natural-looking and longest-lasting results. This includes making incisions in areas where they are not noticeable. Because neck lift incisions are made within the hairline, they’re virtually invisible.


Our skilled, double-board certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Minton is available to discuss a neck lift in greater detail during a consultation at our Savannah Facial Plastic Surgery office in Savannah. We serve clients from Savannah, Hilton Head and surrounding areas. Arrange your consultation by contacting us today.