No matter which of the many experts you turn to, the vast majority of them agree that the skin on the neck is among the first areas of the body to reveal the signs of aging and sun damage.
Experts place the neck within either the top 5 of the first areas of the body to look old and decrepit—if not the very first, #1, the fastest area of the body to age.
That makes a neck lift important for many people, both men and women, who’ve spent years outside and who lead an active life.
|Neck Lift Surgery||Time, Lifespan|
|Procedure time:||1-3 hours|
|Maximum life of results:||15 years|
|Minimum life of results:||5 years|
|Average life of results:||10 years|
Ten to 15 years, but sometimes 5
For patients with moderate to severe skin sagging and laxity, a neck lift will last anywhere from 5 to 15 years. A patient’s own skincare routine and lifestyle will also make a great deal of difference in this lifespan: The better a patient cares for their results, the longer their results will last.
- Patients who maintain their neck lift surgery results with great skin care, reduced sun exposure, the use of sunscreen, and who don’t smoke will always enjoy their neck lift results for longer periods, probably averaging about 15 years.
- Patients who spend much of their time outdoors, who lead a less active lifestyle, gain weight, eat a poor diet, and who smoke or drink, might experience results that last “as little as” 5 to 7 years.
Should you get a neck lift and, five or 10 years later, desire another, that can always be done.
Generally speaking, you can expect a surgical neck lift to last between 7.5 and 12 years, with some patient’s results lasting as long as 15.
If your neck is currently extremely aged looking, with a considerable amount of skin laxity and sagging tissue, you may be reducing the lifespan of your neck lift results, and are often better off getting a neck lift in the earliest stages of sagging possible.
A great facelift makes the neck appear older
Neck lift surgery, as the name implies, addresses the skin, muscle and platysmal bands of the neck. The face is treated during facelift surgery, the neck during neck lift surgery.
Both surgeries—a facelift and a neck lift—can be combined (done at the same time as each other), but a neck lift won’t replace a facelift and a facelift won’t substitute for a neck lift—if one is truly needed.
For patients who are experiencing the “worst” or most obvious signs of facial and neck skin aging, a neck lift may almost “need to be done” in conjunction with a facelift, since the neck is otherwise left looking aged, worn, and wrinkled.
And with the face now so freshly operated on, looking smooth, youthful, and lifted, the neck that once only looked mildly aged is now—in contrast to that fresh face—sticking out like, well, an aged neck.
5 Ways to Make Your Neck Lift Last Longer
Patients wishing to make their neck lift surgery results last longer—and who doesn’t!—should do as many of the following as possible:
1. Live a Healthier Lifestyle
People who lead an active lifestyle tend to have healthier bodies and brighter skin. While that’s not always the case and genetics and hereditary factors do come into play, on the whole, it pays to be healthy and active.
As an immediate “to-do,” aim to improve your health and diet in any one area, whether that means committing to a brisk daily walk or run, abstaining from alcohol on weekdays, drinking less soda, and eating more whole foods, fruits and vegetables, and eating less restaurant foods (which tend to be high in sodium (salt) and sugar), and fast food.
Plastic surgery results last longer in patients who maintain a good diet and lead a healthy lifestyle, and that’s especially true of a surgical neck lift, since the skin on the neck is the first to be impacted by the signs of aging and exposure to the elements.
2. Stop Smoking Cigarettes
Cigarette smoking ages the skin on the face and neck, dehydrates the body, and contributes to a laundry list of adverse health conditions. Patients should never smoke before and after any plastic surgical procedure since smoking can literally kill the newly operated on tissue, causing it it turn black and require surgical removal/debridement. Abstaining from cigarette smoking will prolong the results of any plastic surgery, but a facelift and neck lift are where smoking will do the most harm. Stop smoking for the longest-lasting results from neck lift surgery.
3. Use SPF 30 Sunscreen Daily
Sunscreen gets its fair share of negative press since some of the ingredients in popular sunscreens have been linked to cancer and/or are carcinogens. But a natural sunscreen is still recommended by most professionals as well as the American Cancer Society. Patients of plastic surgery should avoid direct sun exposure in recently operated on areas of the body, as it dramatically worsens scarring, and can cause permanent discoloration. Beyond the immediate, daily use of sunscreen will prolong the results of any plastic surgery procedure, including a surgical neck lift.
4. Stick to a Great Skincare Routine
There are as many skincare products as there are opinions about proper skincare. But we can all probably agree that placing a bit of additional attention on one’s skin and the products that are applied to it will do more good than harm in the long run. You don’t need to spend exorbitant amounts of money on skincare products, and even the most basic of good habits will pay off. Moisturizers are probably a must for patients who want to see their neck lift last as long as possible.
5. Get a neck lift when you actually need one
There’s no best age for a neck lift particularly, since the condition of the skin and its degree of laxity varies so greatly from one patient to the next. But a neck lift will usually last the longest if it’s done right when it’s needed, or shortly thereafter (within about a year). Sagging skin contributes to sagging skin, because it adds weight to the face and neck. If ever there was a perpetual motion machine, it may be here: Skin and fatty tissue accumulating in various parts of the body naturally droop downward due to gravity. This extra weight causes more drooping and sagging, which allows for more space for fat and tissue to accumulate, which contributes to further drooping. This cycle ultimately leads to the healthy skin of the face and neck thinning out, and that’s not desirable. Some of that skin will be removed in a neck lift, while the remainder of it won’t be. And you want that remainder to be as supple and healthy as possible. A neck lift done when it’s needed will make the results of it last longer.
6. Consider Botox?
Because muscle movement contributes to dynamic wrinkling of the skin on the face and neck, Botox might be an option worth considering for some patients. If desired, Botox will be injected into the platysma muscle in order to weaken them and thus reduce the appearance of the two thick vertical bands that appear in the neck. And to prolong the lifespan of those occasional Botox treatments, be sure to avoid these things after Botox treatment.