The neck is often one of the first areas of the body to show signs of aging. A neck lift surgery, also known as lower rhytidectomy, cervicoplasty or platysmaplasty, can assist those looking to slow down the signs of aging in the jaw or neck region. The soft tissue and the muscles and soft will be re-positioned and all of the excess skin is taken away.  Dr. Sheffield at SB Aesthetics offers patients several plastic surgery procedures that can resolve these aesthetic concerns. The most common areas for the neck lift under local anesthesia procedure are:

• Loose Skin: A common aspect of aging that is adversely affected by gravitational pull.

• Muscle Sagging: The aging process can impact the sheet of muscle that extends across the patient’s neck. The edges of the muscle on start to sag downward during the aging process. When sagging skin and muscle combine, this creates what is often described as the “turkey gobbler” effect.

• Excess Fat: Patients with excess fat in the neck area look for removals that allow them to avoid the appearance of having a double chin.

Neck Lift Before and After


There are a number of ways to perform neck lift surgery, depending on the objectives of the patient. Liposuction, platysmaplasty and cervicoplasty are available. A neck lift surgery typically includes liposuction for fat removal while the latter procedures focus on excess skin removal and the tightening of neck muscles.

Lower rhytidectomy is also performed in tandem with other facial surgeries, such as an eyelid surgery, brow lift or facelift. Dr. Sheffield is well experienced and he will examine your facial anatomy. The consultation will also focus on your aesthetic objectives. This allows for a fully customized treatment plan to take place.


Contour issues of the neck are frequently age related but not always. Contributing to blunting of the neck line is usually extra subcutaneous fat, skin laxity and muscle (platysmal) bands.

Blunting of the jawline laterally can also be caused by a lower position of of a salivary gland. Traditionally general anesthesia is used with many neck procedures. Liposuction can be selectively used especially for the younger patient, however, when skin laxity is an issue skin tightening is necessary. This can be accomplished by the traditional neck lift where incisions are placed just in back of the ear and along the hairline. If bands are present a direct approach can be done. Alternatively, there are thermal skin tightening procedures such as the plasma neck lift which offer limited incisions.

Over the years Dr. Sheffield has found local anesthesia to be more accepting to many patients. Choosing the right procedure for each patient is the key to the best outcome.


The top candidates are in good physical and psychological health. They also want to be rid of loose neck skin on their neck and are looking to tighten their jawline.


During the consultation, Dr. Sheffield will discuss the patient’s goals and expectations. This is how the patient is aligned with the treatment that they need.

Medical history (including any past surgical procedures), allergies, present medical conditions, and medications must be discussed. Patients need to be completely honest with this information because of the medical conditions that can increase their risk factors.

If the patient is determined to be a viable candidate for lower rhytidectomy, Dr. Sheffield explains the side effects and costs associated with your procedure. Selecting Dr. Sheffield is the best choice for patients in search of a board certified surgeon who is held in the highest esteem by his colleagues.


Lower rhytidectomy utilizes a number of different procedures and techniques, including:

• Platysmaplasty (muscle sheet realignment): this procedure addresses the loose skin that has accumulated at the front of the patient’s neck. Dr. Sheffield makes the necessary incisions under the chin or behind the ears. From there, the neck muscle bands are re-aligned to create a better neck angulation.

Patients who combine the procedure with liposuction should expect a procedure that lasts anywhere between 60 to 90 minutes.

Platysmaplasty relies on the two following techniques:

• Corset Platysmaplasty: Patients who suffer from neck banding or hanging skin rely on this technique.

• Purse String/Hammock Platysmaplasty: this is a technique that male patients tend to rely upon due to the deeper structure of a man’s neck.

Mesh (Alloderm) is used as a “hammock” to keep the neck muscles tight and capture loose skin. When platysma banding occurs, neck muscles are tightened when the surgeon makes a hidden incision below the’s patient’s chin. From there, the edges of each side of the muscle are quilted together to formulate a new and improved neckline.

Other techniques include:

• Cervicoplasty: Excess, sagging neck skin is removed from the neck area so that the neck tissue can be re-positioned of the neck tissue to create a more youthful appearance within the contours of the neck.

• Neck Liposuction: By removing fat, a dramatic effect is had. The neck is re-contoured and this procedure also allows for tissue tightening and volume reduction. The procedure is performed under local or general anesthesia. A tiny incision is made underneath the chin and a vacuum device is attached to the surgeon’s cannula (thin surgical instrument) as a means of suctioning off excess fat.

Smaller liposuction instruments are used in a micro-liposuction to handle the more detailed contouring concerns that take place in certain neck areas.

• Laser Assisted Liposuction: Neck fat is removed with lasers and the patient is left with a far more defined jawline silhouette. Patients are injected with a tumescent solution during this procedure. This mixture of epinephrine and local anesthesia reduces bleeding and minimizes pain.

The fat becomes swollen and firm, making for a much easier removal. A CO2 laser is utilized to treat the back surface or interior of the neck musculature and skin and musculature. Fat cells are permanently destroyed by the laser’s thermal heat.

• Cervical Lipectomy: A tiny incision is made underneath the neck and patients looking to remove fatty tissue from the central neck region are assisted. This technique tends to be performed in tandem with platysmaplasty or neck liposuction.

• Submentoplasty: Patients who do not possess the desired amount amount of neck skin laxity rely on this procedure. Cervical lipectomy, neck liposuction and platysmaplasty are combined. The T-shaped incision that takes place underneath the chin is well concealed.


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Neck Lift Before and After


The neck lift under local anesthesia procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis. The patient is given general anesthesia or local anesthesia with intravenous sedation. The decision depends on the other operations the patient is receiving at this time.

Lower rhytidectomy patients often undergo multiple procedures during the surgery. The number of procedures will correlate directly with the amount of time spent in surgery. The procedure does not tend to involve any sort of overnight stay at the aftercare facility. Patients who are receiving a facelift might require additional assistance.

During the neck lift, the patient receives one-inch incisions behind the ears and/or under the chin so that neck muscles can be tightened. Once this step is complete, the excess skin is taken away with incisions being made to the ear area.

Swelling or bruising around the jaw, ears and neck may take place but should start to recede within a few days. Oral pain medications and antibiotics are administered as a means of preventing infection and reducing pain. The stitches are taken out within 3-7 days of the procedure.

To find out if neck lift surgery or neck liposuction in Santa Barbara is right for you, contact Dr. Sheffield at (805) 318-3280 to discuss a customized treatment plan.

Any scarring that takes place is easily concealed beneath the chin. In occasional instances, they can be long and visible. The neck lift technique that is utilized when the surgery takes place affects the scarring.

Dr. Sheffield will work tirelessly to ensure that the scarring is as inconspicuous and minimal as possible. The results of the neck lift surgery are immediately visible and will improve in the months to follow.

Patients who are in search of additional information about neck lift surgery are urged to contact SB Aesthetics immediately. Our experts will be more than happy to answer any of questions you may have. You can also schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Sheffield at this time. Be sure to check the link below for a more in depth description of the procedure.


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Bruising, stiffness and swelling are to expected after the procedure takes place. The symptoms typically subside within a two to four week period. Potential neck lift complications tend to be rare. However, they can include bruising, burning or tingling sensation, tightness of the skin, swelling, numbness, bleeding, infection, seroma, adverse anesthesia reactions, hematoma, issues with wound healing, facial asymmetry, and permanent scars.

A complete set of detailed instructions is provided to each patient to ensure that the recovery process goes according to plan. Patients are typically advised to sleep with their head elevated (slightly) at a 30-degree angle.

This is recommended as a means of reducing swelling. The neck’s rotation must be minimized as well. Prescription medication is provided to assist with the pain. Bandage dressing changes are also provided.

Bruising and swelling may remain noticeable after surgery for up to ten days. Patients could experience tightness in the weeks to follow. This sensation slowly fades away once the neck gains a greater level of familiarity with its new position and contouring. The average patient is able to resume work within 10-14 days but strenuous physical activities are not recommended for at least one to two months.

Necklift Before and After


Dr. Sheffield’s patients are given the chance to enjoy the neckline that they have always wanted. “Turkey wattle” is removed, facial contours are more defined and saggy skin becomes much tighter. Generally speaking, results can last ten to fifteen years depending on the level of vigilance that the patient has when it comes to maintaining their new look. Smoking, drinking and excessive exposure to sun will counteract the positive effects of the neck lift. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and limiting sun exposure are primary factors in prolonging the results of neck lift surgery.

Click below to learn more about other Cosmetic procedures and Facial Rejuvenation.



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Lower Eyelid Surgery

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Interested to know about your neck lift under local anesthesia options?  Whether you are thinking about having cosmetic surgery, a non-surgical procedure or have had prior surgery and are seeking additional touch-ups, it is critical to work with a skilled plastic surgeon that specializes in facial procedures. Dr. Robert Sheffield is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon at SB Aesthetics offering services to those in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, Oxnard and Ventura, CA, and the surrounding communities.  Dr. Sheffield offers patients a customized treatment plan and is available to answer your questions. To schedule a consultation, call 805.318.3280 today.


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