Doctors use pictures to help them better visualize the type of neck lift surgery they and their patients have agreed upon, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Photos are taken of the patient during the neck lift consultation, and plastic surgery clinics often use before-and-after photos of past patients to help illustrate results, as shown on the ASPS website and RealSelf.com.
Besides taking photos, the surgeon also accesses the patient's medical history. He learns of any pre-existing conditions the patient has or any medications taken that could complicate the surgery or her recovery from it, states the ASPS. The patient's face is examined and measured, and the patient and doctor discuss all aspects of the surgery, including the risks and the benefits.
Neck lift surgery involves removing fat and tissue and tightening muscles around the neck, and then closing the incisions with stitches or skin glue, according to the ASPS. Stitches may dissolve on their own or need to be removed by the doctor. Because the incisions are made at the patient's hairline, under the chin and around the ears, visible scarring is kept to a minimum.
It usually takes two to four weeks to recover from neck surgery, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, and some people return to work after about two weeks. While the surgery heals, patients should avoid overexerting themselves and keep their heads raised when they lie down.