Why a Neck Lift?
The body changes over time. Aging may cause significant sagging in various parts of the body, including the neck. Many men and women spend a significant amount of time and money protecting the skin on their faces (using skin cream, sunscreens, and other items), but may not invest the same amount of time into their necks, only to find that the skin of the neck looks significantly older and droopier than the face. Additionally, even if you do protect your neck from sun damage, aging often causes the neck to sag, and in some cases, to form a “turkey wattle” that most people find unattractive. For this reason, many choose a neck lift, in order to help the neck look younger and to complete the youthful look they may have achieved with their faces and hair. You might want to consider having your neck lift along with other procedures, such as facial plastic surgery or cosmetic dermatology for the face, and (if you’re losing your hair) a hair transplant surgery.
If you’re choosing neck lift surgery, make sure you’re choosing it because you really want it, not to please someone else or to fit an imagined ideal. No one else can make the choice for you; it’s your body, and you’re in charge of it. After you do your research and understand the procedure, if you believe that a neck lift is right for you, then proceed. You can learn more about the neck lift procedure, its risks and benefits, in our Education Wiki.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average surgeon’s fee for a neck lift is $4,102. Keep in mind that this is only an average; it varies by region and by individual surgeon, so you should check with the surgeon(s) you’re considering to determine their exact fee for the procedure. Ask what’s included in that fee, to make sure you aren’t surprised by extra costs when you get the bill later.
Some patients are surprised to find out that the surgeon’s fee isn’t necessarily the only expense they’ll need to consider for their neck lift. There may be anesthesia costs and operating room or hospital fees that aren’t included in the surgeon’s fee. Medications (for example, pain medication, or antibiotics) may also be an extra cost. In some cases, you also have to pay separately for your postsurgical garments. If any medical testing is required, this could also be a separate cost. A few surgeons may not include your preoperative and postoperative appointments in their fee, although most do include these visits to ensure that you’re adequately cared for. You should ask what all of the fees will be before your procedure, so that you aren’t surprised when the bill comes.
It’s also important to make sure you have access to a little extra money, via financing or savings, in case you have medical complications from the surgery (for instance, if you develop an infection). Your insurance usually will not cover complications from an elective surgery. While complications from this surgery are not common, they do happen to a few people, and so you should be prepared in case that rare person is you.
Will Insurance Cover It?
In most cases, insurance will not cover your neck lift, though there may be very rare exceptions if your neck is sagging and causing a medical problem that can’t be adequately treated in other ways. You can call your insurance company to be sure. Usually, you’ll need to pay all of the costs above: the surgeon’s fee, any extra fees, and any postoperative complications that may arise.
What Are the Financing Options?
To many people, paying thousands of dollars up front seems impossible. However, if you don’t already have the money saved, you have many options available for financing. Many physicians offer financing plans for their patients. You can also get a medical credit card or other credit card, often with an attractive introductory interest rate; a medical loan, personal loan, or home equity loan from your bank; a loan from your 401(k); or loans or gifts from family and friends. Even if your credit isn’t great, you’d be surprised how many options you have. For more details about the financing options for your procedure, check out our Plastic Surgery Financing page.