In the world of plastic and cosmetic surgery, not all surgeons are right for you. That’s because cosmetic surgery is a unique blend of medical knowledge and artistic talent for helping you achieve a younger-looking or better-defined neck.

Neck lift surgery is a cosmetic surgery to correct sagging skin, excess skin or excess fat around your neck. Common reasons you may visit a plastic surgeon for a neck lift are feeling as if you do not have a defined jawline or if you have a “turkey wattle” of loose skin on the neck.

The amount of recovery time and cost for a neck lift surgery can depend upon the surgical approach taken. But before your physician can determine this approach, you must first select the right surgeon for you.

“You should interview a surgeon just as you would interview someone for a job,” recommends James Zins, MD, Plastic Surgery Department Chair at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. “You must feel comfortable with the explanations and examples the surgeon gives you surrounding your procedure.”

3 Questions to Ask Potential Neck Lift Surgeons

Ask your potential plastic surgeon these questions to determine if she is the right surgeon for your neck lift surgery:

Are you a board-certified plastic surgeon?
Both Dr. Zins and Chad Ronald Gordon, DO, Assistant Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Clinical Director of the Craniomaxillofacial Transplantation Program at Johns Hopkins Medicine recommend choosing a surgeon who is board-certified.

“I would recommend looking for a surgeon who is board-certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgery,” Dr. Gordon says.

The American Board of Plastic Surgery is a part of the American Board of Medical Specialties. To achieve board certification, a plastic surgeon must meet professional and ethical requirements that signify the surgeon has the knowledge and training to meet standards of care, including pursuing 150 hours of Continuing Medical Education every three years.

How often do you perform neck lift surgery?
Question: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Answer: Practice, practice, practice. The same is true for plastic surgeons and neck lift surgery results. Dr. Zins recommends asking your potential surgeons some or all of the following questions:

  • How frequently do you operate?
  • How many neck lift procedures do you average a month?
  • Have you written/published anything on this procedure?

While there’s no magic number for these responses, it’s up to you to feel comfortable with the answer. If you do, this surgeon may be for you.

Can you show me examples of previous neck lift surgeries you have performed?
A quality plastic surgeon should have examples on-hand of prior surgeries she has performed. Dr. Zins recommends ensuring the photos shown are not “before” and “after” photos from online resources, but are actual patients of the surgeon. Carefully examine the photos and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did these patients experience the types of results I’m hoping to achieve?
  • Do I like the results and feel the surgeon’s patients look good post-surgery?

You also may want to ask your surgeon how long following surgery the photos were taken to determine the lasting effects of neck lift surgery.

Questions to Ask Yourself About Neck Lift Surgery

Once you take in the information from your doctor-patient interview, you ideally will have enough information to make a decision about if the surgeon is the right choice for your neck lift surgery. However, if you do not, you can seek a second opinion or a third opinion until you find the right surgeon for you.

Additional important questions to ask yourself include:

  • Do I like this surgeon eno