Expert Doctor

Anterior Cervicoplasty

An anterior cervicoplasty is a niche type of neck lift offered exclusively to men who do not want to have any visible scars and for those who desire an improvement in the appearance of the jawline. Anterior cervicoplasty is not performed using the open neck lift approach where incisions are placed in front and behind the ears. It involves the creation of a Z-plasty (flap) along the front of the neck so the skin flaps can be elevated off the muscle. Aging brings changes many individuals do not like such as fatty deposits under the chin and platysmal bands splaying apart that result in cords in the neck area. These issues can be addressed at the time of the anterior cervicoplasty.

Am I a Good Candidate for Anterior Cervicoplasty?

A GOOD CANDIDATE is a male who is dissatisfied with the physical appearance of his:

  • “Double chin”
  • Loose muscle bands
  • Overall weathered appearance

On the other hand, there are some men who are NOT GOOD CANDIDATES including:

  • Regular and/or heavy smokers
  • People with larger necks that have a good amount of loose skin
  • Patients with a history of clotting or who have trouble healing
  • Patients who desire correction of mandibular jowls
  • Patients with unrealistic expectations who think they will get the same results as a traditional facelift

How is Anterior Cervicoplasty Performed?

The surgeon creates a Z-plasty (flap) along the front of the neck in order to elevate the skin flaps off the muscle. Once elevated, the doctor goes in and gets rid of any excess fat before starting the process of tightening the Z-plasty flaps. After the tightening of the neck bands is completed, any excess skin is trimmed off the treated area. Any scars will be able to blend into relaxed skin tension lines or underneath the beard.

Alternative Treatment:

Patients who want a more dramatic change in both the neck and the face might be better off having a facelift (rhytidectomy). This surgical treatment is ideal for both men and women who want to treat issues such as skin that is sagging, fold lines between the nose, the corner of the mouth and also jowls and loose neck skin. A facelift can also be combined with other treatments such as eyelid surgery, fat grafting and a brow lift for a more complete surgical makeover.

What is the Cost of Anterior Cervicoplasty?

The cost of anterior cervicoplasty depends on the area of the country where the surgery is performed and any fees charged by the doctor and the facility. In general, the cost of anterior cervicoplasty is in the range of $5000-$10,000.

Recovery and Downtime

The RECOVERY and DOWNTIME period after anterior cervicoplasty begins by following detailed instructions from the doctor on wound care and also medications to take and avoid consuming. Patients are pleasantly surprised that there is relatively little pain. Bruising is generally limited and persistent swelling can be reduced with manual lymphatic drainage (pending clearance by the doctor). Heavy exercise, including bending the neck, should be postponed for at least 4 weeks. 

Bathing, including shampooing, can be resumed 2 days post-op but men should wait at least 4-5 days before shaving. Male patients are advised that their beard may temporarily display ingrown hairs during the immediate 2-3 month post-op period. After this time period, the hair follicles are able to grow straighter through the scars.


It is important to set the expectation that nothing lasts forever. Assuming that the cervicoplasty patient enjoys good health, maintains a stable weight and does not sunbath or smoke to excess, the improvements can last 10-15 years.

Staying out of the sun is important since excessive sun tends to cause collagen degeneration. Living a healthy lifestyle, and not gaining or losing too much weight, is also helpful in maintaining the results. Patients are encouraged to use sunscreen to enhance and maintain the youthful appearance of the neck skin.

Limitations and Risks of Anterior Cervicoplasty

The main LIMITATIONS of anterior cervicoplasty are:

  • Its inability to make a dramatic change like a facelift
  • It cannot improve mandibular jowls
  • It is unable to prevent ingrown hairs from growing through the scar and being visible to others

Some of the most common RISKS are:

  • Ingrown hairs
  • Stitch abscesses
  • Bruising
  • Temporary discoloration
  • Hematoma or collection of blood under the skin
  • Skin necrosis or tissue death
  • Nerve injury
  • Salivary gland injury  

Consult with a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

In order to determine whether cervicoplasty is the right procedure for a patient, it is important to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon. Ask to see “before and after” photos and to speak with patients who have had similar procedures. It is important to review all of the available options in order to determine if that person will benefit from an anterior cervicoplasty.


Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team - MA

Based on an exclusive interview with Lavinia Chong, MD in Newport Beach, CA