Awake Neck Lift

Conveniently located to serve the areas of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills

women neck lifting stock imageAn Awake Neck Lift is a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure that removes extra skin in the neck and tightens muscles that cause wrinkling and sagging, without the use of harsh general anesthesia. This new patient-focused treatment is a great option for men and women who want to walk out of the operating room feeling newly rejuvenated. Plastic surgery can have life-changing effects, and it’s not just Americans enjoying the benefits of these aesthetic procedures. In a recent study, almost 40% of Korean participants surveyed favored aesthetic plastic surgery. (1) The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) has also found that South Korea has the highest number of plastic surgeries per capita in the world,(2) and this trend continues overseas with Korean expatriates living in places like the United States. 

Here in Los Angeles, Dream Medical Group Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery will help you look your best. When you are in the expert hands of a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in Asian surgeries, you know you have come to the right place! Beverly Hills surgeon Dr. Kenneth Kim has served the cosmetic needs of his patients for many years, and takes pride in providing expert care for every patient, regardless of which side of the Pacific they’re on! For information about the Awake Neck Lift procedure, contact our office at 213-700-4297 or visit our Awake Anesthesia page for more details.


Anesthesia is the way that doctors control a patient’s temporary loss of awareness of pain and sensation during a surgery. To understand how Awake anesthesia works, we have to know some things about the anesthesia process, and the differences between general and local anesthetic:


Although it has been used for many years, surgeons have increasingly opted for safer, faster options to replace general anesthesia in some major surgeries. Alarmingly, many of the highest risks in surgical procedures are due to how general anesthesia is administered, and how the patient responds to it. Under general anesthesia your brain’s pain response is “asleep” but it still knows what is happening to your body. As a result, neurons can “light up” in a frenzy of activity. Even though you are unconscious, the increased electrical signals caused by the surgery make the nerves involved hypersensitive, causing patients to experience pain for a longer period of time after the surgery is completed. Surgeons and patients alike should realize that general anesthesia actively kills neurons in the brain, most notably those that deal with memory.(3)

General anesthesia may also increase the risk of a number of serious surgical complications, which include:
  • Blood Clots
  • Deoxygenation
  • Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)
  • Ventilator Malfunction
  • Malignant Hyperthermia (Abnormally High Body Temperature from reaction against drugs used in general anesthesia)

In addition to these potentially life-threatening dangers, patients can not only experience the unpleasant discomfort of nausea many hours after their procedure, but may also experience fatigue and sluggishness that could seriously impair their ability to perform even the simplest everyday tasks. A recent Wall Street Journal article detailed the delirium that can occur and linger after older adults undergo general anesthesia.


In comparison to general anesthesia, Awake anesthesia procedures combine the most innovative surgical care with an expedited recovery period. Furthermore, local anesthesia does not produce a hypersensitive effect in the nerve fibers, meaning less pain for the patient and a decreased need for strong pain medications during recovery. A patient who undergoes surgery with general anesthesia may need to take pain medication for up to two weeks after their surgery. In contrast, a patient who receives Awake anaesthesia may only need to take pain medication the day after surgery

We can also set Awake anesthesia apart from similar methods that incorporate IV sedation. IV sedation introduces anti-anxiety medications intravenously, but this process can lead to multiple complications such as:
  • The patient “oversleeping” during the procedure.
  • Limitations to breathing which could lead to complications.
  • Drug-induced amnesia (memory loss from sedatives such as Propofol).

With an Awake anesthesia, local anesthetics are carefully diluted and introduced to the body to target both superficial and deep nerves. This process requires expert skill and rigorous anatomical knowledge which can fortunately be found in abundance at Dream Medical Group but in few other practices. For a faster, safer procedure, opt for Awake anesthesia in your next surgery. To speak to Dr. Kim in a personal consultation about your Awake Neck Lift procedure, fill out this inquiry form online to arrange an appointment, or call 213-700-4297 to speak to our front desk.


Local anesthesia is an incredibly common method used by doctors in a wide range of other medical specialties. After all, dentists use it when filling our cavities, and dermatologists may use it for certain skin treatment procedures. The most striking benefit of local anesthesia for a neck lift surgery is the fact that our patients have the freedom to walk out of the operating room alert and looking forward to their results. In addition, the main benefits of local anaesthesia for neck lift surgery are:
  • No long-term nerve sensitivity compared to general anesthetic
  • Greatly reduces time taking painkillers after your surgery
  • Lower risk of unwanted side-effects such as nausea, fatigue and sore throat
  • No loss of consciousness in the patient
  • The doctor performing the surgery has real-time ability to interact with his Awake patient during the procedure
  • Allows for smaller budgets when considering plastic surgery options
  • More convenience after surgery

Dr. Kim is very sensitive to the needs of his patients regarding nervousness, and your ability to feel relaxed and comfortable during your neck lift procedure is a top priority. Although he does not use IV sedation for his procedures, he is happy to provide oral sedatives such as Xanax or Valium to put your mind at ease and help you feel as little discomfort as possible during your treatment.


Men and women in Los Angeles who would benefit from a neck lift surgical procedure are looking to rejuvenate their neck for a more youthful appearance. You should be in good general health with no chronic conditions that could affect the outcome of your surgery. Choosing a neck lift under local anesthesia with additional sedation means that there may be a much lower risk of complications while you are under the expert care of Dr. Kim and his highly trained staff. 

Personal Consultation with Dr. Kim

Dr. Kim takes pride in his ability to help his patients reach their cosmetic surgery goals. During your individual appointment with Dr. Kim, he will take time to inquire with you about the areas of your neck that are causing trouble. He will then conduct a brief physical exam, outline the steps of the procedure, outline the potential risks of surgery, and discuss your goals for your neck lift. He will explain the benefits of a neck lift under local anesthesia as opposed to under general anesthesia and evaluate if you are a good candidate. 

For reviews from real people, read our testimonials page to find out what our patients are saying about Dr. Kim’s amazing work, and call 213-700-4297 to book your consultation.


It can be a little daunting planning any surgery, but we are here to help you! Dr. Kim will provide all the necessary information to you before your surgery date. It is also vital you tell him all the medications and supplements you are currently taking. To prepare for your Awake Neck Lift procedure, you should ensure that you do the following things:
  • Cease taking medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, Naproxen,Vitamin E, and certain herbal supplements two weeks before your surgery.
  • Refrain from using nicotine products at least two weeks before your surgery. 
  • Limit sun exposure as much as possible, use high SPF sunscreen if you have to be in the sun for short periods.
  • Arrange for someone to pick you up from our office after surgery.

As with any surgery, you should ensure you are both well prepared beforehand, and able to maintain good aftercare afterward. Visit our blog for more information about Awake procedures and the best recovery techniques after surgery.


woman neck wrinkles before and after treatment stock image

In the first stage of the procedure, Dr. Kim will ensure you are comfortable during the procedure by administering local anesthesia and sedation. Once these go into effect, during the Awake Neck Lift procedure, Dr. Kim will make small incisions around and behind your ears. He will then make a small incision under your chin. After this, he carefully lifts the muscles of the neck and removes the extra skin and fat. After all the excess skin and fat is removed, and the muscles are repositioned, Dr. Kim will close the incisions and apply a pressure dressing around your head and underneath your chin.As neck lifts are usually done on an outpatient basis, you will be able to get up and leave soon after completion of the procedure.


After your Awake Neck Lift surgery, your incision sites will be bandaged and taped for security and comfort. Most patients experience swelling and soreness after a neck lift surgery, but because of the advantages of an Awake procedure, many patients are able to remain comfortable with over-the-counter painkillers. We will invite you to relax in our recovery room before discharging you. It is a good idea to arrange for someone to pick you up from your surgery, as tenderness in the area may make driving a vehicle challenging. In the hours and days after your neck lift surgery, you may experience the following:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tightness
  • Skin numbness

Your temporary discomfort in the treated area should subside in a few days, and Dr. Kim will be happy to prescribe appropriate pain reducing medications for you during this time.


Patients who have undergone Awake Neck Lift surgery report that their procedure was straightforward and produced great results. Procedures performed under local anesthesia have a tendency to bleed less, resulting in smaller, more precise incisions with minimal scarring. With these factors, an Awake Neck Lift can produce natural-looking results with a shorter overall recovery period, allowing you to regain your youthful aesthetic and body confidence. 

Corresponding & Complementary Procedures

Awake anesthesia is a novel, patient-focused approach to plastic surgery. There are several facial procedures Dr. Kim performs under local anesthesia and sedation that complement an Awake Neck Lift. Patients looking to rejuvenate their face and neck can choose from a wide range of services including:


Better known as eyelid lift surgery, this procedure can dramatically change the appearance of the eyelids by reducing sagging and puffiness. Patients who have an Awake blepharoplasty may appear more alert and youthful, restoring the sparkle in their eyes.


Also known as double eyelid surgery, Asian eyelid surgery is designed for patients who have monolids, or eyelids without creases. This procedure creates a natural-looking fold in the upper eyelid, and may also reduce tissue that is hindering your ability to see.


Similar to the Awake Neck Lift, an Awake facelift focuses on tightening the skin of the face for a more youthful appearance. This procedure is also offered under local anesthesia, for a more advanced approach to facial plastic surgery.


The cost of your Awake Neck Lift surgery depends on your individual circumstances. You will be able to discuss the goals of your treatment with Dr. Kim, who can then outline the cost according to your specific situation. For further details about Awake Neck Lift procedures and other surgeries offered in Beverly Hills, contact our office here.


Do I have to have general anesthesia for a neck lift?

No! A neck lift can be performed under local anesthesia and sedation in an Awake procedure. This option may reduce recovery time and may cost significantly less than a neck lift procedure under general anesthetic. Speak to a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options and see if you are a good candidate for Awake Neck Lift surgery.

How long does a neck lift surgery take?

Neck lift surgery usually takes between 2-3 hours. All patients and procedures are unique, so you should discuss your individual concerns with your doctor.

Why do people get neck lifts?

Many patients who undergo neck lift surgery wish to tighten the lax skin of the neck and reduce the prominence of their jowls for a smoother, more youthful appearance.

*Results May Vary