Many individuals disregard the appearance of their neck, however neck is one of the primary area where visible signs of aging start to show. As aging into mid-40’s, neck starts to lose its youthful appearance. Moreover, factors including sun exposure, gravity, stress and massive weight loss may contribute for the individual’s neck looking loose, aged and sagging. While many take measures to improve the appearance of their face, neck is equally important to be preserved as both face and neck contribute to the overall facial appearance.
A facelift may sometimes be perceived as a procedure which corrects the neck and face, but actually each area requires a different kind of procedure. A neck lift may be the procedure that creates one the most dramatic results by restoring youthful neck contour and eventually enhancing the overall appearance. The longevity of the results are long-lasting and can take 5-10 years off your appearance at a glance. MediExpert with its qualified plastic surgeons is dedicated to meet with specific aesthetic goals of each patient in order to deliver the desired results.
WHAT IS A NECK LIFT?
A neck lift is also known as ‘Platysmaplasty’, is a surgical procedure that involves removal of excess skin and fat deposits with the goal of improving an overall appearance of the neck, jawline and throat area. It is a form of aesthetic surgery performed to improve the visible signs of aging and achieve a more youthful look.
WHAT CAN BE IMPROVED BY A NECK LIFT?
The surgery can potentially improve one or more of the following issues:
- Sagging jowls
- Banding in the neck
- Sagging, loose skin and excess fat below the chin and neck
- Overall face contour and appearance
- Confidence level
WHO ARE THE IDEAL CANDIADATES FOR NECK LIFT?
A neck lift can be performed on individuals who believe the need to improve their neck contour. Some individuals do not consider to undergo a full face lift because their upper face is still pleasing. However, many of them experience jowl lines, double chin, turkey neck or excess wrinkles of the neck skin.
In the cases of the neck not matching with the upper facial appearance, a neck lift procedure would be a good solution. Ideal candidates for a neck lift surgery are as follows:
- Are in good overall health
- Be at a stable weight
- Be close to their weight loss goal
- Strong bone structure
- Skin elasticity
- Have an excess skin and fat in the neck and chin area
- Have realistic expectations about the procedure
- Are looking to restore a more youthful appearance
CONSULTATION WITH YOUR SURGEON BEFORE THE SURGERY
MediExpert surgeon will discuss the following issues during your neck lift consultation:
- Your surgical goals to be achieved
- Your general health status will be evaluated, allergies and previous medical treatments will be checked
- Current prescribed medications and the usage of supplements and vitamins will be checked
- Smoking, alcohol and drug usage will be asked
- Previous surgery history if any
- Neck lift surgery options will be discussed
- Course of treatment will be recommended
- The type of anesthesia that will be used will be discussed
- Photos of the face will be taken
- Potential complications and the risks of neck lift surgery will be discussed
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO PRIOR TO THE SURGERY?
We will ask the patients to prepare for the neck lift procedure in advance in order to ensure for the procedure to be as smoothly as possible before and after. Some of the things that may be required from the patients are as follows:
- Blood testing will be required to evaluate general health status prior to the surgery and EKG may also be requested from your surgeon
- Avoid all sorts of blood thinners and certain anti-inflammatory drugs at least 10 days prior to the surgery as they might increase bleeding and bruising
- Stop smoking at least two weeks prior to the surgery as it can delay the healing process. If you are a heavy smoker, we will try to encourage you to avoid smoking as much as possible prior to the surgery
- Avoid alcohol 1 week prior to the surgery
- Avoid taking any herbal supplements 10 days before the surgery as these may prolong the bleeding
- Ensure to have cold compresses ready to use after the surgery
- Wear comfortable and loose clothes and not wear jewelry and necklaces at the day of the surgery
- Do not eat or drink anything 8 hours prior to the surgery except any prescribed medication
- Ensure picking up the prescribed post operative medications prior to the surgery
- Ensure that the bed in pre-arranged with plenty of pillows as elevation of the head will reduce swelling after the surgery
- Ensure that a family member or a friend is arranged to take care is available to stay with you for assistance the night after the surgery
- Shower prior to the surgery with an anti-microbial soap the within the same day prior to the surgery
- Do not wear any lotion, perfume, makeup and sort cosmetic products at the day of the surgery
TYPES OF NECK LIFT SURGERY
MediExpert has a highly customized approach taking into consideration the patient’s specific aesthetic goals. Therefore, we will provide the optimum solution in order to meet with the desired goals of each patient. There are four different types of neck lift surgery options which are outlined below.
Liposuction is appropriate for patients who are suffering from stubborn excess fat on their neck that give them the appearance of noticeable bands and double chin. This technique involves making tiny incisions strategically placed behind the ears and below the chin. Excess fat is then permanently suctioned out through a hollow tube called cannula and the remaining skin is tightened. Incisions are well hidden in the natural creases of the skin and better definition to the jaw line and the neck is achieved.
Platysmaplasty is also known as ‘Traditional Neck Lift’. The platysma refers to the two headed muscles located on each side of the neck. These muscles can begin to lose strength as we age and give the appearance of a vertical neck banding. This technique involves an incision made under the chin, skin is lifted, fat is cleaned off and then platysma muscle is tightened and repositioned accordingly which allow the two sides of the muscle back together toward the midline resulting in a more youthful neck contour.
Submentoplasty is also known as ‘Mini Neck Lift’, it is appropriate particularly for younger patients with poor profile aesthetics who have fat deposits in the neck without much of an excess skin. This technique involves a small incision that made under the skin, fat is removed by performing liposuction followed by the tightening of platysma muscles (two headed muscles located on each side of the neck) Moreover, this technique is sometimes combined with a chin augmentation mentoplasty .
Cervicoplasty is also known as ‘Direct Neck Lift’, it is appropriate particularly for older patients who are overweight. This technique involves a small incision beneath the chin and behind the ears and primarily used for the removal of excess skin and tissue on the neck area.
STEPS IN A NECK LIFT SURGERY
The following steps are taken in a common neck lift surgery.
1. ADMINISTRATION OF ANESTHESIA
A typical neck lift surgery is performed under an intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. MediExpert surgeon will choose the best option based on the type of neck lift to be performed consulting with the patient.
2. OPENING INCISIONS
Neck lift options include a liposuction, submentoplasty, platysmaplasty and cervicoplasty and your surgeon will choose best option in order to meet the specific aesthetic goals of each patient.
A typical neck lift procedure begins with an incision under the chin and generally behind the ears, ending at the lower scalp behind the ear, where the scarring is minimally visible. If the neck requires liposuction, Liposuction procedure is performed initially for the permanent removal of excess fat deposits from under the chin and neck. The fat deposits are removed through tiny incisions by inserting a small hollow tube called ‘cannula’ under the skin and into the fatty tissue. The cannula is used to break the fat and the excess fat is suctioned out permanently from the neck area.
The skin is then gently lifted followed by the repositioning and tightening of the neck platysma muscle and the tissue underlying the neck skin. Neck skin is then redraped and excess skin is trimmed away to achieve more youthful contour.
In all cases, the incision lines made during neck lift procedure are performed with the intention to conceal scars within the hairline and the natural contours of neck and ear.
3. CLOSING THE INCISIONS
After the excess skin is trimmed, incisions are then precisely closed with extremely fine sutures or sometimes with a tissue glue. Sutures are generally an internal and dissolvable type, if not they are removed after a few days. A soft dressing is then applied around the head to help the wound heal.
BENEFITS OF NECK LIFT PROCEDURE
Some of the potential benefits you may be experiencing from a neck lift surgery include:
- Correction of double chin or fullness underneath the chin
- Long-lasting results
- Turkey neck is eliminated
- High patient satisfaction
- Skin rejuvenation
- Elegant neck appearance
- Thinner neck
- Wrinkles and sagging smoothen out in the neck
- Definition in the jaw area improved
- Facial harmony and aesthetic balance is improved
- Self-confidence improved
- Inconspicuous scarring
- More youthful appearance as overall
- Safely performed combined with almost any other facial surgery
WHAT IS EXPECTED IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE SURGERY?
Post operative period is extremely important for a quicker healing and recovery period. Following are most likely to be expected within the first few days after the surgery:
- You will be kept under observation for few hours following the surgery
- You may experience minimal discomfort, numbness, bruising and swelling where majority of it should be gone in a week or two.
- Your neck and lower face will be bandaged to minimize swelling and drainage tube may be inserted to prevent fluid collecting under the skin for the extensive procedures
- Dressing will removed after one or two days, whether applied
- You may be asked to wear a special neck compression garment
- You may have the feeling of tightness in your neck and face
HOW LONG IS THE NECK LIFT SURGERY?
The length of the surgery is typically between 1 ½ – 3 hours whether neck lift surgery is performed alone. Since it is very common to undergo neck lift combined with eyelid lift blepharoplasty and brow lift forehead lift lift or other various type of cosmetic procedures, the length of the procedure may take from 3 up to 7 hours depending on the number of different procedures as well as the extent of each of them.
HOW OLD DO I HAVE TO BE TO UNDERGO THE SURGERY?
There is no certain age limitation to undergo the procedure. Most of our patients tend to be between the ages of 40-60, however it is not a limiting factor for eligibility by any means.
WHAT KIND OF PAIN SHALL I EXPECT AFTER A NECK LIFT?
Although pain tolerance may vary from patient to patient, most of the patients are surprised to experience how mild the discomfort is. Patients commonly complain more about the feeling of tightness. Pain medication is prescribed to reduce any possible discomfort and often used only for few days .It is very uncommon for the patients to report extreme pain following the surgery.
WILL MY SCARS BE NOTICEABLE?
One of the primary goals of a neck lift surgery is to leave the scars in unnoticeable locations. Although the scarring depends on the technique performed and how extensive the loose skin is, scars will be typically well hidden in the hairline, under the chin and within the natural creases of the skin. Moreover, scarring can be easily hidden with make up until the recovery period is complete.
HOW LONG IS THE RECOVERY TIME?
After the surgery, most of the patients experience mild discomfort. Some numbness, swelling, bruising and skin discoloration is expected for up to 2 weeks, where majority of it should be gone after a week depending on the type of neck lift performed. It is recommended to keep your head elevated, may be to sleep with three or four pillows for the first few days for the swelling to subside more faster.
Alcohol and all kinds of blood thinner medications should be avoided for 5 days. Sitting under the sun, hot tubbing and hot hair dryer should be avoided for 3 weeks, sauna and steam room for several weeks following the surgery, whereas smoking should be avoided for at least 2 weeks and even better a couple of weeks more to fasten the recovery period and achieve better results.
Moreover, the regular use of sunscreen is important to prevent sunburn and hyperpigmentation (darkened spots on the skin) and cold compresses on the face should not be applied.
Initial recovery period is within 7-10 days, whereas 3-5 weeks are generally required for a full recovery from a neck lift.
CAN BRUSUING BE PREVENTED?
Most patients of the patients will have a bruising in to a certain extent. Bruising can be minimized by using Arnica 2 days before and after surgery and following the complete instructions of your surgeon.
SHOULD I NEED TO STAY IN THE HOSPITAL AFTER NECK LIFT SURGERY?
It is typically an outpatient procedure meaning that it is not required to stay at the hospital overnight.
WHEN WILL THE STITCHES REMOVED?
The stitches will be typically removed within a week after surgery if they are not dissolvable type.
WHEN CAN I GO BACK TO WORK?
Most of the patients are able to return for a desk job within 7-10 days after a neck lift procedure You may need to take few more weeks off for a physically demanding job. Your surgeon will advise you the recommended date back at work following the surgery based on your specific type of strenuous job.
CAN I DRIVE AFTER THE SURGERY?
It is only recommended to drive at least 1 week following the surgery as the surgeon may ask you to wear a compression neck garment which may prevent you to be able to drive safely having a full view of the road.
WHEN CAN I HAVE A SHOWER AFTER THE SURGERY?
It is generally recommended to wait approximately 48 hours following a neck lift procedure before showering. Hot water should be avoided and shower beam should hit the back of your head instead of face. Your surgeon will provide you the exact period depending on the type of surgery performed.
WHEN CAN I START EXERCISING?
Light exercises can be resumed generally within 7-10 days after the surgery, whereas strenuous exercises such as running and heavy lifting should be avoided for at least 2-3 weeks. Contact sports are usually allowed after 6weeks following the surgery.
IS THERE A NON-SURGICAL OPTION TO NECK LIFT SURGERY?
Injectable fillers, Kybella, Botox and laser may be a temporary solution to improve the appearance of neck lift. However, the results are not likely to be as dramatic and long-lasting as a neck lift procedure remains to be the only permanent solution to achieve well neck contour.
CAN NECK LIFT SURGERY COMBINED WITH OTHER PROCEDURES?
There are number of different cosmetic surgical procedures that can be safely performed in combination with a neck lift surgery. It is in fact very common to address other parts of the face in order to achieve a comprehensive facial rejuvenation.
Some of them include facelift , brow lift forehead lift , eyebrow transplantation , lip enhancement , eyelid lift blepharoplasty , rhinoplasty nose surgery and chin augmentation mentoplasty as well as non-invasive procedures such as laser resurfacing and Botox.
There are benefits of having these surgeries at once as initially it avoids the risks of two surgeries, anesthesia applied one at a time and advantageous in terms of minimizing recovery process, saving time and money accordingly.
WHEN CAN I SEE THE FINAL RESULTS?
The results of a neck lift procedure are visible almost immediately. , however these results will not be the final results. It may take 2-3 weeks for the majority of swelling to fully resolve and the final results are more likely to be achieved within 3-6 months following the surgery when neck reaches its final form and appearance.
POTENTIAL COMPLICATIONS AND RISKS OF NECK LIFT SURGERY
Although significant complications from neck lift are infrequent and neck lift surgery is generally a very safe procedure, all the surgeries carry uncertainty and risk in to some extent. Individuals have to weigh the potential benefits in terms of achieving the aesthetic goals with the risks and potential complications of a neck lift surgery. Although rare, some of the complications and risks include:
- Anesthesia risks
- Swelling and bruising
- Tightness in the neck area
- Seroma and hematoma
- Possible need for revision
- Unfavorable scarring
- Allergic reactions
- Nerve damage
- Temporary changes in sensation
- Poor wound healing
HOW LONG WILL THE RESULTS LAST?
A neck lift is among the cosmetic procedures that provide the long-lasting results. The improved results can last 10-15 years as long as maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, the results will depend on aging, heredity, quality of skin or external factors including skin care, smoking and sun damage. As a matter of fact, you will surely continue to look better and younger years later than if you had not had the neck lift procedure performed in the first place.