The skin and muscles of the neck may sag as a result of aging or weight loss, and this can sometimes be observed before the face as a whole begins to show signs of aging. Loose neck muscles can lead to an appearance of bands on the neck, fullness under the chin, and excessive drooping of the skin. Non-invasive and minimally invasive interventions such as BOTOX treatments and microsuction of the neck may only partially address these concerns. A neck lift is a surgical procedure that can smooth and tighten the skin on the neck and provide a better contour and more youthful appearance. The results of this procedure offer a significant improvement to the appearance of the neck and also contribute to an overall rejuvenation. A neck lift may be performed alone or in conjunction with a facelift, producing results that are noticeable shortly after surgery and that should last for years.
Candidates for Neck Lift
A good candidate for a neck lift is anyone who wishes to improve the appearance of sagging skin and loose muscles on their neck. Patients should be in good physical and emotional health and have realistic expectations about the outcome of their surgery. If you are considering a neck lift or other type of procedure for neck rejuvenation, you should discuss the goals of your surgery with Dr. Hutchinson so that you can achieve the results you desire.
Neck Lift Procedure
The neck lift procedure begins with making a small, inconspicuous incision directly below the chin and behind the crease of the ears as well. Liposuction is often used as the first part of the operation to remove excess fat from the neck, and to produce skin tightening. The neck lift may include a platysmaplasty to tighten the muscles in the neck and produce a better contour and more defined jawline. The skin in the neck is redraped and excess skin is removed from the incisions behind the ear. The incisions are sutured closed and drains may be used to prevent fluid from accumulating under the skin in the neck.
The entire neck lift procedure takes about two hours and is performed under general or local anesthesia with sedation, on an outpatient basis. Dr. Hutchinson performs neck lift surgery in the safety and privacy of her AAAASF certified Operating Room.
Recovery from Neck Lift
You can expect to experience some swelling and bruising shortly after the neck lift procedure, which may last up to ten days. Patients are advised to keep their head still and avoid turning, twisting or bending over for the first few days. Applying cold compresses and keeping the head elevated for the first 48 hours following neck lift surgery can help minimize swelling. Dr. Hutchinson will prescribe pain medication to help alleviate any discomfort.
The sutures will usually be removed after about one week. After a neck lift procedure, most people can return to work and other normal daily activities within two weeks, after bruising and swelling subside. More strenuous activities should be avoided for about three to four weeks.
Results of Neck Lift
Sagging skin, wrinkles along the neck, or the appearance of a double chin can make you appear much older than you really are. By removing pockets of fat from the chin and neck area, eliminating drooping bands of muscle, and tightening loose skin and muscles, a neck lift can help you regain your slender, youthful appearance. A neck lift can also be used in combination with a facelift and/or facial liposuction to further redefine the jaw line and optimize your results.
Most patients who undergo neck lift surgery are extremely pleased with the results. The results of a neck lift can last up to ten years, and as you continue aging, you will always look younger than if you had never had a neck lift.
Risks of Neck Lift
As with any surgical procedure, there are certain risks involved in a neck lift, including problems with anesthesia or infection. After the surgery, you may experience dry skin, tightness, and a burning or tingling sensation. There is also a risk of facial nerve damage that may occur during surgery and can result in muscle paralysis.
Although these complications are rare, they emphasize the importance of choosing a skilled and experienced surgeon for your cosmetic procedures.