The neck can be one of the first primary indicators of age. Many patients call our office with complaints of a saggy neck, “turkey waddle,” multiple chins, neck bands, and/or wrinkles. As we age, underlying neck muscles begin to relax and skin begins to lose its elasticity leading to neck bands, “turkey neck” and the appearance of “double chins.” Symptoms can further be exacerbated by poor genetics, stress and weight fluctuations. Most patients with aging neck concerns range from 40-70 years old. The purpose of Neck Lift surgery (cervicoplasty) is to reduce loose neck skin and excess fat, smooth out wrinkles/bands and firm neck muscles and skin. The result is a tighter, more youthful looking neck with greater definition and contour. The best candidate for a Neck Lifting procedure is a healthy man or woman with excessive neck skin or fat.
A consultation provides vital information about your cosmetic concerns and helps shed light on what the best corrective action should be. I spend approximately one hour during consultations to review the details of the procedure, assess before and after neck lift images, answer questions and discuss neck lift options. If both you and I agree that Neck Lift surgery is a good option for you, we will likely have you come back for a second consultation (to answer any further questions) or for a pre-op. During the pre-op appointment, my Registered Nurse and I will discuss the surgical process in detail with you to ensure that you are adequately prepared to move forward.
Neck Lift Surgery
Neck Lift Surgery is performed under general anesthesia or under deep sedation in a hospital operating room. This is a safe and appropriate setting to perform this type of surgery. Once anesthesia is administered and you are prepped for surgery, I make a small incision underneath the chin in order to reach the platysma muscle. The platysma muscle is then secured into a more youthful position to reduce the appearance of neck bands (sometimes called platysmal bands). If needed, additional skin or fat will also be removed. Some patients have excess fat in their neck which can be removed with liposuction or by directly removing the fat through the incision. During liposuction, a vacuum tube draws out excess fat which can then be injected into areas of the face in need of volume. Fat collected during liposuction can also be transferred to areas of the face with excessive wrinkles and folds. This helps to smooth out the skin and fill in deep lines and folds. Once the neck muscle is secured and excess skin and fat are removed, the skin is realigned and stitched. In addition to the incision under the chin, there are well-concealed incisions behind the ear which allow the excess skin of the neck to be removed. An important advantage of a having a neck lift without a simultaneous facelift is that you avoid the incision in front of the ear. A neck bandage is required for approximately 7 days. Stitches will need to be removed in usually 7-10 days. The downtime after Neck Lift surgery is about two weeks. In order to heal properly and more quickly, it is important to follow all post op instructions, eat healthy and limit strenuous activity.
Face Lift vs. Neck Lift
Some patients who are not yet ready for a facelift, contemplate whether they should move forward with a Neck Lift first. I suggest focusing on what bothers you the most. Quite often a neck lift without a facelift is attractive to men. They are often more concerned about the incision in front of the ear, which is avoided in a neck lift. Also men are concerned about moving hair bearing skin onto their tragus (the area right in front of the ear that does not have hair normally). The critical issue for both men and women is how aged the face looks. If the face looks pretty good, then a neck lift alone can be considered. However, if the face looks aged, then it is better to do both a facelift and a neck lift. Sometimes the neck is what is bothering the patient the most, so they do not see the degree to which the face is aged. But they will almost always see the facial age issues after the neck is done. Aging patients who combine a Neck and Face Lift often have the most impressive cosmetic results. I will help you clarify these goals and decide which surgical option is best for you during a consultation at our Southside (Pittsburgh), Wexford, Sewickley or Greensburg office locations.
Contact Sistine Plastic Surgery
To learn more about Neck Lift Surgery procedure or to schedule a consultation to talk more about this procedure, please contact Sistine Plastic Surgery today.