A necklift is a procedure closely akin to a facelift that concentrates on the skin, muscles, and fat of the neck region to counteract the inevitable effects of aging on this region. In general, you will see improvements in the sagging skin of your neck as well as greater definition in the chin region.
A neck lift will not help sagging cheeks, wrinkles around the mouth and eyes, or anything in the facial region.
Less Invasive Options
Because a neck lift is a highly invasive procedure carrying all the risks of surgery and with a fairly extensive recovery time, it is best to consider less invasive options first.
For people who are concerned with wrinkling, lax skin, sometimes Laser Skin Resurfacing can provide adequate reduction in wrinkles and stimulate collagen production to the point that the skin resumes its shape, luster, and fullness.
For patients with high skin elasticity, who are suffering from double chins, Vaser Liposelection of the neck may provide adequate results.
However, if your skin has become loose, and especially if the superficial muscle of the neck, the platysma, has begun to sag, giving the neck a banded appearance, a necklift is the only procedure likely to provide good results.
A necklift is usually performed on an outpatient basis, sometimes under local anesthesia and sometimes under general anesthesia. You will usually be allowed to go home the same day, depending on whether the procedure is done at an ambulatory center or in a spa setting, and you should make plans for having someone drive you. During the procedure:
- An incision is made just below and behind each ear, and often another one is made just below the chin.
- The neck muscles are tightened, and, if necessary, trimmed
- The skin is lifted up and back toward the ear, where it is anchored with sutures, sometimes including special barbed suspension sutures
- Excess skin is trimmed
Overall, the result of the necklift is skin that is more taut and youthful-looking. Sometimes skin treatments may be advised to finish the job of wrinkle removal and complete the youthful appearance.
The recovery period for a necklift is between two and three weeks of home (although not necessarily bed) rest. If you have a job without strenuous physical demands, you can go back to work approximately a week after the procedure. While you are healing:
- Your chin and neck will be held in a supportive dressing
- Keep your head elevated and straight, and use pillows while you sleep to reduce it turning overnight
- Wait two days before showering
- Avoid physical exertion such as heavy lifting and sexual activity for at least two weeks
- Expect swelling and bruising for about two weeks
- Avoid alcohol, aspirin, tobacco, and Vitamin E for at least three weeks
- Avoid dental procedures for 6 weeks, except for emergencies
Your final results may not be apparent for as much as six weeks after the procedure, but by the time you are fully healed, you will find a dramatically improved look to your neck with only a few tiny scars to show that the procedure has been done.
If you’re interested in learning more about this or any other cosmetic surgery procedure, click here to get in touch with a local plastic surgeon who can answer your questions in all necessary detail.