A youthful face is a common desire among adults of all ages but we mustn’t forget the relationship between the face and the neckline. Currently, several minimally invasive treatments exist to address the signs of aging. However, none can reproduce the enhancement that can be achieved with a neck lift. We are proud to offer a variety of neck lift techniques to meet the needs of our St. Louis patients.
What is a Neck Lift?
A neck lift is a surgical procedure aimed to create more definition of the neck and jawline. It is done for a variety of reasons including excess neck skin, fat and a lack of definition. Neck lifts treat multiple layers of the neck to improve contour, specifically the superficial fat of the neck, deep fat of the submental area, muscle weakness (platysmal bands) and skin laxity.
What are the benefits of a neck lift?
Neck lift surgery eliminates the sagging that had developed beneath the chin, dragging the face down. After a neck lift, the harmony between the face and the neck is vastly improved.
How is a Neck Lift is Performed?
Neck lift procedures are performed on an outpatient basis. When combined with other surgical techniques such as a facelift, the group of procedures may be performed with general anesthesia.
At the preoperative consultation, we will review the operative plan and answer questions. Under anesthesia, incisions are made as discussed, in discreet places such as the natural crease beneath the chin and sometimes small incisions near the hairline or behind the ear. Tiny instruments are inserted through incisions to trim and reposition excess fat, tighten the musculature, and re-drape the deeper layers of the neck. In some cases, liposuction may be involved as a method of removing small fatty deposits. Incisions are closed with sutures and a large dressing is wrapped around the head to provide gentle compression for the following 24-48 hours.
The Best Candidates for Neck Lift?
Many adults who are interested in getting rid of excess fat and skin on the upper neck are good candidates for neck lift surgery. Some of the common reasons this procedure is performed include eliminating excess skin that has become loose and saggy, eliminating horizontal bands, and improving the sharpness of the jawline by reducing laxity beneath it.
A neck lift can be conducted at any time a person wishes to correct the signs of aging on their neck. It is our desire to meet our patients’ wishes for a more youthful, more refined appearance by tailoring surgical techniques to their goals.
What is the recovery process like?
Initially, patients notice swelling and bruising that worsen over about 48 hours before starting to subside. During this time, ice packs can be applied for short periods. Ice reduces swelling and also improves comfort. The head dressing applied after surgery also assists in managing post-surgical swelling. After 24-48 hours, this dressing may be removed. Patients may shower and wash their hair around this time, as well.
Within a few days, comfort improves so much that prescription pain medication may no longer be necessary. The incisions need to be cleaned as directed during the first week of recovery, and stitches may be removed in 5 to 7 days. Makeup may be worn once sutures have been removed.
Many patients return to work and light activities one week after surgery. As healing continues, more strenuous exercise can be resumed. A sensation of tightness may linger for some time until the body acclimates to the results of the neck lift.
When will I see the results?
Swelling and bruising after neck lift surgery significantly improve over the first two weeks of recovery. Improvement continues for another several months. However, results begin to appear that first week of recovery when swelling is still at its most significant. At this time, patients will be able to notice the improvements still to come, including vastly improved contours between the neck and the chin and jawline.
How long will it last?
Generally, results can last 10 to 15 years. Tissue continues to age over time and some degree of thinning and sagging may resume, but good sun protection and skin care may slow this process.
What are the alternatives to a neck lift?
Nonsurgical treatments that have been developed in recent years may be administered to correct mild to moderate problems that affect the appearance of the neck. For example, some people benefit from Botox for those stubborn horizontal lines that form on the neck. Chemical peels and microdermabrasion may also support beautiful skin at every age.
Where will the scar be for my neck lift?
Neck lift incisions are typically limited. A short incision may be made directly under the chin or behind the hairline around the ears. For more extensive lifting or treatment that combines the neck lift with a facelift, incisions may be made in both places. Not only are incisions made in areas where scars can be hidden, but their limited nature also supports nearly invisible scar tissue. Within the first few months after surgery, patients can expect scars to be significantly better.
Schedule a Consultation
For more information on neck lift treatment, call St. Louis Facial Plastic Surgery at 314.475.3700.