Decrease the appearance of saggy skin in the neck
Similar to lower facial aging, signs of aging around the neck usually become evident between ages 40 and 50. Several factors contribute to the appearance of aging in the neck. These factors include thinning and stretching of the platysma muscle, loss of skin elasticity, and the accumulation of submental (below the chin) fat.
A neck lift (also known as a platysmaplasty) is a procedure that helps to tighten the deep tissues of the neck and the overlying skin. The goal of a neck lift is to restore a youthful contour to the neck and recreate the angle between the neck and chin.
In a neck lift, the platysma muscle is often tightened, and excess skin is removed via incisions that are hidden behind the ear and hairline. During a neck lift, excess fat and fullness can also be removed from the area behind the chin and below the jawline. Patients often undergo a facelift and neck lift during the same surgery session.
Benefits of a Neck Lift
A neck lift can:
- Decrease the appearance of saggy, redundant skin in the neck
- Redefine the angle between the neck and chin (the cervicomental angle)
- Remove extra fullness from the neck
- Help to create a more rested, youthful appearance
Candidates for a Neck Lift
Candidates for a neck lift:
- Do not smoke
- Do not have a history of serious health problems
- Do not have a history of excessive scarring or keloid formation
The Neck Lift Procedure
Neck lift surgery begins with an incision behind the ear. Sometimes, an additional, smaller incision is made in the crease behind the chin. Dr. Berbos and Dr. Moore are meticulous in their incision creation and placement in order to minimize scarring.
The platysma muscle and neck skin are then tightened. Excess skin is removed. Fat can also be sculpted and removed at this time to reduce the appearance of neck fullness. Drains are often placed to prevent the collection of fluid in the neck.
Non-dissolvable sutures are used to close the surgical incisions. These sutures are usually removed approximately two weeks after surgery. Over time, incision scars fade to flat, pale lines that can often be covered by your hair.
A neck lift can be combined with other procedures, like an eyebrow lift or facelift.
Results and Recovery After a Neck Lift
Following your neck lift surgery, you may experience swelling and bruising. Drains are removed within the first two to three days after surgery. Bruising and swelling are usually present for approximately two weeks.
You may also experience itching around incisions as you heal. The length of recovery time will depend on the technique utilized during surgery. Most patients are able to return to their normal activities after one or two weeks.
Post-surgery recommendations following neck lift surgery include:
- Apply an ice pack to the surgical areas during the first three to four days after surgery to control swelling
- Wear compression garments as directed by the surgeon.
- Do not apply makeup to your incisions for the first three weeks after surgery
- Protect your skin from the sun, which will help prevent scarring
- Avoid strenuous exercise or lifting weights over eight pounds for the first few weeks after surgery
After a neck lift has healed, most patients experience lasting results over the next ten years before significant signs of aging return.