There comes a moment in life when you start to dread looking in the mirror because all you notice are the effects of gravity, lifestyle choices, and sun exposure. If you feel like the mirror has become your enemy, you may consider altering your appearance with facial plastic surgery.
The neck is one of the first places where people show their age. A neck lift is an effective surgical procedure that enhances your neck’s appearance by tightening the skin and underlying muscles while also improving your jawline’s contour. Although a neck lift is frequently done separately from a facelift or liposuction, these procedures can also be combined with one another.
Here’s everything you need to know about enhancing your appearance with a neck lift.
What makes a neck lift different from a facelift?
When deciding on the procedure you want to have performed to improve the appearance of your lower face, you may wonder what the difference between a neck lift and a facelift is.
A neck lift removes excess skin and fat from your jowls and while also tightening the underlying muscles under the jaw to reduce sagging.
A facelift procedure eliminates fat and excess skin on the mid and lower face in order to improve the appearance of your jawline, cheeks, and mouth. Facelifts address everything that a neck lift does, but they also focus on reducing sagging skin and wrinkles around the cheeks and mouth.
What does a neck lift procedure involve?
You can typically choose between a traditional neck lift incision or a limited incision, depending on the degree of change you want to see in your neck.
Traditional neck lift incisions are the most common, and they begin in the hairline at the level of your sideburn. They go down and around the ear and end in your posterior hair. During this procedure, the tissue underlying the neck skin gets repositioned, and the platysma muscle is tightened (a procedure called platysmaplasty).
Your skin is then stretched to match the contours of your facial structure and any excess skin is trimmed away. If you’re opting for liposuction of this area at the same time, a separate incision under your chin might be necessary.
If you choose to go for a limited incision neck lift, the incisions may only take place around your ear. While this is a less invasive procedure with shorter incisions, the results are more limited.
Additional Read: How Much Does a Neck Fat Removal Surgery Cost?
What are some possible issues with neck lift procedures?
When you decide to have a neck lift, it’s essential to consider whether the benefits will help you achieve your goals and keep in mind that there are some risks and potential complications for this procedure.
Some of the risks associated with neck lift surgery include:
- Risks associated with anesthesia
- Temporary hair loss along the incisions
- Facial asymmetry
- minor swelling
- Numbness and other changes in skin sensation
- Skin irregularities, scarring, and discoloration
What can a neck lift improve?
Neck surgery can improve your external appearance, mostly by focusing on the visible signs of aging in your neck and jawline.
The most common issues a neck lift can improve include:
- Excess fatty deposits under the chin
- Excess fat and skin rotation in the lower face, which reduces jowls
- Loose neck skin
- Abnormal contours created by muscle banding in the neck
The loss of contours in the neck and face is typically due to multiple factors, including gravity, heredity, stress, and environmental conditions. A neck lift can improve your overall appearance, especially when your neck area doesn’t match how you feel or your upper facial appearance.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that a neck lift won’t stop the aging process and can’t change your appearance fundamentally.
What are the overall benefits of a neck lift?
Your neck typically starts displaying distinct signs of aging before the rest of your face. The much-dreaded “turkey neck” is very difficult to conceal and is one of the first signs that give away your real age.
With a neck lift, you can eliminate sagging of the neck with minimal scarring. This procedure can accomplish what exercise and diet can’t, typically because hereditary traits intensify the effects of aging on the neck. Under normal circumstances, it’s not possible to target the neck area with diet and exercise. As such, a neck lift that targets these particular issues is the only way to achieve a beautifully sculpted neck and jawline.
These are the benefits that you can expect from a neck lift:
A rejuvenated appearance — a neck lift is a great option if you are not ready for a full facelift, but still want to achieve a more youthful appearance. A platysmaplasty is often performed as part of the neck lift procedure to tighten your neck muscles.
Less downtime and scarring — a neck lift is a procedure that can usually be completed on an outpatient basis. You can opt for local or general anesthetic, and the incisions will be discreetly hidden in the hairline. After a neck lift, the recovery time is short, with most patients being back to their normal routine in just 7 days.
Fat deposits can also be corrected as part of a neck lift, with many surgeons performing liposuction to remove the excess fat with the purpose of rejuvenating the neck area.
How to maintain your neck lift?
After your neck lift, you will have some dressings on your neck and face. Their purpose is to reduce bruising and swelling, but you can expect your bandages to be removed after one or two days. You will need a follow-up appointment for the stitches to be removed after seven or eight days.
It’s completely normal to feel some numbness of the skin after a neck lift procedure, but this will improve in a couple of weeks or months. Your doctor might recommend keeping your head up to reduce swelling, and it’s important to sleep with some extra pillows to keep your head up for the first couple of days.
Even though this is an outpatient procedure and you will be out of bed the same day after surgery, you should avoid strenuous activities, massages, and saunas for at least a couple of weeks after the procedure.
Here are the things that you should do after your neck lift to maintain it right:
- Protect your fresh incisions as recommended by your surgeon
- Avoid strenuous physical exercise after the operation
- Look after yourself by eating right and drinking plenty of water
- Remember that putting on weight will affect the results of the surgery
- Try to exercise daily and maintain a healthy weight
Find a Qualified and Skilled Surgeon for your Neck Lift
Like any other medical procedure, it’s important that you feel comfortable with the surgeon of your choice. You’ll also want to trust their medical expertise.
By finding a qualified and skilled surgeon for your neck lift, you will have a good overall experience. The skills of the surgeon you choose are also very likely to impact the natural-looking results of the procedure. Ask to see before and after pictures of his or her work.
When searching for the best plastic surgeon to perform your neck lift, it’s vital to ask them the following questions:
Are they board-certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery? You’ll want your surgeon to maintain ongoing professional standards and be certified by a plastic surgery board.
Can they show you before and after pictures of Actual patients on whom they performed the procedure you’re interested in? By seeing pictures, you can make sure that your doctor gets your aesthetic sense and their procedures align with it.
How long have they been performing neck lifts? It’s important to go for a surgeon that has plenty of experience in the field so you can rest assured you’re getting the best possible long-lasting results.
Don’t be afraid to ask your surgeon lots of questions about the procedure, the results you can expect, and the aftercare of your neck lift.
If you’re looking to enhance your appearance without taking measures that are too drastic, a neck lift may be the right choice for you. A neck lift is a more minimally invasive solution that can take years off of your appearance.
The procedure doesn’t require extensive recovery times, and you can choose to have it in conjunction with other enhancements to your face, such as a facelift.
If you’re in the Chicago area, please consider Dr. Sidle for all of your plastic and reconstructive surgery needs. He is a board-certified plastic surgeon and his years of experience and technical proficiency make him one of the leading facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons in the nation. He has built his reputation on excellent results and impeccable care for his patients. We’d love to talk to you about your neck lift surgery. Get started with your neck lift consultation today!