One of the biggest things to age our appearance as the years go on is the look of our neck. As we begin to produce less collagen and other beneficial substances, the skin on our necks can begin to sag, and it can begin to appear we have too much of it. A neck lift is oftentimes the perfect solution. Capable of removing excess skin, tightening the skin and muscle, or both, it can help to take years off of your appearance. Let’s take a look at what you can expect before, during, and after this procedure.
What Exactly is a Neck Lift?
First, let’s summarize what a neck lift actually is. There are two different types of procedures, and they are often performed at the same time. The first is called platysmaplasty, and it is done to tighten the muscles of the neck. The second is called cervicoplasty, and it is done to remove excess skin. A neck lift can be customized to your specific needs to help give you a sleeker, firmer, younger-looking neck.
This procedure can accomplish many things, including:
- Reducing vertical lines or bands on the neck
- Eliminating the excess skin that causes a “turkey neck”
- Smoothing out any and all creases along the neck
Preparing for the Procedure
Before anything else, you have to come in for a consultation. This is when we can discuss why you want to have a neck lift and what results you are hoping to see. Expect to discuss your medical history, including current medications and supplements you are taking. This is done to make sure that this procedure will be both safe and effective for your situation. Your face and neck will be thoroughly examined, and photographs may be taken for “before” pictures.
It is possible that you will be asked to stop taking certain medications leading up to your procedure. Anything that can increase bleeding, such as aspirin, should be avoided. If you are a smoker, it is strongly advised that you quit prior to your surgery. The simple fact is that smoking will slow down your body’s ability to heal. You will be given customized pre-op instructions prior to your procedure. Prior to your surgery, be sure to drink plenty of water. Hydration is very important for the recovery process.
What to Expect During the Procedure
Anesthesia will be required to perform this procedure, which is typically done on an outpatient basis. Whether you will have general anesthesia or intravenous sedation depends on many factors and can be discussed at your consultation. Once the anesthesia has taken effect, the neck lift can begin.
Next, it will be time for the surgery. Exactly where the opening will be and whether or not you will need more than one depends on your goals for the surgery and is something else that will be discussed prior to beginning.
What to Expect After the Procedure
The area will be wrapped with a bandage afterward to help minimize any swelling. Plan on taking it very easy for the first few days after surgery. Avoid bending or twisting your neck as much as possible. Everyone’s body is different, but people typically need some time off from work and any strenuous activity while they heal.
Walking is recommended in the first few days after your surgery to help promote circulation and reduce swelling. Be sure to take it easy, however, because you may feel a bit weaker for a while after your procedure. Plan on walking short distances and resting often.
During this time, it will be important to keep the head elevated above your heart. You will want to be extremely careful when putting clothing on over your head. It is a good idea to stock up on shirts that button up the front prior to your surgery. You will also want to protect the skin on your neck from the sun as much as possible during the healing process. Be sure to follow your aftercare instructions to ensure that your healing goes as smoothly as possible.
Eating may seem a bit challenging in the days immediately following your surgery. You will want to be sure to drink plenty of fluids to help your body recover. Stocking up on straws prior to your surgery is a good idea, as this will make drinking much easier. Speaking of drinking, you will want to avoid consuming alcohol for a set amount of time. Soft foods are typically recommended for the first few days. Progress slowly to more solid foods as your body heals.
What Results Can I Expect?
After you have healed, you can expect very long-term results from your neck lift procedure. Your neck and jawline will appear more youthful. It may take months to see the full impact of your improvements. Maintaining a healthy weight will help keep up your results. It is important to note that this surgery does not stop the aging process.
Who is a Good Candidate for Surgery on the Neck?
There are many factors that go into determining whether or not you are a good candidate for a neck lift. The biggest two are being bothered by excess or sagging skin on your neck and being in good overall health. At your consultation, we will discuss the different factors that make someone a good candidate for this procedure. You are likely a good candidate for this procedure if you are trying to address the following things:
- A “Turkey Neck”: This less-than-flattering term refers to what happens when the muscles in the neck get weak and the skin begins to sag. This happens to many people as they get older, and it is something that is commonly addressed with this popular procedure.
- A Double Chin: There are many things that can contribute to the appearance of a double chin. One thing that many people do not consider is the appearance of their neck. If the double chin is caused by loose skin solely, a neck lift may be enough to correct the problem. If there is excess fat present as well, liposuction in the area may be required.
- A Poorly Defined Jawline: Jowls tend to appear as the lower portion of the face begins to sag and lose its youthful shape. While some people may benefit more from a lower facelift, a neck lift is sometimes a more appropriate option. Often, these surgeries combined are perfect for restoring a redefined jawline.
- Wrinkles and Creases: Although there are non-surgical ways to address wrinkles on the neck, moderate to severe ones often require surgery. It is very common to develop creases on the neck as the years go on due to a loss of collagen as well as exposure to the sun. A neck lift can help fix this.
- Vertical Bands: Neck bands appear when you lose fat in the area, exposing the muscle. By tightening the muscles and rearranging the skin, this can be addressed. Although there are some non-surgical options out there, greater success is typically achieved with surgery. However, it all depends on the unique case.
The age range of good candidates for this procedure is quite wide. Some people choose to have it done in their younger years because they do not like the way their neck looks. Other people wait until their 50s and beyond because they are trying to address the effects of aging and sun damage.
Of course, this procedure isn’t right for everyone. Certain people will be better off considering other treatment options to help them reach their aesthetic goals. People who are unable to take the proper time off of work, for example, will not be considered good candidates. Those who plan on losing a significant amount of weight are encouraged to wait to have this procedure until they have reached their body goals. Weight loss or gain can impact the results of the neck lift. Those with serious health issues, such as a heart condition, will not be considered ideal candidates for this procedure.
Other Procedures That Can Enhance the Results
At your consultation, we will discuss your overall appearance goals. If desired, there are other procedures that can enhance your results. Many people choose to have a neck lift done at the same time as they have a facelift in order to rejuvenate their whole appearance. There are many options available to you, depending on your overall goals.
Of all the procedures that are combined with a neck lift, neck liposuction is one of the most common. Many people find that there is excess fat that also needs to be removed from the area in order to achieve their desired results. Depending on your situation, this can easily be done at the same time as your neck lift procedure.
With that being said, we are proud to also offer non-surgical options for rejuvenating the neck. These include:
- ThermiRF skin tightening
- Kybella injections
Learn More During a Consultation
Do you think that a neck lift procedure might be right for you? If so, we encourage you to consider our team at The Bougainvillea Clinique. We are proud to serve the entire Central Florida area with first-class cosmetic treatments. Sitting down with our friendly team is the best way to determine what the best treatment plan is for you. If you think you look older than you should in the mirror, a neck lift may be the cosmetic solution you have been looking for, and the process may be easier than you might have initially thought. Our office is conveniently located in Winter Park. Contact us today to set up your consultation and get started!