Know All About Neck Lift


How To Remove Excess Neck Fat?

Are you perturbed by the visible signs of ageing in your jawline and neck area? As your age progresses and signs of ageing become visible, you can see excess fat and muscle banding in your neck, which creates abnormal contours. If you want to remove the excess fat and skin deposit from your neck area and give yourself a rejuvenated appearance, you need a reconstructive surgery.

The neck is one of the first places where the signs of ageing are visible. Fatty jowls, a “turkey wattle” or hanging flesh, vertical banding and horizontal creases -- all work together to make us look older than we feel. As we age, our neck tends to develop deep creases, excess/drooping skin, banding due to excess fat. Jaws can also start to droop, causing a double chin appearance. Contouring the neck can help in bringing out a more defined jawline, which would take years off one’s appearance. This is often done through a procedure called a Neck lift or platysmaplasty or cervicoplasty.

A Neck Lift can help fix visible signs of ageing on the neck like fatty jowls and drooping skin.

What Is Neck Lift?

A neck lift surgery effectively corrects any signs of ageing such as sagging, excess fat deposition in the neck area owing to ageing, sun damage, heredity etc. This is achieved by removing excess fat from the neck by making incisions behind the ear and neck of the patient. The remaining skin and muscles are tightened by pulling together, thus, giving a rejuvenated appearance.

Alternate names for a neck lift include Platysmaplasty and Submental Lipectomy.

Who Are The Ideal Cadidates For Neck Lift?

The following are some common reasons why you may want to consider neck lift:

To get a slender neck defining the jawline.

There is excess skin and fat in the neck, causing development of folds and lines.

If you are in good general health, have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, you are a good candidate for this procedure

What Are The Different Techniques Of Neck Lift?

A neck lift involves:

  • Incisions are made under the chin and/or behind the ears depending on the technique chosen.

  • The platysma muscle is tightened and sewn together (corset platysmaplasty) similar to the way shoelaces are drawn.

  • Excess skin and fat are carefully trimmed away.

  • Tissue and skin are repositioned and secured with sutures.

  • Incisions are closed and drains may be placed before the wounds are bandaged.

Liposuction might be enough to contour the neck slightly, only if fat needs to be removed and your skin quality is good. When there are more significant signs of aging, such as a turkey wattle, excess fat, sagging skin, and/or a prominent platysma muscle, a more extensive kind of procedure is required that will address all of those problem areas.



What To Do Before A Neck Lift Procedure?

  • Your surgeon should provide thorough preoperative instructions and answer any questions you may have. He will also need to study your medical history in detail and perform a physical exam to determine your fitness for surgery.

  • You should stop smoking at least six weeks before undergoing surgery to ensure a small recovery time.

  • Avoid taking aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory drugs, and certain herbal medications that can cause increased bleeding during the stages of healing.

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Regardless of the type of surgery to be performed, hydration is very important before and after surgery for safe recovery.

  • General/Local anesthesia or intravenous sedation may be given for the neck lift.

  • Your heart, blood pressure, pulse, and the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood will be constantly monitored throughout the procedure.

  • Be prepared to spend time at the hospital for your recovery. Neck lift may be performed on an outpatient basis, particularly if only liposuction is performed. If a more extensive surgery is planned, you are likely to have an overnight stay in the hospital so that you can be monitored for possible problems. 

  • You may be required to stay overnight for observation unless you and your plastic surgeon have agreed and made other plans for your immediate postoperative recovery stages.



What Is The Post-Operative Care For Neck Lift ?

Your surgeon will discuss with you about how long it will be before you can return to your normal level of activity and work. After surgery, you and your caregiver will receive detailed instructions about your after care, including information about:

  • Taking care of the drains, if they have been placed.

  • Temporary side effects you might experience after the surgery.

  • Signs of complications that you should look out for.

  • Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home when you are released from the surgical facility and to stay with you at least the first night release from the hospital. This is important because of the danger of falling, not perceiving the time of day correctly and over-medicating yourself.

  • After the surgery, bruises may appear on your neck. The bruising will resolve over the next 4-5 days.

  • The treated area may feel tight and numb. This feelings of tightness and numbness may remain for several months. While this may seem uncomfortable, there is no cause for alarm. Patients should consult their doctor if they feel that they require any consultation for the discomfort and/or pain.

  • It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.

What Is The Post-operative Diet For A Neck Lift?

Drink plenty of fluids to help rid your body of toxins and medications. Using a straw may make this easier.

Start with a liquid diet and soft foods for 2-3 days after surgery.

You can progress to soups or jello, and the next day, you can start trying to consume foods high in protein.

Medications should be taken regularly with food.

Avoid excessive salt intake.

No smoking or alcohol for the first 6 weeks following surgery.

What Are The Realistic Expectations From A Neck Lift Procedure?

  • It is important to set realistic expectations from the procedure to avoid any disappointments later on. 

  • The neck lift surgery aims to remove excess fat in a neck which looks loose, saggy and wrinkled, thereby, giving it a firmer and rejuvenated appearance. You can expect the jawline and neck to look more defined.

  • You will start noticing the results of the surgery in a week following the surgery.  As the surgery will give you a more youthful look, it will boost up your self esteem and confidence and make you feel better about yourself.

  • It is important to realise that this surgery cannot completely reinstate the youthful appearance of the skin. Though it may give you a rejuvenated look, it cannot stop the aging process of the skin. 

  • The results of a neck lift can last anywhere between five to ten years. It varies from patient to patient. Once the results begin to subside, another surgery may be opted for to prevent returning to pre-surgical state.

  • You should be mindful of the possible complications and risks to avoid negligence of postoperative care after the surgery.  

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Neck Lift ?

  • Pros

  • Cons

  • Benefits the facial balance by redefining a distinct and strong jawline

  • Significantly improves the appearance of neck

  • Can be done as a stand-alone procedure if any other facial surgery is not needed or desired

  • Provides a more youthful profile and helps the individual feel rejuvenated and fresher

  • Removes excess skin and wrinkles on neck

  • Reduces the size of a double chin and excess neck fat

  • Can tighten lax skin and neck muscles (vertical neck banding)

  • It makes the skin tighter and firmer, helping makeup glide on and require less application time

  • Fluid accumulation, slight bleeding, and tightness in the neck after surgery. The feeling of tightness, due to correction of lax skin, will resolve once your skin gets used to its new contour.

  • Makes other facial features of aging more noticeable if only the neck has been treated. The procedure may be done in combination with a cheek lift, facelift or liposuction if desired/needed.

  • Facial swelling can take several months to resolve, but is usually not noticeable by a casual observer.

  • Numbness of the skin and area around the incision after surgery, is common, but not long-lasting.

  • Keloid scarring is rare, but possible. In certain cases, this is not noticeable, whereas in extreme cases, a follow-up excision might be requested.

Who Should Avoid Undergoing A Neck Lift?

While an ideal candidate for this surgery is a healthy individual whose skin has high elasticity, the following people should avoid the surgery:

  • Patients looking to enhance their jawline should not opt for a neck lift as they may not get the desired results. A neck lift mainly serves to reduce sagging and wrinkles in the neck area. Patients desiring a firmer jawline should opt for a facelift instead, which effectively targets the loose skin in the jaw area.

  • Patients with an allergic reaction to anesthesia are not ideal candidates for this surgery. It can cause nausea and shivering, among other complications.

  • People with low skin elasticity should avoid submental lipectomy surgery as the surgery requires cutting the skin and removing excess skin underneath it. Too young and too old people who have taught and thin skin respectively are not ideal candidates. 

  • Anyone who has a serious medical condition like type II diabetes or a heart condition, which may get aggravated through surgical interventions should not opt for a neck lift surgery. 

Prior to going under the knife, it is important to inform your surgeon about your medical history, allergies and confirm whether you are an ideal candidate.



What Are The Alternatives To A Neck Lift?

LASER Skin Tightening
This is a minimally invasive procedure which uses laser skin tightening to improve skin texture and lines and removes fatty deposits. The best ones are fractionated CO2 and Mixto lasers. This is suitable for patients with small amounts of loose skin and fatty pouches in the neck area. It is a form of resurfacing to shrink the skin in the neck.

This is a non-invasive technique which can tighten skin around neck and jawline and add a new definition without undergoing an extensive surgery. It uses ultrasound energy to heat the desired tissue and boost natural collagen production. The result, though, can be mild.It cannot treat deep wrinkles or jowls.

Botox or botulinum toxin injection is a minimal cosmetic procedure that can effectively lift neck and jowls and tighten the loose muscle around the neck. It improves the saggy vertical bands from the platysma muscle. However, the effects of this procedure are not last lasting and the procedure needs to be re-done frequently.

Fillers can effectively redefine jaw line and add a new definition. Radiesse and Voluma are the best available options. Like botox, these need to injection after some time and are not long lasting. 

In this method, special sutures are used like a shoestring, wherein, a thread is woven back and forth in the jaw bone. Then, the sutures are secured tight, to lift the subdermis, or the last layer of the skin and the muscles lying below it. The sutures get hidden under the chin of the patient. This procedure results in a more defined neckline, with skin that is tight and smooth.



Does Neck Lift Lead To Scarring?

Incisions to be made depend on the extent of the surgery and the structures being altered. If a corset platysmaplasty is planned (as described above), a small incision is made under your chin (submental incision) along with a limited facelift-type incision behind each ear. For those who require a neck lift with minimal change to the face, only a submental incision or only an incision behind each ear, would suffice.

These incisions are made along the folds and lines of the neck and/or face, and they are usually unnoticeable. These might gradually blend in over time, and meanwhile, they can easily be covered by wearing a scarf or turtleneck shirts/tops.



What Are The Temporary Side Effects Of A Neck Lift?

Neck lift surgery can cause some side effects, which are likely to resolve in a short time. These can be :

  • Numbness - As the skin has separated from the tissue below, numbness is likely to occur. While it may take some time for the nerves to heal, the condition resolves within 3-5 days. Permanent nerve damage is rare and unlikely. 

  • Discomfort - Some soreness and pain can occur in the area operated upon. This discomfort is mild and can be taken care of with over-the-counter medications prescribed by the surgeon. It typically wanes within a week after the surgery. 

  • Bruising - As the surgery involves incisions, bruising is bound to occur at the areas of incisions, which may feel tender when touched. This complication is likely to subside in about 2 weeks.

  • Swelling - Neck lift can cause some swelling in the operated area. Though it begins to dissipate after two weeks of the surgery, it may take upto three months to completely go down.

Some other common risks of the surgery include redness, nausea, vomiting, and pain during initial recovery. The redness of the incision is common and fades away as the healing process begins. Nausea and pain can be countered with appropriate medications prescribed by the surgeon. 



How To Choose A Surgeon For A Neck Lift Procedure?

For any surgery, certain surgical complications like scarring, infection and nerve damage can arise if the right surgeon and medical facility are not chosen. For a surgery like necklift, which can have a profound effect on your appearance, you should make sure that your surgeon is well qualified, experienced and has a good reputation. 

The incidence of any complications can be avoided if a well qualified surgeon and experienced surgeon is entrusted with the surgery. Neck lift surgery, too, comes with some risks and complications. Some of these are:

  • Hematoma

  • Muscle weakness

  • Infection

  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

  • Seroma

  • Asymmetry

  • Nerve damage

Do not hesitate to question your surgeon on his credentials, success rate, experience and professional qualifications. You should also ask him about the techniques he would employ for the procedure. A skilled surgeon should know how to perform the surgery in a way that leaves minimal scars and creates very few complications and side effects.  You can also ask for before after photos of his patients to gauge his level of expertise. 

Try getting in touch with some patients the surgeon has operated on and enquire them about their level of satisfaction. It is equally important that the institute at which he is practicing is accredited. This will ensure that the procedure will be carried out in adherence to safety standards and using the latest techniques. Remember that complications rarely arise at the hands of qualified professionals.

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