Neck Lift: When, Who, Why, How & What’s Involved?
Having an indistinguishable jawline is one of the more common complaints related to getting older or undergoing weight changes.
WHEN – when would you need a neck lift?
Neck lifts are popular in people over the age of 40, although some men and women may want them – or need them – earlier, especially if they’ve been through serious weight fluctuations over time and are left with sagging skin.
The skin of the neck is particularly delicate and, like the skin around your eyes, is quite vulnerable to the effects of ageing.
- Your neck is a most visible area, so it can be troubling when skin laxity causes deep folds and creases.
- Neck cording is also found in some people. Known as ‘platysmal bands’, these can stretch from the jaw and chin all the way down to the bottom of the neck.
- In addition, we all dread the turkey wattle neck, which is the result of fatty excess causing an unattractive jaw line.
Neck lift surgery can be transformative and can be extremely rejuvenating.
The technical terms used for a Neck Lift refer to a submentoplasty (mini neck lift) or a platysmaplasty (full neck lift).
In a neck lift surgery, your Specialist removes excess skin and fat, and tightens the underlying platysma muscle.
- This is all performed with high precision and an aim to employ minimal incisions to prevent significant scarring.
- Soft tissue can also be sculpted to improve the contour of the neck.
- The end result is that the loose bands of skin are removed, and the ‘jowly’ appearance diminished. Liposuction can accompany a neck lift to ensure that the fat around the neck or under the chin is removed, getting rid of your double or triple chin.
WHO – would you be a good candidate for a Neck Lift (Platysmaplasty)?
The typical age range of patients for a Neck Lift is extremely broad for both men and women. Typically, patients fall between the ages of 40 and 60 (with some pushing the top age range to 80, so long as they are healthy and have adequate skin elasticity).
Usually those who are considering a necklift procedure have had:
- sun or wind damaged skin
- undesirable fat under their chins
- the ‘turkey wattle neck’
- jowls that sway a bit when they walk or talk
- sagging, excess neck skin
- genetics (excess fat around their neckline)
For a good result with any Plastic Surgery procedure, having adequate elasticity in your skin is highly desirable and advisable.
The level of elastin and collagen may impact your recovery and your outcome. Your Surgeon may suggest some skin rejuvenation procedures (possibly even Fraxel treatments or Healite II) to help rejuvenate your skin either before, or after, your Neck Lift procedure to help you get the best results.
Whilst a Neck Lift is considered to be a relatively safe procedure – it’s still serious surgery.
So you will ideally need to be in good physical health.
During the procedure, the skin is pulled and the excess is removed, so your skin shouldn’t be too thin, which might exclude candidates who have very thin or significantly aged skin.
WHY – the benefits of a Neck Lift Procedure
You might want a Neck Lift if you are unhappy with the appearance of your neck, chin creases or lower jaw area.
- A neck lift is considered one of the most effective cosmetic surgeries for a natural-looking result.
- It reduces excess skin, creates enhanced facial contours, tightens underlying muscles, and minimises the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- The platysmal bands that have been mentioned can also be vastly diminished, and the chin and jawline can be given youthful contouring.
HOW – what does a Neck Lift procedure entail?
Prior to surgery, you should adopt a lifestyle that will support the procedure.
- Avoid alcohol, excessively sugary foods, and anti-inflammatory drugs (such as aspirin and ibuprofen).
- If you’re a smoker, you should quit.
- These instructions and other preparation recommendations will be given to you by your Specialist Surgeon before your surgery.
During the actual Neck Lift procedure, your surgeon will restructure the platysma muscle (some of it may actually be removed), and remove excess skin and fatty deposits.
- It is possible to have a necklift without the muscle being addressed, but the results you achieve will be limited.
- All the incisions made will be in strategic areas that can be concealed – thus, behind the ear or under the chin, so that the scars will be hidden.
- The results will improve the appearance of the neck quite dramatically, and will provide a firmer and more youthful jawline.
The procedure normally takes between one and a half to three hours to complete.
The time in the hospital theatre difference depends on the approach to the surgery and the extent of the facial surgery being done.
WHAT – what should you do post-surgery?
Post-surgery, you may well experience discomfort, but will be given pain medication by your surgeon. Post-op is a time for recovery and you will need to take good care of yourself and rest well. One piece of advice is to have someone take care of you for the first week, and make certain this person is non-judgemental! If you’re experiencing normal swelling or numbness, the last thing you need is the stress of a carer who keeps asking why you put yourself through this. You want SUPPORTIVE people around you (read our blog on the 7 C’s of excellent post-op care).
- You should also drink lots of water, and eat healthy food with a minimum of salt.
- Avoid alcohol or definitely avoid cigarettes.
- Patience: A most important factor in recovery is patience.
- You shouldn’t expect rapid results and need to allow your body to adequately heal.
- During the healing, you may have tightness round your neck and will need to sleep upright for a few weeks to aid the swelling and assist healing.
Surgery Results & Longevity of the Procedure
Many people are interested in the longevity of a neck lift. Typically, this can vary between 5 to 10 years depending on your skin type and the care you take of your skin, including minimising your exposure to sun and keeping your weight stable.
Longevity of results can also vary based on the expertise and experience of the Surgeon, and the technique used – not all neck lifts are equal, but you can relax when you choose one of our top Specialist Plastic Surgeons as they have decades of expertise at facial and neck rejuvenating procedures.
So if you are concerned by:
- having a double (or triple) chin?
- Not being able to clearly see where your chin ends and your neck starts?
- Sagging tissues under what was once your beautiful jawline?
Perhaps a Neck Lift procedure is the solution you’ve been waiting for to help tighten and lift the neck and help you rediscovery your jawline. Whilst a necklift has a very rejuvenating effect on the facial appearance,
Some patients may find that a mini face lift or a full face lift combined with a neck lift gets a better result. But for many patients, a neck lift on its own might be enough.
Our leading Specialist Plastic, Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgeons will help you assess what is needed to get the results you’re looking for.
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