The neck tends to be one of the first areas of the body to show visible signs of aging. Weight loss, lifestyle choices, genetics, and aging can contribute to sagging or wrinkled neck skin. A neck lift is a surgical procedure that smooths and tightens skin, producing a younger-looking neck and more defined jawline. Dr. Jimmy C. Sung performs neck lift surgery as a standalone procedure or in conjunction with facelift surgery to achieve optimal facial rejuvenation results.
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The ideal candidates for neck lift surgery have realistic expectations of the procedure and are in generally good health. Both men and women may consider neck lift surgery if they can relate to any of the following cosmetic concerns:
Neck lift surgery is an outpatient procedure that usually lasts about four hours and takes place at a hospital, an office-based surgical suite, or an ambulatory center. Either general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation can be used. An incision is created in front of the earlobes, extending behind the ears and ending in the scalp near the back of the neck, and sometimes a small incision is placed underneath the chin. Depending on a patient’s needs and aesthetic goals, Dr. Sung offers the following neck lift procedures:
Cervicoplasty involves trimming and lifting sagging skin in the neck area. After excision, the incisions are closed using sutures. This technique produces a smoother neck and improves jawline definition.
Loose muscles that accentuate undesirable “bands” around the neck can be tightened during platysmaplasty. The newly tightened muscles are permanently sutured in a youthful position, and incisions are closed using sutures.
If a patient has excess fat in the neck area, liposuction can be used to remove fatty tissue at the start of the neck lift. Liposuction requires only a few tiny incisions that are placed in inconspicuous locations.
Swelling and bruising following neck lift surgery can last up to 10 days. Applying cold compresses and keeping the head elevated during the first 48 hours following surgery will help minimize swelling. It is recommended to keep the head still and avoid turning or twisting it for the first few days post-surgery. Patients will be prescribed pain medication to help alleviate discomfort. Most neck lift patients return to work and other normal daily activities within two weeks, but they should avoid more strenuous activities and exercises for four to six weeks. Bandages covering incisions are removed after a few days, and sutures are typically removed after seven to 10 days.
Patients can expect to notice some visible improvement immediately following neck lift surgery. Swelling can take a few weeks to months to dissipate, and any residual bruising should subside within four to five days. The neck will look smoother and more youthful, and it will continue to improve as side effects disappear. Any scarring tends to fade over time. The results of a neck lift can last up to 10 years, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and using adequate sun protection will preserve the effects of a neck lift for longer.
Complications associated with neck lift surgery are uncommon, especially when performed by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. However, the risks of the procedure can include the following:
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