Neck Lift Surgery
The neck is usually one of the first areas to show signs of aging – this can come in the form of fatty jowls, loose skin (also known as ‘turkey wattle’), or excess muscle that appears in bands around the neck. These symptoms may also be caused by significant weight fluctuations.
The submentoplasty or ‘neck lift’ is designed to address these issues by removing excess skin, fat and muscle to redefine the jawline. The surgery is typically performed in conjunction with a facelift, but it can be done as a stand-alone treatment.
Neck lift surgery entails a number of different procedures which can be used in any combination to achieve the desired look, depending on the needs of the individual. The range of possible neck lift procedures include:
- Liposuction (removes excess fat)
- Cervicoplasty (removes excess skin)
- Platysmaplasty (tightens loose muscle)
The result should reveal a smooth, firmer and tighter neck, as well as a more defined jawline. The overall area should look rejuvenated and more youthful.
Is Neck Lift Surgery right for me?
Neck lifts are most popular for men and women aged between 40-60. However, the procedure is suitable for most patients – regardless of age – as long as they are fit and healthy.
The level of elastin and collagen in your skin is important, as it may impact your recovery and your outcome. Your surgeon may suggest some skin rejuvenation procedures to help improve your skin’s elasticity either before or after your procedure, to help you get the best results.
Patients who have very thin or significantly aged skin may not be able to undergo the procedure. Additionally, neck lifts are not suitable for patients looking to enhance their jawline – we would recommend opting for a facelift instead.
The best way to find out if you’re eligible is to talk to a consultant who will assess your medical history and make an informed evaluation.
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Preparing for Neck Lift Surgery
In the time leading up to the submentoplasty, you should avoid alcohol, excessively sugary foods, and anti-inflammatory drugs (such as aspirin and ibuprofen). It is also highly recommended to quit smoking during at least six weeks before the procedure, to minimise the recovery time.
The neck lift can be carried out under local or general anaesthetic – if general anaesthetic was given, you may be required to spend the night at the hospital.
Your surgeon will make a number of small incisions under your chin and behind your ears to access the platysma muscle; this muscle is then tightened and sewn together. Excess skin and fat is also removed before the incision is closed and sealed.
The whole process usually takes no longer than four hours – in most cases you can leave the hospital on the same day.
Aftercare and Recovery following Neck Lift Surgery
Immediately after the operation, it’s normal to experience some pain, swelling and bruising – your surgeon will prescribe some pain medication to treat this. You can also apply ice packs to the area to help reduce the swelling. Additionally, your neck may need to be wrapped in compression bandages that you will need to wear for about a week.
Try to move your neck as little as possible – we would also recommend arranging for someone to drive you home from the hospital and to take care of you for the first few days. With proper rest and drinking plenty of fluids, you should be able to return to work and resume normal activities with two weeks of the surgery. However, it may take a few weeks before the tightness or numbness in your neck starts to fade. You should be able to see the full benefits of the procedure in three to six months.
Side effects following Neck Lift Surgery
You may experience numbness around the neck area – this usually fades after a few weeks, but in rare instances this condition can be permanent. Other risks include excess scar tissue building up around the incision, or bruising and puckering of the skin.
Additionally, as with any plastic surgery there is a risk of complications related to infection or reaction to anaesthesia. However, with the proper precautions and post-procedure care, the risks are usually minimised or prevented.
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