Next to the face, the neck is one of the quickest areas to show signs of age. By the time most people are in their 40s, the neck has begun to lose its tightness and definition and has begun to sag. This can manifest in a variety of ways, but the most common are the development of a double chin and that “turkey neck” look caused by a combination of fat deposits and vertical edges of the muscles becoming prominent which can be fixed by a neck lift.
While these problems can be corrected as part of a larger surgery, many patients prefer not to go through a full facelift if there’s anything else that can be done for them. For many of these patients, a neck lift is the perfect answer. A neck lift will remove many of the age-related problems of the neck without requiring extensive incisions throughout the neck. Dr. Frankel has devoted years to mastering the neck lift in Beverly Hills and has written numerous published papers on the various techniques involved.
Very often patients will inquire if something can be done to improve their neck without having to do a facelift with the incisions near the ear. Over the years I have authored papers on this topic and gone through just about every described technique to accomplish this goal and have found the answer to the problem in the Neck lift. What I am committed to is achieving an excellent result. If I believe I can do this without the need for tightening the soft tissues (facelift type incisions) then I will move forward. If I suspect that our ultimate goal might be compromised without removing tissue then I will do my best to persuade the patient to refrain from the surgery. If, however, the patient wishes to “try” then we will do so with the full knowledge that we might need to perform a lift to optimize things in the future. This discussion is based on the fact that skin cannot be removed from a small incision under the chin without the risk of having it look strange. If tissue is to be removed then it must be from the sides (generally from around the ears).
Neck lift Consultation
Before having your neck lift, it’s important to go through a thorough consultation at Dr. Frankel’s Beverly Hills office. During this session, Dr. Frankel will examine you to figure out the cause of the problem. After reviewing your anatomy and skin elasticity and discussing your goals with you, he’ll be able to tell you whether a neck lift is an appropriate treatment for your situation. In some cases, patients may have too much soft tissue to fully treat without facelift-type incisions, while in others, he may feel that surgery is unnecessary. In each case, you’ll get his professional evaluation about the correct treatment for you.
Once Dr. Frankel has ascertained whether a neck lift could be effective for your situation, he’ll help you understand the options available to you, including incision placement and additional procedures such as liposuction or chin implants, which can improve the appearance of the neck. After you’ve decided on the nature of the procedure, you’ll also talk about details like payment, scheduling, and aftercare.
Neck lift Surgery
When the isolated neck surgery is performed a small incision is created under the chin. Superficial fat is removed from beneath the skin and then usually the skin is widely freed up from the underlying platysma muscle. The platysma muscles are then separated and fat beneath them removed if indicated. The edges of the platysma muscles are then sutured together. The overall effect of these maneuvers is to create a smaller neck and now there is the challenge of redraping that piece of skin so that it doesn’t look flaccid. This involves freeing up the skin even more widely to give it a greater surface area to “shrink wrap”. A compressive dressing is worn for several days to aid in this process. If someone has good elasticity to their skin then it will eventually contract fully to the new, smaller neck and things will look fantastic. If the skin fails to contract fully then things will probably still look better than they did pre operatively but there will be some bothersome laxity. As mentioned above, this can be addressed with a facelift or possibly with some of the newer technologies for tightening skin (although as of yet these have not provided much improvement in this situation). Thus, the answer to the question of whether someone is a candidate for an isolated neck lift depends on their anatomy, the elasticity of their skin and their goals. Sometimes a chin implant can be very helpful and tilt the decision in favor of the lesser operation. Likewise, losing weight prior to surgery can help in the decision making process.
Neck lift Recovery
After a post-surgery examination in the recovery room, a caregiver will be able to take you home for your recovery. You’ll be prescribed medications to ease any discomfort, and the compression dressings will stay on for a few days to help your skin to tighten up around the new contours of your neck. There may be a significant amount of bruising and swelling. This should begin to fade by third or fourth day after surgery, but it will take at least two weeks before it’s completely gone. Total healing will take up to a full year, but you should be back to work and other daily activities within 2-4 weeks. Light exercise such as walking can begin almost immediately as long as you’re carefully to take it easy, but anything vigorous should wait for at least two weeks.
Is it possible to have a facelift at the same time as a neck lift?
Yes. In fact, combining a neck lift with a facelift is one of the most common requests. It can work out especially well because the additional incisions will allow more of the excess skin to be adjusted and removed, lowering the risk of loose skin after surgery.
Could I be too old for a neck lift?
It’s more about your skin elasticity and overall health than your chronological age. Even if you’re 70 years old, if you’re in good health and your skin has the potential to shrink adequately around your neck, a neck lift could be a good option for you. Conversely, if you’re only 40 but in poor health or have poor skin elasticity due to lifestyle factors like smoking or tanning, surgery could be too dangerous or your results might not be what you were hoping for.
How can I keep my neck looking good as long as possible?
A neck lift provides long-lasting results, but you can extend them even farther by taking proper anti-aging precautions. Good hydration and skincare will help your skin tone, and avoiding smoking, excessive alcohol, and unprotected sun exposure will help to preserve your skin elasticity as long as possible.
Is there a way to rejuvenate my neck without surgery?
It really depends on the extent of the problem. Laser treatments can tighten skin somewhat, and weight loss can remove some of the fat deposits that contribute to a loose appearance. Some patients also try Botox to reduce sagging, but this has some risks. Regardless of the nonsurgical method you try, it works best on relatively mild problems that don’t need a drastic solution. No nonsurgical approach can tighten loose muscles, though, and none will dramatically change the skin itself.
Will a neck lift improve my jawline as well?
The jawline can be easily addressed at the same time as the neck, but the procedures are not quite the same. A mini-facelift or lower facelift will need to be performed alongside the neck lift in order to correct jawline issues.