What is a neck lift?
As we age there can be loss of youth contours to the neck. There can be decent of the skin, Deposition of fatty tissue below the neck muscle, presence of visible muscle bands, prominent glands and various skin pigmentation changes. Patients will notice an excess of skin referred to as a “turkey wattle” or double chin. Often combined with a facelift which addresses the upper face, a neck lift has its own added benefits. Alone it also a very powerful procedure and has a less extensive recovery than a traditional facelift.
What will a neck lift do?
A neck lift will improve the visible signs of aging in the jawline and neck. These includes excess fat and skin relaxation that creates jowl. Fat deposit under the chin, loose neck skin and muscle banding in the neck which create abnormal contours.
During your consult
At the time of your consultation we will review your goals. Dr. Brown will evaluate your medical conditions, drug allergies, current medications/herbal supplements and prior surgical history.
He will examine your face, sometimes take measurements, and finally take photographs. From that information Dr. Brown will recommend a course of treatment, likely outcomes, and discuss potential complications as well as the type of anesthesia.
Prior to surgery
To get ready for surgery there are a number important steps. We will obtain recent blood work and sometimes obtain medical clearance from your primary doctor
You must stop smoking. In most cases Dr. Brown will not perform a facelift on anyone who is actively smoking. You must avoid taking Aspirin, anti-inflammatories and herbal supplements for 3 weeks prior to surgery as this increases the risk of bleeding. Certain hormones must also be stop as these increase the risk of Deep vein thrombosis
Anesthesia. A number of medications are administered for your comfort. Choices of anesthesia include intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Dr. Brown often recommends intravenous sedation due to a reduction in side effects and eased recovery
A neck lift is done through and several cm incision that hides just behind the chin. There is never skin “excision” with this approach as the skin excess is taken up by the natural redrapping of the skin with adjustment of the underlying anatomy. Adjusts to the underlying include tightening the platysma muscle with sutures, removal subplatysmal fat and sometimes removal of prominent digastric muscles.
Thin tubes or drains are placed to collect blood or fluid. You be will given specific instructions to take pain medication and information about care of the incisions, and use of cold compresses to help with swelling. You will come to our office the day after your surgery and we will clean and redress your incisions. The drains are often removed after 3 to 4 days. Your incision will be closed with dissolving sutures. Most Swelling in present for 1-2 weeks, and there can be slight bruising. It can take a couple of months for incision to mature. We ask that you avoid exercise for 2 weeks and then slowly resume activities. Patients are often able to return to work within 2 to 3 weeks.
- Poor wound healing and skin loss
- Facial nerve injury with weakness
- Temporary or permanent hair loss
- Fluid build up
- Numbness or changes in the skin sensation
- Unfavorable scars
- Prolonged swelling
- Skin irregularities
- Unsatisfactory result may include asymmetry, surgical scar formation
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications