Who Are The Best Candidates For Neck Lift Surgery?
Neck lift surgery often coincides with a facelift due to the proximity of the neck and face. Good candidates for this procedure are in optimal physical and emotional health and understand what is possible with cosmetic surgery. If you are pleased with your procedure, a facelift may be your next option! Schedule a consultation with Dr. Donna Krummen to find out if a Neck Lift is right for you. Contact our office in Cincinnati at 513.985.0850.
What Can A Neck Lift Correct?
Neck lift surgery can:
- Tighten loose skin on the neck and under the chin
- Eliminate a double chin and “turkey neck”
- Improve the angles of the chin and jawline
- Smooth horizontal lines on the neck
How Is Neck Lift Surgery Performed?
Neck lift surgery is typically performed in an outpatient surgery center. The patient is given either a sedative and a local anesthetic or general anesthesia. The procedure begins with small incisions that begin just in front of the ears and loop up and over to end behind the ears. As an alternative, some procedures may be conducted through a small incision below the chin. This is discussed prior to surgery so the patient knows what to expect.
Through incisions, deeper muscle and connective tissue are lifted upward to correct sagging. Loose platysma muscles that cause neck banding are tightened, if necessary. In some cases, liposuction is performed to remove accumulated fatty tissue that is causing a double chin. Excess tissue and skin are trimmed and incisions are closed. The process can take from 2 to 4 hours depending on which techniques are involved.
What Is The Recovery Process Like?
Patients who undergo a neck lift can expect bruising and swelling to last up to 10 days after their procedure. These side effects can be managed with cold compresses. Patients should also sleep with their head elevated for at least the first few days of their recovery. Prescription pain medication should be taken as directed to prevent unnecessary discomfort. Patients are encouraged to avoid turning their head during their initial recovery to allow incisions to heal as well as possible. A follow-up visit occurs approximately one week after surgery to remove sutures and observe the progress of healing.
Typically, patients resume normal activities, including going back to work, within 2 weeks of their surgery. By this time, a substantial amount of swelling and bruising will have gone away. Strenuous activities that increase heart rate should be avoided for 4 to 6 weeks.
Is Recovery From A Neck Lift Painful?
Recovery from these surgeries with Dr. Krummen is not overly painful. Our necks don’t have heavy concentrations of nerves. The problem is more of a “figurative” pain because you cannot twist or bend your neck. You’ll also need to sleep with your head elevated, which can also be a pain for some.
What Do I Need to Do to Prepare for My Neck Lift?
These are invasive surgeries with Dr. Krummen, so you’ll need to prepare as you would with any surgery. This means you’ll stop taking blood thinners, anti-inflammatory medications, aspirin, and most herbal supplements for about a week prior to your surgery. These can cause excessive bleeding. If you smoke, we’ll advise you to stop for at least two weeks prior to and following your neck lift, as smoking constricts the blood vessels, and this impedes healing.
Much of your preparation should be thinking about recovery. You’ll need to lay low for the first week, longer if you can arrange it. You can’t bend or turn your neck. You’ll have to sleep with your head elevated. You’ll also have to avoid elevating the blood pressure to your neck and face by doing things such as bending over at the waist. This makes it easier to stay in bed or wherever you’ve prepared your recovery nest.
Prepare that nest beforehand. Include lots of pillows for comfort, but also to help keep you in place when you sleep. Make sure all the entertainment you need is at your fingertips.
Of course, you’ll need to arrange to miss work for two weeks. You will want to prepare meals beforehand and freeze them, or, better yet, have someone else do all of that. You’ll want to have someone around to take care of the routine stuff of daily life.
What Are the Risks Involved with a Neck Lift?
Neck lifts are major surgery, so they involve all the risks inherent with any surgery: reaction to anesthesia, excessive bleeding, poor wound healing, infection, and the like. Dr. Krummen is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon who has been in practice for over two decades; her extensive training, expertise, and experience make these issues exceedingly rare.
For neck lifts specifically, there can be nerve injury, although this is typically temporary. As long as you follow our recovery instructions, these are low-risk procedures. As discussed above, problems can arise if you bend or twist your neck before it has recovered fully.
How Soon Will I Notice Results?
The results of a neck lift will be noticeable right away. However, because swelling continues to decrease for up to six months, the final outcome from surgery may reach its peak several months after treatment.
How Long Will My Neck Lift Last?
The results of neck lift surgery can last approximately 10 years. The better a patient cares for their skin with professional-grade products and sunscreen use, the better their neck will look with age.
What Is the Best Way to Maintain My Results?
The sagging present in the neck is a problem of anatomy and aging, for the most part. After all, the neck skin is constantly pulled downward by gravity, the only break coming when we sleep. Unlike skin on our face or arms, which have bone directly under the skin for support, the neck skin and support tissues don’t have that help. That’s why the neck is one of the first areas to show aging in many people.
But sun exposure plays a role, as well. Damage from the sun’s UV radiation contributes to the aging skin, banding, and loosening that occurs on the neck. While most of us are now diligent about sunscreen on the face and back of the neck, the front of the neck often gets overlooked.
To help maintain your neck lift results, protect your neck from the sun. Wear 30+ SPF sunscreen any time you’re outdoors. Wear clothing and hats to block direct sun.
And get exercise. Any exercise increases circulation through all your tissues, and this includes your newly tightened neck skin. Increased blood flow increases oxygen to the skin, removes impurities, and keeps you looking younger. Plus, you’ll feel better.
Will I Have Scars After Neck Lift Surgery?
Neck lift surgery is performed through hidden incisions, similar to a facelift. These are situated around the earlobes and behind the ears, where resulting scars are barely noticeable.
Can I Combine a Neck Lift with Other Procedures?
Dr. Krummen often combines a neck lift with a facelift. Most facelift procedures address the upper neck and jawline, but they don’t rejuvenate the full neck or correct problems such as banding. Combining a facelift with a neck lift rejuvenates the entire neck all the way up through the mid-face area. If you are up for it, you could combine a neck lift, facelift, and brow lift to extend the rejuvenation even further.
If you’re interested in combining procedures, discuss this with Dr. Krummen during your consultation.