Neck Lift Overview
One of the first locations that show signs of aging on the body is the neck. Your skin may begin to sag and wrinkle. Extra folds of skin create the appearance of a “double chin” or “bands” under the jaw line. Fortunately, the youthful appearance of your neck can be restored with a platsymaplasty, or neck lift. The surgeon is able to diminish the toll that time and gravity have taken on the neck during a procedure where muscles and tissue are tightened to smooth out loose skin that has become weakened over time. Many times patients may undergo neck lift surgery in conjunction with a facelift for a comprehensive rejuvenation of the head region.
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During this surgery general anesthesia is administered for the removal and tightening of excess skin, muscles and tissues. Fat may also be removed. When a neck lift is performed on its own there are different options of techniques that can be used. Liposuction may be used to remove excess fat with the use of a narrow tube called a cannula. The cannula dislodges fat and removes it though a small incision below the chin. Once the extra volume is gone, skin can be excised and tightened. This tightening is also done in many instances where liposuction has not occurred to address skin that has begun to sag as a result of time. Incisions are placed under the chin and/or behind the ears and gently pulled back.
When unwanted band lines are present, portions of neck muscles may be tightened through incisions in the same locations. After the muscles are realigned, sutures are placed within the neck to keep them in place.
Bandages are applied at the end of the neck lift. An elastic garment may be recommended to be worn for a period of time. Dressing and drainage tubes placed during surgery may be removed within 1 to 2 days. Sutures are removed within 5 to 10 days.
After surgery, mild pain or discomfort may be felt. This can be controlled with medication prescribed to you by the surgeon. You will notice some swelling and bruising that can be minimized with cold compresses. Keeping the head elevated will also limit swelling. Most people return to work in about 2 weeks. Strenuous activity should be avoided during the healing process.