Having a tight, smooth neck can contribute to a youthful appearance. Unfortunately, aging and gravity can lead to sagging jowls, loose, wrinkled, skin on the neck (sometimes referred to as a ‘turkey neck’), and lax, drooping muscles. Many people find these traits unappealing and want to regain their alluring, chiseled neck. These concerns can be alleviated by undergoing a neck lift, which is a procedure that pulls skin tighter to restore a youthful, taut neck and jawline, rejuvenating your appearance.
Candidates for a Neck Lift
Men and women seeking a neck lift should be in good health, maintaining a stable weight, be non-smokers, and have realistic expectations for their outcome. If you are dissatisfied with the appearance of your neck and have one or more of the following concerns, then a neck lift may be an excellent option for you.
- Muscle laxity in the lower face
- Fat deposits or fullness around the chin and neck
- Wrinkled, loose skin on the neck and jawline
Neck Lift Techniques
It is rare for patients to select a neck lift as a standalone procedure, as it may cause an imbalance between the appearance of the face and neck. However, some patients want to minimize incisions or are not concerned with sagging skin on the face. It is customary to combine a neck lift with a facelift to achieve the desired contouring.
There are several incision options, and each method its own benefits. During your consultation with Dr. Guy, your preferences and aesthetic goals will be discussed to determine which approach is taken and what technique will achieve your desired results. Liposuction may also be included to address stubborn fat under the chin.
Neck Lift Procedure
Usually, patients are given a light general anesthesia along with local anesthesia, and the incisions are made. The neck tissues are adjusted, and muscles are tightened as needed. Any excess skin is removed and then rearranged to cover the lifted contours. If liposuction is needed, incisions are typically placed under the chin to conceal scarring. Sutures or surgical adhesives are used to close the incisions.
- Anterior neck lift: Incisions are made on the front of the neck below the chin. This is only recommended if visible scarring is not an issue. Patients may choose this technique if they have medical issues which preclude a more extensive procedure.
- Traditional neck lift: Incisions typically start in the hairline near the ears and follow around to the posterior hairline, allowing access to the underlying tissues. In some instances, the incisions may be limited to behind the ears and along the posterior hairline. Skin is shifted, and muscle is tightened. The skin is repositioned, excess is removed, and the incisions are closed using sutures or surgical glue.
- Limited incision neck lift: A tiny incision is made by the ear. This technique is ideal for patients seeking only minimal correction. In some cases, the incisions can be slightly extended up from the front of the ears and/or around the back of the ears to enhance the jawline and renew the neck and jowls.
Immediately after your neck lift, your face and chin will be wrapped with bandages to help reduce swelling and bruising. A small drainage tube may be applied to help remove any excess fluids. The tube and surgical dressings are typically removed within two days. Specific aftercare instructions will be provided, and it is essential to follow these carefully to ensure your recovery is as comfortable as possible. Medications will be prescribed to ease any discomfort, and your head should remain in an elevated position to help reduce swelling and bruising. Your final results will become apparent in approximately two weeks as the swelling and bruising subside.
Patients look refreshed, and their neck appears much younger. Scars are typically minimal and should fade over time. The technique used will determine whether your results are dramatic or subtle. It is common for patients to look much younger, which boosts self-confidence and satisfaction with their appearance. Results from a neck lift can last for many years when patients practice proper sun protection and maintain a healthy lifestyle.