Everything You Need To Know About Neck Lifts
Sometimes, the skin around the neck can begin to sag and one can lose definition in the neck and jawline. This can happen for a variety of reasons ranging from weight loss to exposure to the elements to the natural process of aging. When skin sagging occurs, it is difficult to correct and medical treatment is often required.
If you are insecure about the appearance of your neck due to loose, sagging skin, a neck lift can help correct the issue. A neck lift can both smooth out the skin around your neck, creating definition and reducing wrinkles, and in conjunction with other procedures can address accompanying issues such as the slackening of facial muscles or fat accumulation in the face.
If you are considering a neck lift, below we have provided a brief overview of the process to help you decide whether the procedure is right for you.
Who Is A Good Candidate For A Neck Lift?
Neck lifts are designed for individuals in good overall health who want to correct sagging skin around the neck. Before undergoing a neck lift, you must obtain medical clearance and have a consultation with a surgeon.
During your consultation, your surgeon will discuss your expectations to ensure a neck lift is the best procedure to meet your current goals. You will also address your medical history, lifestyle, and current medications. Your surgeon will order a medical clearance and routine blood work.
In some cases, you may need to make lifestyle changes prior to undergoing a neck lift. Smokers are usually asked to quit and you may need to avoid certain medications like Aspirin and other blood-thinners.
What Happens During A Neck Lift?
A neck lift is performed as an outpatient procedure conducted with either intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. In some cases, the procedure can be done under local anesthesia. You will need someone to drive you home after undergoing a neck lift.
Your surgeon will make an incision behind each ear. Depending on your individual needs, they may also make a third incision under the chin. Then, your surgeon will tighten the muscles and underlying tissues, and remove excess skin to reduce sagging and wrinkles before closing the incisions.
A number of variations of this procedure exist depending on your specific needs. It is important have the procedure tailored to your unique situation.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Neck Lifts?
Recovery can vary considerably from person to person depending on factors like your current health and the extent of surgery. Some people have more significant sagging then others. Your surgeon will go over specific recovery and aftercare instructions tailored to your needs. Make sure to follow all instructions closely to ensure a successful recovery.
Most patients can return to daily activities within two weeks. During this time, your neck will feel tight and you will experience bruising and swelling. Keep your head elevated above your heart, avoid twisting and bending your neck as much as possible, and minimize sun exposure.
Swelling and bruising should begin to subside within the first week and most patients will be required to wear a compression garment during this time. It can take several weeks or months for swelling and bruising to fully disappear, so be patient when waiting to see your final results.
What Risks Are Associated With Neck Lifts?
Every medical procedure carries a risk of complications, but your risk of side effects from a neck lift are very low.
Directly after surgery, some people experience issues like a hematoma or a bad reaction to anesthesia. If you notice any troubling side effects – like intense pain, discharge, or difficulty breathing – contact your surgeon right away. With prompt medical intervention, these issues can be treated successfully.
Another possible risk of neck lifts is nerve injury. The most common nerves injured are ones that affect your smile and sensation to your earlobe. Again, fortunately, these are uncommon and usually self limited, with the nerves recovering on their own within weeks to months.
In the long term, you may experience side effects like thick scarring and skin loss, which could leave you unhappy with your final results. In such cases, you may require follow-up surgery to correct the issue. Fortunately, this is exceptionally uncommon.
The best way to avoid complications is to follow aftercare instructions closely and work with a reputable surgeon with experience performing neck lifts.
Neck Lifts: The Bottom Line
Loose, sagging skin on the neck can be a source of insecurity, but can be successfully corrected with surgery. A neck lift can smooth out skin around the neck and face, creating a more youthful appearance. Recovery is typically mild and you can resume your regular routine within only a few weeks. While a neck lift carries a small risk of side effects, the procedure can have a positive impact on your self-esteem and self-image.
Ready to get started? Leif Rogers is an Ivy League-educated, board-certified plastic surgeon and a standing member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. If you’re considering a neck lift, get in touch with his team to schedule a consultation.