A necklift improves the appearance of loose or sagging tissue in the neck. It is often performed in combination with a lower facelift, but may be performed as a separate procedure in appropriate individuals. The procedure involves several key steps including removal of extra skin, tightening of the neck muscle layer, and removal, repositioning or sculpting of facial and neck fat.
The Aging Process
As part of the normal aging process, the neck undergoes multiple changes concurrently. Skin changes include loss of elasticity and sagging of the neck and jowl. Separately, there is an accumulation of fat in the submental area underneath the chin. Additionally, the muscles of the neck lose tone resulting in the development of neck bands (platysmal bands). Together, these changes contribute to the loss of a well-defined, youthful angle between the chin and neck. Some of these changes may be amenable to treatment in their early stages using non- or minimally-invasive procedures.
Candidates for Necklift
You may be a good candidate for a necklift if you are dissatisfied with the appearance of your neck, especially with regard to the development of skin laxity and the accumulation of fat underneath the chin, the appearance of jowls and/or neck bands, the loss of muscle tone in the neck and/or the loss of a well-defined angle between your chin and neck.
In more advanced stages of facial aging or for patients seeking more substantial results, a necklift alone or in combination with a lower facelift should be considered. A necklift is performed either in the office or in the operating suite, depending on your preferences and Dr. Pearson’s recommendations. Through discreet skin incisions placed around the ears, the neck skin is lifted, allowing tightening of the deeper muscle tissues. At the same time, excessive fat accumulation is thinned and fat sculpting may be performed.
Liposuction and fat sculpting of the area underneath the chin is often performed during a necklift. Fat transfer (also called fat grafting) to the face may be performed at the same time and involves the use of your own fat cells to restore facial volume.
Possible Non-surgical Alternative Treatments
Subtle signs of aging may be amenable to minimally invasive methods to rejuvenate the lower face. Dr. Pearson offers a full range of nonsurgical procedures including facial skin resurfacing, Botox / Dysport treatments, and volume replacement with a variety of fillers, including combination treatments such as Dr. Pearson's Liquid Facelift Technique. In younger patients who demonstrate isolated accumulation of fat underneath the neck, neck liposuction alone may be considered.
Recovery after Necklift
Following a necklift, you can expect a few days of swelling and soreness which is well controlled with oral pain medications. Most sutures are removed between days 5 and 7. Makeup can be used at this point to camouflage any bruising or scars. Swelling and bruising generally subside by 7-10 days. You can resume most normal activities after a couple of days, except for intense exercise, which may be resumed at about 3 weeks. Most people are able to return to work in 2 weeks. Necklift scars are usually not noticeable after sufficient time has passed for them to mature. In any case, they are easily disguised in natural skin creases and by the hair.
Necklift Quick Review
|GOALS||Rejuvenate the neck. Improve sagging of the neck skin, improve neck muscle tone, reduce fat accumulation underneath the chin, restore a more youthful angle between the chin and neck.|
|ANESTHESIA||Local anesthesia alone vs. local anesthesia with sedation|
|LENGTH||Under 2 hours|
|AFTER PROCEDURE||Dressings removed after 1 day. Most sutures are removed by day 7.|
|RECOVERY||Most activities may be resumed after a couple of days. Swelling and bruising generally subside by day 10. Return to work in 2 weeks.|