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Neck Lift Surgery
Sagging skin and folds, wrinkles and color changes are often the first noticeable signs of aging. A platysmaplasty, or neck lift, refers to the tightening and suspension of the muscles of the neck. This helps lessen the "bands" and sagging skin often seen under the jaw line, and also assists with the creation of a well defined jaw neck line or cervicomental angle.
- Is a Neck Lift for You?
- Making the Decision for a Neck Lift
- What to Expect After Neck Lift Surgery
- Recovery from Neck Lift Surgery
- Follow-up Care
- Request an Appointment
In any age group, a smooth jaw line is attractive. Creating a smooth neck and jaw line can dramatically improve one's youthful appearance.
- Dr. Patrick Byrne
At the Johns Hopkins Center for Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, our physicians approach the aging neck in a holistic manner, usually in combination with a facelift. By analyzing where volume has been lost and gravity has caused pulling or sagging, our surgeons can correct the aging neck by replacing volume and gently pulling specific areas.
Our physicians are also strong proponents of excellent skin care in combination with surgery to treat the aging neck and face.
The goal of a neck lift is to tighten the excess skin from the neck to diminish wrinkling and sagging. Some fat may be removed and underlying muscles and connective tissue are tightened. This area is routinely addressed with a facelift.
Important factors to be discussed with your surgeon include:
- Skin type
- Your bone structure – the jaw as well as the structures below the jaw, in the neck
- Your medical history
- Ethnic background
- Degree of skin elasticity
- Individual healing rate
Your surgeon will also discuss having a realistic attitude about the results of a neck lift with you. A neck lift cannot stop aging, nor can it turn back the clock. What it can do is help your face look its best and give you a healthy look and a more youthful appearance. A side benefit is that many patients experience increased self-confidence.
Before deciding on a neck lift, you should discuss with your facial plastic surgeon whether the overall effect will be more successful if additional changes are made in other parts of the face, including a facelift or browlift. Many patients will benefit from volume restoration and skin care.
What you should expect:
After the decision to proceed with a neck lift is made jointly by you and your surgeon, the surgeon will describe:
- During the preliminary consultation, your surgeon will take a thorough medical history, as well as assess the your mental and emotional attitudes toward the surgery. Because a realistic attitude is crucial to the success of the surgery, the surgical procedure and realistic expectations will be discussed.
- Your cosmetic surgeon will examine the structure of your neck and face, skin texture, color, and elasticity.
- Photographs will be taken so the surgeon can study your face and neck.
- Individual risks will also be examined, especially those related to medical situations such as high blood pressure, a tendency to scar, smoking, and any deficiency in blood clotting.
- After the decision to proceed with a neck lift is made jointly by you and your surgeon, the surgeon will describe:
- The technique indicated
- Type of anesthesia recommended
- The surgical facility
- Any additional surgery
- Possible complications
- Costs of the procedure
Note: These are general guidelines. Please ask your doctor to fully explain what your expectations should be post surgery.
- Even though most patients experience very little pain after surgery, the surgeon will still prescribe medication.
- Some degree of swelling and bruising is unavoidable, and your surgeon may instruct you to use cold compresses to keep swelling to a minimum.
- If a dressing has been applied, it will be removed within one to two days.
- The surgeon will also instruct you to keep your head elevated when lying down, to avoid as much activity as possible, and to report any undue discomfort. Though there are few risks in neck lift surgery and thousands are performed every year, some risk exists in any surgery.
- In some cases, a drainage tube may have been inserted during surgery. This will be removed on the first or second day after surgery.
- All sutures and staples are usually removed within five to 10 days following surgery. Surgeons generally recommend that patients avoid vigorous activity.
- Patients should prearrange for post-surgery support from family and friends.
Recovery takes anywhere from two to four weeks in most people, though many patients go back to work in two weeks. Scars are usually not noticeable after enough time has passed for them to mature. In any case, they are easily disguised in natural skin creases, or by the hair. In persistent cases scars can be hidden with makeup until total healing has occurred. Bear in mind that the aging process continues after surgery and that some relaxation of tissues will occur over the first few weeks.
Follow-up care is vital for this procedure to monitor healing. Obviously, anything unusual should be reported to your surgeon immediately. It is essential that you keep your follow-up appointments with your surgeon.
To request an appointment or to get more information about the Johns Hopkins Center for Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, please call 877-546-4530.