Although many patients choose to focus on the face in enhancing their appearance, it is often necessary to address the neck area, which is crucial for maintaining a healthy, youthful look. Patients seeking to define the contour of the neckline may consider a neck lift, which includes one or more surgical techniques depending on the patient’s individualized needs. Sagging of the neck muscles and loosening of the skin often occur as part of the aging process, but can also be hereditary or can result from significant weight loss. During a neck lift, Dr. Wang may choose to use one technique or a combination, which depends on the individual's anatomy and goals. A neck lift can be performed as a stand-alone surgery, but is often done in conjunction with a facelift to create a truly revitalized appearance.
Now is a great time to schedule your neck lift consultation with Dr. Wang at our plastic surgery offices, serving Southern California including Pasadena, Arcadia and Riverside. You can request a consultation online or call Wang Plastic Surgery at (888) 360-6688 today to schedule your appointment.
What does a neck lift entail?
One component of the surgery is cervicoplasty, which involves cutting, removing, lifting, and suturing of the skin in the neck area. Platysmaplasty involves tightening the underlying neck muscles (platysma) by pulling them together and affixing them with permanent sutures. This is especially effective for eliminating the formation of lines, or bands, as they are often called, in the neck area. These bands usually form due to loosening of the muscles along the neck. Liposuction of excess fat in the area may also be used in combination with the above techniques or by itself. These techniques are performed under local or general anesthesia, which depends on the particular surgical approach and also whether or not the patient is undergoing complimentary procedures at the same time. In some cases a drainage tube may also be inserted to remove excess fluid and is usually removed a few days after surgery.
How are the incisions made?
The incision(s) depend on what type of approach Dr. Wang determines is best to achieve the patient’s goals. In performing cervicoplasty, which involves lifting and tightening of the skin, and/or platysmaplasty, which involves tightening the underlying muscles, Dr. Wang will likely make inconspicuous incisions behind the ears and underneath the chin. Likewise, if liposuction is required, an incision under the chin and possibly along the hairline behind the ear will be necessary. As part of the platysmaplasty procedure, Dr. Wang makes the incisions and then uses a tiny instrument called an endoscope to either remove portions of the neck muscles or realign them. The muscles are then permanently sutured underneath the skin to remain tightly in place.
What does recovery entail?
During the recovery process the patient must wear an elastic bandage around the neck and head to support the neck area. The neck and jaw may be bruised and continue to swell for several days. Tingling and numbness may also occur. For two to three days following surgery patients will likely require pain medication to alleviate mild discomfort. Patients should sleep with their head elevated for one to two weeks after surgery. It is recommended that patients avoid strenuous activity for a few weeks; however, returning to work is usually possible after two weeks or so.
What are possible complications?
As with most surgical procedures, complications are possible with neck lift surgery. One risk is infection, which usually causes fever and/or unusual discharge at the incision site. Depending on how the patient usually scars, the formation of keloids is possible. Tension and tightness in the neck may also occur, but usually lessens within four to six weeks after surgery. Nerve damage, the collection of blood or fluid underneath the skin, skin lumpiness, and deep vein thrombosis (blood clotting) are rare complications.