Cosmetic Surgery Facial Neck Lift

Regaining youthful looks is part of what neck surgery is all about. In addition to the eyelids, the neck is one of the first areas to show signs of aging. In addition to aging, excess hanging skin on the neck can be caused by genetics or due to a large weight loss.

When muscle tissue breaks down and skin loses its elasticity, neck lift surgery is a popular solution for both men and women. Even younger adults turn to this type of plastic surgery for making changes to their appearance.

The Components of Neck Surgery

Neck surgery comprises several different procedures. One or all may be necessary to achieve the expected results:

  • Cervicoplasty refers to the removal or trimming away of excess skin.
  • Liposuction, or sub-mental liposuction, is the suctioning of fat pockets in the neck and just under the chin.
  • Platysmaplasty is a procedure in which the surgeon makes alterations to neck muscles with some removal for tightening when necessary.The “platysma” is the muscle that runs from the chin vertically downward. When this begins to droop, it becomes the well-known “turkey wattle.”

These procedures are often performed in conjunction with a facelift, brow lift or even nose surgery to create an overall revitalized appearance. In many cases, a neck lift is all that is necessary to regain a younger-looking face.

Neck Lift Surgery Procedure

Neck lift procedures are generally straightforward. The surgeon will make incisions behind or just underneath the ears and/or under the chin. Liposuction occurs first with a tube, called a cannula, inserted under the chin to draw out the fat.

The surgeon maps the course of incisions then pulls the excess skin upward. He trims away the extra skin and attaches the remainder behind or around the ear with glue, staples or sutures. Sutures are either self-dissolving or will require removal a few days following the procedure.

The entire process generally takes up to three hours.

The results of a neck lift surgery will often begin to break down with advanced age. In time, the forces of gravity will again contribute to the problem. The sagging, however, will probably not be as severe as before the first procedure.

Types of anesthesia used during a neck lift will depend on the patient and the technique but include:

  • general anesthesia
  • local anesthesia, usually with a sedative for relaxation
  • regional anesthesia, which encompasses a greater localized region, but the patient does not lose consciousness
  • twilight sleep, which uses a combination of drugs, including pain killers.

In the case of multiple procedures, general anesthesia is the recommendation of choice. The procedures take place in a special suite at a surgeon’s office, a hospital or an outpatient clinic.

Recovering from Rejuvenating Neck Surgery

Following the surgery, the surgeon will possibly use a compression bandage around the head and neck to keep skin in place. This also aids in blood flow and the development of healthy tissue. It’s important to sleep with the head elevated above the heart and to make as little side-to-side movement as possible.

Common aftereffects of neck lift surgery include:

  • bruising
  • burning
  • stiff neck
  • swelling
  • tightness
  • tingling
  • tugging sensation.

The following permanent side effects are rare and can potentially be corrected surgically at a later time:

  • lump formation
  • numbness at surgical site
  • pigmentation changes
  • scar tissue
  • skin puckering.

As with all types of cosmetic rejuvenation techniques, neck surgery patients should have realistic expectations of the outcome. It’s important to understand that healing requires several months before the final results are actually seen.

In general, neck lift surgery patients can return to work within two weeks. A compression band may or may not be required after the first two weeks. Precautions include avoiding overexertion through exercise or heavy lifting. The doctor will provide specific instructions and a timeline for returning to a regular routine.

Smokers fall into a high-risk category of slower healing times. Nicotine can cause tissue in the surgical area to die, which can complicate the recovery process.

Older patients and those with thinner skin can also expect a longer recuperation time.

Costs of Neck Surgery

Health insurance does not cover most neck surgeries, especially if they are cosmetically related. Costs for the same procedures vary widely, often based on regional location and skill of the surgeon. Expect fees to start around $2,000 to $5,000 and reach $8,000 on the higher end.

The cost will also depend on the techniques involved as well as the type of plastic surgery selected.

Resources

Talksurgery.com (2001-2004). Neck Lift. Retrieved December 2, 2007, from the TalkSurgery Web site: http://www.talksurgery.com/consumer/procedures/neck_lift.html.

Yestheyrefake.net (1999-2006). What is a Neck Lift? Retrieved December 2, 2007, from the Enhancement Media Web site: http://www.yestheyrefake.net/neck_lift_faq.htm.

Yourplasticsurgeryguide.com (2005-2007). Neck Lift. Retrieved December 2, 2007, from the Ceatus Media Group LLC Web Site: http://www.yourplasticsurgeryguide.com/face-lift/neck-lift.htm.