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Correct a double chin, tighten a loose “turkey neck,” and embrace a more youthful profile with a neck lift.
At Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery, our acclaimed facial plastic surgeons frequently perform neck lifts for St. Paul patients. If you’re looking for an effective neck plastic surgery procedure that restores a more youthful look to the neck, this recontouring option is an excellent choice.
Many of us are dissatisfied with our neckline. Regardless of whether it’s a double chin that runs in our family or loose sagging skin as a result of environmental damage and aging, our necks can be an area that many of us feel embarrassed about. Whether done as an isolated procedure or combined with a facelift, a surgical neck lift (or lower rhytidectomy) is designed to correct these unfavorable traits and take years off our your appearance as a result.
The loss of definition around our jawlines and the excess skin under our chin is a normal progression of aging. Our facial bones, fat, and muscle act as scaffolding to provide structure and lift to the face.
When we are young, our facial structure is heart-shaped, like an upside-down triangle. As we age, we lose this bone and fat and, as a result, we see skin sag and create heaviness along the jawline. This can manifest as fullness under the chin (double chin) and/or excess skin (turkey neck).
Who is a good candidate for a neck lift?
To decide whether you are a good candidate for a lower rhytidectomy, you and your physician must first assess whether your dissatisfaction with your neck area stems from too much fullness (double chin) or excess skin and sagging (turkey neck).
Liposuction, or removal of fat from the neck, is different from a neck lift and does not address laxity of the skin. In fact, people with double chins or turkey necks are not considered ideal candidates for neck liposuction, because if you remove fat and don’t tighten the skin, the neck can have even more of a turkey neck look, appearing “saggy.”
Individuals with a full neck with minimal jowl formation and some skin laxity would be considered good candidates for a traditional neck lift. Men and women with moderate jowl formation and skin excess are best served with a traditional facelift, as there is limited improvement in the jowl area with a traditional lower rhytidectomy alone.
Younger individuals typically have skin that is more resilient and will generally have a longer-lasting result than those persons whose skin has moderate laxity. Furthermore, studies have shown that younger people are generally more satisfied with their neck and/or facelift.
If you are a younger patient or would like to avoid a surgical solution, your physician may discuss options that can act as a “non-surgical neck lift.” For this type of neck lift without surgery, consider Kybella® to reduce a double chin, SkinTyte™ to tighten drooping skin, or Botox to reduce harsh vertical platysmal muscle bands.
Good candidates for a neck lift should have realistic expectations regarding the results of the procedure. Patients considering a neck lift should not have any medical conditions or chronic illnesses that could lead to complications from the surgery.
You may need to stop taking certain medications a few weeks before undergoing the procedure, such as aspirin and ibuprofen since these can increase the risk of bleeding. Certain herbal supplements can also increase this risk. You will need to stop smoking and drinking alcohol before the date of your surgery so that the natural process of healing isn’t impaired.
What Happens During a Neck Lift?
A neck lift starts with the administration of anesthesia to ensure that the patient does not feel any pain during the procedure. Typically, either local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia is used.
Once the anesthesia has taken effect, incisions are created. Through these, the surgeon can trim away excess skin with a scalpel and tighten sagging platysmal neck muscles using internal sutures. Excess fat can also be removed with liposuction. After all tissue changes have been completed, the incisions are closed using stitches.
Neck Lift Techniques
Just like facelifts, there are several methods and approaches to a lower rhytidectomy. A traditional neck lift uses the same incision as a facelift. However, it is not carried as high in the front of the ear. In addition, the jowl is not improved to the same degree as with a facelift. Because of the complementary benefits of these two procedures, all facelifts at Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery include a neck lift to ensure an overall balanced rejuvenation.
An anterior neck lift can be an appropriate option for the right patient. The disadvantage of this method is that it does not improve the jawline and really only addresses the area directly below the chin. Also, the location for the incision is placed directly below the chin and as such can be much more visible than the incision for a traditional neck lift.
The approach for your neck lift procedure will be dependent upon your age, your individual anatomy, your gender, and the condition of your overlying skin. To determine the best way to address your double chin or turkey neck, it is best to consult with our expert facial plastic surgeons, since we have many different options at our Vadnais Heights, Woodbury and Eagan clinics.
The Neck Lift Recovery Process
During the lower rhytidectomy healing process, you will need to spend time resting and recovering to achieve the best neck lift results. You will be instructed on any medications you need to take or apply to the site.
You will be given detailed directions by your surgeon regarding any lifestyle modifications that need to be made during neck lift recovery. Follow these instructions closely to speed up the healing process. Make sure to limit neck movement in order to avoid straining your neck.
It will be necessary to take a week and a half to two weeks off from work. Avoid physically strenuous activities like rigorous exercise routines for around three to six weeks.
Keep your head and neck elevated at all times as part of your post-surgical care routine in order to keep swelling to a minimum. Use pillows to help maintain elevation overnight. Wearing a post-surgical elastic garment will also minimize swelling.
It may take a few months for the swelling and bruising to fully subside. Once all swelling has subsided and lower rhytidectomy recovery is complete, you will see the full results of your procedure. Your neck will look more contoured, sculpted, and youthful.
It’s important to note that while a surgical neck lift procedure can make you look younger, it will not stop the natural process of aging. The results are permanent, but new signs of aging can still occur.
Neck Lift Cost
Every surgeon charges a different price for the neck lifts they perform. This is because the exact details of the procedure affect the final cost. Neck lift cost is impacted by the type of anesthesia chosen, the amount of time the surgery takes to perform, the techniques employed, and many other factors.
I am loving the results! My best friend of 35 years told me that I look so relaxed and younger since I retired. She does not know about any of the procedures I’ve had. Everything is great, the filler for my tear troughs is something I will want to do again. I can’t thank you enough!!!
- Double chin/submental fullness
- Sagging skin/turkey neck
- Loose skin along the jawline
- Heavy jowls
- Defined jawline
- Improved profile
- Tighter and smoother skin on neck
- Reduced double chin
- More youthful appearance
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