If you have excess fat and saggy skin in your lower chin and neck area, it can be a telltale sign of aging. This is an area that is passed by for many patients who are considering plastic surgery to achieve a more youthful, vibrant appearance. However, the neck can often be the most obvious area that shows a person’s age. For those who want to improve their profile, having a neck lift procedure is often the perfect choice. Neck lifts can be performed by themselves or in combination with a facelift or other procedure to produce enhanced effects. Here is what you need to know about the neck lift procedure.
How a Neck Lift Can Help
If a patient prefers to address aging solely on the neck, then Dr. Waltzman can perform an isolated neck lift. A neck lift will help patients achieve a smoother, sleeker profile by removing heavy bands on the neck. Neck bands appear when the platysma (the wide sheet of muscle that covers the neck), fatty tissue, and skin start to sag. To lift and tighten the neck bands, a neck lift will remove excess skin and fat and tighten the platysma.
A neck lift can address excess fat and skin sagginess around the lower face and jowl area as well as remove excess fatty deposits under the chin, and tighten loose neck skin in addition to addressing the muscle banding in the neck. This combination of results can take years off a patient’s appearance, especially if their upper face is still youthful or if a facelift or other procedure has already been performed on the face. If a patient wants to address issues on their upper face as well, common procedures performed in conjunction with a neck lift are eyelid surgery, brow lift, fat transfer, or a mini or full facelift.
Good Candidates for Neck Lift
Those who have already had plastic surgery on their upper face or whose upper face has not started to show significant signs of aging may be good candidates for neck lifts. Additionally, if one has sagging skin around the jaw or neck, excess fat under the chin or in the neck area, or if neck bands are starting to loosen. The best candidates for neck lifts are those in good health who are non-smokers and who do not have any medical conditions that could impair the healing process. Good candidates will also have realistic expectations for the results of their neck lift surgery and understand that this procedure does not address signs of aging on the upper face.
How to Prepare for Your Neck Lift Surgery
Once you have decided to move forward with your neck lift surgery, you can start preparing for the procedure. Dr. Waltzman may ask you to get lab testing or a medical evaluation prior to surgery and will advise you to stop smoking and stop taking certain medications or over-the-counter medicines or herbal supplements if they may impede the surgical or healing process.
Dr. Waltzman will give you special instructions that will go over what you should do the night before and morning of your surgery, detail the type of anesthesia that will be used, and go over post-operative and follow-up care. You should also find a friend or family member who can accompany you to the surgery, drive you home, and take care of you for at least the first day after surgery.
How a Neck Lift is Performed
Dr. Waltzman will perform his neck lift with IV sedation or general anesthesia. The first step of the neck lift is the incision. It will begin by the hairline above the patient’s sideburns and then go around the ear. It will end in the hairline behind the ear. Dr. Waltzman will then lift the sagging neck skin and tighten the platysma muscles. He’ll also redistribute fatty deposits in the jowls and neck to create a smoother jawline. This will also help remove a double chin. After lifting the tissues, Dr. Waltzman will remove excess skin.
In most cases, Dr. Waltzman will also create another incision under the chin. From there, he’ll repair the neck muscles and remove excess fat. But for certain patients, Dr. Waltzman may perform an alternative, minimally invasive neck lift that’s performed through an incision on the chin.
Once these have been completed, the incisions will be closed and you will be given time to rest and recover from your anesthesia. Once the doctor and his staff are satisfied that you are recovering properly, he will release you to the care of your friend or family member to drive you home and finish your recovery there.
Recovering From Your Neck Lift Surgery
You will go home from your neck lift surgery with a bandage around your face and neck to minimize bruising and swelling. You may also have a thin tube to drain any excess blood or fluid that could collect under the skin after the surgery. Expect to have some pain and discomfort the first few days after surgery. These should be easily managed with the pain medications Dr. Waltzman will prescribe for your recovery. If at any time you feel the pain, swelling, or other symptoms are excessive, call the doctor’s office to talk to one of his knowledgeable staff members.
Over the next few days, you should follow the instructions that Dr. Waltzman has given you for recovery. This will include how to take care of the surgical site and drains (if you have one), which medications you should take and when, and what warning signs to be aware of that would warrant a call or visit to the doctor’s office. You will also be given instructions on your next appointment with Dr. Waltzman for follow up.
During your recovery, you should keep your head elevated above your heart and avoid excessive bending or twisting of the neck. This will help minimize swelling and reduce the chance of injuring yourself. You should also avoid applying ice to the neck area as this can impede blood flow and cause complications.
Most patients who have undergone neck lift surgery find they can return to work and their normal daily routine within two weeks of surgery, though Dr. Waltzman will likely request that you refrain from excessive exercise or strain for at least a month. You will likely experience neck tightness to some degree for a few months following surgery. This is perfectly normal and should not cause pain or excess discomfort. If you feel you are not healing properly from your surgery and that you are in pain, please call our offices to speak with our staff members.
Scheduling Your Neck Lift Consultation with Dr. Waltzman
If you are in the Long Beach, California area and believe that a neck lift surgery might be the right option for you, you should schedule your consultation with Dr. Waltzman. He and his talented team have years of experience with this surgery and many other surgical procedures and his commitment to patient care and results is well-known in the medical community. He will be able to guide you to the right decision based on your medical history and unique goals and give you all the information you need to make an educatied choice about surgery. Call his office today to arrange a time to meet with Dr. Waltzman and find out if a neck lift is right for you!