The neck is particularly prone to showing visible signs of aging. These can include sagging skin and excessive neck fat. Even with a youthful face, this one feature can make a person look much older than they are. However, there is no need to live with a prematurely aged neck. Dr. Joseph Russell offers a variety of cosmetic procedures including the neck lift, designed to rejuvenate the neck for his patients in and around the Charleston area.
What Is a Neck Lifting Surgery?
A neck lift, also called a platysmaplasty, is simply a surgery to lift the skin and tissues in the neck, reducing wrinkles, sagging, and other unsightly signs of aging. In addition, a neck lift can remove excess fat from the area. Many people have found that this surgery takes years and even decades off their visual age.
This procedure does not just make a person look younger. It gives a crisper and more attractive appearance by allowing the jawline to have more definition. It eliminates unattractive issues with the neck such as “turkey wattle.” It can correct the banding of skin and muscles that cause a wrinkled or draped appearance. Fat can be smoothed out and the underlying muscles gently tightened to give a smooth, attractive line.
The procedure is safe and effective. Most people can see results almost immediately and find that they are back to normal activity within a few weeks.
How Is a Neck Lift Performed?
Every cosmetic surgery is unique, depending on the needs of the patient and their underlying physiology. This procedure can be performed under either general anesthesia (when you go to sleep for the surgery) or local anesthesia (numbing just the area), depending on the extent of the surgery and the patient’s preference.
Incisions are made carefully so they will be less visible or hidden entirely, often behind the ears or under the chin. Dr. Russell tightens muscles that are loose or sagging. If needed, he will then remove or re-sculpt fat to create a natural, smooth appearance. Excess skin will then be cut away and reattached, leaving smooth unwrinkled skin covering a newly reshaped neck. Depending on which neck lift technique is used, the procedure takes 1-3 hours.
In most cases, the area is bandaged to reduce swelling and bruising while giving it additional support. Most people do not have to stay in the hospital overnight and find that their recovery is uncomplicated. Your doctor will talk to you about what you can expect from your own surgery and recovery.
Neck Lift Techniques:
- Liposuction – A cannula and a suction are used to remove excess fat deposits and to sculpt the neckline. Liposuctions are great for younger patients, with good skin elasticity, who are seeking minimal changes.
- Submentoplasty – Also called a “mini neck lift”. This technique uses liposuction and a platysmaplasty to tighten the neck’s muscles, while removing unwanted fullness and correcting looseness of the skin.
- Rhytidectomy – A rhytidectomy (face lift) tightens the SMAS (Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System) area, which affects the cheeks, jowls, chin, and neck, making your face and neck appear young entirely.
- Kybella – Kybella is a non-surgical alternative to the neck-lift which features a series of injections into the fatty area of the neck, over a period of 3 to 6 months.
Who Is a Good Candidate for a Necklift
Healthy non-smokers who seek a rejuvenated neck appearance are the best candidate for this surgery. If you use tobacco, it is best to stop at least two weeks before your procedure. In addition, it is important to tell your surgeon about your complete medical history. This is especially true if you take blood thinners or have a bleeding disorder.
Although most people who seek this kind of procedure are older, younger people also may choose to have their neck reshaped due to extra skin, muscle banding, or excessive fat. This is a routine procedure that only rarely has complications when performed by an experienced facial plastic surgeon.
The Risks of a Platysmaplasty
Dr. Joseph Russell’s necklifts are extremely safe and effective and complications from surgery are rare. However, this is a surgery, and every surgery has risks that can occur. Specific risks with neck lifting/platysmaplasty including bleeding, scarring, infection, hematoma, contour irregularities, and nerve injury. Dr. Russell is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon who knows the complex anatomy of the neck inside and out, and in the unlikely event of a complication, he will do everything possible to hasten the resolution and produce the best possible final outcome.
Neck Lift Recovery
The majority of recovery from surgery should take 1-2 weeks, depending on which technique was performed. You may experience bruising, swelling, numbness, and tightness around your neck, after the surgery. Pain is rare. Patients usually feel confident enough to return to work and resume normal activities within 10-14 days, following the surgery. Strenuous activities and intense exercise should not be resumed for 2 weeks. A compression garment or bandage might need to be worn for a few weeks after your surgery, in order to keep swelling down and let your neck heal properly.
Neck Lift FAQs
How long Should a Neck Lift Take to Perform?
Dr. Russell’s neck lift procedures take between 1-3 hours to complete. Each procedure is tailored to the individual patient’s needs, and an estimate for your specific surgery will be given during your consultation.
Will There Be Any Scarring After My Surgery?
A neck lift might introduce mild scarring. However, Dr. Russell will carefully place his incisions in naturally concealed areas, such as under the chin and behind the ears, where it will be extremely hard to notice. These scars should also fade over time.
Is the Neck Lift Painful?
There may be mild discomfort and a feeling of tightness, which is perfectly normal during recovery, but significant pain after this surgery is rare.
What Are Possible Risks I Might Encounter?
While Dr. Russell uses safe techniques during surgery, there is of course a small chance for complications to arise, which you should be aware of beforehand, such as excessive bleeding, scarring, infection, hematoma, and nerve injury.
When Should I Go Back to Work?
Patients usually return to work 7 to 10 days after the surgery.
Neck Lift Surgery Consultation
The best way to decide if this procedure is right for you is to schedule a consultation with a skilled, board-certified facial plastic surgeon. If you are in the Charleston area, Dr. Russell offers the knowledge and experience that you need to make an educated decision. Dr. Russell is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon who grew up in the Charleston area and returned after medical training. He graduated first in his class from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. After a five-year residency in head and neck surgery, he was selected for a fellowship in New York City studying facial plastic surgery with one of the foremost surgeons in the field.
Are you ready to be happy with your neck when you look in the mirror? If you want to find out whether this procedure could restore your appearance and confidence, contact Dr. Joseph Russell today by calling (843) 576-3302 or by completing an online consultation form.