What is a neck lift procedure?
A neck lift is a surgical procedure performed with the purpose of improving the appearance of the neck and jawline. The aging process, along with stress and environmental factors can result in the loose skin of the neck. This loose skin can give the appearance of jowls and can also ruin the youthful appearance of the neck.
A neck lift, also known as a lower rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and tissue from the neck region to tighten the skin and enhance the natural contours of the neck and jawline. It is important to note that this procedure is only a restorative surgical procedure meaning that it can only enhance the naturally present contours, not stop the aging process.
A neck lift procedure may be performed with a fat transfer to lips and cheeks to fill them out and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. A brow lift and a facelift may also be considered depending on personal expectations and factors. All of these procedures come under the umbrella terms; facial rejuvenation procedures. Book a consultation now to find out which procedure may benefit you the most.
Benefits of Neck Lift Procedure
Having loose and saggy neck skin can significantly alter your appearance and make you look older than you are. This loose skin doesn’t go away with lifestyle changes and often runs in the family. This can have a negative effect on your social and personal relationships. Undergoing a neck lift procedure can reverse the sagginess of the skin and achieve results that dietary changes and exercise can’t.
Once you have a neck lift procedure done, you will notice that your neck skin is tightened and appears more youthful. The procedure will also result in reduced fine lines and wrinkles that exaggerate the effect of aging on your neck skin. The procedure also removes excess skin from your neck which not only improves the appearance of the neck region but also defines the jawline.
The results of the surgery can make you look and feel younger and more refreshed.
The neck lift or lower rhytidectomy has various benefits ranging from cosmetic to mental benefits which make this procedure a suitable option for you if you are bothered by the effects of aging and stress on your neck skin.
Am I a good candidate for a neck lift procedure?
A neck lift procedure is a good option for those with a double chin or loose neck skin due to aging or gravity.
You may be an ideal candidate for the neck lift procedure if:
- You are bothered by the appearance of your neck.
- Aging has affected your neck skin but not so much your facial skin, hence resulting in a mismatched appearance of the face and the neck. If you’d like to match your face skin with your neck skin, a neck lift procedure may be a good option for you.
- You have a ‘turkey gobbler’ or ‘jowls’ on your neck due to the sagging of the skin.
- You are physically and mentally healthy.
- You do not suffer from any medical condition that may complicate the healing and recovery phase of your neck lift journey.
- You are a non-smoker, a requirement for almost all cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures.
- You are undergoing the procedure for yourself and not for any other reason.
- You have realistic expectations and goals from the procedure.
A neck lift procedure may be exactly what you need if you meet the criteria mentioned above. Book a consultation with our specialist plastic surgeon, Dr Doyle to discuss the criteria further.
Before and After Neck Lift Surgery
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Steps of Neck Lift Procedure
The neck lift procedure is a restorative surgical procedure that can take anywhere between one hour to three hours. The duration of the surgery depends on the amount of excess skin and whether muscle repair is done during the surgery or not. The procedure may be performed using general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia with intravenous sedation. Dr Doyle will recommend the best option for you before the surgery.
After you have been given the anaesthesia, Dr Doyle will make the first incisions for your neck lift procedure. The length and location of incisions will be determined prior to your procedure based on your expectations and goals from the surgery. If you want to make significant changes to your neck and chin region and repair the platysma muscle, you can opt for a traditional neck lift surgery. If you want a minimal tightening of the skin and redistribution of the fat, you can choose to undergo a limited incision neck lift procedure.
For a traditional neck lift procedure, the first incision will be made behind your ear extending vertically upwards and then horizontally back to your hairline and then along your hairline in a downwards direction, and end at the back of your head, along the lower edge of your hairline. After the initial incision, Dr Doyle will remove the excess skin, redistribute the fat to remove any jowls and turkey neck. The natural contours of the neck can be further enhanced by liposuction of the region below the chin if required. For this, an additional incision needs to be made. After the desired results are achieved, Dr Doyle will suture the incisions and that marks the end of your traditional neck lift procedure.
It is very common to have the neck lift performed in combination with a lower facelift, and in this case, there will be scars in front of the ear extending upwards into the hairline.
A limited incision neck lift procedure follows the same steps except that the initial incision is a small incision made behind the ears, at the level of your sideburns. Since it is a limited neck lift procedure, the results are not as dramatic as the traditional neck lift procedure. This option is perfect for you if you are just beginning to see the appearance of abnormal contours and want them removed before they worsen.
Dr Doyle does not use drains but does use a solution containing several drugs which is injected under the facial skin and which helps minimise pain and prevents bleeding. This helps to make your recovery as pain-free as possible with minimal bruising and swelling. A head bandage is applied to minimise post-operative swelling. (This stays on overnight and after it is removed the following day you can wash your hair.)
Once the procedure is completed, you will be taken to the recovery room where you will be monitored to ensure your health and lack of any side-effects and complications. You may be discharged the same day or may have to spend the night in the hospital, depending on your condition after the surgery. Dr Doyle will walk you through both of the options prior to and after the surgery.
Recovery from Neck Lift Procedure
Recovery from a neck lift procedure may take weeks to months, with an average recovery time period being six weeks. Although the recovery period is long, you only need to be off work for a week or so, during which time you need to have a friend or family member staying over to help you. Dr Doyle will let you know the exact time frame for this based on the extent of your procedure.
The recovery period is marked by some swelling and bruising. This may hide the results of your neck lift procedure till the swelling subsides. The bruising, in most cases, disappears within the first week of the recovery period and you may have some numbness that may persist for weeks, if not months.
After the head bandage is removed the following day, you will need to wear a neck support garment. This should be worn constantly for the first five days and only be removed for showers. After this time it should be worn when you are not in the public eye. This should be worn for approximately 2 weeks following the surgery depending on your degree of swelling. Along with the swelling and tightness, you may also experience mild pain and discomfort which may be relieved by pain management medications prescribed by Dr Doyle.
To further minimise swelling, you should keep your head elevated and straight. This not only works wonders for the swelling but also facilitates the wound healing process. During this period, you should absolutely refrain from doing any strenuous exercise that may put pressure on the incisions and complicate the wound healing. You should also abstain from smoking as it may result in an infection and ruin the results of your procedure. You should avoid any consumption of alcohol during the recovery phase, especially while taking the pain management medications to ensure the best possible results are achieved.
An important thing to keep in mind during the recovery phase is that you should, under no circumstances, ever ice your neck. Although swelling is reduced by icing the area, it may compromise the blood flow to the skin of your neck, which can lead to poor skin healing and affect the final results of your surgery.
Your Neck Lift Procedure Journey
Your neck lift procedure journey begins with your initial consultation visit with Dr Doyle. It is the most important step of your journey as it includes the assessment of whether surgery will give you the results you are looking for. Dr Doyle will evaluate your physical health and check the neck region to determine what type of surgery you need.
This phase of your journey is also important because of the fact that it is during this phase that you tell Dr Doyle of your expectations from the procedure. It is crucial for you to be candid about your goals so that Dr Doyle can recommend the best way of achieving them. Dr Doyle may recommend other associated procedures, if needed, to ensure that you achieve the results you desire.
After all of this has been discussed, you will be ready for the next phase of your journey which is the operation or the procedure itself.
The neck lift procedure may take between one hour to three hours and is performed using general anesthesia at John Flynn Hospital on the Gold Coast. Depending on your health condition, you may be discharged the same day or kept in the hospital for overnight observation.
In the traditional neck lift, excess skin will be removed and fat may be repositioned to exaggerate the natural, youthful contours of the neck. Liposuction may be done along the chin area to help define the jawline.
If undergoing a limited neck lift procedure, the incision will be made behind the ears and will show relatively subtle results. Liposuction is often not done during this procedure.
Once the procedure is complete, Dr Doyle will place a head bandage around your head and neck area.
The recovery phase is the longest phase of your neck lift journey. During this phase, you should keep your head elevated and straight to prevent swelling. There may still be slight swelling despite that which will disappear on its own in a few weeks. There may also be discomfort, bruising, and pain during this phase. Dr Doyle will prescribe you pain medication to help with that. It is absolutely necessary that you never ice your neck during the recovery phase as it can reduce the blood flow to the neck skin and result in dead neck skin. This also applies to smoking.
Risks and Complications of Neck Lift Procedure
The neck lift procedure is a surgical procedure, and like every surgical procedure, it has certain risks and complications associated with it including, but not limited to:
- Adverse reaction to anaesthesia
- Hair loss; temporary or permanent, near the incisions
- Nerve injury, if the procedure is not performed by a skilled and well-trained surgeon
- Facial asymmetry
- Persistent swelling
- Excess loss of skin
- Visible scarring
- Discolouration of skin
- Numbness of the skin
- Persistent pain
- Complicated wound healing
- Unsatisfactory results of the surgery
Why Choose Dr Mark Doyle?
Dr Mark Doyle is a highly-skilled, specialist plastic surgeon with over 30 years of experience under his belt. He has received extensive training and is dedicated to achieving the best results for his patients. He approaches each procedure with innovative techniques and a passion for patient satisfaction. Book a consultation now to start your neck lift journey with Dr Doyle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I have visible scarring after the procedure?
The neck lift procedure is done with incisions behind the ears and if necessary, under the chin which means that the incisions and the subsequent scars will be well hidden naturally.
Is a neck lift worth it?
A neck lift procedure is a one-hour to a three-hour-long procedure that focuses on removing excess skin and fat from your neck, along with tightening your neck muscles, which eventually results in a youthful appearance of the neck with enhanced natural contours. For those patients with an aging neck that is concerning them, this procedure can improve their appearance significantly.