The aging process takes a drastic toll of the firm, tight, smooth skin on the neck area. As people age into their mid-40’s to 50’s, the neck begins to lose its youthful appearance. The jaw line softens into loose hanging jowls, a double chin can appear, fine vertical lines transform into deep creases and folds, and fatty tissue deposits become prominent. A necklift can restore a more youthful appearance to the neck area, for dramatic results.
Plastic surgeons have tried to make people look youthful and correct physical deformities for years with various procedures; however, many people believe that a facelift corrects all the effects of aging. A facelift sounds like a procedure that corrects the neck, face, and forehead, but each section requires a different procedure. A necklift may be the procedure that creates the most dramatic improvement.
A necklift restores a more youthful look to the neck and jaw. This procedure has been growing in popularity and become far safer and more effective in recent years. If you think you would be a good candidate for a necklift, you can begin the process by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Nassif.
After making the decision to learn more about the various necklift methods and procedures, you will meet with our surgeon for a consultation. During this meeting, you will be given the opportunity to thoroughly discuss your current situation and how you hope to improve the appearance of sagging neck skin and a droopy jawline.
The physician must determine your candidacy for the necklift. For the procedure to be a success, he will perform a complete assessment of your overall health. The physician will need to check your vital signs and run a series of laboratory tests, involving blood work. Inform the physician of any past medical or cosmetic procedures or surgeries you have had; this includes any past use of cosmetic fillers in your neck or lower face.
Bring a list of all medications or supplements that you take to your consultation. This is critically important because some medications must be stopped for a certain amount of time prior to the surgery, for example anti-coagulation medications, commonly called blood thinners. In relation to medications, you must inform the physician of any past or present drug or alcohol use. These substances affect the body in varying ways, and they can be detrimental to a successful procedure and recovery.
After informing the physician of your wishes, he will make suggestions about the best method to use for your surgery. Furthermore, Dr. Nassif will assess the elasticity of the skin on your neck and the strength of the muscle fibers that extend from the collarbone to the angle of the jaw, called the platysma. This muscle structure assists the body to swallow, and is visible when you flex your neck. You can see the length of this muscle where it attaches to the collarbones.
Dr. Nassif will use a computer-generated image to show you how your neck will appear after surgery. Also, he will discuss the cost, type of surgery to be performed, and your recovery during your consultation. If you have any concerns.
You will need to follow some basic steps to lessen the chances of complications and infections from the procedure.
Don’t drink or eat anything beginning at midnight the night prior to surgery. If the physician has given you permission to take any specific medications, such as blood pressure medications, you may take them with a small sip of water only – all directions will be in writing, so follow them to the letter. The presence of material in the stomach places you at risk for aspiration; aspiration occurs when a person regurgitates stomach contents and then breathes them into the lungs.
Stop Smoking. Smoking gives you an increased risk for uncontrollable bleeding and delayed healing. It’s best to stop smoking for a minimum of 24 hours prior to your procedure and 48 hours afterwards. If you would like medical assistance to permanently stop smoking, inform the physician. He can give you advice and referrals to many smoking cessation programs that have proven results.
Shower. You will need to shower with an anti-microbial soap the night before the surgery. Repeat this step the morning before your procedure as well.
There are several different methods used to perform a necklift. In some cases, the physician may choose to perform the procedure endoscopically. An endoscopy requires two to three tiny incisions in the neck. The physician then insets a thin fiber-optic device into the incision to perform the surgery. Dr. Nassif routinely performs one of three different surgical methods in the surgery: Liposuction, Cervicoplasty, and Platysmaplasty. All of these procedures follow the routine recovery guidelines as mentioned in the recovery section, but each method involves an additional recovery requirement.
Liposuction: The name literally means “fat-sucking.” This procedure uses a hollow tube, called a cannula, which breaks up the fat deposits. The medical vacuum provides the suction to remove the fat from the tissue, through the cannula, and into a storage container. If the physician isn’t able to remove all of the fat deposits with this method, he will make an additional small incision to surgically remove them. The physician will place a dressing around the neck and head after closing the incisions. An elastic garment will need to be worn around the neck in the evenings for 14 days after your procedure.
Cervicoplasty: This necklift method removes the excess skin on the neck. A small incision under the chin and behind the earlobe will be made by Dr. Nassif. The skin will then be lifted up and pulled taught to remove any wrinkles. Dr. Nassif will trim the skin and reattach it to the connection point behind the ears. A stitch will be placed to hold the skin in place during the healing process. Dr. Nassif will place a dressing over the incisions and across the neck to reduce swelling and pain; however, it is normal to experience extensive bruising and swelling from the procedure, which will diminish quickly.
Platysmaplasty: This procedure uses incisions placed similar to those in the Cervicoplasty. The physician uses an instrument to remove or realign a portion of the Platysma. Permanent sutures will then be used to hold the Platysma in the new position. Dr. Nassif will apply a dressing around the neck and ears to reduce the amount of swelling and protect the incision site from infection.
What if I need more than just one of the methods on my neck?
Dr. Nassif will determine what combination of necklift methods will best correct your appearance. The physician will further discuss your options during your consultation.
Will I have to be under general anesthesia?
Yes. Due to the invasive nature of these procedures, you will be placed under general anesthesia.
I’m nearing 60, am I too old for a necklift?
This depends upon your health. Plastic surgeons have performed successful surgery on people up to 70 years of age. If you would like to be evaluated to determine if you are a candidate, please schedule a consultation.
Can I have a facelift at the same time as the necklift?
Yes. Many people opt to have several plastic surgeries at the same time. You can discuss the options with Dr. Nassif in your initial consultation.
How soon can I play sports or be physically active after surgery?
This varies depending on the amount of surgery that you have performed. Strenuous activity puts stress on the sutures, and they must be protected to achieve the right outcome Dr. Nassif doesn’t clear people to return to strenuous physical activity for at least two weeks in most cases. However, you will need to engage in some non-strenuous activity, mostly walking, to promote proper healing and adequate circulation after your surgery. Walk for at least five to ten minutes every other hour while awake in the two weeks following surgery.