Neck Lift Surgery
Many people find that their neck shows signs of aging before the rest of their face. Heredity and weight loss can also impact the appearance of the neck. Horizontal bands or lines, loose-hanging skin, and excess fat deposits can give the neck an undesired appearance. A neck lift can minimize these effects by lifting and tightening the soft tissues of the neck giving patients a firmer and more youthful-looking neck.
Are You a Good Candidate?
Most candidates are 35 to 70 years old and are looking to reduce the signs of aging. Any adult in good overall health can undergo this procedure, including patients both younger and older than this age range. Good candidates wish to smooth and tighten the appearance of their neck and are realistic about what the procedure can achieve for them. Certain medical conditions may preclude a neck lift, including asthma and diabetes.
The procedure be performed with either local or general anesthesia and take between one and three hours. The surgeon usually selects specific techniques to address a patient’s concerns. These can include liposuction surgery to target fat deposits, cervicoplasty where excess skin is removed, or a platysmaplasty procedure to tighten neck muscles and remove any unattractive “band lines” running horizontally across the neck horizontally. During platysmaplasty, the muscles may be realigned to provide a smoother look, or a portion of the muscle may be removed.
These techniques can be performed in one of two ways. During an endoscopic neck lift, the surgeon performs the procedure through a small tube with a camera attached to it. This requires much shorter incisions but may limit the degree of change possible. Open surgery requires a longer incision, but enables the surgeon to access all of the tissues of the neck, leading to more substantial results. The tightening of the neck muscles, performed using platysmaplasty, may require an additional incision behind the ears. Once the surgeon has created the necessary incisions and performed the surgical reshaping, the incisions are closed with sutures.
Possible Risks & Complications
As with all plastic surgery procedures, there are risks associated with surgery. These include reactions to the anesthesia, infection, and excessive bleeding. One of the most serious risks associated with this procedure is that of accidental damage to the nerves that control the muscles in the neck. While rare, this complication should be discussed with your surgeon in advance of the procedure, since it can have a significant impact on your life following surgery. Also among the risks of a neck lift is the development of visible scar tissue. Although incisions are usually placed along natural skin creases to minimize the potential for scarring, this remains a possible risk.
Recovery Time After Surgery
During the recovery period, the neck will be covered with an elastic compression bandage to support the tissues as they heal. This must be worn for at least a week or two. While in recovery, common side effects include bruising, swelling, soreness, and tightness. Temporary numbness is also possible. Throughout the recovery phase, keep your head and neck elevated at all times. Wear button-down shirts to avoid the need to pull shirts over the head and neck. Most neck lift recovery patients return to work within two weeks, although strenuous exercise should be avoided for at least a month.
What Does a Neck Lift Cost?
Depending on the surgical techniques used during this procedure, and whether the neck lift is performed in combination with a face lift, blepharoplasty or other form of cosmetic surgery, the cost of a neck lift usually ranges from $5,000 and $8,000. Other factors affecting the cost include the surgeon chosen and the geographic region. When deciding to have this procedure, its important to not only consider the cost but also the surgeon. Choose a board certified plastic surgeon who has experience in performing neck lift surgeries.