What Is A Neck Lift / Lower Facelift?
The loss of youthful contours in the face and neck can be due to a variety of factors, including heredity, gravity, environmental conditions and stress. Some people feel they are not ready for a full facelift because the upper face is still pleasing. However, many patients will note excess wrinkling of the neck skin, a “turkey wattle” or double chin, and jowl lines. When the neck area doesn’t match the upper facial appearance, a neck lift may be a good solution. A neck lift, or lower rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that improves visible signs of aging in the jawline and neck, such as:
- Excess fat and skin relaxation in the lower face that creates jowls
- Excess fatty deposits under the chin
- Loose neck skin
- Muscle banding in the neck which created abnormal contours
In General, Good Candidates for a Neck Lift Include:
- Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that impair healing
- Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic expectations
- If you have localized deposits of fat in the anterior part of the neck — under the chin.
- If you have muscle laxity under chin only!
- If you have sagging with skin folds in the anterior part of the neck (under the chin only!).
Rejuvenation procedures that can be performed in conduction with a neck lift are: a brow lift, to correct a sagging or deeply furrowed brow, fat transfer; to add fullness to the lips and cheeks and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, or eyelid surgery, to rejuvenate aging eyes.
What it won’t do: As a restorative surgery, a neck lift does not change your fundamental appearance and cannot stop the aging process. A neck lift can only be performed surgically; non-surgical rejuvenation treatments cannot achieve the same results, but may help delay the time at which a neck lift becomes appropriate and complements the results of the surgery.
The decision to have a neck lift is extremely personal. You will have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals, and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks and potential complications.
Some risks include:
- Facial asymmetry of lower face and neck
- Unfavorable scarring
- Prolonged swelling
- Skin irregularities and discoloration
These risks and other will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all your questions directly with Dr. Powers.
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include local anesthesia or general anesthesia. Dr. Powers will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 – The Incision
Depending on the degree of change you’d like to see, your neck lift choices include a traditional neck lift incision or a limited incision neck lift. A traditional neck lift incision begins in the hairline at the level of the sideburn, continues down and around the ear and ends in the posterior hair. Fat may be sculpted or redistributed from the jowls and neck. The tissue underlying the neck skin is repositioned and commonly the platysma muscle is tightened. Skin is redraped over the uplifted contours and excess skin is trimmed away. A separate incision under the chin is often necessary for liposuction of this area and for repair of the muscle. Sutures or skin adhesives close the incisions. A limited neck lift may involve incisions only around the ear. While the incisions are shorter, the results may be more limited.
Step 3 – Closing The Incision
Incision lines are closed with sutures and perhaps skin glue. Sutures may be dissolving, or may need to be removed after a few days.
Once healed, the incision lines from a neck lift are usually well concealed within the hairline and in the natural contours of the ear.
Step 4 – Recuperation & Healing
The visible improvements of a neck lift appear as swelling and bruising subsides.
- The patient goes home with chin and neck wrapped in dressings or in an elastic neck sling.
- Initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication.
- Swelling and bruising disappear over approximately 2 weeks.
- The final result is evident in 1-3 months.
Your final result should not only restore a more youthful and rested appearance, but also help you feel more confident about yourself.
If you’re ready to schedule your consultation for neck lift surgery, call Dr. Mary Powers’ office at: (805) 379-3104 for Westlake Village and (562) 427-8866!