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It has been said the neck’s appearance is one of the surest indicators of age. Even in younger people, genetics can cause loose skin, sagging muscles or fat storage in the neck that makes them look older or less physically fit. To make certain your neck offers a favorable impression, you may be one of the many women and men who choose to have a neck lift to improve the definition between your jaw and neck.
Age, weight and genetics play significant roles in determining how your neck ages and which procedures will correct the things that bother you. During your personal consultation, Dr. Sykes will discuss your concerns with you and explain the different ways they can address those issues. Regardless of the procedure chosen, the goal is a natural, refreshed appearance.
Many patients receive neck lifts as part of face lift surgery to provide comprehensive lower face rejuvenation. However, it is not uncommon for younger women and men to choose neck lift surgery to correct specific issues, such as neck muscle banding, turkey wattle from loose skin, and excessive fullness.
Choice of procedures
To correct sagging muscles and excess skin, the doctors make two tiny incisions under the chin and longer incisions around the ear so they can tighten the platysma (neck muscle). They secure the tightened muscle in place using a number of long-lasting sutures. The final step is trimming away excess skin and closing the incision with sutures that will be removed a week later.
While it is possible to trim away excess skin only, Dr. Sykes seldom performs the procedure without also tightening the underlying muscle. Trimming skin requires the same incision needed to tighten the neck muscles and the results of skin removal will eventually be undone by the underlying sagging neck muscle.
What to expect
The first 24 to 48 hours following surgery you will be groggy from the anesthesia and may experience discomfort, minor pain and tightness in the neck. Though you will receive a prescription for pain medication, many patients report they only need to take acetaminophen for the pain. Your neck will be noticeably swollen for about two weeks, with some residual swelling that can linger for much longer. Bruising is also expected for about two weeks, longer in some patients. Icing with frozen peas during the first 24 to 48 hours will help minimize swelling and bruising, as will keeping your head elevated for the first week after surgery.
With swelling and bruising noticeable for at least the first 10 days, you can expect to look worse than you feel. After two weeks, you can return to work and resume most of your normal activities. We recommend you refrain from strenuous activity for four weeks to allow your body to heal properly and prevent injury.
Neck Lift Fast Facts