What Happens To The Neck As We Age?
The neck is made of skin, fat, muscle, and deeper structures. As we age, our skin and muscle become loose and gravity pulls all the components of the neck down. Importantly, we lose volume in our face and neck and this volume loss coupled with the effects of gravity create the tell-tale signs of aging including jowling, the nasolabial folds, marionette lines, excess fat under the chin, excess skin or “turkey neck”, and platysmal banding or “cords” (deep vertical folds in front of the neck). It is important to understand which components of the neck need correction as not fixing every component will lead to suboptimal results. Therefore, choosing a surgeon who has extensive training and experience in neck lifting techniques is critical to achieve a youthful neck contour.
What is Neck lift?
A Neck lift can encompass a multitude of procedures designed to rejuvenate the neck and jawline. A Neck lift can be designed to address the parts of the neck that have undergone the aging process. Excess skin can be removed (facelift), loose muscle can be brought together and tightened (platysmaplasty), and excess fat can be removed or contoured (liposuction and fat removal). Deciding which component(s) each individual needs is highly specialized and critical to achieving both natural and long lasting results.
What is a Facelift?
Please see our facelift page
What is a Platysmaplasty?
Underneath the skin lies a very broad and thin muscle called the platysma. When we are young, this muscle creates a tight sling holding up the fat and deep structures of the neck. As we age the platysma becomes thin and weak and the overlying excess skin give the characteristic “turkey neck” appearance. The platysma muscle also is the origin of neck “cords” or vertical lines running just off the midline of the neck. These are the visible edges of the muscle that may be seen at rest or when someone sticks out their chin. In a platysmaplasty, we use a small incision under the chin to gain direct access to the neck. We are able to contour and remove fat directly and then address the platysma muscle. This is done by bringing the edges together with sutures to create a tight sling for the deep structures of the neck.
Recovering from Neck lift Surgery
Depending on what type of procedure is being done the recovery from Neck lift Surgery can be variable. In general, recovery from a Neck lift takes approximately 2 weeks. However more minimally invasive procedures require only 4-5 days of recovery. 75% of the recovery will be complete at 2 months and 100% at 6 months. Results of the neck lift surgery will be visible immediately after but it will take time fo the final result to show as the swelling goes away and the skin continues to contract down.
Immediately After Surgery
Immediately after a Neck lift you will have a compression bandage placed over your chin and neck. The surgery is not painful and mild analgesic medicine will be provided if necessary.
The First 24 to 48 Hours After Your Surgery
It is important to take it easy the first day or two after surgery. Your compression bandage will be removed the first day after surgery. A lighter chin strap will be provided and it should be worn as often as possible for the first week after surgery.
The First 2 Weeks After Surgery
Aside from wearing your chin strap for support and to help the skin shrink wrap down over the neck, you can resume almost all your normal activities. You may return to work and resume exercise 2 weeks after surgery.
Neck Lift Faqs
When the main issue is excess fat and the skin and muscle layer are youthful and healthy, then liposuction is an ideal procedure. Very small incisions are placed under the chin and behind the ears for to allow a liposuction cannula to gently and safely remove excess fat under the chin and along the jawline. This procedure also stimulates the skin to contract and tighten giving a more crisp and youthful jawline. Liposuction is much more effective than Kybella (non-surgical injection) and has a faster recovery and is our preferred method to deal with fat under the jaw.
A direct Neck lift is typically reserved for men and is a fantastic procedure to remove the “turkey neck” deformity. Incisions are placed directly in the middle of the neck and allows the removal of fat, tightening of the muscle, and removal of excess skin. This procedure will not change the contour of the lower jawline which makes this procedure much better for male patients.
Any patient who desires to have an improved appearance to their neck is a candidate for a neck lift. It is important to determine which components of the neck (skin, muscle, fat) need to be addressed and an individualized surgical plan will be made for each patient.
Why Should I Choose Dr. Kirk Lozada?
Dr. Lozada is a Facial Plastic & Reconstructive surgeon and Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgeon. Dr. Lozada is committed to providing the highest quality aesthetic and reconstructive services for all his patients in Philadelphia and New Jersey. At our office a personalized treatment plan is essential and we allow sufficient time during consultation to develop a unique understanding of each patient’s desires. Dr. Lozada completed his fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania and has trained with the top Facial Plastic Surgeons in Philadelphia, New York, and New Jersey. Dr. Kirk Lozada is currently a member of the American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and has numerous publications and presentations in the field of facial plastic surgery. Contact the office for your consultation today!