A smooth neck that is separated from the cheeks by a distinct jawline is a sign of youth. The neck tends to lose definition with age, accumulating excess fat, redundant and hyperactive muscle, and excess skin under the chin. The neck lift is a plastic surgical procedure that removes excess skin from the neck, tightens the underlying muscle, and removes excess fat. In some cases, prominent submandibular salivary glands are partially removed to increase the definition of the neck. Also, there are some patients who, even in youth, do not have a well-defined neck and may pursue the procedure at a young age.
Neck lifts are usually performed in combination with a facelift so that not only the neck is improved but the jowls also. There are cases, however, where a neck lift may be performed in isolation, without an accompanying cheek lift. The procedure is most commonly performed through an incision under the chin and, in addition, incisions behind the ears and in the scalp. Occasional younger patients are candidates for a neck lift that is performed through a small incision under the chin without the incisions behind the ears.
The four main problems that are improved by neck lift are:
1. Neck Skin Laxity
Skin elasticity reduces with age or weight loss, which results in skin sagging in different areas of the body, including under the chin and in the lower neck. In most neck lifts the skin is tightened from the sides and the excess is removed from behind the ears where the incisions are less visible.
2. Neck Muscle Laxity
The platysmal muscles in the neck also become loose with age and can contribute to the sagging appearance, but they often also become hyperactive forming obvious bands down the middle of the neck. A platysmaplasty, one component of the neck lift, tightens the muscle and improves the bands in the neck. Despite these maneuvers, the bands often recur in the lower neck and require treatment with Botox if the patient is still bothered by them.
3. Neck Fat Deposits
Unlike the cheeks where fat is usually lost with age, there is a tendency for fat to build up in the neck. Fat is often removed from under the chin during a neck lift. Like everything in cosmetic surgery, the amount of fat removal has become more conservative over the last 20 years.
4. Submandibular glands
In some patients, there are bulges on either side of the neck that adversely affect the definition of the neck. This is usually due to large submandibular salivary glands. In these cases, partial trimming of the glands is performed to improve the neck definition.
Recovery from Necklift
You may be fine in two weeks if the bruising and swelling are minimal, but most surgeons tell their patients that it may be three weeks before they may resume totally unrestricted activities, including exercise, swimming, sexual activity, and traveling.
Find a Neck Lift Plastic Surgeon
A neck lift or the more common cheek and neck lift (facelift) is a standard plastic surgical procedure but must be performed with care, attention to detail, and an aesthetic sense that matches the patient’s goals. If you desire information about-face or neck rejuvenation, consult Dr. Charles Thorne to determine your candidacy for the procedure.
An internationally known plastic surgeon with more than thirty years of experience, Dr. Thorne will answer your questions, address your concerns, and recommend the best alternative for your individual situation.
Schedule an online appointment with Dr. Thorne and get one step closer to an elegant neck.