- What is a Neck Lift?
- Neck Lift Before and After Photos
- Neck Aging
- The Neck Lift Procedure
- Good Candidates for Neck Lift Surgery
- The Neck Lift Consultation
- Questions about your neck lift procedure?
- Preparing for a Neck Lift
- Neck Lift Anesthesia Types
- Risks of Neck Lift Surgery
- Recovering from a Neck Lift Procedure in Miami
- Neck Lift FAQs
What is a Neck Lift?
Youth-restoring treatment focused on the neck
In addition to sagging skin and wrinkles, the effects of gravity, stress, sun damage, and genetics can exacerbate aging and make you appear older than you actually are. You may notice that your profile is different than it once was or that you have excess fat around the neck.
Regardless of your specific issue, an aging neck can be difficult to conceal. For patients who are seeking a youth-restoring treatment focused specifically on the neck, a neck lift is highly beneficial.
A neck lift is a surgical procedure that rejuvenates the neck. Neck lifts help to improve the sagging neck (commonly referred to as a “turkey neck”) in certain patients who may not need the comprehensive facial rejuvenation that a facelift provides. While a neck lift improves the appearance of the neck, it cannot change or improve the quality of the neck skin.
Neck lift surgery reverses visible signs of aging by removing excess fat, tightening underlying muscles, and re-contouring the skin on your neck. The treatment is ideal for anti-aging, but it’s also an excellent option for patients who have lost significant weight and have skin with little elasticity to allow it to retract.
Neck Lift Before and After Photos
* Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
Challenging areas to treat in neck rejuvenation surgery
The aging neck is one of the most challenging areas to treat in facial rejuvenation surgery. The transformations that occur in the neck as a result of the aging process are increasing skin laxity, inflation, and muscle descent. The facelift surgeon should plan and address these to maximally improve the neck contour. The platysma muscle runs from the lower face and down into the neck. With aging, this muscle descends and may cause the neck bands that are commonly seen in the neck. In addition, the loosening of the muscle may add fullness to the neck below the jawline (Fig. 5).
The area, just underneath the chin, is an area where the accumulation of fat can cause inflation in the neck. Fat removal should be performed judiciously in order to sculpt the neck adequately, yet maintain a natural appearance (Fig. 6). Overzealous fat removal in this area can skeletonize the neck and allow the underlying neck structures to be visible through the skin.
One of the most difficult areas to treat is the aging neck. As the patient ages, certain changes occur in all three layers of the neck. These are the skin, fat, and platysma neck muscles.
The first component of the aging neck is muscle descent. This refers to the separation and descent of the platysma muscle in the neck. There are two platysma muscles, one on each side, which begin in the lower face and run down to the clavicle on each side.
With age, these two muscles separate and descend downward. As they do this, they create what are known as “platysmal bands.” (Figures 2,3). The neck lift procedure includes a platysmaplasty.
A platysmaplasty tightens the neck muscles through the small incision in the neck. The platysma is also pulled from the sides to further define and tighten the neck.
The submental area, just underneath the chin, is an area where the accumulation of fat can cause inflation in the neck. Fat removal should be performed judiciously in order to sculpt the neck adequately, yet maintain a natural appearance. Too much fat removal in this area can skeletonize the neck and allow the underlying neck structures to be visible through the skin.
Skin, the third component, loses elasticity and begins to sag. You can see this first in the area just above your Adam’s apple. As the sagging continues, the redundant skin accumulates in the area below the chin.
This is the one area that the neck lift procedure cannot fully correct. Because the neck lift procedure does not improve the quality of the skin, patients with very lax skin may not achieve maximum correction. (Figure 4).
The person with excessive skin laxity may have a less-than-ideal result in the neck as a consequence. This patient may benefit from facelift surgery since more skin can be removed with that procedure. It is a well-known fact that neck lifts may not satisfy all patients in the neck area. The reason is usually excessive skin laxity, which surgery cannot completely address.
The Neck Lift Procedure
The neck lift procedure treats the aging neck by removing the fat accumulation under the neck, tightening the neck muscles, and removing the excess skin.
The procedure is performed through three small incisions. The first incision is below the chin, hidden in the small crease that lies just behind the chin. Through this incision, the fat is removed and the platysmaplasty is performed. A platysmaplasty tightens the neck muscles.
The other two incisions are placed one behind each ear. These are used to tighten the neck muscles laterally and to remove the excess skin. By tightening the platysma centrally and laterally, maximum tightening of the underlying tissues is achieved.
The incisions and stitches are all placed in hidden areas. Once healed, they will not be visible.
Good Candidates for Neck Lift Surgery
Most people that have a neck lift do so in their early forties. (Figures 5, 6). Sometimes people who have lost a substantial amount of weight will have a neck lift at an earlier age. Older patients that may have had a previous facelift and are not happy with their necks may be good candidates for a neck lift (Figures 7, 8).
People are many times confused about what exactly a neck lift corrects. The goal of a neck lift procedure is to rejuvenate the neck. The face and jowls are not rejuvenated with a neck lift. The facelift is the procedure of choice for rejuvenation of the face and jowls.
A patient must have proper expectations before having the neck lift procedure. The neck lift can improve the neck in patients with mild to moderate neck aging. If neck aging is severe, then a facelift is recommended.
The Neck Lift Consultation
Dr. Bustillo will personally meet with a prospective patient and will listen to the patient’s concerns regarding their neck. It is important to communicate any recent changes in weight. It is important to discuss any plans for weight loss in the future, as the neck lift procedure should be scheduled after the weight loss.
After this initial discussion, the doctor will then examine the neck. The skin’s elasticity is checked. Muscle descent and fat accumulation are examined.
Dr. Bustillo will then formulate a treatment plan and discuss this with the patient. He will explain exactly what the neck lift can and cannot accomplish. Afterward, the patient can determine if the neck lift is a procedure that he or she wishes to proceed with.
Questions about your neck lift procedure?
Schedule your consultation with Dr. Andres Bustillo.
Preparing for a Neck Lift
Before undergoing a neck lift, Dr. Bustillo requires that all neck lift Miami patients obtain a medical clearance and pre-operative labs. Patients should refrain from taking aspirin, all anti-inflammatory products, vitamin A, and alcohol ten days before surgery. They should begin high dose vitamin C (2000 mg a day) one week before and two weeks after surgery, to help promote healing.
Neck Lift Anesthesia Types
The neck lift surgery can be performed with different types of anesthesia. If the neck lift is being done as a single procedure, it can be done with local anesthesia and oral sedation. It can also be done with IV anesthesia. If the neck lift is being performed with an adjunctive procedure, such as a blepharoplasty or fat transfer, it will be performed with IV sedation.
The neck lift is performed in Dr. Bustillo’s state-of-the-art certified surgical suite. When IV anesthesia is used, board-certified anesthesiologists (M.D.) from Baptist Hospital will provide the anesthesia services.
Risks of Neck Lift Surgery
The neck lift procedure carries minimal risks. The highest risk is with smokers. Patients who smoke have skin with very poor blood supply and can have problems healing. For this reason, Dr. Bustillo will not perform a neck lift on active smokers or those that use a nicotine patch. Patients who smoke must stop smoking two weeks before the neck lift procedure.
A hematoma, or collection of blood, can occur in patients undergoing a neck lift procedure. This is a rare occurrence and happens 1% of the time. If it does occur, it can be easily drained in the office.
Most patients who develop a hematoma after the neck lift recover well and have a good result. It is rare to have infections after a neck lift. Dr. Bustillo administers antibiotics before, during, and after the neck lift in Miami.
Recovering from a Neck Lift Procedure in Miami
The patient is allowed to go home or to their hotel room the same day of the surgery. Dr. Bustillo recommends that the patient stay the first night in bed with the head elevated on two pillows. The diet should be liquid for the first twelve to eighteen hours and then progress to a soft diet for a few days.
After surgery, a small bandage is placed around the neck. There should be minimal to no pain. Extra-strength Tylenol is usually sufficient for any discomfort. Stronger pain medication is also prescribed just in case.
The patient returns to the office the day after the neck lift to have the bandage removed. The patient then returns to the office on the fifth day after the surgery to have the small stitches under the chin removed.
Most patients can return to school or work on the seventh day after the surgery. The patient returns to the office on the tenth day after the neck lift to have the stitches behind the ears removed. Exercise can be resumed three weeks after the surgery in Miami and the final Neck Lift results are visible.
Neck Lift FAQs
This is a very common question. A neck lift addresses only the neck while a facelift addresses the neck and the face.
Many patients in their late forties and on may want to have only their necks lifted. Unfortunately, they may not be candidates for the neck lift procedure.
After the late forties, the amount of sagging skin in the neck may be too much for a neck lift alone. These patients will need to have a facelift.
Non-invasive neck tightening refers to one of the many systems that claim to tighten the neck skin. Board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Bustillo has tested all of these in his office and has not been impressed enough to obtain one and offer it to his patients.
For him to be able to offer a procedure to one of his patients, he must be convinced it provides reliable and consistent results. None of the machines on the market can meet this simple rule.
These treatments are definitely an “easy sell” since they are labeled “non-invasive.” However, many of them are painful and very costly. There will be a time when a machine will be able to tighten the skin reliably, however, the technology is not presently available.
The aging seen in the neck begins in the late twenties. However, visible changes usually become apparent in the late thirties. These changes are due to the aging processes that occur in the skin, fat, and muscles of the neck.
Why Choose Miami plastic surgeon Dr. Bustillo?
- Castle Connolly Top Doctor for more than 10 years
- American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
- American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
- Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship at The New York University
- Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery Residency at The University of Miami, Jackson Memorial Hospital
- General Surgery Internship at The University of Miami, Jackson Memorial Hospital