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.
Many people suffer from neck issues. For patients aged thirty to mid-forties, the neck can be treated solely without doing a facelift. This is different from mature patients who necessitate treating the face and neck at the same time during a deep plane facelift. Generally, younger individuals present an abundance in their necks because of deep tissue structures like the muscles and fat that need to be managed but with no removal of the skin. As soon as the bone structures are reworked, the dermis is rearranged. Older people also require managing these deep tissue layers; however, they also need to raise skin quantity by combining it with a deep plane facelift.
Neck Aging Treatment
Neck lifts reverse 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.
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 to address these to maximally improve the neck contour. The platysma muscle runs from the lower face and down to 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. 1).
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. 2). 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.
Loose skin is a common issue that can be addressed with a neck lift. The procedure involves removing excess fat and tightening the underlying muscles to reduce sagging skin. In addition, the surgeon may also use liposuction to remove any stubborn fat deposits in the neck area. The result is a smoother, more youthful-looking neck contour with improved definition and fewer wrinkles. For patients who are unhappy with their loose neck skin, a neck lift can provide dramatic results and restore confidence in their appearance.
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.
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.
With age, these two muscles separate and descend downward. As they do this, they create what are known as “platysmal bands.” (Figures 3,4). The neck lift procedure includes platysmaplasty.
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 6).
A 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.
Neck Lift Benefits
A neck lift performed in Miami is a great way to improve your appearance. The neck lift procedure offers several additional benefits that make it worth considering.
- Helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin in the neck area, giving a more youthful and refreshed look.
- Helps to improve the definition of the jawline and create a more sculpted neck contour.
- By removing excess fat from the neck area, neck lifts can help to slim down the face and give it a more balanced look.
- Helps to improve muscle tone in the neck area, creating a smoother, firmer appearance.
- The results of a neck lift are long-lasting, providing patients with an improved aesthetic for years to come.
The Neck Lift Procedure
Through this procedure, it’s possible to reduce aging signs on the neck because of the removal of excess fat, muscles being tightened, and extra skin being removed.
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 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 7, 8). 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 9, 10).
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 the 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.
When considering a neck lift in Miami, it is important to discuss your medical history with your doctor. This will help them determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure and what type of anesthesia may be needed. It is also important to note that a neck lift is typically an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home the same day as your surgery. Your doctor will provide detailed instructions on how to care for yourself after the procedure and when you can expect to see results.
People in their 30s to mid-40s are typically suitable for a minimal incision neck lift through a minor incision hidden in the crease at the back of their chin. Through this entrance, any abundant fat deep into the platysma and cumbersome muscles are removed. This is something that cannot be addressed with neck liposuction, injectable fat removal, chilly fat reduction, or different energy devices. Then, the platysma neck muscles are tightened. In some cases when the chin is weak, a chin implant may be placed through the same cut to provide shape and definition to the chin. Neck liposuction then follows to outline the jaw and neckline. These patients could benefit from getting rid of buccal fat too at times. The procedure takes around 2 hours; it’s ambulatory meaning they can go home on the same day after discharge, and they can go back to work within 7 to 10 days.
The Neck Lift Consultation
Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Andres 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.
Facial Plastic Surgeon 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.
Neck Lift Cost
The cost of a neck lift can vary depending on the complexity of the procedure and the individual needs of the patient and it includes pre-operative visits, anesthesia fees, surgical fees, and post-operative care. Additional costs may be incurred if additional procedures are performed such as liposuction or chin augmentation.
It is important to note that insurance does not typically cover cosmetic surgery procedures such as a neck lift. However, some medical financing options may be available for those who qualify. It is best to discuss payment options with your doctor prior to scheduling your procedure so you can plan accordingly.
Preparing for a Neck Lift
Before undergoing a neck lift, Dr. Bustillo requires that all 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 a high dose of 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 procedure can be performed with a few anesthetics. It can be administered via local anesthesia and oral sedation if it is being done as a standalone operation. Alternatively, it can be done with IV anesthesia. When the neck lift is carried out in conjunction with another operation, such as blepharoplasty or fat transfer, IV sedation will be used.
The neck lift is performed in Dr. Bustillo’s state-of-the-art certified surgical suite. When IV anesthesia is used, a board-certified anesthesiologist (M.D.) from Baptist Hospital will provide the anesthesia services.
Risks of Neck Lift Surgery
The neck lift surgery presents a few hazards. However, smokers are at the greatest risk because their skin has inadequate blood flow, which can affect healing. For this reason, Dr. Bustillo will not perform a neck lift on those who currently smoke or even those that use nicotine patches. Any patients who smoke must quit two weeks ahead of 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 neck lift patients who develop a hematoma after the neck lift recover well and have good results. It is rare to have infections after a neck lift. Dr. Bustillo administers antibiotics before, during, and after the neck lift.
Recovering from a Neck Lift Procedure
The patient is allowed to go home or to their hotel room on 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.
Neck Lifts 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. 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.
If you live near Miami, FL, Dr. Andres Bustillo offers neck lift among its services and is conveniently located at 6705 Red Rd #602, Miami, FL 33143.
Why Choose 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