Neck Lift Santa Ana & San Clemente
The neck can start to show signs of age sooner than the rest of the face. In fact, many younger people undergo necklift or platysmaplasty. The neck skin then begins to hang and wobble a bit and the dreaded phrase “turkey waddle” may cross your mind. A procedure called a neck lift tends to address a lot of the issues that occur with aging neck. While some people only need a neck lift, and not a full face lift, the combination of the two can truly make a difference, giving you a younger and refreshed look. The neck lift procedure is performed on an out-patient basis at our accredited cosmetic surgery center. This means that you go home a few hours after your surgery.
What Is a Neck Lift?
A neck lift, or platysmaplasty, is surgery designed to remove excess, sagging skin under the jaw line and on the neck. In some cases, the platysma muscle of the neck is adjusted and tightened, if it has begun to separate and sag. Some patients who complain of having a fleshy neck, “jowls”, platysma or neck “banding”, or a “turkey waddle” can benefit from this procedure. Many times patients choose to have a neck lift when they are having a face lift. You may also have a neck liposuction done, if you have extra fat under your chin.
How a Neck Lift is Performed
A neck lift procedure normally takes 2 to 3 hours to perform. If it is combined with other procedures, as it often is, the surgery will take longer. Anesthesia will be started. The type used should be the one you discussed with our doctors. Effects of the anesthesia are felt soon after the IV sedative is administered.
If you are having a “skin-only” neck lift, the surgeon will usually make two incisions under or behind the ear, and then loosen the skin, redrape it, and remove excess skin. If you are having a platysmaplasty with the additional skin lift, you may have a small incision under the chin along with the ones behind or under the ear. With a platysmaplasty, a section of the platysma muscle may be removed and the ends are sutured to bring them together at the front of the neck. With this procedure also, neck skin will be loosened or redraped with incisions under or behind the ear to further firm up the neck.
The doctor will close your incisions with sutures. You will have a pressure dressing placed that will wrap around the top of your head to underneath your chin. You are then gently awakened and brought into the recovery room. Usually, you will be released about 2 hours after your surgery, but this depends on how long it takes you to recover from anesthesia.
You will need someone to drive you home. You cannot drive yourself home after a neck lift surgery because you will still be drowsy.
Preparing for Your Surgery
For most surgery, you will be asked to have blood drawn for tests at least a week in advance. If you are a woman, you may be asked to have a pregnancy test done. Some surgeons ask that you have a general physical, which is another extra expense.
If you hurt take your pain relievers. Don’t tough it out and avoid taking them. It is a fact that patients with increased pain heal slower than patients who are not in pain.
You may be groggy from the anesthetic and or oral medications for the first day or two. You will have to take it easy. You will also have to sleep with your head elevated for one or two weeks. Use two or three pillows on your bed or get a foam wedge pillow at a surgical supply store. Some people may choose to sleep on a recliner.
You have to keep your head and neck still after a neck lift. Avoid turning your head from side to side. If you have to turn to look at something, turn your whole body, and not just your head. Your lower face and neck will get more swollen, and possibly a bit bruised, over the first 3 days after surgery. As the days go by, the swelling and bruises will dissipate. This is part of healing. If you have excessive pain, redness, pus at the incisions, or other symptoms that do not appear normal, contact our office immediately! Take your antibiotics on time for as many days as they are prescribed
You will have one or more postoperative visits with your surgeon in the days after your surgery. Your dressings may be changed, if needed. Your sutures won’t be removed until 7 to 10 days later.
Your skin will be numb around the incision and everywhere it may have been moved. This is normal. Give yourself time to recuperate. Take it easy and try not to do too much, too soon, but do get up and walk around the house a few of times a day if you can.
For the first weeks after surgery, avoid bending over or lifting heavy objects. Our doctors may give you a limit on how heavy an object you can lift safely, usually 10 to 15 pounds. Remember that this may mean that you can’t pick up your small child for some time! Do not participate in contact sports until your doctor says it is OK to do so.
Continue to avoid alcohol, aspirin, and ibuprofen for a few days to a week after surgery. If you quit smoking before your neck lift, don’t start back up. Smoking greatly increases your risks of delayed healing.
You may notice a change in how your face moves tightness, tingling, sporadic sharp pains, pulling, burning, or cold sensations. These usually subside within the first few weeks. As the swelling subsides, you will see your new, firmer neck appear.
During a personalized consultation, Dr. Roham will be able to make treatment recommendations to help you reach your aesthetic goals. Contact his office today to schedule a consultation, learn about other facial procedures available such as blepharoplasty, or to explore other options such as abdominoplasty, butt lift and breast augmentation in Orange County.
*There's no guarantee of specific results. Results may vary from person to person.