Your neck doesn’t usually get as much of your attention as the rest of your face. Because your neck is subject to many of the same forces that can age your face, like environmental factors and sun damage, this can leave you with a young-looking face but a neck that betrays your real age.
But a neck that ages you is not just something you must learn to accept. You can get a neck lift, a surgical procedure that can reverse these effects. According to the cosmetic procedure site RealSelf, 92% of people who have undergone this procedure as “worth it.” The specialists at the Advanced Plastic Surgery Center explain more about the neck lift and what it can do for you.
What a neck lift can do for you
A neck lift procedure can benefit your appearance in many ways. Just some of its benefits include the following:
- Get rid of excess fat
- Remove fatty deposits under the chin
- Tighten loose muscles
- Remove saggy, excess skin
- Provide a more toned, youthful appearance
Neck lifts are a relatively quick procedure compared to others, such as a “mommy makeover” or breast augmentation. But the potential payoff is very dramatic.
What the procedure entails
First of all, if you smoke (even occasionally), you’ll be asked to stop for several weeks before and after the procedure. Smoking significantly interferes with your body’s ability to heal itself.
You’ll also be advised to stop taking blood thinners for several days before the procedure.
When you come in for the procedure, you’ll receive anesthesia. You can get either IV sedation or general anesthesia. Most people choose general anesthesia but not all.
Then, the incisions are made. You can get the traditional neck lift incisions, which begin at the hairline around the sideburns and then follows the curve of your face down to behind your ears. A separate incision is often made at your neck to allow us to perform treatments like liposuction, if necessary. You may also get a limited incision neck lift, which has less scarring but is more limited in the results you can achieve.
We then close the incisions and send you off to a recovery room. Almost all people go home on the same day of their procedure.
What to expect after surgery
It’s normal to have some swelling and to bruise after the procedure. It can take several months for the swelling and bruising to completely go away, although these side effects are worst in the two weeks or so after surgery. By six months after the procedure, you should find that your scars have mostly faded.
Do not apply ice to the surgical site; this can cause tissue damage and even tissue death. In addition, you’ll want to sleep with your head above your heart at first to maximize healing.
You may have surgical drains inserted for the first few days. If this is the case, you’ll receive instructions on how to care for them at home.
You may be asked to wear a special garment around your neck to aid in compression.
Who’s a good candidate for the procedure
If you’re in reasonably good health and have realistic expectations of the procedure, you may find the results of a neck lift particularly pleasing.
The best candidates are non-smokers who aren’t ready for a facelift because their faces are still aging well, but their necks show signs of aging, such as jowls, excess wrinkling of the neck skin, a double chin, or “turkey neck.”
If you feel self-conscious about your neck, we can help you do something about it. When you get a neck lift, you’ll feel like you look much younger, more like the version of you that you want to present to the world. Contact the specialists at Advanced Plastic Surgery Center or request an appointment online for our office in Arlington, VA.