The décolletage can reveal your age as much as your face does, but neck lift surgery can help correct the signs of aging from the jawline to the collarbone. Usually, it accompanies a facelift surgery for a more comprehensive facial rejuvenation, but occasionally it is performed on its own.
Skin in the neck usually begins to droop in the late thirties or early forties. There are, however, younger people with good upper- and mid-face tone who have a sagging neck and more aged-looking décolletage. The most common reason for this is excess fat in the upper neck (a “double chin”), which can be hereditary even in thin people. Weight loss, too, may result in excess flesh, or “turkey wattles,” hanging below the chin or the emergence of muscle bands in the subcutaneous layer. (Muscle bands appear as cords extending vertically from the chin to the base of the neck, on either side of the midline). Each of these problems must be handled differently.
In a young patient with excess fat and good skin tone, liposuction — alone or combined with a small chin implant — can work miracles. The procedure is done under local anesthesia, healing is fast, and the results start showing within about a week.
How it works:
To correct loose, sagging skin, Dr. Romita makes a small incision behind the ear — and sometimes a short incision tucked into the chin crease — to remove the extra skin and tighten the lateral neck muscles. This creates a more defined jawline and eliminates neckbands. Microcannula liposuction — suctioning the fat through microscopically fine tubes — can be used to remove excess neck fat and contour the jowl area. If the chin is weak, a small implant can be inserted through the same short incision under the chin that is used for the lift.
How long will it take?
This is an outpatient procedure with sedation, that takes a little over an hour to perform.
For a lunch hour fix, the neck bands can be softened temporarily with Botox injections to relax the muscles. This is a three-to-four-month fix that will safely buy time before more permanent work is considered.
In advance of your procedure, your surgeon will ask you to:
Stop smoking at least six weeks before undergoing surgery to promote better healing
Avoid taking aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory drugs, and some herbal medications that can cause increased bleeding
Regardless of the type of surgery to be performed, hydration is very important before and after surgery for safe recovery.
Immediately after surgery, your neck will be bruised, it will feel tight and numb. The bruising will resolve over the next four to five days, but the feelings of tightness and numbness may remain for several months, if not longer.
Usually one can resume normal activities a week or sooner after surgery. The patient may need neck support for five or six days. Lymphatic drainage, with or without a facial, can usually be done one to two weeks post-operatively. Your doctor will determine the timing and frequency of the treatment. Lymphatic drainage can dramatically shorten the healing process by reducing swelling and inflammation and supporting the immune system.
A Neck Lift procedure can completely rejuvenate and take years off your overall appearance. For younger patients, it can make you more attractive from the side profile. You will have a sleeker neck with a distinct jawline that separates your neck from your face, therefore, creating a more youthful and attractive appearance for years to come.
Before & After
Click photo to enlarge