A funny thing happens when people are concerned about the effects of aging on their faces — they often stop at the chin. They stress about the crow’s feet and the nasolabial folds, the puffy eyes and the 11s, but they overlook the banding and deep creases that develop on the neck.
Because of its makeup and the effects of gravity, the neck can actually be one of the first areas to show aging. From looseness under the chin to hanging skin, time isn’t a friend to your neck. But, except during winter, most of our clothing choices put our weathered necks right out there for all to see.
What Is A Neck Lift?
A neck lift with Dr. Ferraro can address aging of the neck. The procedure, clinically known as a lower rhytidectomy, is often combined with a facelift to address the entire mid-face downward. But unlike facelifts, where there is the option to use dermal fillers and neuromodulators on a temporary basis in lieu of surgery, the only way to address neck skin aging is with surgery.
Do I Need A Neck Lift?
Unlike the rest of the body, the skin on the neck is truly hanging. Due to the function of the throat, the skin can’t be overly taut and constricting. If you pinch the skin on your neck you can pinch much easier than everywhere else on your body. Gravity loves this inherent looseness. That’s why sometimes a person’s face doesn’t show much aging, but his or her neck does. Wrinkling on the neck skin, neck bands, a “ turkey wattle,” jowls. Ugh.
What Can A Neck Lift Correct?
Here are aging issues that can be improved with a neck lift:
- Loose neck skin
- Muscle banding
- Double chin
- Fat pockets and relaxed skin at the bottom of the face
- Fat pockets under the chin
How Is a Neck Lift Performed?
There are two options when considering a neck lift — a traditional neck lift and a limited incision neck lift. You will discuss these with Dr. Ferraro during your consultation.
Traditional neck lift— If your neck aging is extensive and widespread, you’ll need the traditional approach. Two incisions, one on each side of the head, begin in the sideburn area and descend down around the earlobe, ending in the hairline at the back of the scalp. In a neck lift the platysma muscle, the muscle that runs from the upper areas of the deltoid and pectoral muscles all the way up to the jaw, is very important. It’s responsible for neck banding, as the muscle loosens with age. Once Dr. Ferraro pulls the skin away from the muscle and fat beneath, he first repositions or re-sculpts the fat, removing excess. Then he tightens the platysma muscle. The skin is then pulled upward and re-draped over the newly contoured supporting tissue, and excess skin is trimmed. If the patient has a double chin and serious fat deposits in that area, Dr. Ferraro will likely make a second incision under the chin to gain direct access. Liposuction may be used to remove fat.
Limited neck lift— As you would expect, a limited neck lift only addresses moderate neck aging. Rather than continuous incisions around the ear into the lower scalp, only small incisions are made near the ear. A limited neck lift cannot deliver a full re-draping of the skin or reposition tissue extensively.
Post Surgical Care
The makeup of the neck makes for a more involved recovery. Some things seem obvious, such as the need to keep your head straight and minimize twisting or bending of your altered neck tissue. But one thing that applies in most recoveries — applying ice to minimize swelling — is forbidden with neck lift surgery. Why? In this area of the body, ice can compromise blood flow to the neck, leading to tissue death. Also, keeping your head elevated is very important.
Neck Lift FAQ
How Long Before I Can Go Back To Work After A Neck Lift?
It’s usually 10 to 14 days before you can return to work.
When Can I Exercise Again?
Any strenuous exercise, particularly anything involved twisting of the neck, is a no go for six weeks.
When Can I Expect Results?
Swelling won’t dissipate quickly, in some cases lingering for months. So, don’t expect instant feedback with your neck lift. Your results will show in time.