The neck can be one of the first areas on the body to show signs of aging. Maybe it’s because neck skin doesn’t have bone structure to support it underneath. Maybe it’s because the skin of the neck is especially prone to the pull of gravity, as it hangs vertically. Whatever the reason, the skin on your neck can hang loosely and develop neck bands that truly make you look older.
But when people are looking to counter the signs of aging, they often overlook their neck. A neck lift with Dr. Smith is something to consider.
Clinically known as a rhytidectomy, a neck lift is a surgical procedure that targets the aging skin and muscles of the neck. Unlike a facelift, whose results can be mimicked with dermal fillers and neuromodulators in lieu of surgery, surgery is the only way to address aging issues on the neck.
Would a neck lift help me?
For most people, the neck is the first area to show signs of aging. Excess wrinkling, neck bands, jowls, even the dreaded “turkey wattle” all come into play. These are the visible signs of aging that a neck lift addresses:
- Loose neck skin
- Fat pockets and relaxed skin in the lower face
- Jowl lines
- Fatty deposits under the chin
- Muscle banding on the neck
- Double chin
Neck lift procedure
Dr. Smith utilizes two methods for his neck lift procedures, depending on the degree of change you want to see in your neck and chin area. A traditional neck lift is the best option if sagging and jowls are very evident. A limited incision neck lift can deliver more limited rejuvenation.
Traditional neck lift — A traditional neck lift incision originates in front of the ear in the sideburn area and continues down below the ear, terminating in the hair at the back of the scalp. The skin is pulled away and the fat is usually re-sculpted or redistributed, particularly from the jowls. Fat is usually not removed, as it can create a somewhat gaunt appearance. Usually the muscle that runs from the upper parts of the pectoral and deltoid muscles all the way up onto the jaw is tightened. The skin is then pulled up and re-draped, and the excess skin is trimmed away. If there is a good deal of fat under the chin, Dr. Smith may opt for a second incision there. He can tighten the muscles and use liposuction to remove fat pockets.
Limited incision neck lift — As the name implies, rather than a single relatively lengthy incision on each side of the face, here small incisions are made only around the ears. As you would expect, a limited incision neck lift can only deliver more limited results. It’s right if your signs of aging in the area aren’t as pronounced yet you still want to be proactive.
Recovery from neck lift surgery isn’t an afterthought; it is involved. You will have elastic bandages around your lower face and neck when you return home. This will help minimize swelling and bruising. With this surgery, it’s important to keep your head elevated (a good rule to follow is to keep your head at a level above your heart), and you cannot twist your neck or bend it forward. You may think icing the area would be beneficial, but do not apply ice as this can restrict blood flow and damage skin recovery.
Most patients can return to work in 10 to 14 days. Your results will be fully visible when the swelling has fully dissipated. This can take up to six months, however, so don’t expect instant gratification with a neck lift. Sports and strenuous exercises, particularly those involving any twisting of your neck, need to be avoided for at least six weeks.
If you’re noticing that you’ve overlooked the signs of aging on your neck, maybe it’s time to give Dr. Smith a call, 843-705-8940, to schedule a consultation for a neck lift.