Gravity often causes unwanted lines and wrinkles in the neck area. These lines and wrinkles may be even more noticeable after a facial procedure such as laser skin resurfacing or a brow lift. To obtain a more uniform appearance, many patients elect to undergo a neck lift at Carp Cosmetic Surgery Center in Green and Beachwood, OH. Dr. Steven Carp is the physician of choice for many people in the Canton, Cleveland and Akron areas.
As people grow older, the effects of gravity, sun exposure, and everyday environmental stresses become increasingly visible in their faces. Jawlines can begin to sag while fat deposits and folds begin to make their presence known around the neck.
Neck lift surgery has the ability to correct the signs of aging around the neck by excising excess fat, re-draping the skin, and tightening underlying muscles. A neck lift procedure can be performed by itself or together with other types of procedures, such as eyelid surgery, a forehead lift, or rhinoplasty.
The Best Neck Lift Candidates
You may be a good candidate for a neck lift if your face and neck have started to sag, but your skin still retains some of its elasticity, and you have a strong and well-defined bone structure. The typical neck lift patient is in their 40s to 60s, but the procedure can also be successfully performed on individuals who are in their 70s or 80s.
Planning Your Neck Lift
Describing a neck lift procedure for the general population cannot be done since each procedure is tailored to meet the unique needs of each person. However, some general steps can be outlined.
First, Dr. Carp will carefully examine your face, skin, and underlying bone structure at your first consultation. He will also discuss your goals for the procedure at this time. He will also look for medical conditions that may potentially present complications before or after surgery, such as blood clotting problems, high blood pressure, or the tendency to develop significant scars.
If you decide to have a neck lift procedure, Dr. Carp will outline the methods and anesthesia that will be used. Feel free to ask him any questions you may have, particularly those involving your concerns and expectations regarding the results.
Preparing for a Neck Lift
You will also receive specific guidelines for surgery preparations, including instructions on drinking, eating, smoking, and avoiding certain medications and vitamins. Your surgery will have a better outcome if you carefully follow these instructions. If you are a smoker, it is particularly important to stop smoking for a minimum of one or two weeks before and after surgery. This is because smoking slows the flow of blood to the skin, interfering with the healing process.
If you have very short hair, you may consider letting it grow out before your procedure, so it is long enough to hide any scars as they heal.
Regardless of if your neck lift procedure is being performed on an inpatient or outpatient basis, you should plan to have someone drive you home following the surgery and assist you for several days if required.
Types of Anesthesia
Neck lifts are usually performed using local anesthesia, together with a sedative to ensure you will be sleepy. You will be awake and relaxed, and your face will be numb. However, it is not unusual to experience limited tugging sensations or minor discomfort during your procedure.
Some surgeons prefer to use a general anesthesia, in which case you will sleep throughout the procedure.
Your Neck Lift Surgery
Neck lift procedures usually last several hours or slightly longer when more than one surgery is being performed. In the case of extensive procedures, surgeons sometimes schedule them in two separate sessions. Each surgery may use a somewhat different approach. For some, Dr. Carp will work on only one side of the face at a time while other surgeries will do both.
Incisions typically start around the earlobe, extending to a natural line located behind an ear and moving forward to the hairline. A small chin incision may also be made. Dr. Carp then separates the skin from the muscle and fat underneath. Fat may be suctioned or trimmed from the chin and neck to better improve the contour. Dr. Carp will tighten underlying membranes and muscles and pull back the skin to remove excess.
After your surgery, a thin tube may be placed temporarily beneath the skin of the ear to provide drainage for any fluid that may pool there. Dr. Carp may also use bandages to loosely wrap your head and reduce swelling and bruising.
Following Your Neck Lift
Normally, there is little discomfort following surgery. If discomfort is experienced, it can be reduced using medications that Dr. Carp will prescribe. However, if you should experience severe or persistent discomfort or sudden swelling, contact Dr. Carp right away. Some skin numbness is to be expected, which should go away within a few weeks.
If you had a tube for drainage inserted, it would be removed a few days following your surgery. If bandages were used, they are normally removed within five days. Having a puffy, pale, and bruised face is to be expected. Just remember that you will be looking normal within a few weeks.
After about five days, most of your stitches will be removed. However, your scalp could take longer to heal fully, and the metal clips or stitches in your hairline may remain for a few more days.
How Much Does a Neck Lift Cost?
A neck lift is considered to be elective, so most insurance providers won’t cover the costs. To help make a neck lift affordable and accessible for everyone, Carp Cosmetic Surgery Center offers financing options. We also accept cash, personal checks, and major credit cards.
Getting Back to Normal
Within a day or two, you should be up and about, but you should plan on a reduced activity level for the week following your surgery. You should be particularly gentle with your face and hair at this time because your skin will be numb and tender and may not initially respond as it normally would.
Dr. Carp will provide more specific instructions for resuming your daily activities. They will probably include the following suggestions:
- Avoid strenuous activities for a minimum of two weeks. Mild stretching and walking are fine.
- Avoid consuming alcohol or taking steam baths and saunas during the recovery period.
- Get plenty of rest so that your body can devote its energy to healing.
At first, your facial features may seem distorted because of swelling. Your scars may make you feel self-conscious, and your facial expressions may seem somewhat stiff. You may tire easily, and some bruising may linger for up to three weeks. It is not uncommon for patients to be somewhat depressed and disappointed initially.
However, by your third week after surgery, you will look and feel much better. Normally, most patients return to work within 10 days to two weeks following surgery. If required, special makeup can obscure most remaining bruising.
Your New Look
Chances are very good that you will be pleased with your neck lift procedure, particularly if you recognize that your results may take some time to materialize. The hair around your temples may be thinner and your skin dryer for some time, even after the bruises and swelling are gone. Men sometimes discover that they must shave in new areas — behind the ears and neck — where portions of skin that grow hair have been relocated.
You will have some scars as a result of your neck lift, but they are normally obscured by hair in the normal creases of your face and ears. Regardless, they should fade over time and become barely visible.
It is important to remember that having a neck lift procedure does not stop the clock. Your face will continue to age normally, and you may find yourself wanting to repeat the procedure several more times, perhaps five or more years later. But in one sense, even one neck lift has lasting effects; years afterward, you will continue looking younger than if you had never had a neck lift procedure at all.
Many people are pleasantly surprised at how well a neck lift erases years from their appearance. To find out what benefits you could obtain, contact us to schedule a consultation with Dr. Steven Carp at his Green or Beachwood, OH clinics. Dr. Carp gladly accepts new patients from throughout the Akron, Cleveland and Canton areas.