The first signs of an aging neck usually become evident in our forties, and may appear as sagging or loosening of the skin below the chin or jaw. Some will notice cords or bands (the “weakening” of the platysma muscle) and possibly the development of a “turkey neck” or “turkey wattle.” With time, neck fullness and sagging tissues can progress to the point where the youthful definition of the jawline is blurred or lost altogether. And it’s not just advancing age that can affect the look of your neck. Even at a young age, excessive hereditary fat deposits located underneath the chin may enlarge and lead to the dreaded double or even triple chin.
Who is a good candidate?
If you have jowls, a double chin, a turkey wattle or any other cosmetic concerns about the appearance of your neck this procedure may be appropriate for you. Whether your neck is affected by age, your genes, the pull of gravity or the harsh effects of the sun and wind, neck lift surgery (platysmaplasty) or other neck contouring and rejuvenation procedures may be options. A neck lift removes excess sagging skin under your jawline and on your neck. For those with bands or cords, the neck lift may involve adjusting and tightening the platysma muscle, if it has begun to separate and sag. If needed, the neck lift can include the removal or contouring of excess fatty tissue, some of which may be located below your platysma muscle.
Description of the procedure
During your consultation, Dr. Heinrich will assess the amount of excess fat or loose skin in your neck area as well as the quality of your skin and muscle tone in this area. He will make suggestions regarding your neck lift, including the recommended technique, anesthesia and incision placement options. If you are having a “skin only” neck lift, you will most likely have two incisions under or behind the ear and then loosens the skin and redrapes it before removing any excess skin. If you are having a platysmaplasty with a skin lift, you may have a small incision under the chin along with the ones behind or under your ear. You must have realistic expectations about your neck lift, and what it can do for your appearance and your life. You also must be able to clearly communicate your aesthetic goals.
Recovery: What to expect
There will be some mild to moderate discomfort after your neck lift surgery. You will be prescribed medication to alleviate any pain. You may also be groggy from the anesthetic and/or oral medications for the first day or two after your neck lift. Swelling and bruising are common after neck lift surgery, but they should begin to improve within a few days. It’s important to keep your head and neck still after a neck lift. Take it easy during the recovery period and try not to do too much, too soon. Walking around the house a couple of times a day is helpful in boosting circulation. Sutures will likely be removed in 5 to 10 days.
Recovery time is approximately one week and the results are generally permanent.
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