Like facelift surgery, there are many different neck lift techniques but they all aim to address a few key points.
1) Liposuction of fat just underneath the neck skin. This removes the excess fat in the neck region and once the fat has been removed the skin re-drapes and retracts over the underlying musculature to give definition to the neck and jowl area.
2) Tightening and re-suspension of the neck musculature. As we age, the supporting ligaments in the neck become stretched and lose their strength, resulting in sagging of the muscles and skin of the neck, much like a hammock. The main supporting muscle, the platysma, is tightened during a necklift, to revitalise the neck.
3) Re-draping of the skin. This is achievable following liposuction and muscle re-suspension. Scars are hidden in the creases around the ear and in the hairline and sometimes in the chin crease.
Neck lift surgery may take from 1-3 hours under general anaesthetic. with one night’s hospital stay. Small drains are placed in your neck and usually removed the morning after the operation.
Recovery time is usually two to three weeks, with final results being discernible after two to three months.
The scars following a neck lift are generally unnoticeable as they are largely concealed within the hairline and hidden in the creases in front and behind the ear.
You will be required to wear a post-operative compression garment at all times in the first few weeks after your operation. This helps compress reduce the amount of fluid in the drains (so they come out earlier) and helps contour the neck.
Local anaesthetic given at the time of the procedure will help with pain control for the first evening, but has usually worn off by the following morning. Regular simple analgesia and anti-inflammatories for the first few days after the operation will minimise your discomfort and reduce your need for stronger pain relief.
There is often some ‘social down time’ after a neck lift procedure. You may not want to be in the general public or have photographs taken at events but most people can return to an office job within a week or two.
The only exercise we recommend for the first few weeks is a slow walk, and it takes about four weeks before you will feel well enough to return to the gym or re-start running.
If you are considering neck lift surgery then it is important that you are informed of the potential risks, complications and side effects of this surgery.
While all care is taken to minimise or totally avoid these complications and side effects, complications may and do occur despite the best medical care. It is important that you carefully read and understand the risk factors and they will be discussed in more detail when you have your consultation with your surgeon.