If it is the appearance of your neck that really bothers you; and you are OK with how the rest of you face looks, you might consider a necklift.
We do basically two type of necklifts:
A submental platysmaplasty is a minilift of the area of the neck just under the chin (the submental triangle). It is done through about a 1-1.5 inch incision in the crease just under your chin. No skin is removed. It tightens the muscles in this area and is frequently combined with liposuction to the area and a chin or pre-jowl implant. This procedure is very popular with patients in their 30’s. Over the age of 45, it becomes more likely that the skin will not tighten down smoothly as it heals without removing some skin. Hence, over 45 you may more likely need a complete necklift.
A complete necklift is a minilift that combines the submental platysmaplasty with further tightening of the entire neck through an incision hidden in the creases around the ear. The muscles are tightened near the ear and under the chin. The skin and platysma muscle are pulled parallel to the horizontal creases in your neck and skin is trimmed as needed. The subcutaneous tissue is also liposuctioned as needed to further sculpt the neck- actually “liposcuplted”.
Dr. Bentkover will carefully evaluate your neck and discuss with you how to best achieve you goals. His objective is to create a natural appearance that is pleasing to you, not an operated or overly “pulled” look. He will also take some digital photos of you and simulate changes in your appearance with our imaging software. If a necklift will achieve your goals, he will recommend the appropriate type of necklift. If he thinks you need a full facelift instead of a minilift, he will tell you so.
Our staff will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and medications. If you smoke, he will ask you to quit for at least two weeks before and after your surgery, since smoking may have an effect on how well you heal. You must stop all anticoagulant medications or herbal preparations such as aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamin E, gingko, St. John’s Wart, garlic or ginseng 2 weeks prior to surgery. You may be required to take antibiotics to prevent infection. You should shampoo your hair the night before surgery.
As with other minilifts, necklift procedures are frequently performed in conjunction with a blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), forehead lift, chin augmentation, and/or liposuction, to create an overall rejuvenation of the face. The necklift procedures that we perform are most commonly performed in the Same Day Surgery Unit of Saint Vincent Hospital at the Worcester Medical Center. General anesthesia or local anesthesia with intravenous sedation is required. The submental platysmaplasty is performed through a small incision under your chin that hides very nicely. For a full necklift, the incisions hide in the creases in front of the ear and behind the ear. These incisions are placed in such a manner that they generally hide very nicely and are as small as possible. Most women can wear their hair up in a few months without worry of unsightly incisions.
Recovery: What to Expect
You will be given explicit pre- and post-operative instructions. By following these instructions you will minimize potential problems. It is necessary to have someone drive you home and stay with you for the first 24 hours. Your neck will be wrapped after surgery. Stitches around the ears will be loosened or removed in a few days. Many of the sutures will dissolve on their own. Any scalp sutures will be removed in 7-10 days.
Complications following necklifts are rare. These may include bleeding, infection, loss of skin near the ears, facial nerve injury, discoloration of the skin, numbness, asymmetry and excessive scarring. Infection is rare due to the large blood supply to the face. The risk of bleeding is greater if you take aspirin or blood thinners within 10 days of the surgery. The risk of wound complications is higher in smokers, diabetics, persons with a history of radiation and autoimmune or collagen diseases.
The healing process is gradual, so you may not appreciate the final result for a few months. Most patients who have had necklifts are pleased with their new, more youthful appearance.
What is a necklift?
A necklift is a minilift of the neck that tightens the tissues under the chin alone (submental platysmaplasty) or tightens the entire neck (full necklifst).
How long is the recovery?
You will usually be back to work in 10 days.
Why do you also often do a chin augmentation at the same time?
If you have had a short chin all your life, it shortens the distance from your chin to your voice box (larynx). As you age and the skin in this area sags, the short jawline makes the situaion look worse. Lengthening the distance from your larynx to your chin adds another factor that improves the appearance of this area. Tightening the area under your chin will often make you look better without a chin augmentation, but you may look much better with a chin augmentation.