Get Rid of Your "Turkey Neck" with a Neck Lift

Posted November 10, 2015

The neck is one of the most visible parts of the body as well as one of the hardest parts to hide. If a person has sagging skin or wrinkles on their neck, the person normally tries to cover them with a scarf or a sweater when planning their wardrobe for the day. However, these clothing options don’t really work during the spring and summer months. The neck is actually one of the main areas where people start to show their age thanks to wrinkles, fatty jowls and a “turkey wattle”. Fortunately, a neck lift can help restore a youthful appearance to the neck. A lower rhytidectomy, also known as a neck lift, is a procedure designed to improve the signs of aging in the neck. Stress, gravity, too much weight, and heredity can all take a toll on the neck. A neck lift can give a smoother and toned appearance to the area of the neck that has lost a good portion of its elasticity.

How to Prepare for a Neck Lift

Patients should refrain from smoking for at least two weeks prior to the procedure as smoking promotes wrinkles and slows down both the recovery and healing process. Medications like aspirin, warfarin, heparin or any other blood thinning agent should be avoided prior to the procedure and for a few days after the surgery.

The most important factor while preparing for the procedure is to be fully attentive during the consultation with the surgeon. Prior to undergoing the surgery, the surgeon will evaluate the health of the patient and discuss the surgical goals and expectations as well as the best surgical method to achieve the desired results.

How a Neck Lift is performed

A neck lift is also sometimes referred to as platysmaplasty (tightens loose neck muscles) and cervicoplasty (removes excess skin). No matter which name the neck lift is called, it is normally an outpatient procedure. The patient will be put under general anesthesia and then the surgeon will make small incisions behind the ears (and maybe under the chin as well). The excess fat targeted by the surgeon is removed by surgical excision or via liposuction. If the neck muscles are loose, the surgeon will use sutures to tighten them. The skin is then pulled tighter, towards the incisions, and the incisions are closed. After the incisions are closed, any excess skin that remains is trimmed away. The neck lift gives the patient a smoother neck appearance that restores a youthful look to the area. The neck lift also improves the look of the patient’s vertical neck bands.

As with most surgeries, the recovery time following the neck lift depends on how much work was done as well as the individual patient. In general, it takes about two weeks for a patient to recover before they can return to work. Most patients experience slight swelling and bruising in the first few days after the procedure. Patients are also provided a special garment that compresses the neck and helps reduce swelling. It is advisable that patients keep the head elevated and any twisting or bending of the neck should be avoided as much as possible. The results typically last a long time and the results age in a natural way as the patient gets older.

Neck Lift Combined with Other Procedures

Neck lifts can also be performed in conjunction with other procedures and they include:

Eyelid surgery to remove excess fat and sagging skin while also tightening the eyelid area

A brow lift to minimize horizontal lines that appear as the result of eyebrows that droop.

A facelift drastically reduces the appearance of wrinkles and lines in the face and also treats the sagging skin in the jowls and cheeks

Cheek implants provide plumper and fuller cheeks and a fuller facial structure

Liposuction can get rid of fat that has accumulated in the neck but any tightening of the neck still needs to be addressed with a neck lift

While combining a neck lift with the procedures listed above can work to give a patient a complete facial makeover, a neck lift can still be performed by itself. It is worth noting that performing the neck lift by itself can cause aging on other parts of the face to become more noticeable since the other issues on the face were not addressed at the same time.

A Neck Lift Makes a Person Look Younger

While the neck is not often thought of as a place on the body that needs to be worked on as people age, it is one of the first places where the signs of aging start to visibly show. In addition to the aging process, weight loss and prolonged exposure to the sun that results in damage to the skin can cause the skin on the neck to sag and appear loose. A patient can either invest in a new wardrobe that lasts all year and hides the sagging appearance of the neck or the patient can schedule a consultation with an experienced, board-certified doctor to address the issues surrounding the neck. A skilled plastic surgeon can help a patient achieve a smooth and younger looking neck by performing a neck surgery. The results are long-lasting and, unlike fashion, they never go out of style.

- MA


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