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What is neck lift face lift surgery? Is it a mere skin tightening procedure?

Neck lift surgery is the re-creation of a sharp cervico-mental angle and a well-defined jaw line by tightening the underlying muscles that have become lax and re-draping the skin to accommodate the new contour. It is NOT just a skin tightening procedure since majority of the work in this procedure needs to be done underneath the skin level.

What are the complementary procedures commonly performed with neck lift?

Often, it is done in conjunction with a face lift, chin augmentation, liposuction and fat transfer. Excess fat under the chin can be removed either by excision or liposuction. In case of droopiness, the surgeon may suggest the addition of chin implant.

Why do some people are so bothered with their necks they would rather have a neck lift than a face lift?

Even though facial aging affects the entire face and neck, there are people who are only concerned with a particular area such as neck. This could be explained with the fact that effects of aging show early within the neck region. The skin begins to hang loosely and the muscles lose their tone creating a turkey neck appearance, a flat neck angle and a less-defined jaw line. After the correction of the neck problem which bothered them a lot, often they return for the correction of other facial problems caused by aging. This is an excellent approach to facial rejuvenation – giving priority to what really bothers the patient. The rest can be done when he is already prepared.

What are the benefits of undergoing a neck lift?

– Dramatic reduction or elimination of turkey neck
– Re-creation of a sharp neck angle and well-defined jaw line resulting to a longer more elegant appearance
– Significant improvement or elimination of lax skin and wrinkles within the neck
– Correction or elimination of double-/triple chin

How long is the procedure?

Neck lift is usually an outpatient procedure which takes approximately 2 to 3 hours, usually under general anesthesia.

Will there be any visible scars?

The incision lines are designed to be inconspicuous when it is healed. Incisions are done behind the ears and under the chin.

What is recovery like?

There will be swelling and bruising but surprisingly little pain. These will be resolved in about 1-2 weeks. Discomfort will be relieved by taking the prescribed pain medications. A lightly compressive dressing around the neck has to be worn for 1 week to keep the swelling down and help the skin contract up against the underlying muscle. During the 6 succeeding weeks, this has to be worn only at night. Cold compress has to be done every 2 hours for the first 24 hours after the surgery. Antibiotics shall be given to avoid infection and help keep the swelling down. Laying down with head up on at least 3 pillows also help reduce swelling. The incisions will continue to ooze for about 4 days. The patient shall be asked to see the surgeon after a day or two to change the dressing, clean up the area, apply topical antibiotics and make sure that things are going well.

How soon can a patient go back to work?

Those who have home-based jobs start working after a day or two. Some patients with deskbound jobs go back to work 5 days after the surgery. However, for those with strenuous job, it may take 3 to 4 weeks. Most people resume their normal work in about 1 to 2 weeks.

How soon can results be seen?

Significant improvement can be seen right away specially when majority of the swelling and bruising is gone by the 2nd week. Skin contraction will start by week 4 and will continue until about 6 months. The final result will be evident on or before the 6th month when all the swelling has resolved and skin contraction is complete.

What are the candidates for this procedure?

Good candidates for this procedure are those who are generally healthy, psychologically stable, with realistic expectations and want to correct the following problems:

– Double or triple chin
– Turkey neck appearance
– Lax neck skin
– Loss of sharp neck angle and jaw definition

Patients are advised to inform the surgeon of their medical history, illness and medications.

What are the possible complications?

Complications occasionally occur with this procedure. Risks include neck tissues, asymmetry, nerve injury, infection, unfavorable scarring, and blood and fluid collection.

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