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Are you considering a neck lift to get rid of all that excess fat under your chin? Here we will tell you all you need to know about a neck lift, including its benefits and tips on how to recover quickly after the procedure.
What is Neck Lift?
A neck lift is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of excess fat, skin, and tissue from the area around your jaw-line so as to make you look slimmer and more youthful. It is done in order to make the signs of aging less visible in the patient. The formal name for the procedure is platysmaplasty or lower rhytidectomy.
As you grow older, fat deposits start accumulating in the neck area and cannot always be removed by diet or exercise. The skin also becomes looser, leading to sagging skin that hangs from the lower portion of the face or from the sides of the neck and creates jowls that are considered conventionally unattractive. A neck lift can address all of these problems by removing the surplus skin and tightening the remaining skin so that the area looks smooth.
A neck lift is an ideal surgery option for patients who do not wish to go for a full facelift but would want to improve the symmetry of the lower part of their face.
Why is it best?
- It can remove excess fat deposits under the chin which are not responding to exercise or diets.
- It can remove sagging pockets of skin below the face that create the appearance of jowls and make you look less attractive.
- It can tighten any loose skin in the neck developed as a result of aging or drastic weight loss.
- It can correct any abnormal contours that have developed as a result of the banding of muscles in the skin.
- It can correct unattractive fatty deposits that accumulate due to hereditary reasons.
- Any healthy adult who wants to look and feel more attractive can go for a neck lift.
How to prepare for Neck Lift?
Before scheduling your neck lift, it is important to be very clear about what a neck lift can and cannot do for your appearance. This requires you to have multiple consultations with your surgeon so that all your doubts are clarified. The following tips will help you prepare more effectively in the days and weeks leading up to the neck lift.
Choose a plastic surgeon only after due research
A neck lift requires a high degree of precision and should only be done by an accredited plastic surgeon with a good track record of neck lifts. Thoroughly research online before selecting your doctor, and take recommendations from friends, family members or colleagues who may have had the procedure done.
Provide a complete medical history
During your consultation sessions with your plastic surgeon, you will be asked to provide a complete medical history in order to assess your fitness for the neck lift procedure. Details you will be asked to provide include any past surgeries you have undergone, any allergies or chronic illnesses you suffer from, the medications you currently take (including herbal remedies and vitamin supplements) and your history of alcohol and tobacco usage. It is essential that you share all this information accurately as certain conditions may render you unfit for surgery. For example, if you have heart disease or diabetes or are prone to excessive bleeding, your doctor may decline to perform surgery and discuss non-surgical alternatives with you. In addition, your allergies will determine the type of anesthesia used during the procedure.
Make any necessary lifestyle changes
Your doctor may ask you to stop or limit your intake of certain medications as preparation for the neck lift – it is important that you follow all such instructions to the letter. He or she may recommend some lab tests to assess the general state of your health. You will also need to avoid any anti-inflammatory drugs as these could increase your risk of bleeding during and after the surgery. In addition, if you are a smoker, you will need to quit smoking for several weeks before the surgery as smoking will slow down your body’s natural ability to heal.
Be clear about your expectations from the procedure
You may have certain expectations in your mind about the kind of aesthetic enhancement you want for your face. It is important that you are completely frank with your doctor about these expectations (such as a defined jaw line, a slim neck or a toned chin) so that he or she can guide you about what is feasible for your particular case. Your doctor will most likely take photos of your neck and chin from various angles and then use software to convert them into a 3D visualization of what your neck will look like before and after the procedure. In addition, you should remember that a neck lift cannot reverse or slow down the aging process – it can only tighten the skin and improve its appearance. At this point, you should also discuss the possible side effects of the surgery and how you can prepare for them.
Consider clubbing the neck lift with other surgeries
Depending on how much modification you want to your facial features, you may wish to perform other types of plastic surgery along with a neck lift to achieve the maximum effect. Discuss these aspects thoroughly with your doctor before reaching a decision. For example, you may want to combine a neck lift with a brow lift to eliminate furrowed brows and enhance the features of your entire face. You could also go for eyelid surgery to correct tired-looking eyes or a fat transfer procedure to help your lips and cheeks look fuller. Consider the benefits and risks of each and every surgery that you opt for.
The Neck Lift Procedure
A neck lift typically takes place in an outpatient facility in a licensed surgical clinic or a hospital. Be sure to bring along a family member or friend who can accompany you home and stay with you for the first night after the surgery. The typical steps involved in a neck lift are as follows.
- You will first be asked to sign several consent forms stating that you are fully aware of the risks involved in the surgery and are still going ahead with it.
- The doctor will administer either a general anaesthetic or intravenous sedation depending on what is advisable for your state of health.
- The neck lift could be conducted in one of two ways. In the first technique, your doctor makes an incision starting downward from your sideburn area, along the length of the ear and then tapering back to the posterior hair. He or she then removes or repositions excess fat and tissue to create the kind of look you want, and then tightens the remaining skin by drawing the loose ends together. Excess bits of skin are trimmed away. In the second technique, smaller incisions are made near the ears to remove small amounts of fat – this is appropriate only if you want limited modifications.
- Once the procedure is done, sutures are used to hold the wound together, and may dissolve on their own or need to be removed after a few days.
Post-care treatment after Neck Lift
After a neck lift, you are usually allowed to go home the same day and start your recovery process. A thin tube may be positioned at the side of the wound to drain off excess fluid that may seep out. The following tips will help you keep you healthy and ensure a swift recovery.
- Some bruising and swelling are quite normal after the surgery, and your doctor may prescribe pain medication for you to combat it. Do not apply any ice packs as these could hinder blood flow to the skin.
- Keep your head at an elevated position at all times to reduce swelling and be extremely careful about how you sit or lie down.
- Some scarring may remain permanently after the neck lift, but it is well concealed within your hairline and will usually fade over time. You can ask your doctor for recommendations on suitable ointments and creams to apply to minimize the appearance of scars.
- The most critical thing to remember is that the results of a neck lift may not be permanent. You could again accumulate fat under your chin if you gain weight, and your skin will continue to age and may once again start looking saggy. In that case, you may wish to consider a second neck lift procedure. Carefully discuss the advisability of a second surgery with your doctor and if possible, consider non-surgical alternatives that can help you retain the new youthful appearance of your neck and jaw.