A neck lift improves the visible signs of aging or congenital laxity of the neck by removing excess fat, correcting muscle banding, and/or tightening the skin. It can also improve the jawline. A traditional neck lift is part of a facelift that should, more properly, be called a face and neck lift, though, occasionally, an incision is made under the chin to modify the muscles centrally. When done properly, this tightens the skin and the underlying muscle and reduces the fat in the neck, sculpting the neck along with the face. However, the neck can be treated alone when the upper face is still pleasing and you do not want or need a procedure on the face itself.
The ideal candidate for a stand-alone neck lift in Highlands, NC has noticed any of the following issues with the state of their neck:
These methods can be combined.
Dr. Buchanan treats every procedure and patient as completely unique. Your consultation is the time for him to ascertain your needs and the appropriate methods needed to achieve your goals. Your consultation is a true give and take of information between the two of you. First, you’ll discuss the things about your neck and below your jaw that concern you. You’ll then inform him of what you hope to achieve with this surgery. From there, Dr. Buchanan will perform an examination of your lower face and neck to get a hands-on idea of your unique issues and determine what he can do with surgery to achieve your goals. He’ll also describe how the surgery is done, along with the possible risks involved with it. Throughout the consultation, you’re encouraged to ask any and all questions you have. When you leave, whether you decide to move forward with surgery or not, you should have a good idea of exactly what is involved with a neck lift.
We do standalone neck lift procedures, including liposuction, in the office under local anesthesia. Mild sedation is available if desired.
If your problem is simply anterior platysmal bands and you have relatively elastic skin, the scar is made transversely in the upper neck just behind the chin. Any excess fat is removed and the muscles are divided at the level where the neck changes direction from transverse to vertical and the superior muscles are sutured together.
If, however, you have significant excess skin this is excised centrally from just behind the chin to just above the sternum. Slanting lateral incisions are made at about the level where the neck changes direction. The flaps, thus created, are transposed such that the incision becomes an elongated Z with the transverse portion at the angle of the neck directional change. This transverse portion, therefore, blends in with creases that are generally already present. The vertical portions tend to also disappear.
We like you to have stopped all anti-inflammatory meds like aspirin, Aleve and Advil, and any other anticoagulant or Vitamin-E for 1-2 weeks before the surgery and to remain off them for 1-week post-op. You should also refrain from any straining or vigorous activity for 3-4 days post op. In males, there are sutures that need to come out in 4-7 days since buried sutures interfere with beard growth. After that, you can return to normal activities. There is some swelling for about a month or so. Scar redness also fades after about a month or so but can be hidden with camouflage make-up.
You’ll be able to see your results as soon as the dressings are removed, but you will have residual swelling across the area. This can last on and off for up to six months before it fully resolves. As your swelling resolves, your results will become more evident and they will be very satisfying.
The changes made by Dr. Buchanan are permanent. He’ll tighten the skin, remove unwanted fatty deposits, and remove the neck banding involved with the platysma muscle. These are long-lasting results; your neck skin will never sag and become loose to the same degree again. Of course, nothing can stop the aging process, but future loosening will start from a much younger position. Generally, our patients can expect great results from our neck lifts for 10-15 years and longer.
Any time an incision is made a scar is created; it’s just part of the healing process. With these procedures, Dr. Buchanan’s plastic surgery training becoming board-certified, expertise, and experience come into play, as he is able to close the incisions in such a way that they generally become inconspicuous over time. All the incisions will have a small crust for a week or so and then will be red for a few months The incision under the chin, if that is what is used, becomes almost invisible when the red fades.
Neck lifts are major surgery, so they involve all of the risks inherent with any surgery: reaction to anesthesia, excessive bleeding, poor wound healing, infection, and the like. Thanks to Dr. Buchanan’s extensive experience these are all exceedingly rare. There can also very rarely be a nerve injury, although this is typically temporary. As long as you follow Dr. Buchanan’s recovery instructions, these are low-risk procedures.