The neck is very susceptible to aging, but unfortunately, it does not usually receive the same care and attention as the facial skin. This lack of preventative attention can cause the skin on the neck and jawline to sag prematurely. While this condition is most common in men and women in their 40’s and 50’s, it can affect people at different ages, depending on their genes and lifestyle. If you suffer from sagging skin on your neck and chin or a drooping jawline and want to restore the youthful contours of your neck and jaw, you may want to consider a neck lift. Dr. Douglas S. Steinbrech, M.D., F.A.C.S., is an award-winning plastic and reconstructive surgeon based in New York City who offers his expertise in this area of facial cosmetic surgery. Dr. Steinbrech is among the top plastic surgeons in New York, and offers patients expert neck lift surgery and natural-looking results.
What Is a Neck Lift?
Loss of elasticity and collagen that occurs with age can cause excess skin to accumulate in the neck, jaw, and chin area. A neck lift is an effective surgical solution to sagging skin in these areas. Loose skin on the neck, excess fat under the chin, and jowl formation are all normal signs of aging, but these aesthetic issues can appear earlier in some people than others. The neck lift procedure corrects these symptoms and creates a tighter, more youthful look to the neck, jawline and chin. Not only will a neck lift rejuvenate and restore aging tissues, it can help to slow down the aging process as well.
What are the Neck Lift Candidacy Requirements?
Ideal candidates for neck lift surgery include men and women who are not ready for a full facelift, but wish to correct sagging skin in the neck and jaw areas so that it matches the youthfulness of their facial skin.
Neck lift is only performed on people who are healthy, do not smoke, and have realistic expectations for the outcome of the surgery. A neck lift is not an alternative to weight loss, but if you have lost weight recently and are within your ideal weight, a neck lift can be beneficial in re-contouring your neck and jawline, as weight loss sometimes causes sagging skin.
Your consultation with Dr. Douglas Steinbrech includes a face-to-face meeting to discuss your surgical goals, any medical conditions, current medications, and any past surgeries. This discussion will include an evaluation of your general health and any risk factors.
Next, Dr. Steinbrech will examine and measure your face, take photographs, and discuss your options for neck rejuvenation. He will recommend the best course of action for treatment and discuss the surgical method and the type of anesthesia that will be used.
The Neck Lift Procedure
A neck lift is performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. Depending on the patient, a traditional neck lift incision or limited incision is used.
The traditional neck lift incision starts at the hairline near the sideburn and goes down towards the ear. If needed, neck tissue is repositioned and fat in the jowls is redistributed. Any excess skin is trimmed away.
Another technique that may be used is neck liposuction. This method is typically used when the problem is a double chin, or excess fat in the jowls. An additional incision is often needed underneath the chin when Dr. Steinbrech uses this method.
A limited incision neck lift only requires a small incision around the ear. This procedure makes shorter incisions than with the traditional neck lift method, so results may not be as dramatic. Your surgeon will go over which technique will be used during your consultation.
What to Expect the Day of Surgery
Most neck lift surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis. Make sure you have planned in advance for a friend or family member to take you to and from your appointment on the day of surgery. Depending on the type of anesthesia used, you will be released approximately two hours after your surgery is completed.
When in the recovery room, it is normal to feel a tight soreness around your neck. Our nurses will be standing by to provide blankets if you are feeling cold and administer medication if needed to suppress any nausea.
Aftercare & Recovery
Following surgery, swelling and bruising are common, but these symptoms should begin to subside within a few days. Your plastic surgeon will prescribe medications to reduce any discomfort and swelling.
It is generally recommended to keep the head and neck still after surgery. That means sleeping with the head elevated for at least one week. A foam wedge pillow is recommended and can be purchased online or from a surgical supply store.
Taking it easy is the key to recovery. Try not to do too much too soon. Avoid heavy lifting and bending over for at least two weeks after surgery. Walking around the house a few times a day will help boost circulation and prevent blood clots. It is important to follow all of Dr. Steinbrech’s instructions carefully during recovery to promote optimal healing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, patients often opt for a neck lift as a standalone procedure, especially when the skin in the middle of the neck is drooping. Getting a neck lift alone can produce very natural results and appear as though the patient has just lost weight or just looks more refreshed. Your cosmetic surgeon will discuss your options with you to achieve the results you desire.
Scarring is typically minimal and hidden under the chin, but depending on the technique used they can be longer and more visible. Choosing a reputable board certified surgeon is crucial to making sure any scarring is as minimal as possible.
Neck lift results can last many years depending on your age and lifestyle following surgery. For younger, healthy patients the effects can last up to a decade. Other patients continue to see results of the procedure for up to five years or more.
About two weeks after surgery, you should see most of the initial swelling and bruising go away. At this point, patients should begin to see the results of the surgery. Depending on the patient, any additional swelling can take a couple months to completely subside. Your surgeon will give you medication and instructions to follow for proper healing and the fastest recovery possible.
Choosing a cosmetic surgeon is the most important part of the neck lift surgery process. First, it’s important to do the research and make sure the surgeons you are considering are board certified and specialize in the areas you would like to treat. Second, take a look at the work they have done in the past. Make sure the results are similar to what you are looking to achieve for yourself.
Dr. Douglas S. Steinbrech, M.D., F.A.C.S., is a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon. A true industry leader, his work has been featured all over the media including Forbes, The Huffington Post, Business Insider, and many others. Dr. Steinbrech has written ten peer-reviewed publications and has co-authored forty others. He ranks among the top 10 plastic surgeons in New York City and was named one of America’s Top Plastic Surgeons by the Consumers’ Research Council of America. Call today at (347) 983-9560 to discuss your needs and schedule your neck lift consultation today.