As we age our skin tends to lose its elasticity and starts to wrinkle and sag. This course of nature strips away that youthful bounce. The neck tends to show drastic signs of ageing and can make one appear much more aged. Some of the common signs of ageing shown in the neck area include; skin laxity, sagging, drooping skin and wrinkles. These signs can cause the neck to resemble a turkey’s wattle and can look unappealing.
A neck lift is a surgical cosmetic procedure that can intervene and correct these signs of ageing. A neck lift reduces sagging, wrinkles and skin laxity – resulting in a firm, plump and youthful neck region. This procedure is also known to have high satisfactory results from patients in terms of achieving desired results. A neck lift can take away years from one’s visage, enhancing their youthful appearance. This not only makes them look good but also feel good.
- Expectations – during the consultancy, the patient is prompted to express their desired expectations with the surgeon and discuss its possibilities. Showing pictures of desired results is more helpful in reaching a consensus.
- Medical history – the physician will ask the patient about their past-medical history as well as family history to ensure that they are eligible to undergo the surgery. Patients with blood disorders are advised not to undergo this procedure as they are at higher risk.
- Photography – a professional will take before and after pictures in different angles to record the change made due to the procedure. The patient may also be provided with a photoshopped picture before the surgery to have realistic expectations.
- Smoking – the patient is strictly advised to avoid smoking a week before the procedure as it can affect the surgery and healing process.
- Medications – after reviewing the patient’s medical history, the physician may ask the patient to stop consumption of certain medicines. They include – aspirin, immunosuppressants, anti-inflammatory medicine, herbal capsules, blood thinners and other anti-coagulants.
- Care – the patient will be asked to arrange for driven transport as they cannot drive post-surgery. It is also advisable to have someone at home to help a few days during recovery.
- Standard neck lift:
A neck lift is typically performed under general anaesthesia. The surgeon begins by making incisions along the marked areas. For a standard neck lift, the incisions are made on each sideburn (hairline) from ear to ear. A separate incision is made under the chin, this promotes better muscle healing post-procedure and provides easy access for other combination procedures. The surgeon then proceeds to tighten and anchor the muscles, along with trimming any excess tissue. Once desired results are achieved, the surgeon closes the incision using sutures. The patient may need to wear a neck bandage to protect the sutures from re-opening.
A neck lift can be combined with other procedures like liposuction, chin lift, botox, fillers etc for optimal results.
A standard neck lift is a permanent procedure that has longer-lasting results. However, the skin will naturally continue to age.
- Endoscopic neck lift:
A neck lift is typically performed under general anaesthesia. The surgeon begins by making incisions along the marked areas. An endoscopic neck lift or laparoscopic neck lift is minimally invasive when compared to other techniques. This technique involves making two to four small incisions across the sideburns and using thin probes to complete the procedure.
The probe contains a tiny camera and light which helps the surgeon to navigate via the incision. The instrument used then is inserted into the other incision, The surgeon then proceeds to tighten and anchor the muscles, along with trimming any excess tissue. Once desired results are achieved, the surgeon closes the incision using sutures or clips.
A laparoscopic neck lift is a more advanced method and can be combined along with liposuction to achieve more effective results.
Risks & recovery
- Downtime – the patient can resume normal activities in 7 to 14 days, depending on the technique used.
- Activities – there should be minimal mouth, jaw or neck movement for the first few days into recovery. Swimming, gymming or any strenuous exercise should be avoided until prompted by the surgeon.
- Diet – the physician may recommend a liquid diet consumed through a straw to avoid jaw movement for the first few days.
- Attire – the patient is advised to wear loose, button-down clothing to avoid tugging and pulling.
- Scarring – depending on the technique used, there may be visible scarring. This can be reduced using laser resurfacing or concealed using makeup.
- Sensation – there may be partial loss of sensation after complete healing. This can cause temporary or permanent numbness around the treated area.
- General risks – surgical procedures may cause redness, bruising, bleeding, scarring and infection.
- Rest – the patient is advised to take complete rest to promote fast healing.
- Ice & compression – the wound should be compressed with an ice pack to reduce swelling.
- Elevation – the patient is advised to sleep in an upright and elevated position. This reduces swelling and avoids any tugging or pulling.
- Smoking – the patient is strictly advised to avoid smoking for up to two weeks post-treatment. Smoking can interfere with blood flow and can cause problems with healing.
- Alcohol – the patient is advised to avoid alcohol consumption for a few days as it can counteract with medications prescribed for aftercare.
- Medicines – the surgeon may prescribe painkillers and antibiotics. They can be a combination of tablets as well as topical treatments. These medicines need to be used promptly as prescribed by the physician.
- Makeup – makeup can be used to conceal any prolonged bruising and scars post-recovery.