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Neck Lift / Lower Rhytidectomy

A neck lift, or lower rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that improves visible signs of aging in the jawline and neck.

  • What is neck lift / lower Rhytidectomy?

    A neck lift, or lower rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that improves visible signs of aging in the jawline and neck such as;

    • Excess fat and skin relaxation in the lower face that creates jowls
    • Excess fatty deposits under the chin
    • Loose neck skin
    • Muscle banding in the neck, which created abnormal contours

    A neck lift offers a smoother and more toned appearance to skin under the chin and neck area that has lost elasticity. An elegant neck contour is not only associated with a youthful appearance, but also with health and vitality. This procedure can be performed for both men and women that result in a younger, more vibrant look – and overall outlook.

    The loss of youthful contours in the face and neck can be due to a variety of factors, including heredity, gravity, environmental conditions, and stress.

    Some people feel they are not ready for a full facelift because the upper face is still pleasing. However, many patients will note excess wrinkling of the neck skin, a "turkey wattle" or double chin, and jowl lines.

    When the neck area doesn't match the upper facial appearance, a neck lift may be a good solution.

  • What neck lift surgery won't do

    As a restorative surgery, a neck lift does not change your fundamental appearance and cannot stop the aging process.

    A neck lift can only be performed surgically; non-surgical rejuvenation treatments cannot achieve the same results, but may help delay the time at which a neck lift becomes appropriate and complement the results of surgery.

  • Neck lift candidates

    In general, good candidates for a neck lift include:

    • Typical patients range between the ages of 30 and 70.
    • Individuals with excess skin under the chin and neck area that has lost elasticity
    • Individuals with excess fat under the chin and neck area
    • Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of surgery.
    • Non-smokers
    • Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic expectations

    For a neck lift through a chin incision, the degree of profile improvement correlates best with skin quality. Therefore, good candidates for neck lift through a chin incision surgery include:

    • Young or middle-aged individuals
    • Individuals with minimal, mild or moderate skin excess
    • Individuals with mild to moderate subplatysmal fat
  • Neck lift recovery

    During your recovery from neck lift surgery, a bandage could gently be placed around your face and neck to minimize swelling and bruising when your procedure is completed.

    A thin tube may be present to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect under the skin.

    You will be given specific instructions that may include how to care for the surgical site and drains, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when to follow up with your plastic surgeon.

    It is important to keep your head elevated above your heart to minimize swelling and to keep your head straight (no excessive twisting or bending of the neck). DO NOT APPLY ICE to the neck as this can compromise blood flow and result in skin death.

    Be sure to ask your neck lift surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period:

    • Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
    • What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
    • Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery?
    • When will they be removed?
    • Are stitches removed? When?
    • When is it safe for me to drive?
    • When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
    • When do I return for follow-up care?
  • Neck lift results

    As you begin to evaluate your neck lift results, please remember that it may take several weeks to months for swelling to fully dissipate and up to six months for incision lines to mature.

    Life-long sun protection and a healthy lifestyle will help extend the results of your rejuvenated, more youthful appearance.

    As swelling and bruising subside, the visible improvements of a neck lift appear. Your final result should not only provide a more youthful and rested appearance, but also help you feel more confident about yourself.

    Although good results are expected from your procedure, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.

    Following your plastic surgeon's instructions is essential to the success of your surgery.

    It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Avoid wearing any clothing that must go over your head. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.

  • Neck lift risks and safety information

    The decision to have a neck lift is extremely personal. You will have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals, and if the risks and potential complications of a neck lift are acceptable.

    All surgical procedures carry some risk. Possible complications from a neck lift include:

    • Swelling and bruising that can last for several days
    • Tightness or tingling and different sensations including burning or pulling
    • Numbness on the skin, which is normal in the first few weeks following surgery
    • Risk of infection (At the first sign of a fever or unusual discharge from the incision site, contact your doctor)
    • Allergic reaction to medications given during or after your surgery (very rare).

    You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks and potential complications.

  • Your neck lift consultation

    During your neck lift surgery consultation be prepared to discuss:

    • Your surgical goals
    • Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
    • Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drug use
    • Previous surgeries

    Your neck lift surgeon will also:

    • Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
    • Discuss your rejuvenation options
    • Examine and measure your face
    • Take photographs
    • Recommend a course of treatment
    • Discuss likely outcomes of a neck lift and any risks or potential complications
    • Discuss the type of anesthesia that will be used
  • Questions to ask your neck lift surgeon

    Use this checklist as a guide during your neck lift surgery consultation:

    • Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
    • What will be expected of me to get the best results?
    • Where and how will you perform my procedure?
    • What surgical technique is recommended for me?
    • How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
    • What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
    • How are complications handled?
    • How can I expect my neck lift to look over time?
    • What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the cosmetic outcome of my neck lift?
    • Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for this procedure and what results are reasonable for me?

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