Loose and sagging skin in the neck is one of the tell-tale signs of aging that is difficult to treat with non-surgical methods. Fatty jowls and a “turkey wattle” appearance frequently add to a person’s age, making them look older than they feel.
A neck lift is a surgical procedure designed to tighten sagging skin and muscles as well as remove unwanted fat in the neck. It helps to improve the contour of the jawline and slim the neck contour, giving a more youthful appearance. This procedure is also routinely combined with facelift surgery and fat grafting, in order to create a comprehensive transformation of the face and enhance facial harmony.
You may be a good candidate if you feel that you:
- Have a “turkey wattle” making you appear much older than you feel
- Feel that you have a fat neck and double chin
- Have lost the definition of your jawline and you want it restored
- Have excess skin bands, wrinkles, and creases in your neck
- Tightens both skin and muscle in the neck
- Removes unwanted double chin fat
- Greatly improves your neck contour and sharpens your jawline
- Provides you with a natural and more youthful profile
- Well concealed scars
- Improved self-confidence
Before the Procedure
During your initial consultation, Calgary plastic surgeon Jonathan Lee, MD, FRCSC will perform a thorough evaluation of your face and neck. He will determine if you are a good candidate for a neck lift and make a recommendation tailored to your specific goals. Pre-treatment photos will be taken and any potential risks and complications will also be discussed.
If only fat is being removed and your skin quality and tone is good, liposuctionalone may be sufficient. A more extensive procedure is required if you have any of the following:
- “Turkey wattle”
- “Sagging skin”
- “Prominent neck muscle bands (platysma bands)”
Dr. Jonathan Lee (MD, FRCSC) is an experienced, Canadian and New York fellowship-trained Plastic Surgeon based in Calgary. Well-established, he is board certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and specializes in both cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.
- Neck lift surgery can be done under either general or local anesthesia with sedation.
- The procedure is routinely combined with a facelift in which case the total time is 4 to 5 hours. Eyelid surgery adds an additional 1 hour.
- Incisions are made under the chin as well as around and behind the ears.
- All incisions lie within skin creases or in the hair so as to be barely perceptible once healed.
- The neck muscle (platysma) is sewn tight
- Excess skin is gently pulled back and trimmed away
- The double chin fat is removed to create a more angular jawline and neckline
- Incisions are closed with tiny stitches and a neck compression dressing is applied
After the Surgery
Patients may experience mild pain along the lower face and neck. Dr. Lee will prescribe you a pain reliever. After the first week, Tylenol is usually sufficient for any discomfort.
Immediately after surgery you will have swelling and bruising. Your neck will also feel tight and numb. This is normal. The majority of the bruising and swelling resolves over several weeks but residual swelling and numbness may continue for several months following the surgery. A night-time neck compression garment can be used to speed the process.
For the first two weeks following the operation, the patient should have their head elevated when sleeping and avoid tilting their head down or moving it from side-to-side.
Dr. Lee will typically see you one week after the surgery to remove any stitches. At this time, he will also provide you with detailed scar care instructions. The next visits will be after 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months and 1 year.
It is important to note that neck lift surgery creates lasting elegant results but it does not stop the aging process. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and skin care regimen are strongly recommended to help patients get the most longevity out of their surgery results.
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