Neck Lift, or platysmaplasty, is a procedure that repairs the muscles in the neck. This procedure would be beneficial to those who feel that their neck has aged prematurely or for those who have recently lost a considerable amount of weight, resulting in loose skin.
If you feel self conscious about your neck and would like the skin to be firmer and to appear younger, this is a procedure you should consider. All candidates must be in good health with no pre-existing medical conditions. It is also suggested that patients who smoke cut back considerably to promote faster healing. In many cases a neck lift is paired with a face lift, but both can be performed separately.
The procedure itself typically takes two to three hours to complete. Incisions will be made either under or behind the ear and also under the chin. Once the incisions have been made, a section of fat muscle will be removed and the ends brought together at the front of the neck. The skin can also be tightened around the ears to give the neck a firmer appearance. Depending on the surgeon, either a suture, mesh, or AlloDerm suspension will be used to keep the neck tight and "waddle free".
Your neck will most likely feel tight and very tender after surgery. Bruising and swelling should also be expected. You may notice sporadic tingling and "pulling" as well but that should reside within a couple of days. It is recommended that you not move your head from side to side during the first week; if you must move, move your whole body. Your neck will have a dressing in place that will need to be kept dry for about two weeks. Once the dressing is removed you will notice scarring on the neck. The scars will be firm and pink and will take around six weeks to fade, but in some cases can take up to two years. It is advised that you do not do any strenuous activity for at least 21 days after surgery. Recovery time takes about three to four weeks on average.
A neck lift is a safe and common procedure, but there are risks. The most common side effects include asymmetry, hematoma or seroma, lumpiness, and relapse of the skin on the neck. Numbness occurs occasionally but in most cases it ceases within a few weeks. It is important to avoid alcohol and products containing aspirin for a week after surgery because they have anti-platelet properties that may result in bleeding.
The results of neck lift are very natural. After recovery, most patients are pleased to see that they appear younger and/or have lost weight. The neck will appear slimmer, with a reduction of fat, and the skin around the jaw line will be firm. Patients should have realistic expectations for their results, but most are pleased with their decision to have the procedure.