Age, heredity and simple gravity can take their toll on the appearance of the face and neck. In the neck, individuals may develop excess fat deposits and excess or sagging skin which many refer to as a “turkey neck” or “turkey wattle”. Neck “banding” may also develop when the neck muscle separates, forming vertical bands beneath the skin. The necklift is a plastic surgery procedure which can address these concerns for a tighter, more youthful neck contour. Individuals who are looking to improve excess neck fat, neck skin and/or neck banding may be good candidates for the necklift.
These aging signs may be present in combination or separately. As such, the surgery is individualized for each patient to address their specific concerns. The necklift is often performed on its own but it may also be combined with a full facelift. It is important that isolated necklifts only be performed on patients with aging changes that are limited to the neck otherwise the rejuvenated neck may appear unnatural or obvious against the aging face.
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Dr. Greaney of the Breslow Center for Plastic Surgery typically performs the necklift in an operating room setting under sedation or general anesthesia. Procedures involving just liposuction to the neck can be performed in a minor procedure room setting with local anesthesia. The neck lift typically takes one to three hours to perform. Incisions are made in the crease beneath the chin and occasionally behind each ear. Working through the incisions, excess fat is removed with liposuction or, less commonly, with direct excision. Neck banding is addressed by suturing the muscle back together in the midline and, if necessary, tightening the muscle by pulling it back behind the ear. If excess skin is present, it is removed from behind the ear. Recovery from the necklift takes approximately seven to ten days. Patients often experience a “tight” feeling in the neck, but this generally resolves within a few weeks. Discomfort or pain can be alleviated with pain medication. Swelling and bruising are common but will also fade within a few weeks. An ace wrap or neck garment is worn for up to seven days and non-dissolvable stitches are removed after one week. Most patients are able to resume their normal routine after seven to ten days. The necklift is a very safe procedure but as with any surgical procedure there are potential risks which may include bleeding, infection and a small risk of nerve injury. If you would like more information about necklift procedures, contact our Paramus, New Jersey office today.