As we age, our skin loses its elasticity and begins to sag or droop. This natural process, along with gravitational forces, makes the neck a common area of dissatisfaction for patients. Many patients present with complaints of “having too much skin in my neck” or “it looks like I have a turkey gobbler.” A neck lift, also called submentoplasty, is an excellent option for those patients seeking a smoother, more youthful, refined neck appearance. Every patient is different, and depending on their individual presentation, a neck lift can be performed in isolation or coupled with a facelift to provide optimal results.
Dr. Hall takes an individualized approach to each patient. There is no one size fits all model, and this stands true for neck lifts. In younger patients with minimal skin laxity, but significant fat deposition under the chin and anterior neck, liposuction with tightening of the underlying muscle (platysmplasty) is an option. This is accomplished through a small incision under the chin in a natural skin crease which becomes unnoticeable over time.
For patients with more significant skin laxity, small incisions behind the ear and along the hairline are necessary to lift and remove any excess skin. In some patients with severe skin laxity, a direct neck lift may be necessary. In this procedure, an incision is made directly over the redundant skin and any excess skin and fat is excised. The resulting incision is then closed meticulously using scar camouflage techniques, such as a z-plasty or running w-plasty, to minimize the appearance of the resulting scar.
Regardless of which procedure is necessary, a natural, tighter neckline is achievable without noticeable scarring.
Following their neck lift procedure, patients are able to go home the same day. We recommend someone be with the patient for the first 24 hours after surgery. We are happy to arrange for a home nursing service if desired. There will be a dressing in place that is to remain on overnight. There are no surgical drains to worry about, and every patient is seen in the office the following day. At this visit, the dressing is removed, the healing process is examined, incisions cleansed, and wound care is taught. Sutures are removed one week later.
Most patients do not experience significant pain following their procedure. Some neck discomfort and tightness is common. Pain medication is prescribed for pain relief, but most patients are able to wean themselves off in one to two days, taking Tylenol only as needed.
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