Neck Lifts

A neck lift is an operation aimed at removing flaccid skin from the submandibular and upper region of the neck, as well as tightening up the deep tissues in this area.   It recreates the cervico-mandibular angle.  Excess submentonian fat (double chin) can be removed at the same time.

This double chin together with flaccidity are well known sign of ageing.  It is easy to find relatively young people who look older because of excess skin and fat on their necks. 
Where patients who are having a neck lift because of substantial flaccidity also have a double chin  liposuction is recommended.  Sometimes there is no fat and flaccidity is effectively resolved just with a neck lift.

+info about neck lifts

What is a neck lift?

A neck lift is an operation aimed at removing flaccid skin from the submandibular and upper region of the neck, together with tightening up the deep tissues in this area.
 
It recreates the cervico-mandibular angle. Excess submentonian fat (double chin) can be removed at the same time.

Who needs it?

This double chin together with flaccidity is a sign of ageing. It is easy to find relatively young people who look older than their biological age.
 
Where patients who are having a neck lift because of substantial flaccidity also have a double chin  liposuction is recommended.
 
Sometimes there is no fat and the flaccidity is effectively resolved just with a neck lift.

Anaesthesia

The operation can be carried out with local anaesthetic supported by sedation.  Some patients opt to have a general anaesthetic.

Technique

Incisions are made behind the ears.  These can be extended into the scalp behind the ears, depending on how flaccid the skin on the neck is.   The submandibular skin is peeled back, allowing access to the muscle and aponeurotic system, which is also dissected and strengthened.
 
The excess skin is cut off.  The remaining skin must be stitched using delicate stitches that are not under tension to achieve imperceptible scars.
 
 A neck lift may be required to reduce the banded appearance of the neck (turkey wattle neck) to either remove a portion of the platysma muscles or realign them.  Normally access to this area is made through a 3 centimetre incision below the chin.

Duration of the operation.

Approximately one and a half hours.

Recuperation

Recuperation is not painful.  Patients report discomfort and tightness.  Bandages are removed after 24 hours and are replaced by a compression dressing (an elastic band) to accommodate the tissues in their new position and contain the oedema. This is kept in place for a week.  There may be some ecchymosis (bruising) but this will disappear between the 7th and 10th day.

What are the risks?

There is a risk of infection in any surgical operation.  There is also sometimes an accumulation of blood below the skin that was peeled back (a haematoma) which must be removed to prevent fibrosis, hardness and retraction in the area operated on.  We must not confuse this accumulation of blood with bluish stains (ecchymosis or bruising) that almost always appear after any operation. 
Nerve damage is infrequent, but may occur when dissection is made through a plane other than that intended. This normally occurs when the surgeon's view is obscured as a result of substantial bleeding. 
Patients who smoke may lose some of the skin behind their ears due to alterations in microcirculation which make it more difficult for scars to heal.

Advice

Do not take aspirin for a week before the operation. It is helpful to take vitamin A, E and C supplements for two weeks before the operation.  Patients who smoke must try to reduce their smoking as much as possible a month before surgery. 
After the operation a cold pack applied to the area operated on and a compression dressing enormously reduces the oedema.

Frequently asked questions regarding neck lifts.

Is it possible to improve the appearance of the neckline with a neck lift?
A neck lift does not improve the skin on the neck.