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Neck Lift

What is a Neck Lift?

neck lift denver | neck lift surgeryNeck Lifts tighten sagging skin on the neck and improves muscle integrity and banding. This lifting of the neck creates a more youthful look by improving the jawline and removing a “turkey neck”. Neck lifts are often sought by people who are aware of disproportionate aging of the neck, or who have had facelifts previously, and are noticing some recurrence of sagging neck skin. A neck lift doesn’t have any effect on the cheeks, although it will tighten your jawline.

  • The incisions are smaller than those for a full face lift
  • It’s a good procedure to correct the effects of gravity, sun exposure, and aging at the neck when they are more noticeable or more bothersome than the aging of the face
  • Most often, it’s done for people between the ages of 40 and 60, but can be done very successfully for people much older

Neck lifts can be performed alone, but are often performed at the same time as eyelid surgery, since so many people notice aging changes in both places at once.  It can also be done in conjunction with other procedures such as:

  • Liposuction underneath the chin, where a pad of fat tends to grow as we age
  • Chin implants, which give the lower face more bony definition and often improve the profile of the neck as well

Am I good candidate for a Neck Lift?

You are a good candidate, if you’re:

  • Over 30
  • In good general health
  • Realistic in your expectations of the outcome

Can I have other procedures performed at the same time?

A Neck Lift is often done in conjunction with other procedures, such as:

You can ask Dr. Fante about combinations you’d like to have, and discuss the possibilities before anything is done.

What can I expect during the procedure?necklift-image

A necklift is an outpatient procedure. You can go home the same day, so make arrangements ahead of time for somebody to drive you home.

  • An incision is made inside the front of each ear. It runs below the ear and then behind it.  Another incision is usually needed just below the chin.
  • The skin is lifted up and back toward the ear, and anchored with sutures
  • The neck muscles are tightened
  • Excess skin is removed, leaving the repositioned skin looking and feeling youthfully firm and snug
  • Sometimes special stitches called suspension sutures are placed under the skin; they run up behind the ear and help keep the neck tissue lifted

What sort of anesthetic is used for a Neck Lift?

A neck lift can be done with either a local anesthetic combined with some IV sedation, or with general anesthesia. Dr. Fante will discuss this with you.

What can I expect during recovery?

Dr. Fante will give you written instructions for your recovery period. He’ll also prescribe an antibiotic for a short period and a pain medication.

  • Your lower face and upper neck will be wrapped in dressings and in a spandex garment when you leave the surgery center
  • You’ll use ice packs for the first day or two
  • Rest at home, but you don’t need to stay in bed all the time
  • You can shower and wash your hair two days after surgery
  • There’s usually not much pain but you’ll be given a prescription for pain medication just in case
  • You’ll be asked to wear the spandex neck garment, and to sleep with your head elevated, for the first week. Use pillows to prevent your head from turning while you sleep
  • Swelling and bruising subside within the first few weeks and meanwhile can be concealed with special camouflage makeup
  • Avoid vigorous physical activity such as prolonged bending, heavy lifting, and sexual activity, for at least 2 weeks.  In addition, use alcohol only sparingly for the first two weeks.
  • Most people feel a little tired but pretty well overall, and can take a walk or go out (perhaps with sunglasses and a hat!) within the first few days – be patient with yourself!
  • Don’t use any of these things for 3 weeks:
    • Tobacco products (including nicotine gum and patches)
    • Aspirin
    • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents
    • Vitamin E
  • Most people return to work after 10 to 14 days.

Will there be any scarring?

All incisions leave scars. The unknowns are: where will the scars be, how visible, and how large? For a necklift, incisions are placed near the ears, so the small residual scars can be easily covered by your hair. If you have liposuction done under the chin, there’ll be a small incision there as well.

We’re all different when it comes to scarring, and it’s partly determined by our heredity. Some of us form small, faded scars rather easily. Others form larger, more pigmented scars. This is not easily predictable.

However, any over-large scars can be treated by minor follow-up surgery.

Dr. Fante makes the incisions as small as possible, and as discreetly placed as possible, for the best overall outcome for you. Each necklift is individualized, and you can discuss scarring questions with Dr. Fante before any procedure is started.

When will I see results?

  • The final results may not be apparent for several months
  • There’ll be a discreet scar, easily hidden by your hair. Remember that we all scar in individual ways, and the exact appearance of the scar isn’t fully predictable
  • After you recover, you’ll look more youthful and rested. Gradually as you continue to age over the next few years, the tissues will relax.  You’ll look better than you would have without the surgery for about 10 years.

Schedule a consultation

If you are interested in a neck lift, contact our Denver office today! Call (303) 839-1616 to schedule a consultation with facial plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Fante.

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