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Neck Lifts (Cont’d.)

necklift-imageAs we age, our skin begins to lose that youthful firmness and elasticity. Soon it begins to sag and droop. Many of us turn to various facelift procedures to correct this telltale sign of aging. But what happens when it is not your face that is sagging, but your neck?

At the Eye and Face Center in Denver, Colorado, Dr. Fante has cheered many people who have come to him full of dismay at the way their face is behaving. One of his statements that cheers people most quickly is that it isn’t their face causing trouble, it’s their neck.

Our necks are one of the first areas on our body that show our age. This is because the skin on our necks generally has less fat under it to maintain a ‘plump’ look. For others, fat accumulates in the neck, adding to the appearance of “turkey neck”. And while many of us are very careful to exfoliate, moisturize, and apply sunblock to our faces, we often neglect our neck in this routine. For those who have lost significant amounts of weight, the neck is often one of the first areas to begin sagging.

Fortunately, a necklift can restore the youthful appearance of skin in this area, getting rid of loose hanging skin, excess skin, fat or band lines.

Three variations on the necklift procedure

  • Liposuction
  • Cervicoplasty
  • Platysmaplasty
Dr. Fante will decide which individual procedure, or combination of procedures, is best for you, depending on the results you wish to achieve.

1. Liposuction

Necklifts generally begin with liposuction to remove unwanted excess fat.

  • Dr. Fante will make an incision below the chin.
  • He’ll remove excess fat using a tube with an opening near its blunt end (a cannula) that breaks up the fat and ‘vacuums’ it out
  • Your neck and head will be gently wrapped in an elastic bandage to reduce swelling and discomfort. This is normally removed the day following surgery, and replaced with another bandage that must be worn every evening for two weeks
  • Your stitches will be removed within seven days, unless your surgeon used dissolvable stitches.
During recovery, your neck, jaw, and ears may be bruised and swollen for up to ten days. Dr. Fante may ask you to keep your head elevated during this period and will likely suggest sleeping with two pillows.

To manage pain and discomfort and reduce the chances of infection, Dr. Fante will prescribe oral pain medication and antibiotics. You will follow specific dietary guidelines and limit your physical activity until Dr. Fante says you can resume normal activities.

The beautiful results of this liposuction necklift procedure can be best appreciated three to six months after surgery.

2. Cervicoplasty

Cervicoplasty removes excess skin, often caused by sagging, aging skin or weight loss.

  • Dr. Fante first makes an incision under your chin or behind your ears, or sometimes in both locations
  • Dr. Fante then lifts the skin, removes any excess, and uses permanent stitches or a special glue to secure it in its new position.
  • To reduce swelling and discomfort, Dr. Fante will apply a bandage and tape to the incision locations, and an elastic bandage to your neck and head.
For up to ten days, you will have bruising and swelling of your neck, jaw, and ears. As with liposuction recovery, you will be asked to keep your head elevated for up to ten days and to restrict physical activity until Dr. Fante gives you the go-ahead to resume normal activities.

3. Platysmaplasty

Platysmaplasty reduces bands around the neck that are due to the loss of elasticity that comes with aging skin, sun damage, and the force of gravity.

  • Incisions are made under the chin and behind the ears, or in just one location
  • Dr. Fante removes or realigns specific neck muscles with a very tiny instrument, tightening the middle area of the neck
  • These muscles are permanently sutured to maintain them in the best position
  • To reduce swelling and discomfort, bandages or tape are applied across the chin and behind the ears, and an elastic bandage is wrapped around your neck and head
As with liposuction and other necklift procedures described here, you should expect some swelling and bruising during the first ten days afterwards. Dr. Fante will prescribe oral pain medications and antibiotics to fight infection. Limit your physical activity until your surgeon tells you it is safe to resume normal activities.

Necklifts are commonly performed in combination with other procedures, such as forehead lifts, facelifts or blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery).

Where Do Surgeons Perform Necklifts?

Neck-lifts performed by board-certified plastic surgeons such as Dr. Fante most commonly take place in the doctor’s office, perhaps in an outpatient surgery center or sometimes in a hospital under local or general anesthesia. If your surgeon is performing more than one neck-lift procedure, your surgery time could last several hours, but usually this procedure does not involve staying overnight.

With today’s advanced surgical technology, necklifts can be performed endoscopically, using instruments that visually guide Dr. Fante through the procedure. With endoscopic procedures, your surgeon will use smaller incisions, reducing the need for general anesthesia. This means less bruising and a faster recovery process for you.

Do Necklifts Have Complications and Risks?

All surgeries carry some risk or possible complications due to infection or reaction to anesthesia. With a necklift procedure, you may experience:

  • Numbness
  • Excess scar tissue
  • Bruising
  • Puckering of the skin
Most complications can be avoided by carefully following Dr. Fante’s instructions for self-care, both before your necklift and afterwards. Dr. Fante would first explain your procedure to make sure you understood what to expect, before, during and after it. Necklifts are not something to rush into in a semi-educated frame of mind. If you would like to know more about the ways necklifts could be done for you, please call or email our office and we can set you up with an initial consultation. Our staff is ready to welcome you to our comfortable facility.


Could I have other procedures done at the same time?
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How is eyelid surgery done on Asian eyes?
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