Necklift plastic surgery can be performed in a variety of ways, depending on the needs of the individual. Three possible neck-lift procedures include: liposuction, cervicoplasty, and platysmaplasty.
The superficial neck anatomy is composed of three layers: skin, muscle, and fat. The three surgeries involved in a necklift correct age-related changes in these three layers. The 3 surgeries, the Platysmaplasty (surgery for the muscle called the platysma), the Cervicoplasty (surgery for the excess skin), and Liposuction (surgery for the excess fat), are all completely different surgeries with different risks and downtime. Your surgeon will discuss with you which surgeries you need.
Often patients complain of a “turkey waddle.” This is also sometimes referred to as “bands” in the neck. The issue here involves a thin muscle layer in your neck that is beneath the skin and fat called the platysma. With age, the platysma can separate. These sections then begin to bow out from the neck and create vertical ‘bands” or a turkey waddle when the section is large.Your surgeon may recommend surgery, which involves making cuts under your chin or behind your ears or both to access a neck muscle called the platysma. Sometimes, that may even mean removing some muscle.
You and your surgeon will discuss what type of anesthesia to use, depending on your level of comfort. If you want to remain asleep during the procedure, you should request general anesthesia. Otherwise, your surgeon can perform this procedure in the office with the use local anesthesia/tumescent anesthesia with oral sedation It’s up to you, however, to make that choice. Keep in mind that general anesthesia is always a risk and increases the price of the procedure considerably.
Botox injections can relax parts of the platysma that are responsible for the “band” appearance or look of fullness. Those injections can be done in 15 minutes in the office. These injections can sometimes improve the fullness enough to delay surgery and are often used after surgery to maintain the sculpted neck appearance.
Sometimes there is increased fat in the neck contributing to or causing neck fullness. During liposuction, your surgeon will make a small cut below your chin and remove excess fat. With most lower facelifts and Necklifts, it is very common for the cosmetic surgeon to begin with liposuction. Liposuction alone is sometimes all that is needed to improve neck contour, especially in younger patients. You will be able to determine this with your doctor during your consultation.
When there is too much skin on the neck, this will need to be removed. Your surgeon will trim parts of the skin and lift it into place, securing it with tissue glue or stitches behind the ears. This is known as a cervicoplasty. It takes about two to four hours, depending on the complexity of your procedure. Again, your type of anesthesia will depend on your own personal comfort level. If there is significant laxity, a lower facelift may be recommended which is an extension of the surgery into the lower face along the front of the ears which will allow for better results.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Retief to discuss your options.