Anesthesia is Administered
The first step of the neck lift procedure is to administer the anesthesia. This will be either general anesthesia, which puts you to sleep for the duration of the surgery, or local anesthesia with sedation, which numbs the area and relaxes you.
Our surgeon will discuss which type of anesthesia is best for you based on your health and preferences. Typically, general anesthesia is used for neck lift surgery, which an anesthesiologist administers.
The Incisions are Made
Once unconscious or sedated, the next step is to make the incisions. There are two types of neck lift incisions.
The first type is called a submental incision, which is made underneath the chin. This approach gives the surgeon access to the deeper structures of the neck and jawline. The other is a posterior incision, which is made behind the ears. This approach allows the surgeon to tighten the skin and muscles of the neck.
The type and placement of your incisions will depend on the extent of work being done and your anatomy. In some cases, incisions may be made just behind the hairline and extend down in front of or behind the ear. In other cases, an incision may be made only along the front of the ear.
Excess Skin and Fat are Removed
Once the incisions have been made, the surgeon will remove any excess skin and fat in the area. This will help to create a smoother and more youthful appearance. In this process, the surgeon will also reposition the underlying tissue and muscles, if necessary. The surgeon will make minor, precise cuts and sew the tissue with dissolvable stitches.
The Muscles Are Tightened
The next step is to tighten the muscles in the neck. This will help further to improve the appearance of the neck and jawline. The surgeon will make an incision in the front of the neck, just below the chin. Then, they will tighten the muscles in the neck and secure them with stitches. The skin is then closed with staples or stitches.
The Skin is Stretched
After the muscles have been tightened, the skin will be stretched and redraped over the new contours of the neck. The skin incision will be closed with fine sutures in a layered fashion. The skin closure is done meticulously to ensure that the incisions are well hidden. A sterile dressing and light compression bandage will be applied.
The Incisions Are Closed
The final step is to close the incisions. This will be done with either stitches or skin adhesives. The neck lift procedure usually takes about two to three hours. You will likely be able to go home the same day as your surgery.
Recovery From Neck Lift Surgery
After your neck lift surgery, you will need to take it easy for the first few days. You will likely have some bruising and swelling in the area, gradually improving over time.
Most people can return to work and other normal activities within two weeks. However, it may take several months for the full results of your surgery to be visible. Therefore, following your surgeon's instructions during the recovery period is essential to ensure a successful outcome. Here are some tips for a smooth recovery:
|•||Rest in an upright position for the first few days after surgery. This will help minimize swelling and improve drainage.
|•||Apply ice packs to your neck for 20 minutes several times daily. This will help reduce swelling and pain.
|•||Avoid strenuous activity or bending over for at least two weeks.
|•||Take pain medication as prescribed by your surgeon.
|•||Wear a compression garment or elastic bandage around your neck for at least two weeks. This will help reduce swelling and support the skin as it heals.
|•||Keep your head elevated when you sleep for the first week or two.
|•||Avoid exposure to the sun or intense heat for at least six weeks.|
Following these tips will help you recover quickly and enjoy the results of your neck lift surgery.
Risks and Complications of Neck Lift Surgery
As with any surgery, neck lift surgery has some risks and complications. While serious complications are rare, patients must be made aware before the procedure. Some of the more common risks and complications include:
|•||Infection: Infection is a rare but possible complication following any surgery. If you develop an infection after your neck lift, it will likely require additional treatment with antibiotics.
|•||Bleeding: Bleeding is also a rare but possible complication following surgery. If you have significant bleeding, it may require a transfusion.
|•||Nerve damage: Nerve damage is a risk with any surgery but is particularly common in procedures that involve cutting or manipulating the skin and tissues around the neck. This can cause numbness, tingling, or weakness in the affected area. In most cases, this is temporary and will resolve on its own. However, in some cases, the nerve damage may be permanent.
|•||Scarring: Scarring is a common complication following any surgery. The extent of your scarring will depend on the type of incisions used during your surgery. In most cases, the scars will be hidden by your hairline or clothing. However, some patients may be concerned about visible scarring.
|•||Asymmetry: Asymmetry is a possible complication following neck lift surgery. This means that the two sides of your face or neck may not look the same after the procedure.|
However, these risks can be significantly minimized by choosing an experienced and reputable surgeon like Dr. Jack Krajekian and Dr. John Brock at The Facial Center.
If you are considering neck lift surgery, be sure to consult us at 304-205-6123 or visit our office. We will be able to answer any questions you may have and help you decide if this surgery is right for you.