5 Reasons to Consider a Surgical Neck Lift Over Office-Based Tightening Procedures
In years past, seeing a plastic surgeon for facial rejuvenation often required a commitment to full facial surgery and an extensive recovery. Today, our goals and ability to recover are different. Many patients are more comfortable with localized and focal changes and less dramatic and noticeable transformations.
This has led to an increased demand for office-based procedures to enhance facial appearance attempting to avoid a surgery. Unfortunately, these devices have not lived up to the hype surrounding them. We have tried very hard to critically assess these devices objectively to determine a few things:
- Do they work?
- How much improvement can one expect?
- How long will the treatment last?
- What type of recovery is expected?
While there are a few devices that may result in improvement in selected patients, we do understand that many of our patients are likely not candidates for these “minimally-invasive” procedures. Patients with the following may have to seek surgical alternatives:
- Excessive neck skin or thin inelastic skin
- Prominence to the muscular bands beneath the neck
- Excessive fat associated with loose skin
These patients are better served with a definitive surgical procedure.
Why should you consider a Neck Lift surgery?
- More definitive and predictable result – You really cannot compare the result obtained from a surgical procedure to anything we can achieve with devices in the office. Surgery provides patients with a more predictable result that leads to a greater change for our patients. Surgical results can last 5-10 years depending on the patient and their tissues.
- All the components of the aging neck are addressed with a surgical neck lift – There are 4 things that can contribute to fullness of the neck:
- Loose skin
- Superficial and deep fat
- Prominence to the muscle edges resulting in “banding”
- Enlarged or droopy salivary glands
Did you know? Office based devices often can only address one of these problem areas at a time. Occasionally heat based devices can address loose skin and underlying fat simultaneously but never as aggressively as surgery can. We see patients of all ages request a surgical neck lift.
- More limited scars – A typical neck lift involves an incision that begins at the base of the ear (lobule) and extends behind the ear and back along the hair line. It often involves a small incision under the chin. The incisions behind the ears are nicely hidden by your hair during the recovery phase until they mature. Most of us have an old scar under the chin from a fall we have taken at some point during our childhood. These are easily concealed given their location and how well they heal. There is no stigmata or surgical appearance. Many of our patient’s state that people comment they look “refreshed” or like they lost some “weight”.
- Quicker recovery – Most of our patients are back in public or even at work after 7-10 days. There is minimal swelling associated with the procedure. Occasionally patients can experience bruising in the lower neck that can be covered with camouflage make up or more concealing clothing. Things are tight, particularly deeper in the neck but there is no distorted appearance or significant swelling associated with a neck lift.
- It’s day surgery – The procedure takes around 2.5 hours and is a day surgery. If our anesthesiologist agrees, the procedure can be done under sedation if so desired. Most of our patients prefer to be put completely asleep. We send you home with a chin strap that you wear for most of the first week. There is a drain tube that stays in 3-4 days and sutures that need to come out around one week’s time. Once the sutures are removed, we start you on some scar cream to help with the healing process. At two weeks we let you start to increase your activities. Driving can commence around one week’s time.
Check out the before and after photos below, or click here for the full gallery.
A surgical procedure is an order of magnitude greater commitment than any office-based one. That being said, in a healthy individual the outcome and longevity of the procedure cannot be matched with any device- based neck treatment. Your safety and well-being are always our primary concern. We have an incredible team at UT Southwestern to help me care for you and get you through the procedure and its recovery. Surgical neck lifts are a much more common request in my practice than a traditional facelift and in selected patients can provide the kind of improvement that some patients are looking for without a considerable recovery.
Remember, board certified plastic surgeons with a focus in cosmetic surgery are best trained to care for your needs. If you have questions about whether a doctor is board certified in plastic surgery you can check credentials at https://www.abplasticsurgery.org/public/verify-certification/ModDefault.aspx?section=SurgeonSearch.