The aging process takes a drastic toll on the firm, tight, smooth skin of the neck area. As people age into their mid-40’s to 50’s, the neck begins to lose its youthful appearance. The jaw line softens into loose hanging jowls, a double chin can appear, fine vertical lines transform into deep creases and folds, and fatty tissue deposits become prominent. A neck lift can restore a more youthful appearance to the neck area, for dramatic results.
Plastic surgeons have tried to make people look youthful and correct physical deformities for years with various procedures; however, many people believe that a facelift corrects all the effects of aging. A facelift sounds like a procedure that corrects the neck, face, and forehead, but each section requires a different procedure. A neck lift may be the procedure that creates the most dramatic improvement.
A necklift restores a more youthful look to the neck and jaw. This procedure has been growing in popularity and become far safer and more effective in recent years. If you think you would be a good candidate for a neck lift, you can begin the process by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Duerr.
After making the decision to learn more about the various necklift methods and procedures, you will meet with our board-certified plastic surgeon at Doctors Memorial Hospital, Dr. Andrew Duerr, for a consultation. During this meeting, you will be given the opportunity to thoroughly discuss your current situation and how you hope to improve the appearance of sagging neck skin and a droopy jawline.
Dr. Duerr must determine your candidacy for the necklift. For the procedure to be a success, he will perform a complete assessment of your overall health. He will need to check your vital signs and run a series of laboratory tests, involving blood work. Inform Dr. Duerr of any past medical or cosmetic procedures or surgeries you have had; this includes any past use of cosmetic fillers in your neck or lower face.
Bring a list of all medications or supplements that you take to your consultation at Dr. Duerr's office at Doctors Memorial Hospital. This is critically important because some medications must be stopped for a certain amount of time prior to the surgery, for example: anti-coagulation medications, commonly called blood thinners. In relation to medications, you must inform Dr. Duerr of any past or present drug or alcohol use. These substances affect the body in varying ways, and they can be detrimental to a successful procedure and recovery.
After informing Dr. Duerr, of your wishes, he will make suggestions about the best method to use for your surgery. Furthermore, Dr. Duerr will assess the elasticity of the skin on your neck and the strength of the muscle fibers that extend from the collarbone to the angle of the jaw, called the platysma. This muscle structure assists the body to swallow, and is visible when you flex your neck. You can see the length of this muscle where it attaches to the collarbones.
Dr. Duerr will discuss how your neck will appear after your neck lift at Doctors Memorial Hospital. Also, he will discuss the cost, type of surgery to be performed, and your recovery during your consultation if you have any concerns.
You will need to follow some basic steps to lessen the chances of complications and infections from your neck lift surgery.
Don’t drink or eat anything beginning at midnight the night prior to surgery. If the physician has given you permission to take any specific medications, such as blood pressure medications, you may take them with a small sip of water only – all directions will be in writing, so follow them to the letter. The presence of material in the stomach places you at risk for aspiration; aspiration occurs when a person regurgitates stomach contents and then breathes them into the lungs.
Stop Smoking. Smoking gives you an increased risk for uncontrollable bleeding and delayed healing. It’s best to stop smoking for a minimum of 24 hours prior to your procedure and 48 hours afterwards. If you would like medical assistance to permanently stop smoking, inform the physician. He can give you advice and referrals to many smoking cessation programs that have proven results.
Shower. You will need to shower with an anti-microbial soap the night before your neck lift surgery at Doctors Memorial Hospital. Repeat this step the morning before your procedure as well.
There are several different methods used to perform the best neck lift in the Gulf Coast. In some cases, the physician may choose to perform the procedure endoscopically. An endoscopy requires two to three tiny incisions in the neck. The physician then insets a thin fiber-optic device into the incision to perform the surgery. Dr. Duerr routinely performs one of three different surgical methods in the surgery: Liposuction, Cervicoplasty, and Platysmaplasty. All of these procedures follow the routine recovery guidelines as mentioned in the recovery section, but each method involves an additional recovery requirement.
Liposuction: The name literally means “fat-sucking.” This procedure uses a hollow tube, called a cannula, which breaks up the fat deposits. The medical vacuum provides the suction to remove the fat from the tissue, through the cannula, and into a storage container. If the physician isn’t able to remove all of the fat deposits with this method, he will make an additional small incision to surgically remove them. The physician will place a dressing around the neck and head after closing the incisions. An elastic garment will need to be worn around the neck in the evenings for 14 days after your procedure.
Cervicoplasty: This neck lift method removes the excess skin on the neck. A small incision under the chin and behind the earlobe will be made by Dr. Duerr. The skin will then be lifted up and pulled taught to remove any wrinkles. Dr. Duerr will trim the skin and reattach it to the connection point behind the ears. A stitch will be placed to hold the skin in place during the healing process. Dr. Duerr will place a dressing over the incisions and across the neck to reduce swelling and pain; however, it is normal to experience extensive bruising and swelling from the procedure, which will diminish quickly.
Platysmaplasty: This procedure uses incisions placed similar to those in the Cervicoplasty. The physician uses an instrument to remove or realign a portion of the Platysma. Permanent sutures will then be used to hold the Platysma in the new position. Dr. Duerr will apply a dressing around the neck and ears to reduce the amount of swelling and protect the incision site from infection.
The general recovery guidelines following your neck lift surgery at Doctors Memorial Hospital include the following:
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