One of the most obvious signs of aging occurs on the neck. There are a number of changes that typically occur. The first is that the skin may become wrinkled. There may be horizontal ridges on the neck all the way down to the thyroid cartilage. The skin may also become finely wrinkled. Sometime patients develop broken blood vessels and pigmented lesions in this area. These are all skin textural changes that can be improved with laser therapy. Laser therapy will smooth the skin, make it tighter, and there will be an element of a neck lift as well.
The second change that one sees in the neck is the skin itself starts to sag and there is a loss of the acute sharp angle between the jaw line which represents the face and the neck. Ideally, there is a 90 degree angle between the neck as it moves up vertically. It changes across to the undersurface of the chin. There are 2 components that one sees with this type of aging of the neck. The first is that some patients develop excessive fat. This has been classically called the turkey neck. It may be just in the center of the neck or extend out to the sides. The extra fat has excessive weight and therefore droops down into the neck. Some patients do not have a lot of fat but rather loose skin. The skin itself sags down. Sometimes in conjunction with the loose skin there are prominent muscle fibers. There are muscles such as the platysma muscle that fans across the neck. Muscle fibers can become prominent in this area, particularly if there is thinning of the skin and loss of neck.
WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH TO NECK LIFT?
The neck can be lifted in a number of ways and can produce an extremely dramatic effect as far as the aging appearance of the face and neck. Sometimes, I can accomplish a neck lift just with a form of liposculpture alone. This is where all the fat is removed from the neck, particularly treating the underlying dermal surface of the neck. This causes a dermal and collagen contraction which leads to the neck tightening and lifting. I have been performing this procedure for nearly 25 years. My experience is that is it both dramatic and can be performed on men and women. The results tend to be long lasting. Even when other areas of the face age, the tightening from this procedure often is very long lasting. In the initial phase, the patients do develop some deep bruising and fibrosis so the skin will feel hard and numb. This will improve with time. We use massage and sometimes ultrasound or radiofrequency external therapies.
One of the most dramatic forms of surgery is the neck lift.
HOW IS THE NECK LIFT PERFORMED?
There are a number of methods to perform a neck lift. I perform a neck lift as part of our mini face and neck lift. The area below and around the ear is elevated using the tumescent fluid method which we use in liposculpture. Once the skin is elevated, the small blood vessels are closed through cauterisation and more long term sutures are placed on the sagging weak skin of the neck. This gives an immediate neck lift of the deeper structures. As a result, there is excessive skin around the ears. This is trimmed a way.
HOW FAR DOES THE SCAR OF THE NECK LIFT PROGRESS?
Generally speaking, we are able to keep the scar of the neck lift principally around the ears although behind the ear, there may be a slight extension towards the hair. Some deep plain forms of neck lift require a full elevation of the neck with extension of the scars right into the hair of the scalp. This is not a method that was performed in Dr. Lanzer’s surgery. The majority of patients we see prefer to keep the scars smaller and go more for a natural face and neck lift rather than a dramatic one.
HOW LONG IS THE DOWN TIME FOLLOWING A NECK LIFT?
Mostly patients do require 1-2 weeks off their normal duties. A small neck sling is worn for the first week and icing may also be helpful
WHAT ARE THE COMPLICATIONS OF NECK LIFT?
The normal risks are of bruising, swelling, and infection. Scarring does vary, but generally it is quite satisfactory around the edge of the ears. Very occasionally, there can be some wrinkling behind the ears. The surgeons will always be careful about the position of the nerves on the face and neck.
ARE THERE NON-SURGICAL PROCEDURES THAT CAN PRODUCE A NECK LIFT?
Yes there are non-surgical non-invasive devices that can cause contraction of the deeper muscle and dermal tissue to cause a lifting. The device that we have found to be most effective is the Ulthera. This is a deep ultrasound machine that hits a point about 4-5 mm under the skin and causes a contraction. Some patients find that the lifting is quite dramatic and long lasting. However, because it is non-surgical, one can never make and actually promise as to how often it will be successful and the extent of the success.
ARE OTHER PROCEDURES COMBINED WITH NECK LIFT?
Yes, neck lifting will lift the loose skin and give it a very sharp definition to the neck. However, it may not necessarily improve the skin texture. Some patients have skin textural treatments such as Aura laser, YAG laser or Dermapen to try and improve the skin texture at the same time or at a later date.
HOW CAN I MAKE SURE THAT MY NECK LIFT LASTS A LONG TIME?
There really is no promise as to how long a surgical neck lifting lasts. Avoiding strenuous excessive movements will be helpful. A lot comes down to genetics and the aging process.
HOW CAN I UNDERSTAND WHAT SORT OF RESULT I WILL HAVE FROM A NECK LIFT?
Neck lift results are fairly predictable. Dr. Lanzer and his staff will be able to show you those sort of results that you expect when you come in for your free no-obligation consultation. Dr. Lanzer also shows photographs of patients who have had the procedure and also allows patients to speak to other patients if that is requested. This is all done in a confidential manner.
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Surgical Warning: Every form of surgery has a possibility of a complication and these are given to you in detail by Dr Lanzer. It is a good idea to understand your surgical procedure well, and to obtain further advice from another Specialist Cosmetic surgeon such as a Dermatologist like Dr Lanzer.
All photographs represent one person’s experience, and results may vary for each patient. All photographs are of actual patients of Dr Lanzer. The visible change in these photographs has occurred as a result of the procedure/s undertaken.