People who are struggling with sagging skin around their neck and jawline due to aging are often good candidates for neck lift surgery, also known as platysmaplasty.
Sometimes patients will refer to this problem area as a “turkey wattle” or “turkey neck.” Patients who choose this type of surgery can get natural-looking results that help them look years younger by contouring a more youthful neck and jawline.
Dr. Will Thompson is a facial plastic surgeon specializing in neck lift surgery in Denver, CO.
What is a Neck Lift?
This procedure is a surgical procedure that addresses signs of aging in the front of the neck. Neck lift surgery, or platysmaplasty, targets unwanted fat, skin laxity, and muscle weakness to fix a sagging neck. The result is a tighter, more defined, and more youthful-looking jawline and neck.
While neck rejuvenation surgery cannot stop the aging process entirely, results typically last for up to 10-15 years. The procedure is often combined with a facelift but can be performed alone in some cases. In some patients, the skin on the neck ages faster than the face as a whole. When this is the case, a neck lift as a standalone procedure can be very beneficial.
Why People Choose Neck Lift Surgery
Heredity, stress, environmental factors, and the natural aging process can all cause youthful contours in the neck and face to deteriorate and sag over time. Sometimes, the neck can experience the effects of aging before the face. Wrinkles on the neck, a double chin, and jowl lines can become prominent. When the neck does not match the appearance of the upper face, a neck lift is often recommended to tighten neck skin and to create a refreshed, consistent appearance.
The procedure is often performed alongside facelift surgery to address signs of aging in both the neck and lower part of the face. Gravity often creates jowls in the lower face, fatty deposits under the chin, loose skin on the neck, and neck muscle banding. These unwanted signs of aging can be corrected with a full or mini neck lift and facelift.
The best candidates for the facial surgery in Denver are healthy individuals who have realistic expectations of what the procedure can do for them. People considering a neck lift typically have at least one of the following concerns:
- Double chin
- Poor definition in the jaw
- Wrinkled or sagging “turkey neck” skin
- Horizontal necklines or “bands”
Individuals interested in this facial surgery should be non-smokers, or at least be willing to quit smoking for a minimum of three weeks before and after the procedure, as smoking can impair healing. Remaining smoke-free after the procedure will significantly extend the results.
Consultation for Neck Lift Surgery
Before undergoing surgery, a consultation with Dr. Thompson will take place at his Denver plastic surgery office. This initial meeting is a crucial part of the process. It gives you and the surgeon a chance to discuss your medical history, any skin conditions or tendency to scar, and other factors that may impact results and recovery.
Dr. Thompson will take pictures and assess whether neck lift surgery is the right procedure for you. He may also recommend alternative procedures such as a mini neck lift or non-surgical treatments. If other complementary plastic surgery procedures could help obtain a more favorable outcome, they will also be discussed at the consultation.
Patients should plan to arrive at the consultation prepared with any questions they may have about the procedure or their cosmetic goals as a whole. This meeting helps establish trust between the surgeon and patient, so being open and honest is vital to help ensure the most successful outcome.
How Neck Lift Surgery is Performed
The procedure with Dr. Thompson may take place in the office or an accredited surgical center in Denver, on an outpatient basis. The entire process takes several hours but can be performed under local or general anesthesia. The type of anesthesia to be used will be discussed during the consultation and depends on the patient’s goals.
Several incisions are placed around and behind the ears, with one tiny incision underneath the chin. The neck muscles are carefully tightened before extra fat and skin are removed. Incisions are closed, and a dressing is placed around the patient’s head and under the chin.
Immediately after surgery, the patient will be carefully monitored until the surgeon has approved that it is safe to go home. Patients must arrange to have someone bring them to and from their surgical appointment.
After surgery, it is common for the neck to feel tight and to have some bruising and swelling in the front of the neck. Bruising fades after about two weeks. Five to ten days after surgery, you will have an appointment with Dr. Thompson to remove the stitches.
It is critical to take the proper amount of time to recover from neck lift surgery. Patients typically take about two weeks off from work, but more time is given if needed. During these first few weeks, patients should avoid strenuous activity, such as bending over or lifting any heavy objects. However, walking around the house is encouraged to help with circulation and to aid in the overall healing process.
The surgeon will provide you with specific instructions for when you can resume normal activities. He will prescribe medication to help you manage any pain, swelling, and discomfort. Adhering to the surgeon’s post-operative instructions is crucial for ensuring proper healing and achieving the best results.
Neck Lift Results
This procedure can have fantastic results for patients. A naturally smoother, more youthful jawline and reduced jowling are typically seen just a few weeks after the surgery is performed, once the initial swelling and bruising disappear.
Incision fading can take longer, though neck lift scars are usually well-concealed. Patients should protect their skin with plenty of SPF and stay out of the sun whenever possible to prevent hyperpigmentation.
As with all surgeries, the procedure comes with some risks. Working with a board-certified surgeon keeps these risks to a minimum. In general, neck lift surgery is a safe procedure with a very high success rate. Possible complications include:
- Noticeable scarring
Neck Lift FAQs
The cost of a neck lift varies depending on the complexity of each case. Neck lift costs may include anesthesia fees, surgical facility costs, medical tests, medications, surgeon’s fee, etc. While the final cost of surgery is a crucial consideration, choosing a skilled board-certified surgeon is just as important.
The procedure results typically last around 10-15 years. The condition of a patient’s skin, their skincare routine, lifestyle, and the natural aging process can all have an impact on how long the results last.
Some procedures commonly paired with a neck lift include facelift, brow lift, eyelid surgery, and skin resurfacing. A chin implant, dermal fillers, or other treatments may also be recommended, depending on your specific goals.
If you’re trying to figure out how to get rid of neck fat, then you have options. Some ways people reduce a “double chin” or fat in the neck and chin area include diet and exercise or cosmetic injections. In some cases, plastic surgery, such as submental liposuction with a neck lift, is recommended.
Detailed pre-operative instructions will be provided before surgery. Dr. Thompson may ask that you stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen, warfarin, and any other medication known to thin the blood.
He will require that you stop smoking as it slows healing and can promote further skin wrinkling. Quitting smoking (at least temporarily) is necessary for at least three weeks before and after surgery to ensure proper healing and to keep neck lift scars to a minimum.
Schedule Your Neck Lift in Denver Today
When choosing a plastic surgeon for this facial surgery, it’s vital to select an experienced and board-certified specialist. Dr. Will Thompson is a board-certified head and neck surgeon and fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon in Denver with years of training in the art and science of cosmetic surgery, including neck lift surgery. The surgeon’s other areas of expertise include facelift surgery, rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, and minimally invasive procedures such as Botox, dermal fillers, and laser treatments. Dr. Thompson is known for his attention to detail and his focus on providing personalized patient care. To schedule a neck lift consultation with Dr. Thompson at his Denver office, contact us at (303) 667-1474.