Laxity and sagging of the neck area are commonly tackled during a full face and neck lift procedure. Usually, laxity of the neck tissues is present together with some degree of facial descent – where there is descent of the cheek tissues, with formation of jowls on the jawline.
In the neck, excess skin laxity is present, often together with accumulation of fat below the jawline and in the jowls which obscure the jawline further. Loss of support of the longitudinal, strap-like platysma muscles can be present in older patients also, and they drop further ageing the patient.
Most of these issues can be corrected using a standard SMAS face and neck lift. In some patients however the descent of the platysma muscles is not fully corrected by a SMAS face and neck lift alone and an additional procedure called a platysmaplasty is required to fully correct the position of these muscles.
In younger patients without facial descent, the contours of the neck and jawline definition can still be significantly obscured by accumulation of fat alone. These patients benefit from liposuction alone to remove the excess fat and allow the skin to shrink and take up a more defined shape around the jawline and neck angle.
Do I need a neck lift?
If you are concerned about skin laxity, accumulation of fat in the neck, or the band-like platysma bands then a neck lift may well be of significant benefit to you. A neck lift will be able to produce a more clearly defined face and neck shape, with a streamlined neck and jawline, so if this is an area you wish to adjust then a neck lift would be a good option.
What does the procedure involve?
For older patients, whether you have this procedure as part of a facelift or as a separate treatment, the general process is the same. Excess fat around the neck will be removed using liposuction, and the descent or sagging of the platysma muscles will be corrected using a SMAS-type face and neck lift, using incisions hidden around the ears and in the hairline. Excess skin is removed via these incisions.
If this is insufficient to fully correct the position of the platysma muscles a platysmaplasty procedure is performed. This is done by dividing the platysma bands and then re-suturing them across the midline to recreate the neck angle definition. The incision for this procedure is hidden below your chin, so won’t be easily visible.
What is the recovery like for this procedure?
A neck lift will be performed using a general anaesthetic and you will need to stay overnight in hospital. Sutures are removed at 5-7 days post-op and usually you will be able to return to work after about two weeks. You’ll be asked to wear a compression garment for the first two to three weeks after your operation, as this helps to support your new neck shape. Also try to sleep with your head elevated, as this can help to reduce any potential swelling caused by the surgery.