Everyone is cognizant of the effects of aging on their face. But many people stop at the chin, overlooking the neck area. Unfortunately, the neck can be one of the first areas to show extensive aging, with banding on the neck and looseness under the chin. A neck lift with Denver plastic surgeon John Bershof can address these issues.
What is a neck lift?
A neck lift, clinically known as a lower rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that targets the changes wrought by aging on the skin and muscles of the neck. Unlike a facelift, whose results can be mimicked with dermal fillers and neuromodulators in lieu of surgery, surgery is the only way to address aging issues on the neck.
What’s the difference between a neck lift and a facelift?
Full facelifts and lower facelifts usually involve some degree of a neck lift with the procedure. But these usually do not address the entire neck, instead usually focusing on the jowls and upper neck. A true neck lift is focused solely on neck aging.
What are the benefits of a neck lift?
Neck lifts can really help with a person’s facial aging. Our neck skin and muscles tend to droop and create bands. Dr. Bershof removes excess, sagging skin and he tightens underlying muscles. He diminishes the appearance of your platysmal bands, and he contours the chin and jawline.
This combination of results definitely improves your lower facial aging. You’ll no longer feel the need to wear a turtleneck all year round.
"Dr. Bershof offers a personal and professional touch. He and his staff make you feel safe and comfortable to work with. I feel extremely confident in recommending Dr. Bershof for any plastic surgery needs." - L.C.
Would I be a good candidate for a neck lift?
For many people, the neck is the first place to really show aging. Excess wrinkling, neck bands, jowls, even the dreaded “turkey wattle” all come into play. These are the visible signs of aging that a neck lift addresses:
- Fat pockets and relaxed skin in the lower face
- Loose neck skin
- Fatty deposits under the chin
- Muscle banding on the neck
- Jowl lines
- Double chin
The realization of the need for a neck lift often comes in warmer weather when we (particularly women) are exposing our necks and upper shoulders with summertime fashions. Suddenly it’s obvious that the neck has aged faster than the face. If that’s the case, you’re a good candidate for a neck lift with Dr. Bershof.
How is a neck lift performed?
Dr. Bershof utilizes two methods for his neck lift procedures, depending on the degree of change you want to see in your neck and chin area. During your consultation the two of you will discuss your options.
Traditional neck lift
A traditional neck lift incision originates in the sideburn area and continues down below the ear, terminating in the hair at the back of the scalp. The skin is pulled away and the fat is usually re-sculpted or redistributed, particularly from the jowls. Usually the platysma muscle (which runs from the upper parts of the pectoral and deltoid muscles all the way up onto the jaw) is tightened. The skin is then pulled up and re-draped, and the excess skin is trimmed away. If there is a good deal of fat under the chin, Dr. Bershof may opt for a second incision there. He can tighten the muscles and use liposuction to remove fat pockets.
Limited incision neck lift
As the name implies, rather than a single relatively lengthy incision on each side of the face, here small incisions are made only around the ears. As you would expect, more extensive tightening and skin removal cannot be accomplished with the limited neck lift.
Is neck lift surgery painful?
Obviously, your surgery with Dr. Bershof is painless. Recovery doesn’t involve a high level of pain, as there isn’t an abundance of nerves in the neck. The problem with recovery is the inability to twist or bend your neck. It’s more of a figurative pain than a literal one.
"Dr. Bershof is the ideal physician: professional, competent and a pleasure to work with. I am thrilled with the results of my surgery." - P.T.
What is recovery like after a neck lift?
Recovery from neck lift surgery will take time. You will have elastic bandages around your lower face and neck when you return home. This will help minimize swelling and bruising. With this surgery, it’s important to keep your head elevated (a good rule to follow is to keep your head at a level above your heart), and you cannot twist your neck or bend it forward. You may think icing the area would be beneficial, but do not apply ice as this can restrict blood flow and damage skin recovery.
Most patients can return to work in 10 to 14 days. Your results will be fully visible when the swelling has fully dissipated. This can take up to six months, however, so don’t expect instant gratification with a neck lift. Sports and strenuous exercises, particularly those involving any twisting of your neck, need to be avoided for at least six weeks.