in Denver, CO
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 Neck Lift Surgery?
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.
Neck Lift vs. Face Lift
Full facelifts and lower facelifts usually involve some degree of 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.
Can a neck lift be combined with other procedures?
Some degree of a neck lift is usually a part of every facelift, as the lower incisions enable tightening of the area just below the chin. These are not full neck lifts, as these extensions of a facelift typically don’t tighten the platysma muscle.
So, combining a traditional neck lift with a facelift is an obvious way to extend your rejuvenation up through the lower and mid-face areas.
Any facial procedure could really be combined. For instance, rhinoplasty and blepharoplasty could be combined with a neck lift, particularly if the patient already had a facelift performed in earlier years.
If you’re interested in combining procedures into a single surgical session, this is something to discuss with Dr. Bershof during your consultation. You do need to take into consideration your recovery, though, as adding an additional surgical area can make an already somewhat involved recovery even more so.
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 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.
Is there a typical age for neck lift surgery?
It’s funny that the neck is so often overlooked when considering signs of aging, despite the fact that the neck is truly one of the first areas of the facial area to show aging. Due to the function of the throat, the skin can’t be overly taut and constricting. It is much easier to pinch the skin on your neck than everywhere else on your body. Gravity loves this inherent looseness. That’s why sometimes a person’s face doesn’t show much aging, but his or her neck does.
We find that our neck lift patients are usually between the ages of 40 and 60. This is a wide range; that’s because the aging of the neck area can vary dramatically between different people.
Patient Testimonial for Dr. Bershof
"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.
Ideal Neck Lift Candidates
For many people, the neck is the first place to really show aging. Excess wrinkling, neckbands, 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 do I prepare for neck lift surgery?
Recovery from this procedure with Dr. Bershof isn’t a piece of cake, as described above. Much of your preparation should contemplate that you’ll need to lay low for the first week or so. You’ll need to keep your head elevated and you won’t be able to twist or bend your neck. You’ll also need to avoid anything, such as bending down, that would raise the blood pressure to your face and neck. So, plan your recovery nest accordingly. Lots of pillows. Lots of entertainment options at your fingertips.
Get family or friends to help with stuff around the house, as you won’t be much help walking about unable to turn your head.
As with any surgery, you will need to stop taking any blood thinners, aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications, and most herbal supplements for a few days prior to your procedure. They can cause excessive bleeding and subsequent bruising.
What is The Neck Lift Procedure?
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.
How long does neck lift surgery take?
These procedures can vary, due to the amount of sagging skin that needs to be excised and tightening necessary with the platysma muscle. Expect from 1 hour to 3 hours.
Recovering After Neck Lift Surgery
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.
What are the potential risks with a neck lift?
Neck lifts are major surgeries, so they involve all of the risks inherent with any surgery: reaction to anesthesia, excessive bleeding, poor wound healing, infection, and the like. Dr. Bershof is a board-certified plastic surgeon who has been in practice for over three decades; his extensive training, expertise, and experience make these issues exceedingly rare.
For neck lifts specifically, there can be nerve injury, although this is typically temporary. As long as you follow our recovery instructions, these are low-risk procedures.
When Can I Return To Normal Activity After A Neck Lift?
Most patients can return to work in 10 to 14 days. Sports and strenuous exercises, particularly those involving any twisting of your neck, need to be avoided for at least six weeks.
What results can I expect from neck lift surgery?
The changes made by Dr. Bershof are permanent. He’ll tighten the skin, remove unwanted fatty deposits, and remove the neck banding involved with the platysma muscle. These are long-lasting results; your neck skin will never sag and become loose to the same degree again. Of course, nothing can stop the aging process, but future loosening will start from a much younger position.
When to expect the results of your Neck Lift?
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.
How long will My Neck Lift Results last?
Generally, our patients from all over the Mountain West can expect great results from our neck lifts for 10-15 years and longer.
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.
Patient Testimonial for Dr. Bershof
"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 scarring like with a neck lift?
In these surgeries, Dr. Bershof typically makes three incisions: a small incision under the chin, combined with incisions that wrap around each earlobe and terminate in the hairline. He works very hard to make these incisions short and as discreet as possible. These areas heal very well, and the incisions become virtually invisible in a few months to a year.