Many plastic surgery procedures and products address the effects of facial aging. Many people prefer a youthful appearance. They want to fight aging rather than growing and appearing older. Facelifts are one of the procedures developed to preserve glamorous youth. A rhyitodectomy, the technical name for facelift, is a plastic surgery procedure designed to diminish facial folds and wrinkles. Necklift, or cervicoplasty and platysmaplasty, are procedures often performed in tandem with a full or mini-facelift. Dr. William Silver, M.D., FACS is experienced in performing facelift and necklift surgical procedures.
A necklift is actually a group of procedures designed to improve the appearance of the neck. Some procedures associated with a necklift include:
• Removal of excess skin
• Removal/alteration of the neck muscles
• Liposuction/removal of excess fat
• Botox injections: to alleviate fullness or bands on the neck
The Neck and Signs of Aging
The patient’s eyes (the development of ‘smile lines’ and ‘crow’s feet’) are frequently the first place the patient notices the signs of aging but neck area is considered a close second: vertical bands, jowls, ‘turkey wattle’, horizontal creases, and generally crepe-like skin causes the patient to look and feel older than his or her years. The platysmaplasty procedure, so-called because it addresses the vertical plastyma muscles, is performed by tightening the skin and supporting muscles in order to lift the neck while improving jaw contours.
Candidates for Necklift
According to the American Medical Association, the best candidates for the procedure are non-smokers in good general health. The patient should have realistic expectations about the surgical process and outcomes. Although neck sagging may be the result of the aging process, it may also result after weight loss or the patient’s heredity. For example, some individuals may lack a visual separation of the neck and chin. Necklift procedures may offer a solution for these patients.
Prior to surgery, the physician orders lab tests to confirm the patient’s health. It is important for the patient to let the doctor know about all prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins and herbal medicines. If he or she takes some prescription or over-the-counter medicines, the doctor may request that the patient not take these drugs for a period of time. If the patient takes aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medicines or some herbal preparations, it may be important to stop taking these before the surgery.
The surgeon first administers anesthesia. If the patient is receiving a mini-lift (minimal procedure), the surgeon may perform the surgery using a regional anesthetic or an oral/local anesthetic. Then, the surgeon performs these steps and/or includes others:
• The surgeon makes neck incisions, such as an incision which begins at the front of the ear lobe (looping under, behind ear and ends at the patient’s scalp tracing to the back of the neck).
• If the surgeon plans to tighten the platysma muscles, a small incision may result beneath the chin. Some newer procedures may allow the surgeon to make an incision at the hairline (usually at the back of the neck, called a posterior necklift) or behind the pinna for suspension techniques. The techniques used by the surgeon reflect the degree and amount of lift required to restore the patient’s neck to a more youthful appearance.
• When the surgeon tightens the platysma muscles, the surgeon tightens separating muscles (creating the appearance of bands) with sutures. The surgeon may also remove some of the muscle or may use laser surgery to tighten the skin’s deep layers.
• Extra skin is trimmed and removed. The skin and tissues are then positioned and secured. If the surgeon is using a suspension technique, he or she will use mesh or other materials to support the skin and muscles. This support holds and lifts tissues and muscles after surgery.
• Sutures (multiple layers) are used to close incisions. The surgeon places drains if needed and then bandages the patient’s skin.
Most necklift procedures are performed on an out-patient basis. After the procedure(s) are performed, the surgeon places pressure dressing on the skin (which wraps around the patient’s head and beneath his or her chin). The patient is likely to experience swelling or bruising after surgery. He or she is likely to experience pain and tightness at the surgical site. The surgeon may remove the dressings in a few days. Sutures are moved in one week to ten days after surgery. It is important to avoid heaving lifting or strenuous work after this surgery. The surgeon will advise when the patient may return to work.
Complementary Facial Surgery Procedures
A necklift may be performed in tandem with other surgical procedures, including facelift, eyelift, or browlift. Surgical results are often enhanced with Botox or other facial skin tightening procedures.
Necklift and facelift are major surgical procedures. Patients should look for an experienced plastic surgeon whose work and reputation precede him. Dr. William Silver, M.D., FACS has years of experience serving patients in the greater Atlanta area. Patients in and around the greater metropolitan area, including Alpharetta, Marietta, Dunwoody, Buckhead, Sandy Springs, East Cobb and Roswell, should call today for a consultation: (404) 586-4790.